“I fear that I am writing a requiem for myself”
The echo of yesterday’s party was stained in the ears of everyone passed out on the ground. A Vietnamese soup bowl, half full of broth served as an ashtray, tiny cigarette butt warships played dodgems through tiny slicks of ashen tinted chilli oil.
There was an empty bottle of rum sitting next to my head.
Vodka when I fly, Rum when I’m at sea, Stella when I’m angry and I’ll drink Gin when I’m free.
I rubbed my eyes until one of the contacts I left in rolled into better shape and I could see more clearly. Wrenching the blanket from the girl passed out next to me I coughed up some stomach bile and spat it at the carper, reaching for a weirdly convenient bottle of Listerine in one stuttered motion.
The day has already started, trains were getting more frequent and the shaking of the foundations every seven minutes stirred more and more of the party awake, either into brief lucidity or an agitated irritability. The main reason I was still awake was an unrelenting need to coat the toilet in a sublime remnant of all the masochistic behavior my body had endured since last night.
Every time that my body shook me awake, the girl next to me would just make me want to fall asleep, just so I could wake up next to her again.
But the toilet was calling a subliminal song with every squeak of a train’s brakes. As I picked up the square of material we had been using as a blanker and fashioned a makeshift cape, she looked up at me wincing.
I used to think I could read minds.
Stumbling to the end of the hall, beige cape in tow, I noticed my friend Herb laying across the hallway, arms clutching at the Yellow Pages, eyes darting left, right, left, right. His astounding drawl of each page's listings was incredible. He laid there simply making up new professions for each name. A dog walker became a high-class escort; a high school tutor became a long-term car park. I stood there a few minutes, Herb oblivious to my presence. My beige cape hung tight from my shoulders.
A roach crawled out of a can of two week old Special Brew and scuttled past Herb’s treasured Yellow Pages. With a speed not known to be a quality of Herb’s, he proceeded to flip open the L-Z and slam it down with a twist and a thud. It was akin to the noise that the trains continued to make, just off tempo with the 6.15am to the city.
I looked down at the mess on the floor.
“I’m in Paris today” muttered Herb sharply.
“And when you finally realize that for each day you waste, for each life you drag down into your own fetid web of manipulation and deceit, that shit WILL hit the fan and the great ephemeral safety blanket you wear on your shoulders will be a petrol soaked rag, burning ever so brightly, lit by those things you woke up in the morning and forgot you did, and THAT THESE THINGS are what others remember..”
Herb never once made eye contact during the whole spiel.
“When the floor spots barking new patterns at me, I’ll be out of here..”
Herb had been staying with us the last month.
“And THEN WHEN YOU SEE, WHEN YOU SEE THIS FOR WHAT IT IS, YOU WILL CRY LIKE I DID, LAUGH LIKE YOU CRIED AND YOUR LAUGHTER WILL SOUND LIKE YOU ARE CRYING” said Herb, writhing around on the ground.
I told Herb to shut the fuck up and smoke another cone, as I casually stepped over him so I could simultaneously shit and vomit.
I left my cape outside the bathroom.