“Tom, there’s no way that they can take another round. See that ocular leakage, way over tolerance.”
“Yeah, yeah I know Bill. I can hear too can’t I? Ancestral recall or personal identification with Canis lupus do you think?”
“No family resemblance but that baying is putting my skin on edge regardless. How you want to do this? We’ll get some sympathy views if we drag it out—personal favorite of mine I’ll have you know since this is our first time working together—might even get a couple more weeks out of the budget. Holds a lot of risk with this pair though from what we’ve seen and neither of us wants to explain why we’re carting off a pair of body bags.”
“Fair point. How would you feel about a hybrid? Start off slow but keep an eye on a drop dead date where it all crescendos again and forces a clean cut. Watched Geoff do something similar once. Takes finesse, as always, but it can be done.”
“I’m game, closeouts are your arena anyways from what I hear, I’m better at the fluff and the early game. Just let me know the confidence and insecurity tables you want to use before we start so I can keep things on track.”
“Retro-consideration and empathetic quotients are going to be key factors as well. Can you send Jim to let psych know that we will need their numbers first. Future orientation has always been lacking in 5KY3 and like you said, we don’t want any b-bags.”
An ex-girlfriend stole my shoes once. By breaking in through the floor level hotel room window I was in while I was preoccupied with injecting another fifty units of liquefied crack and vinegar. I even came out when I heard the noise. All I was capable of doing however, was to stare blankly while trembling under the pressures of the locomotive that was my heart careening off the rails inside my head. Didn’t even say anything, just stared.
It was a bizarre occurrence to be sure. I could only fuzzily sketch out how I had l had hefted her bodily not 30 minutes previously–out into the hallway following what was a reasonable argument taking on unreasonable levels. Now she was snaking out the window to my room dragging behind a pair of black and white Nikes that happened to be my only pair of shoes I had brought.
Earlier that day I had seen my children for the first time in more than a year. At a supervision center I had ridden the buses and trains for eight hours to get to. Just one hour that I paid for out of pocket. They looked beautiful, he was handsome, she was angelic.
Far more than I could take
My ex-wife had structured things so as to ensure I would have to return to my old stomping grounds of New Bedford, MA and this dingy facility if I wanted any access to the kids at all. It was the same city I had desperately sought to get away from during my attempts to get sober. Aside from my children, there was nothing there but the grime and filth and needle strewn streets and shit memories and traumas and fuckups and locations and people I didn’t want or need anything to do with.
I had won $10,000 on a scratch it a few weeks before, something that I never thought would happen though I had kept gambling on them periodically for most of my adult life. I had started a new job a few months previously as well. I was living in a halfway house and had been there for nearly 6-months, longer than I had stayed anywhere in several years now. Things were upbeat with many reasons for optimism and putting nose to grindstone while enjoying some happiness for once.
After seeing the kids I broke down. I knew how much of their absence in my life was my fault, both before and the recent inability to clean up my act.
I checked into a hotel and managed to track down my ex-girlfriend.
She was doing amazing, clean, signed up for school to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor—she was really putting the pieces of her life back together again.
I don’t know if I showed up with the drugs to the hotel and met her, or ordered them after we got there. I do remember using the inside of a hardened blue glasses case as my mixing surface for the rocks. It was good stuff, probably should have just been smoking it, but once you progress to the needle it’s something of an end all be all.
You mix crack with vinegar or another highly acidic agent to break it back down to water soluble form. I used Braggs Apple Cider with “The Mother” because it was rich in amino acids and somehow in my addled puddle of a brain that meant it was better to use for these particular purposes. That and it reminded me of making salad dressing at the home I had once owned.
Shot after shot after shot, ringer after ringer after ringer. All she wanted to do was cuddle up and maybe read some of the book she was studying from with me.
Rock, vinegar, mix, pull-up, vein, red flash, push plunger, go lightheaded, gasp, nearly orgasm, fall slowly when short gulping air, wind up sitting on the edge of the bathtub shaking head to clear the spots from vision and WHUMWHUM from my ears, rubbing quickly inflating arms to try and minimize the swelling.
Lost in and to a ritual, there was no mind being paid to anything else but the same rinse and repeat exercise as had just played.
I realized things had escalated rather dramatically when the chocolate cake was flew past my head, She came at me with those sharpened nails of hers, tried to grab the drugs and throw them in the toilet. Failing that, my ears and face were a good enough post to thud into.. Holding her up against the wall so she would stop ripping at my face, getting spit in my eye before throwing her out into the hallway. I was callous and cruel and willfully ignoring the pointed reality of what I had been doing and how it must have felt to watch me self-destruct so viciously.
Then she stole my shoes.
I had smashed my cellphone earlier that evening in some bizarre fit of rage over something seemingly trivial. Thrown it so hard against the wall the mental housing of the iPhone had crumpled as the screen shattered.
I used the hotel’s lobby phone to call a taxi who took me to get a pair of flip flops at a pharmacy and take me to the hospital for the cuts on my face. The idea of just grabbing some first aid for myself at the pharmacy never even crossed my mind. For quite some time I had become accustomed to just going to the hospital when things had gotten to be too much and I was dehydrated, or crazy from lack of sleep, or desperate for another rehab. It was second nature.
They thought I was there for chest pains after taking my pulse rate. The EKG came back okay and they let it slide though.
Eventually I made it back to the hotel.
The wall in the bathroom was covered in chocolate cake, towels were laying all over the floor. I knew “it” was going to fall apart again with a twisting certainty in my gut born of seeing the same thing happen over and over. Different implosions, different actions at least—but the same result no matter what. Isolated, lonely, confused, ashamed and embarrassed, it never seemed to change.
When I kept shooting coke for the next two days and had to resign my position I was barely even surprised.
wanted to write you a story all soaked in love and pretty things, but instead
it’s going to be about rat scum, the blistering soul music of choking on
personal shortcomings, and maybe a joke or two. Bad jokes at that, certainly
nothing like comedians are doing these days with their hyper-intelligent
breakdown of cultural idiosyncratic tendencies by way of reflection based wit.
you laugh at my jokes about museum quality antiques going up in flames while a
house full of puppies burns?
not so sure your sense of humor—wish I could get a feel for that before writing
the story, because you know, once the ink’s on the page it’s a bit too late for
regrets. I prefer to live with an abject awareness and semi-permanent psychologically
unsound box of my personal mental fabrication to insulate them out, regrets
that is. I’ve heard of better ways I suppose, but who has the time or money for
if you have to confront some dilapidated and uncomfortable feelings at some
point that may smack of inadequacy, do it in stand up fashion and just face the
music. Life can be good, it can be shit, and a myriad of shit colored varieties
mixed in between. Doesn’t have to dictate the characters we all play on the
larger stage, we can so eloquently write our own flaws.
it would be like taking diction from some phone line person babbling away while
they get busy scuttling their own sense of disgust by third-party. I don’t know
about you, but I don’t want to be that kind of ethical whore who is susceptible
to that kind of mind game. Willing to uproot and gag down on the more
successful perspective because they had the audacious idea of getting to it
first so they could be in better position for the final thrust?
purification through mindfuckery and a psychological blow job seems far too
easy a road out if you ask me.
I said, I don’t know your sense of humor, so I’m not sure whether I should pull
back a bit on the off color commentary for your sake. Then again, I don’t know
your personality either and maybe you’re one of those people that appreciates a
no-holds barred rigmarole tirade of non-penitent truths delivered in the voice
of the speaker who says it how it is instead of how they want it to be.
you aren’t and you’re one of those deceitful little rat fucks that huddles
behind false smiles and bravado attitude that refuses to be honest even with
yourself and is liable to turn tail and betray the trust of others faster than
the lab tech can reload your daily selection of cheddar, medium not sharp.
really hope that’s not the case though, and if there’s any sense to this
fantastical story and scheme that I’ve been told about the genetic structure
and predisposition of whatchamahoosit chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA, then
I’m fairly certain you aren’t like that.
fairy constitution by virtue of dad’s semi-descended Oingo Boingo soundtrack
and mom’s canal of misjudgment.