Les Cook

Acclimatizing to a Monsoon

Under – a Cambodian National Park. 

Over – looking Kep Bay. 

At the first drizzle of rain… I kinda stopped drinking and I’d started to gamble, specifically on sports betting because I didn’t drink when I gambled. 

This was it, the missing puzzle . . . sports betting could be my alternative to drinking – super.

This is going to be great. Not only will I not be drinking as much. I can also make the money that I would have drunk.

So it began 

And it was working. I was drinking very little. 

Betting was expensive – though worth it compared to the cost of my wellbeing, or lack of it from drinking. 

Soon though . . .

I’d drink when I lost – and then I’d drink when I won – and finally I drank while I gambled – experiment over.

It’s funny, Charles Bukowski the poet, a notorious alcoholic had to stop drinking, Doctors orders and he’s like, “What will I do now?” – and his I think girlfriend said, “Go to the horse track. You can bet on them.” 

Dumbstruck, he was like, “They bet on horses to see who will win?” 

And she gives him details.

So he went to the track, gambled, and that was it – he was hooked – loved it – and experienced a surge in his Poetry when he returned from the track. 

If he didn’t go to the track he couldn’t write. 

He never did stop drinking.

So I sit, no drinking, no gambling. 

Now what?

Pouring rain.