Jason looks out the living room curtains. His roommate is in a sleep deprived, cocaine induced psychosis. Haven't actually seen him pass out for days. Now he's standing in the street yelling at cars and pedestrians. But at least he has his clothes on. Well, he's not wearing a shirt or his boots but at least he put on pants and a jacket.
"The DARKNESS COMES!" screams the madman pointing a Corona bottle at a Muni bus before he throws it at the sleazy Calvin Klein ad on the side.
"Here I am motherfuckers! You fucking SUBHUMAN PIECES OF SHIT!"
As he bellows and raises his arms over his head in an aggressive, dominant male display like his primate ancestors, Jason spots the missing kitchen knife shoved into his waistband.
Oh boy. With a heavy sigh, Jason pulls on his jacket and jogs down the stairs past the curious stares of the neighbors. These are cool people. The Mission District is a pretty forgiving place. But when your shirtless, 6'2 roommate with a braided mohawk stands in the street throwing bottles and screaming...Well, words like forgiving take on a new meaning.
Best to get this over quickly.
They are all around me. I can't always see them...but I can feel them when I reach out with my mind. With my mind. My...
The BEAST runs at him...oh shit.
"Hey dude. Let's go inside ok?"
"I can't. YOU locked me out."
"No man. YOU went out and locked the door behind you. Old habits I guess. Hey. Can I hold the knife dude? It would make me feel better."
I look at him. He looks like a demented bunnyman. A big fucking smile and mad bunnyman eyes. I pull out the knife and stare at him a moment. Then I hand it over. Handle first for safety.
"Let's get out of here" says Jason looking around. "We'll be lucky if no one called the cops."
Kym has been gone for more than a week and it's like civilization is breaking down. The place is trashed. Broken glass, burnt carpet, shattered dishes and piles of garbage everywhere. Plus his roommate has reverted into some sort of psychotic, primal version of himself. He consumes any drug in front of him and drinks all day and night. The place stinks of stale beer from all the empty and broken bottles. The cocaine gives him energy to push past the bounds of sanity and launches him into full fucking asshole mode.
I stopped going out with him. It always ends badly. Puking on bars, getting thrown out, all the fighting, running from bouncers and cops and always throwing shit...
He's usually cool. The guy that handles the bills and reminds you to lock the door at night. So polite and thoughtful. Usually the most level headed and sane one of us all...
"Hey! What the fuck?! Did you just throw a fucking bottle at me?!"
And the bastard stands there smiling like a loon and shrugs.
"Missed the trash Jase. Hey, you have any more coke?"
"You fucking stole more than a 8ball! And you trashed my room doing it!"
"That was your room?" he asks seriously.
Jason ponders for a moment. What if I just lay his ass out? Just clock him? Sometimes all a guy needs is a good ass kicking...But he looks so fucking helpless and then there is the whole friendship thing. Jason sighs and searches his memory for anyone who has valium. Maybe slip some in his beer...
And when Kym left holy shit. Now that was a fight. It sounded like they were throwing each other through the walls. Just beating the living shit out of each other. But when I looked it was all Kym. She was swinging one of the kitchen chairs at him while he taunted her. She smashed the table, the stove and the walls with the heavy wooden chair as he laughed and dodged out of the way.
"You're such an asshole! I fucking HATE you!" she screamed while waving the chair in the air.
"Fine! You fucking hate me so much then LEAVE!"
"You'd like that so you can go fuck that stupid slut!"
"What?! What are you talking about? You're crazy Kym! Fucking crazy!"
"Don't call me CRAZY!" she screamed as she launched herself across the room at him.
"Crazy! Crazy! CRAZY bitch!"
And with an unearthly scream - she threw the chair at him.
Kym's a big girl and can punch like a man. Jason knows this from getting sucker punched by her at a party. You have to keep an eye on her when she gets loaded. So when Kym took a running start and threw the chair, she threw it hard. Caught off guard, the chair floored him. Knocked his ass backwards across the kitchen and straight into the open dishwasher. Plates, bowls and glasses smashed from all the spikes on his leather jacket. But he popped up quick. Had a bad look in his eye. For a second I thought I have to get between these two coked out beasts...but he just glared at her, turned and stomped out the door.
She packed her shit and left.
The answering machine:
Thursday. Sept 5, 1996 1:44 am.
Jase...dude. Oh man. I fucked up and (incomprehensible) Melo. Tell him I'm sorry. Fuck he's gonna kick my ass isn't he? Shit I gotta go...
Thursday. Sept 5, 1996 2:12 am.
If you get this lock the door! Those Soviet pygmies are following (incomprehensible). Like the ones by the window? (Whisper)I'm gonna get a (incomprehensible)...so FUCK him! And fuck you too! I know you're there listening to the fucking robot!
Thursday. Sept 5, 1996 3:45 am.
(Kym whispering and slurring)I know you're fucking there listening to this you FUCKING FUCK FUCKER! Why won't you LOVE me? Delam barat tang misheh! My heart HURTS so bad babe! My fucking heart! I need to- (Smashing glass sound. Line goes dead.)
Thursday. Sept 5, 1996 4:17 am.
(Someone playing Alice Cooper's 'Welcome To My Nightmare' until the machine runs out of space.)
Thursday. Sept 5, 1996 4:46 am.
Kym crying. (Garbled, clicking noises and incomprehensible slurring in two or three languages followed by one, long howling scream.)
Melo helped him up the stairs after he kicked his ass. Now he's passed out on the ground. His face is all lumpy. Melo said he deserved it and I concur. Fucker trashed my room again. I have to keep the coke on me until this situation changes.
I wake up sore. Every muscle feels either trampled, crushed or yanked apart. OD again? Beaten? My body is drugged, limp and shattered. Groaning I roll over. My thoughts are carried by ants that slowly creep back into my ears. They return home carrying my shame. Black crumbs of misery. But the last ant sneaks in holding a glowing shard of pure starlight. Hope. And I feel ok for a moment. But then the world heaves up, collapses and crushes me. The ant smuggling starlight hides inside my heart.
I shudder thinking of her screams. Like vines twisting towards me across the cables and wires. So very distant and sad. Love ripped apart by two drug crazed animals and scattered across frozen landscapes like bones. Blurry memories of fucked up shit I pray is untrue...And then the Mercy. I pass out again.
I wake up on some random fucking day.
Daylight filtering through the curtains whispers of a life beyond the windows. My life neglected. School, job and friends just slipping away in the passage of time. And a normal day awaits me. Normal people doing normal things. They wake up healthy, go to school or work. Maybe have a beer at the end of the day with friends. And they speak of normal things. No one says anything about the bruises and weeping wounds in the crook of my arms. They do not ask why my right hand is bigger than the left one...
Jesus. New holes in my arms and hand. A machine gun pattern of lost days. Abuse and shards of memories. Bad ones. More fucking holes.
So I add AIDs and Hepatitis to my ever growing list of Fears.
Far away across the dream, my heart hurts. The rhythm is off. Like a jazz drum beat. When it scatters madly in my chest I know I'm dying. I have been injecting too much cocaine...Cocaine and heroin. Speedballs. That girl with the stupid hat taught me that one. Autumn? Our secret. No Kym. No Jason. Just me, Autumn and a new way to get higher than high.
As I remember her explaining why Jason's coke is good because it actually dissolves, I cringe. Betrayal? We weren't fucking but it felt like we were fucking people over. And I helped her shoot it in her neck...the intensity in her eyes as she watched the mirror. Her lifeblood filled the rig in two pulsing heartbeats and squirted out the side.
"Ok. Don't tell Jase - 'babe'!" she teased me a moment before she made a snorting noise and her eyes rolled back into her skull.
Jesus. Injecting coke. And screaming and laughing while we did it over and over again. And heroin? Or was it morphine? The rush was so sudden and intense...Autumn has to hold me up as I convulsed. I think she slapped me when I kept blacking out.
My ghost is trying to rip free from my body. I don't blame him.
Fuck. I miss Kym. Like a blackhole in my Universe sucking my soul through the starlight of her eyes. My anchor. Her love kept me here. Now I'm gone.
No dreams. Nothing but Darkness.
And the Darkness comes.
Fucker has slept in the hall for two solid days. Today I dragged him out of the bathroom so I wouldn't have to piss over his head. While I pulled him down the hall he laughed like a madman. Then he passed out again. I keep him on his side.
Fuck him. Should I stash all my shit at Autumn's place and call an ambulance? Not sure I trust that chick 100% with my stash. Shit not even 50%.
I don't think he needs an ambulance. I mean he wakes up long enough to puke and pee. Usually in the toilet. Maybe I'll make him some toast.
I look around. I seemed to have wormed my way back to the living room. There is a bottle of water near my face and a plate of toast that has a couple bites in it. The sun has set somewhere. Night is returning but something has yanked me back to the Real.
I look around confused. KNOCK KNOCK.
Behind her, the sun has sunk burning into the sea. It paints Kym in the twilight patterns of dusk. A saffron colored floral print sundress hangs off her frame. She stands motionless in four inch platform heels and her dress ripples in the gentle bay breeze. A portrait of fashion and beauty with her usual twisted twists. A spiked dog collar and she shaved her head except for her bangs which sprout pink and orange over the blue eyes that devour me. Our souls meet in her stare, she studies me for an instant and smiles. She knows I am still her creature. She slips into my arms without a word and in that moment, I know love for one thousand years.
But I am weakly human. Jealous and petty. Carrion bird thoughts flutter through my mind. Should I ask her if she is out of oxycodone? Or heroin? Are you strung out Kym? Did you miss me? Or did you miss the pleasures of the city?
It's me right? Please...
I say nothing. I just hold her. Inhale her essence. Her desert blood, the myrrh, the stars screaming across the Night and a life not meant to be lived without her.
"I had a fight with my parents" sniffs Kym. "And my sister. Brother. The stupid neighbors and grandpa. But grandma's cool. Says Hi."
"Hello grandma" I smile.
"I shaved my head."
My fingers run through her shaved platinum blond stubble. The feeling excites me. Kym changes her appearance often but she is always the most beautiful woman in the crowd. Like a model or celebrity or some other person way out of my league. And she breathes with her face nestled in my neck. Her tense body sighs and melts into mine.
This is enough. Fuck the world. Let it slip into madness and flames. Just for her smile, I'd watch everything burn.
Yes she knows. I know. But I can't help it. I have to tease her.
"So...what? You're here because...?"
Her eyes roll beneath a tired smile that fought every single person in her world to a standstill. She looks at me and I grin.
"Because I forgot my jacket" she says.
"Yeah it's cold at night downtown" she says grabbing my hair and pulling me closer to the lion's den. "I'm not used to my shaved head. Babe? Is it ugly?"
"No. You're hair is beautiful" I say as my lips brush against hers.
I can hear Jason come out of his room and walk into the hallway.
"Can I please get my jacket?" she breathes softly into my ear.
"Yes" I say closing my eyes. "You'll need it when we go out tonight."
"Hey!" exclaims Jason. "You're back!"
Kym and I open our eyes, lock for a moment in our private forever...and then we break the spell for the fool. Jason stands behind us in tighty-whitey underwear and his The Dodger's Suck! t-shirt.
"Great." says Jason. "Dishes in the sink bitch."