I have been drinking myself to sleep for a bitch of a while now. The days drift by in the same desperate haze. The nights are so drowned in beer and tequila that I can barely find my way to the surface. Not that I’ve been trying. I gave up treading water in this dream pool long long fuck long ago. Life goes on, as it must, but no one was saved. No one ever is.
Bethany came into my store the other day. God, but she was a vision of beauty in this dark and decaying world. She smiled at me and all the nightmares went far far away. Her icy blue eyes saw right through my shallow façade and into my empty sad sorry soul. And then I forgot about the killer fucking hangover I had (it didn’t take long for me to remember).
I didn’t talk to her. I couldn’t. I didn’t know how. I mean, she was hot. And that is so fucking intimidating.
That was 3 weeks ago. I have since said ‘hello.’ She might have smiled at me. Or she might have just been being nice. Or it might have been a trick of the lighting that I just imagined and turned into this big deal. Doubt was never my friend.
So I have been writing more. And that has been good for me. And I have been drinking more. And that has been much the same for me.
When the highlight of your life is saying ‘hello’ to a beautiful customer who comes in 3-4 times a week, there is really no reason to stop drinking the rest of your life away. What else is there? It’s not like I had anything else to look forward to. Maybe that is bad advice. So maybe don’t follow it. But when all that’s left is a trip to Desolation Row or thirteen continuous hours of reality television, I know which way I am going every mother fucking time. Sometimes forgetting isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Some lives just aren’t worth remembering.
Some people find truth in the bottle. Or inspiration. Or god knows what the fuck else. I never really found anything but booze. So maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough. Or maybe I wasn’t drinking hard enough. The fuck do I know? But there was nothing else to take away the boredom. And sweet fucking Christ but there was no way I was going back to that unarmed.
And work just dragged. There was no life there. We were all desperate for something; something different; something better. We knew everything was fucked but not all of us had given up hope yet. It is just a matter of wanting to do something about it. It’s not as easy as you smug bastards seem to think. Or maybe you never had dreams no one believed in. That you barely trusted.
“Hey, Bethany… the usual?” My week has now hit a peak. I am coming into work hammered tomorrow and I don’t give a shit. Life is a meaningless wreck. Bring on the mother fucking booze.
Tonight it is whiskey. Cocktails and dreams. Lost wandering ramblings three cigarettes and delusion set me straight on my way. And the Muse hits me in the face with a baseball bat called Jack Daniels. So I write another story about misery or boredom or life looking up or whatever it is I do when I am drunk.
“Hi, Bethany. How are you today?” You look beautiful today. Just like every other day. Day. What day is it, anyway? Am I getting paid soon? I am out of booze. And rent is coming due soon, I think. Or was that last month; week; Tuesday; whatever. Huh? She said something and I missed it. Smile. Pretending to be pretty is all I fucking got.
Have you ever had difficulty recalling what parts of your life really happened and what parts you dreamt or made up?
Then it was the weekend. The one I have been working for all week long. The guys were busy. Doing something or other. And I had nothing else to do, so I drank until I passed out. On a chair. I awoke several hours later in a daze. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep drinking, get some water, or take a piss. While I was pissing, I decided I was drunk. But too drunk to do anything about it. I went to sleep. In my bed. I think my phone was ringing. I don’t think I answered it.
Sleeping in a chair doesn’t hurt so much when you are blown out of your fucking mind. But does it ever fuck up the neck and spine for the rest of the week. I decided to stop drinking for a day or two. At least until I could turn my head without trouble.
So it was in one of my rare completely sober moments that Fate slapped me in the face. Figures. As if I know how to react when I am sober. As if I can relate to people, much less girls, much less beautiful women, much less Bethany my utterly perfect female counterpart when I am sober. It wasn’t that I needed a drink. I am not an alcoholic. I just needed something anything a way out. I had just gotten off work. Damn. The fucking timing. Always the fucking timing.
Bethany walked in and ordered from someone who wasn’t me. ‘Hey there, Bethany. You are beautiful,’ I told myself. ‘I know you probably hear that a lot from a lot of guys. And I am sure all of them are more successful than I am. How could they not be? But still…’ I had no idea what to say next. And this was only mumbling inside my head. If I couldn’t even convince myself why she should talk to me how in the happy hell was I going to convince her? The world was coming to a standstill. It was a moment of truth. Time stopped. The little dog laughed. To see such sport.
She sat down two tables away from me. Of course she wasn’t going to sit at my table. What the fuck do you think this is, a made for TV movie where even the bad guy gets laid? She was staring off into nowhere. And not in the self-reflexive seeing something in the great beyond way that I stare into nowhere while I am trying to write a poem of great depth and meaning or a story that touches the soul of every man woman and child. No, it was a desperate longing look beseeching the expansive Nothing to take it all back or fix it all or do goddamn something anything other than this please not this. I wasn’t going to get a better invitation than this.
I went home. Yeah, so I fucked up the show. No one knows or cares but me. Invitations or not, I don’t need to ruin a perfect vision of beauty by actually meeting her talking to her getting to know her and each and every one of her flaws that will destroy break shatter everything I have been dreaming about for the past few months. Sorry. Not the way I am going out. I’ll live lonely still before I go out and do that to myself. What I need is someone that I don’t have to put on a pedestal. Someone that I don’t have to idolize before I talk to her. Do you think there might be a little something wrong with me? With the way I approach life? More than just a touch of gray.
And life went on, as it tends to. And I said hello to Bethany when she came in. And she said hello to me. And we smiled. And did nothing. Because that’s what people do. And that’s how shit goes. I got by. And pretended it was enough. And I kept writing sad miserable pieces of degenerate drunkery that I hope to pass off as gold.
Of course, I kept drinking. She probably did too. Alone. As it was meant to be. Because if it wasn’t meant to be that way, we would have done something about it. And we never fucking did.
On second thought, I bet she has a boyfriend.