He walks to the supermarket like a ball tossed at pins, thinking If God wants to save me He will send me a sign. The first person he sees when he walks in through the revolving door? An old partner in crime from his drinking days. He's got a bag full of cider, and he's buying The Guardian. They exchange smiles. Neither is quite sure of the other one's name.
On the way home his knee strikes the shopping bag when he steps onto a grass bank to let a woman with a baby buggy pass on the narrow pavement. The clink of the bottles makes him feel more shame than if he'd been carrying a porn magazine.
Ten minutes later his head has stopped throbbing for the first time in a couple of months.