The Ballad of Jesse From Satan's Asshole, Hell
This is the story of how I died. If it sounds depressing, it’s because it is. I am only 27, it’s really not that old to die, but some of the best rock stars have croaked at that age, so what does that make me? Just a poor loser who got played, that’s what it makes me.
My fate was sealed on an extremely mundane Tuesday of September; the rain outside was faint, the breeze was chilly and made the leaves rustle gently against each other. I was on my way to a friend’s birthday party — an acquaintance, really — that day. I mean, Jeremy was an alright enough guy, we had some good times together, along with a bunch of mates from just about everywhere along our paths of life. We all knew each other, but somehow we all felt like strangers. I guess I still had a lot of shit left to be figured out. If only I’d been left the chance. Today can kiss my ass already! I needed booze, badly. I craved it with every fibre of my body; each thought that crossed my mind made me crave the taste of sweet oblivion it usually brings. Damn, this party had better be fucking worth it, I thought, both arms wrapped around myself and cursing the dumbest decision I’d made for the day, which was leaving my coat at home. Well…what exactly is a home, may I ask? If 2 room flat inhabited with mites and other uninvited guests who don’t pay rent can be called home then I guess that’s what it is.
I cursed under my breath, rubbing against my ribs for some more warmth. I’d better not walk back home sober, I thought as I neared Jeremy’s building which was, as usual, surrounded by homeless junkies sharing each other’s syringes. Drunk was how I’ve always considered a party to be worth it. Once when I was young and stupid, careless, a dumb man without a future and no ambitions in life but to drink himself to bankruptcy. And not even a girlfriend in sight to ease the pain and be my crutch to hold on, as selfish as it sounds.
There was a stray yellow mutt across the street, all ribs and spine showing, gnawing on a dead sibling, its teeth sinking into the nearly rotten flesh of its comrade and tearing at it hungrily. I could hear the crunch of bones against yellowed teeth, rotting away from a lack of care and scavenging for rancid meat. This city — when you wouldn’t call it a shithole — had its lot of cannibalistic rats as well, no vermin were spared from the ravenous hunger of its chums. You’d guess this lowlife ghetto had been left to rot by the state, which I guess it had; no one knew we were even here that there was actual life in this city of the damned.
I turned the corner to where the building stood, a ten-story edifice with no lift, falling apart in all meanings of the word. Not really unlike mine, actually. I climbed the stairs leading up to the apartment, knocked on the door and waited. No answer. I knocked again. Still nothing. The music was blasting like nobody gave a shit about neighbours. But in this neighbourhood, though, can’t say I was surprised. If I could describe it using one word, it would be ‘trash’. Literal garbage littered the streets and it was populated by the worst kind of white trash rednecks you could imagine. No wonder the rent was so cheap and no one ever called the cops, no matter how loud was the music was blowing up over their heads and people yelling way into the night. Enduring this was worth it if it meant keeping your dope and illegally owned guns. And at this point, they all were so used to it they could sleep through the entire civil war without blinking awake once. Sometimes it felt almost surreal that I had managed to remain stuck in here after attending university. But my very vague ambitions were cut short once I got bored and realised I didn’t shit gold.
I wondered on a daily basis how the fuck I had survived this long in such a slum with a crime rate so high there was scarcely anyone left to be murdered. That’s usually what happened when you were a junkie and couldn’t pay your dope. But thing was; everyone here was a junkie and no one had a steady job, even less savings. My cousin, curse his soul, had been one of those, a few years back, when his parents’ stolen money hadn’t been enough to pay back his coke. As a result, he ended up scattered across the city. A small group of kids had found three fourth of his head flopping against the brown and green waves of the canal, all bloated up and chewed off by whatever mutant creatures lived in this piss and shit. Some speculated it had been the works of a murderous cult who took part in some sort of ritual killings, others claimed it was the blacks. In short, everyone here was an asshole. And yet, it was my cage and I was bound to live in it, lack of cash obliged.
After a minute of waiting with no answer, like an idiot waiting for a door that would clearly not open itself, I grabbed the knob and let myself in. Of course it wasn’t locked, the neighbourhood was lovely enough to leave your door unlocked. What worst could happen when you’ve slept through gun shots and bloody murder shrieks on a daily basis?
Banderoles dangling here and there from the ceiling were the only ones to greet me as I entered the flat. Some were ripped apart and fixed back together with masking tape and another, yellow and pink and some stains of unknown origins, said ‘Happy 27th’ with an ‘8’ written over the ‘7’ with a sharpie. This was promising. Nothing could go bad at all which a bunch of drunk and irresponsible adults, surely?