We would sometimes go for a drink after work and invariably I'd be asked what I 'did'. This was the beginning of a long, slow realisation that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing with my life.
It was the uncovering of a disquieting sense of destiny that was to cause great confusion in me.
An obvious solution to this would have been not to drink, but that would have involved, well, not drinking, so a better idea had to be found.
This came in the form of kneeling in front of the safe after I had placed the money inside it and cracking my head against the steel door, so the resulting bruise would later reassure me I had conducted my duties responsibly. I had always liked alcohol, but this was different.
Most of the staff were studying drama or art, or singing in a band, and were working at the restaurant to make ends meet. They all found it funny how I dealt with customers in such a deadpan manner and got away with it. Looking back at me was a miserable little guy who looked like he had just sucked on a lemon.I would pace around trying to remember whether I had locked up properly or if I had even put the money in the safe.On more than one occasion I had to go all the way back to the restaurant to check that everything was in order.I went regularly for six years and only stopped when I came to realise my underlying problem was not genuine alcoholism, but depression.It was to be a good many years before I tackled that problem effectively, but for the time being I abstained from alcohol and, crucially, stopped banging my head against hard objects.There are some people who, from an early age, know exactly what they want to be when they grow up.