One time, almost two years ago, I had woken up on my mattress on the floor in my pretend rich kid second-story suburban apartment. The sun was shining and that seemed like a really good reason to not go to work that day. Plus, immediately on waking, I had downed three-quarters of a glass of what seemed to be a 70-30 alcohol heavy rum-and-kool-aid mix. I laid back on the bed, looking at the clock, trying to remember how many days I had phoned in recently.
Fuck. It was Wednesday. I had phoned in on Monday. I didn’t mind missing one day a week, and plus, since I’d started having seizures, it was easy enough to tell most of the truth and let everybody just assume I was actually going to doctor’s visits. And it was funny to say things like, “They’re trying to get some things straightened out. But, for now, if I hit the ground shaking, please at least give me a few minutes before you call 911. Those guys are expensive.”
Maybe it wasn’t the best plan, but considering I didn’t really ever go anywhere, it felt reasonably safe. My last seizure, if that’s even what it was, wasn’t any different than a black-out really. I’d never been a true black-out drinker anyway. I had fallen asleep. I had crashed. But I wouldn’t cross that line into out of control. If I had to be honest, it made sense that after hitting it kind of hard for a little bit, maybe I was just catching up with me. Lord knew I ought to be eating better. It just seemed like every time I tried, I either retched it back up or it made me too full to drink much that night.
I walked over to the bathroom, stepping into the shower and ignoring memories of the side of the tub. My chin still had a slight scar on it, but I had come up with some story to wish it away. I spent most of the shower trying to remember what that story was in case it came up.
Sitting at the dining room table, looking at the clock, I realized I had accidently been really efficient, one of those things I was pretty good at, when you really thought about it. So, with a solid ten minutes before I needed to leave for work, I mixed another quick drink, telling myself I wouldn’t finish it and that it would just be nice to have a sip out the door, and a cold drink waiting on me when I got home.
I could usually make it back before the morning shots wore off and I started shaking, but you never knew what traffic was going to be like.
Five minutes later, I downed the rest of the glass, thinking it probably wasn’t my best idea, but then again, who was I to say?
I woke up (again, came to? [I was getting tired of asking myself this]) in the drunk tank.
From what I understand, I had only barely backed out of my parking place, just enough to block everyone else in. There are sheaves of paperwork explaining all this apparently. But I guess I had sat there for about ten minutes before somebody finally came and checked on me. (Oddly, about a week later she tracked me down, showing up at the apartment to make sure I was okay. Cute girl, a little nosey maybe, but nice enough.) She said I had claimed a low blood sugar problem (a surprisingly good line, all things considered). Someone foolishly called 911. I had submitted to a breathalyzer, a cavalier move. I had been deemed “Unable to Perform” further sobriety tests and been taken to the hospital. Here, they learned the fun-fact that my BAC was about six times the legal limit. Basically a fifth of my blood was alcohol. I probably would’ve laughed if I’d heard that little joke. Shoot, for all I know, I probably did.
A different sheaf of papers explained I had various other tests run, had numerous discussions with health professionals (all noting my gentlemanly and courteous manner) and then been “released into police custody.” Which explained how I ended up looking out the chicken-wired glass of the Rostock County Police Department.
They’d released me around lunchtime the next day, letting me know in what would become a strangely familiar way that I should be dead. Nonplussed, I’d cabbed home, and poured a drink, listening to a voicemail explaining that I was now, again, unemployed. I’d finished the bottle and not looked back for as long as I could, not till the judge made sure I understood what a terrible waste of life I was, and that I was going to be spending awhile in a brand new *dry* place.
Y’know, all things considered, though, there’s worse ways I could’ve spent that morning. After all, I could’ve just stayed home.
About six months after it all, I heard from Kirsten. She texted one night to say she was moving to Colorado. Apparently she had some friends out there, a job lined up, some kind of plan.
I wished her well, because I wasn’t sure what else to say. She had come and gone in less than a year, less than a season. She didn’t ask how I was, really. Just said she was going to miss me.
And that she was going by Kristy now.
(and that’s all i got.)
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