He knows now why writers drink as he paces back-and-forth in the neglected back garden. Drink frees the lips. And he talks, mutters to himself as he plods between paving stones in the dark, waving the cheap cigarette back and forth. Before characters, before plot, before themes and symbols and style, come the words. And nothing, nothing, makes the words spill forth quite like drink.

Flush with new ideas he rushes upstairs to the keyboard, struggling to get keys in lock. Lock opened he rushes to the machine and records his half forgotten words.

Later he will vomit in the neglected back garden, his fingers forced into the back of his throat. He will light another cigarette and drink a much too strong drink from a ten-year-old yellowing plastic glass. And he will feel a certain kind of numb satisfaction as he sniffs on his fingers the faint scent of recently washed-off puke.