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for Leave The Hurt Behind

5/2/2019 c1 44Igenlode Wordsmith
Yes, there's a stage at which drinking to forget ends up as drinking to forget that drinking isn't going to cure anything... I imagine that Raoul must have vowed to reform many times already, but with about as much success as most people who try to quit on willpower alone; in the self-disgust of the morning after it's easy to make the promise, but in the moment when you're actually the most vulnerable - to habit, to succumbing to the old illusion that you will feel better even when you know it won't end up that way, that once you start you can't stop - all those resolutions are no kind of bulwark at all.

The idea that Raoul is consciously seeking an overdose on the grounds that it would be the best thing that could happen to him for all concerned is one that I don't think I've seen before, but it's pretty consistent with the level of self-loathing we see in "Why Does She Love Me?", and the trapped, angry LND-Raoul is only half a step away from despair at the best of times. Drink can not only cause him to forget the inadequacies of the present - it may actually kill him.

"Perhaps one day, he would fall not merely into unconsciousness, but into that final sleep. His heart would become still, his breath would cease to flow in and out, and he would truly feel no more": these two lines I felt were a little clumsy ('final sleep' is a cliché, and I can't picture anyone visualising his body with breath 'flowing in and out' of it), and have pretty much been foreshadowed by 'oblivion' anyway. "Closer to oblivion, away from shame and sorrow" is good, and it's being undermined by the laboured passage that follows. I think you could probably streamline it a lot for effectiveness: "Each drink brought him closer to oblivion, away from shame and sorrow. Perhaps one day it would be an unconsciousness from which he never woke. He would no longer to be able to hurt himself[...]"

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