still putting short stories on here till I can make a thread. here's something i'm working on, my friend gave me the prompt of something about a drunk person. it's about 1500 words
I turned twenty-one a week ago. I had never been more excited for a birthday in my life. I was finally able to buy my own alcohol, go into whatever bar I wanted, and be my own person. It’s all I had ever dreamed about since I had my first sip at 14. I was used to stealing wine from my parents, or doing keg stands at parties but for the first time I had an unlimited supply that I would never have to hide. I could finally tell people I was hung over instead of lying and saying I was sick or had a “prior engagement.” It was complete control over my life.
I woke up vomiting into the trash can beside my bed, glanced at the clock, and saw that it was 4:27. I slept through most of the day, but that’s how this past week had been going. It was fine. Since I was hung over again, the quickest way to get better was to drink again, so I took a swig from the half empty whiskey bottle on my night stand.
Later that evening I called my friend, Chrissy, and asked if she wanted to go to an art exhibit having opening night in an hour.
“Sure, I’ll come, but I’m still feeling sick from your birthday party, dude. I’m never drinking that much again.”
“Don’t worry I can sneak a flask into the exhibit, there’s no way in hell we’re going sober.”
“You’ve been going pretty hard the last couple days. What’d you do last night.”
“I went to a club Zach told me about. You should’ve been there.”
“Bro, you’re slurring. Are you still drunk?”
“No. I’m getting drunk.”
“Whatever, I’ll see you in an hour.”
I hung up the phone and walked over to the bathroom. My reflection stared back at me looking hollow and sickly. I didn’t worry though, nothing I couldn’t cover up with a little foundation.
We met up at the exhibit around 10 pm. She looked nice, shorts riding up her ass, crop top. I wouldn’t expect anything less.
“Hey, I’ve been looking for you everywhere” I complained to her.
“You look cute, ready to go in?”
“Yeah, but real quick. Look at this,” I pulled up the side of my dress, which was bright red and flowed down half my thigh, to reveal two flasks strapped to leg, “Good idea, right?”
“Fucking genius. Let’s go in.”
The exhibit was one of those modern art breaking traditional rules kind of things so most of it was outside. There were long sidewalks lined with bushes in the shape of people and art pieces in the middle of grass squares. We passed a bush that had a purposeful resemblance to George W. Bush.
“Chrissy, what time is it?”
“Almost eleven, why?”
“I think you mean 9/11” I chuckled then pointed to the Bush bush.
“I hate you.”
“Me too, stand in front of me so I can drink from my flask.”
I chugged most of it and felt a deep burn in my esophagus. I grew to love it, especially this past week. That’s the fucking burn of adulthood in my throat.
We spent the rest of the night laughing and discussing art. In truth, a lot of it was phony artist shit trying too hard to be symbolic, but we had a good time analyzing it. We both were art majors, but also were too self-conscious to let ourselves become like the artists at this exhibit.
“Megan, look at this one.”
“I actually kinda like it,” I replied while walking over and trying not to trip.
“Yeah, the use of color is cool. Like I can feel something from it, unlike most of the other hollow, meaningless paintings.”
“Yeah, right. Totally, like look at this part,” I started to gesture towards one of the warped shapes when my hand slipped and the last of my flask spilled onto the canvas.”
“What the fuck, dude.” Chrissy whispered, not wanting to call attention to my embarrassing blunder.
“Fuck. I don’t know, here um, “I moved my finger across the canvas and spread some of the liquor in a swirly pattern.
“What the fuck are you doing now?” She asked louder this time.
“Shut up. See, now it looks like it was done on purpose,” I started to giggle. The amount of alcohol I had in the last hour paired with what I had before I left made it difficult for me to take anything seriously for longer than 10 seconds.
“Oh my go- “
“Calm down, no one will notice except the artist. Now let’s go before they show up to gawk at their now ruined painting.
We ran out of the exhibit not being able to contain the laughter from our ridiculous situation. After arguing for a few minutes in the car, I finally got my way and we drove to a club that I’d always wanted to go to.
The club was packed of course. There were rainbow florescent lights and I had never been happier. Being drunk, I hadn’t realized it was more of a gay bar than a usual club, but being sober I probably wouldn’t have realized how much I wanted to be there.
There were drag queens on heels, towering over me, and they walked by like goddesses, whose beauty was unexplainable. Everything felt right, I was in awe of what I was seeing until Chrissy interrupted my daze.
“What do you want to drink?” her voice was loud and grating.
“What are you dumb? The bartender asked like a million times. What do you want to drink?” she said the last sentence in spaced out obnoxious phrases. She thought she was funny. I turned to the bartender and smiled, now being snapped out of my daze.
“What’s the gayest drink you have?” an easy thing for me to say being black out drunk, but if I were sober I’d probably over think myself to death, worrying if asking that is homophobic.
“I got just the one for you, sweetie.” The bartender replied. A couple minutes later I was brought a fruit cocktail that they somehow figured out to fade into all the rainbow colors. There were a bunch of pretty berries sticking out of it and I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Most of the night was a blur. I could barely remember it, but the clearest memory I had was Chrissy screaming at me then leaving. I wasn’t sure what it was about, but I didn’t care much. I didn’t care at all actually, because when I woke up I was still a little drunk and still drunk on happiness from whatever happened at that club.
I had some coffee then decided it’d be more mature to call Chrissy. The phone rang for a while, but she picked up at the last second, a little too obviously trying to make me wait.
“What the fuck do you want, Megan? Why are you calling me?”
“To catch up. So last night was pretty wild, huh?”
“Oh yeah, so wild” the sarcasm in her voice was obvious and a little over done, “let’s see. You left me to go fuck some girl in the back. Then when I wanted to go you threw a drink in my face “accidentally” and screamed that I was straight for the whole club to hear. You made me look like such an asshole in that fucking gay bar, Megan.” I couldn’t help but laugh. “Why are laughing? Where the fuck is my apology?”
“No, it’s just I’m so sorry you had to feel so out of place. It must be upsetting being a white straight girl, I didn’t mean to make you feel so ostracized. If only the people in there knew what it was like.”
“I don’t need this. Fuck you. And how are you not having a reaction to me saying you fucked a girl?”
“Is that really such a big deal?”
“You got so drunk that you forgot your sexuality, dude. Don’t you think that’s a little bit of a problem?”
“No, I don’t see a problem,” I started to get quiet, I didn’t want to start talking about my sexual orientation when a massive hang over was coming on.
“Are you stupid? You need to stop drinking. Really, it’s too much.”
“Fuck off, I’m 21. It’s normal to drink when you’re this age.”
“I don’t know man.” There was a pause and it made me feel even more like shit than when she would yell at me, “I think you have a drinking problem.”
“You know what? Fuck you, let’s not talk again till I’m 30. Then we’ll see if I have a ‘drinking problem.’ Until then let me enjoy my goddamn 20s. So delete my number till then. Bye, asshole.” I ended the call then blocked her. I didn’t need someone making up problems for me. I was young and just wanted to be happy, I didn’t know it was the beginning of a life of alcoholism.
Sometimes you think you’re better. Sometimes you think you’re recovered. And sometimes you even begin to believe that you might be happy. But then it all comes back. Every negative feeling that has ever touched a part of you grows to make up your entire being. You remember everything, not in the way it happened, but in the way that you felt it. Things clarify, and you’re not in that happy haze anymore, you know now. You’ll never be happy. You can have people and hobbies to distract you and to express yourself, but you’ll find that that the only thing you’re capable of expressing is unhappiness. You wonder why. You think: if I’m so happy why is such deep, depressing emotion coming out of me. You write it off as you emptying it out of yourself to have a clean start. But then later you know. Later you realize that it is all that you are. And realize that you keep writing and painting because this shit is constantly building. Its accumulating and the only reason you think you’re happy is because it hasn’t been able to build enough for you to have a breakdown. But then one day you do. It’s not that it built up enough to this time, but that you’ve been alone for the 5 minutes it takes to look inward for once. You realize there’s this hollow shell that you try to drain because all that can ever fill it is sadness and self-hatred and every other awful feeling in existence. Every happy emotion you felt now feels like an insincere attempt, it’s not that you were actually happy, but that you wanted to be. You were faking it because it was easier and that’s exactly the kind of thing you’d do. Take the easy way out like always. Whether its science, or swimming, or life in general. All you do is take the easy way out and now the only real thing that is left, that is so in character with who you think you know you are, is suicide. But you can’t. You’re too cowardly, too hopelessly hopeful. Or think maybe winning an award, or getting accepted into a college, or for once being accepted by a person could just possibly make you happy enough to carry on with your life. So you write a small paragraph, that you’re a little proud of, and decide to press save on the 32-page document where you go to have the same crises over and over again. Then you close the computer and see that she replied, the message just never showed up in your notifications. You feel better and blame what just happened on too little sleep or too much coffee, and move on, like you always do.
The sun just began to rise as the pest control laborer awoke. He went in the bathroom, brushed his teeth and stared into his hollow, circular eyes. They were small beady little eyes that couldn’t help but give off scorn towards everything in their line of sight. He rinsed out his mouth then traipsed to his kitchen. All he could find were left overs. They weren’t even his but he didn’t care anymore. He ate quickly then put on his uniform. It was an ugly green jumpsuit, of a horribly uncomfortable fabric that was easy to wipe clean. On the back there was a logo from the company he worked for along with the words “You name it, we kill it.” He always hated that slogan. It made him feel like a hitman with a confession plastered on his forehead. On the front of the jump suit was a pocket and the name Ned. He grabbed his wallet and phone heading out the door but felt a sunken feeling in his stomach. He ran over to the toilet knowing what would happen and threw up. He could hardly keep anything down. Shrugging it off, he locked up his house and left.
As he was driving in his “bug mobile,” he paid less attention to the road and more to the other people whizzing past him. He watched each individual flying by in their cars, driving to their different destinations and living their different lives. The exterminator pulled up to an old house and sighed.
Ned opened the back of the van and began pulling his equipment out. It was just a fly infestation, an easy thing to take care of, so he didn’t have to lug many things to the house. After knocking on the door, a friendly middle aged lady opened it and greeted him. He forced a smile, with a twinge of pain.
“So you can see there are a few flying around the house. It started a couple weeks ago and I’ve done nothing but spend my time killing them since. Do you think you can spray something to keep them out or use a pesticide?”
“Well first, I’m going to try to find the source of the flies. From there I’ll know how to treat it.” Ned was very anxious. He made sure to not lie to the nice lady. He spoke carefully to say he’d know how to treat it, not that he could treat it. He was even more worried once he realized that it had been blowflies that infested her house. Blowflies always lead to something dead.
It didn’t take him long to find the crawl space in her basement where the flies were swarming. He was crawling through, careful to not kill any. Ned was a small guy, so it wasn’t very hard for him to maneuver himself through tight spaces. He actually felt more at ease in them. The world didn’t feel so big. He didn’t feel so threatened.
Once Ned finally felt okay, he looked down and nearly threw up. He didn’t know what he expected to find but this was the worst possible outcome. He couldn’t take his eyes off of it and watched his tear fall onto the carcass. Ned felt pain consume every inch of his body to the point that he couldn’t move. He couldn’t turn away. He couldn’t close his eyes. He was paralyzed with sorrow. The distraught exterminator had lost track of time once he was finally able to move his lips.
“I’m sorry, brother.” His voice resonated in a trembling whisper, but in the almost empty crawl space it nearly echoed. “A life has been taken, and I will not disturb it in its rest. I have too much respect for you.” Another tear fell. he sat there in silence, absorbing the enormity of the lifeless body before him. He not once thought how it got there, or how it died. He just felt its pain.
Ned didn’t know how much time had passed when he heard the faint sound of the nice lady calling for him. He turned around and scurried out of the space to speak with her.
“Did you find anything?”
“Yes, it seems that the blowflies are here because they were attracted by something in your crawl space.”
“Attracted to something? What was it? Can you remove it?”
“It was a substantially larger insect, Ma’am.”
“Oh, you can remove, it can’t you?” the woman was both concerned and confused. He had been in there so long; she didn’t understand why he still hasn’t taken it out.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t.”
“Why? You work for a pest control company, go take it out like I paid you to.”
“I just can’t bring myself to do it, I’m sorry.” He grabbed his supplies and started to walk out. The lady was now very irritated. As she rushed to open the door for him, her antenna hit him in the eye. She didn’t apologize and told him to leave.
“You should be fired. You can’t even do your job” she yelled as he hurried to his car. He ignored her, knowing she was right. But still, the exterminator drove on, knowing that the one thing he’d never kill was his morals.
still can't make a thread so here's another chapter I've been working on.
“I’m gonna eat this cigarette.”
“Seriously dude, don’t you’re gonna get really sick.”
“I’ve never had a cigarette before. So leave me alone so I can have a smoke goddammit.”
“Having a smoke means smoking the fucking thing not eating it.”
“I’m not gonna smoke it. What? Do you want me to get cancer? Fuck no.”
“You just smoked a shit ton of weed, why won’t you just be a normal person and smoke that?”
“Bro, have you not scene all those anti-smoking commercials?
“That refers to smoking weed too, not just cigarettes.”
“Cigarette companies are the ones who make those, you know.”
“What why would they make something telling people not to buy their product?”
“You don’t get the law at all, dude. There was a whole law suit. The same people that own craft, like the mac and cheese, own a big cig company too.”
“What does that have to do with anything? Why are we talking about this? Spit that out of your mouth and let’s go.”
“Who shat in your cereal?”
Elena and I didn’t talk while we walked to our cars. Before I got in mine, she yelled to me “I really hope you know you’re a mess, dude. I care about you and all, but Jesus Christ, man.”
I couldn’t stop thinking about it on the ride home. I’m not a mess. Yeah, I say dumb shit, but that doesn’t mean anything. I might not be as obsessed with my future like everyone else, but it’s fine. I’m still in high school, it’s okay that my life is a bit of a question mark right now.
While I was listening to music, trying to forget what had happened, my car started making a jarring noise. I immediately pulled over to the side of the road, and smoke started coming out of the hood. I called my parents and they had it towed to a repair shop. I didn’t really pay attention to what the mechanic said, when we went there, but I know that my car won’t be able to drive for a while. I tried to block it out, when they were going through the details. I figure it’s enough to hear the basics and to try not to stress over it too much.
The next morning, I wanted a coffee and remembered that I don’t have a car to drive me to Starbucks. I had to fill my bike tires and ride two miles in the unbearable summer heat if I really wanted one. I concluded that the heat couldn’t be too bad and that it’d be nice to have a coffee with my breakfast, so I got on my bike and left.
I was a mile into it and felt fine. I felt better than fine, I was unstoppable. The hot air was pushing against my skin, but I ignored it and just peddled harder. I was going faster than I ever had before and loved it. I thought about how not even the terrible weather could stop me. For once in my life, I wanted something, and I went and got it, regardless of the obstacles in my way.
As I slowed down to find the bike rack I suddenly felt a soreness in my legs. I thought it normal, and walked my bike over to a rack. As I was inserting the code to lock my bike chain I felt a surge of tiredness sweep over me. I tucked the opening of the chain behind the rack, where no one could see it and left, hoping my bike wouldn’t be stolen. I went in, set my bag down and my body began to become aware of the change in temperature. Once I felt the cool air, sweat came pouring out of me. I grabbed five dollars out my wallet then walked up to the counter. My eyes couldn’t focus and the floor no longer felt still. It was like I could feel the earth moving under me, like I somehow became detached from it and I could now notice what I was too near to have ever before. I thought I was getting a head rush, which is normal for whenever I stand up, but I became concerned when the blackness of my peripheral vision didn’t go away after a couple seconds. Instead it just continued closing in. That’s when I realized I was close to fainting. Closer than I ever have been before, even closer than when I saw a dead body in that cadaver lab. I asked the lady for a water then paid her. I could barely see her face, although it was all I could make out. Everything else was black. I was scared about what was happening but was accepting of it. I’m a mess, this is just the kind of thing that that happens to people like me.
“You’ll probably wanna call 9-1-1.” I slurred out.
“Are you okay?”
“Does it look like it?” I started to fall back, but was still proud of myself for making sassy comebacks in the middle of a heatstroke.
“Someone call the police,” I could hear her yell.
“No, it’s fine, don’t.” I remembered how they stick ivs in you and there was no way in hell I’d let that happen to me again. I was able to find a stool within a few feet of me and sat down. I opened the bottle of water with a struggle, then started chugging. Within a few minutes my vision came back. It finally occurred to me that I shouldn’t have gone out in 100-degree heat without eating or drinking anything in the last 15 hours.
I waited five minutes, then got back up again to order my coffee. I got an espresso, because it doesn’t have any sugar in it. I felt myself getting dizzy again so I didn’t order anything to eat and sat back down. My drink was made quickly and I started to feel better. They only had pastries and the kinds of food people that still believe in the food pyramid would find healthy. I felt a strong need to be home so I got on my bike and left. I tried to ride slowly and bike under all of the shaded areas, so I wouldn’t over heat. Once I got home, I still felt dizzy, but I could see fine. I ate some chicken then finally sat down and enjoyed my coffee.
I finally relaxed. After a shower, I felt much better and after the coffee, I felt energized. I looked back at what happened as a distant dream that wasn’t quite scary enough to be a nightmare. I thought about how everything worked out and I did what I intended, had a coffee. The end justified the means. Tomorrow I’d just go earlier before it gets too hot. See, there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m not a mess. I may have some trouble along the way, but I always finish what I start, and that’s really all that matters.
I’m at the library right now. I’ve never gone to a library alone, so this is a very weird experience for me. It feels so hostile here. Everyone has headphones in and are glued to a computer screen. I find that kind of ironic because they’re at a place that’s raison is to read the books they freely supply, but here are people touching none of them and instead looking at their laptops, something they could do practically anywhere. But then again, here I am doing the exact same thing. In my defense, I looked for a David foster Wallace book to read for a while, but found that this library doesn’t seem to know the fuck who he is. After that I read a few pages of my Sylvia Plath book. Now I’m just looking at my surroundings and trying to be less intimidated by everything. I’m enjoying looking at everyone’s laptops because they all have stickers on them to try to indicate some sort of personality. Of course my laptop has no stickers, only a few scratches. There’s a young guy, looks like he’s in college, with a green lantern super hero sticker. Honestly he’s what I imagine college in Arizona to be, well, college at its finest in Arizona. Then there’s some Asian woman in her 40s or 50s with a white flower on her computer. It seems to be less of a statement piece like the big green super hero sticker, but more of a minimalist’s decoration. There’s another college student with her younger brother. I can’t see her computer well, but I can see the brother with his head resting on the table, looking bored out of his mind. Then, there are the more intimidating people here. There’s a woman wearing a dress showing far too much skin for her age, with two young girls doing the same. There’s also an unhappily married couple sitting together at a table pretend the other doesn’t exist. Then there’s me. I’m sitting here in a wrinkled maroon shirt tucked into grey and white flower patterned shorts, becoming more paranoid by the second that people can notice the wrinkles. Of course they probably can’t notice and definitely don’t care, but I still do and because of it I can’t relax. I’m sitting here typing and trying to inconspicuously observe everyone here, but most likely am being very obvious. I’m also concerned that the humming of my computer is too loud and might be disturbing everyone else here. I spend most of my day alone in my room, watching tv, where I can do all of the watching I want of people without them being able to see me. This is uncomfortable for me, because here, while I’m trying to watch them, they’re all perceiving me, and that makes me feel more than uneasy. In an essay by David foster Wallace that I read he talked about this. He said that a writer looks at things differently and voyeurs around, making people uncomfortable with their skeptical gaze. I wonder if that’s what I’m doing, or if they can notice that that’s what I’m doing. He also said that tv is a dangerous thing for writers because it allows them to do all of the perceiving they want without being perceived back, allowing them to indulge as much as they want. That, I know, is true for me. I want to throw away my tv and stop myself form compulsively watching it. But the issue of tv for a writer is not just the addiction but also the fact that the people are not acting like actual people. Actors are a very special type of person that while knowing they are being watched by thousands, can appear that they don’t. Any other person in front of a camera becomes very uncomfortable and can’t “act natural.” Now I’m just poorly summarizing what Wallace wrote, but I find it very interesting and extremely true. I came here to the library today to actually experience people, even if that experience is just simply having them perceive me. It’s unsettling, but also reassuring. At least they can see me, at least I’m real.
Separate names with a comma.