A Kind of Drug
Chapter 10 - Mythmaker - Part I
I can’t do it. I can’t lie anymore. Reliving his death, it’s just….it’s just made me feel like shit. Pretending like he was something he wasn’t. While I was garbage. And he was grace. God, it’s making me feel like a rotting sack of horse shit.
So, here it goes.
Rash was never Addicted to Delirium.
That whole story about him calling me up and needing help? About me waiting on him hand and foot until he was better? About how Vanessa and my boss were all understanding of how I had to help out my friend? Well, it was all bullshit. I made it the fuck up.
Rash was the one who had never been an Addict. He had never exposed himself to anything. It was my sorry ass that accidentally got Addicted. It was one of the real reasons that Vanessa nearly left me. It was the real reason my boss said I could take time off work to “help my friend” recover. And it’s one of the reasons I’ve hated myself beyond reason over the last few weeks.
Because, in short, why the fuck did I survive? Why me? Why a raging, asshole fuckup and not him?
He was the one that was always optimistic. He was the one that kept me going when I would’ve preferred to whither into a ball and die. He was the one that had stayed clean his entire life. He was the one that deserved to live. If anyone on this horrible, scorched earth deserved death, it was me.
So why the fuck was he the one that had to die?
Once he was gone, there was a week – a whole fucking week – where the words “It’s not fair,” couldn’t go more than twenty minutes without slipping themselves out of my goddamn mouth. I couldn’t stand what happened. Couldn’t accept it. It was an injustice beyond injustice.
And so I made up a story. One that seemed more fair. One where the guy who ended up dying had once been an Addict and the guy who survived had always been Sober. If you consider my raging dementia and my hatred for Addicts, it’s a story that actually makes a lot of sense. But it’s just not true.
And looking back over Rash’s death, I just can’t do that to him. I can’t burn his memory like that. I can’t have you all thinking he was once a royal fuckup when he was actually a borderline saint. I mean, how the hell am I supposed to do that to my best friend?
Look at that. I’m an even bigger asshole than you all thought I was. Woohoo! I’m like the dickish gift that keeps on giving.
Reimagining his death, though; that horrible scene where he put the gun to his head. Watching his brains….
Just know it was all a bullshit story. I don’t know how much of it I made up or how much of it was true. And I don’t wanna drag myself through anymore shit by going back through these pages and figuring out what’s what. All you need to know is that I was the asshole Addict of Delirium and Rash was a better human than any of us have ever dreamt of being.
And with that said, please excuse me. I need to go get shitfaced and try and forget I’m still a member of the human race. Like I have a fucking choice.
* * * * * * * * *
But so what happened next? What happened after Rash put the gun to his head? Well, I’m not going into specifics. Use your fucking imagination. Cause there ain’t enough alcohol in all of goddamn time and space to make me go into that kind of detail.
But it happened. And I screamed. Louder than the Wrath Addicts. Loud enough to shake the earth and the trees. Loud enough to make the Devil shake his head in fear and remorse. So loud that, I swear, just for a second, even the Wrath Addicts paused and tripped their step and wondered if they shouldn’t just turn around and run back toward the trees.
But they didn’t. They kept charging not only for him, but for me, too.
So, my face a mash of tears and terror, I closed the wine cellar door and locked it behind me. I sat there on the steps, not moving, just pulling at my hair and weeping like an infant. The Wrath Addicts beat on the door and tried to get in for hours. They even took the gun from Rash’s hand and fired it at the door.
“Yeah!” I screamed out. “Come on you fucking bastards! Come and get me!”
Too bad the door was reinforced in order to protect the expensive wine inside.
Hip hip hooray for me.
A huge part of me hoped they’d break through. I wanted them to beat down the door. I wanted them to tear me limb from limb. I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I just couldn’t bring myself to do what Rash did and end it myself.
Because he was, in fact, the stronger fucking human being. As if I haven’t already hammered that point home yet.
I sat on those steps and cried for hours. I sat on them until the Wrath Addicts gave up and stopped beating on the door. I sat on them until I went mad with hunger. And then I sat on them some more.
There was one, single light bulb that lit up the cellar. And after only a few hours, the generator burned out which meant that so did the bulb. Darkness overtook my world. And I was so happy for it that, for a brief second, my tears shifted from misery to joy.
Eventually, I crawled down the stairs and into the actual cellar. In the dark, I looked around on the floor until I found the corkscrew we had casually left down there. I giggled with glee when I found it. Then I opened one of the bottles of wine and drank it down like it was nothing but flat soda.
Then I did the same to another bottle. And another. And another.
I spent three days in that pitch black cellar. Three long, dark days. Or, at least, I think it was three days. In total darkness and with no calendar, I can only guess.
During that entire time, I sat in the dark and fed my body on nothing but wine. At times I had hunger pains. Horrible, awful, inhuman hunger pains. Ones I felt even in my feet. But I couldn’t bear to step outside. I couldn’t even bring myself to face the Wrath Addicts that might still be outside. To face what might be left of Rash.
But even worse, I couldn’t stand to face myself.
And so, I just kept drinking. The stronger the hunger pain, the bigger the gulp. At one point, I downed almost an entire bottle of wine in one, long sip. I laughed, then screamed, then laughed again, then smashed the bottle on the side of the damp wall.
This persisted until I was millimeters away from complete and total insanity. I wanted to drink forever. Until there was nothing left of me. It was all I dreamt of.
But, despite my best efforts, I eventually woke up. I held my head and groaned. I opened my eyes and blinked. I remembered that I was surrounded by darkness. And I reached for another bottle.
As I sat there, hungover as fuck and opening yet another mystery bottle of wine in the complete blackness of the cellar, a revelation overtook me. Well, a revelation of hunger, really.
Basically, I realized that I was either gonna die of starvation from sitting in that cellar or from something else – anything else – in the world beyond. And then suddenly, the outside world didn’t seem so scary. Cause I suddenly realized that I didn’t give a shit about death.
“Bring it on,” I groaned aloud as I finished opening the bottle of wine in my hand.
I took a swig of wine and then I slowly climbed back up the cellar stairs. When I got to the top, I took a deep breath and then undid the latch. I shouldered the door open into a day filled with horrible, awful sunlight.
For a good minute or two, my eyes were on fire. Remember, I had been a fucking mole for the last three days. Just a battery-operated flashlight would’ve felt like the center of the fucking sun to me. This meant that the midday Florida sun was nearly the equivalent of acid being poured into my eyes sockets. I was in a significant amount of pain.
Three thousand fucking years later, when my eyes finally adjusted, I looked around the back patio. There were stains of dried blood all over the place. Even a few body parts and random specks of flesh here and there. Honestly, it was really inappropriate and unpleasant.
But not far from where Rash killed himself, I found his watch. It was covered in blood and bits of skin, so I took it to the pool and rinsed it off. Yes, there was a dead body in the pool. But as far as I was concerned, that was mostly clean water. I dried the watch off and put it on. I looked at the time it told and then at the sun. So far as I could tell, it was still mostly accurate. I chuckled. Then I looked around.
There was no sign of the Wrath Addicts. They had committed their carnage. And then, apparently, they had disappeared. Twice I screamed out, calling for them. I wanted to find them. I wanted to fight. I wanted to bash someone else’s brains in with a golf club.
No one ever came, though. There was no one. Nothing. Not even another guttural scream. I don’t know if Joshdave and his family died or moved on. But I never saw any of them ever again.
And so, unsure of what else to do, I went inside the house and walked up the stairs. I packed my backpack. I went back downstairs and ate some food. Then I threw my bag over my shoulder and made my way back onto the highway.
I got a mile or two before I collapsed down onto the side of the road. A single revelation overtook me and it was too intense for me to handle.
I was alone in the world. More alone than anyone in the universe had ever been, since the beginning of time. Everyone I’d ever met in my entire life was dead or insane. There was no one to make me feel better. There was no one to put me down. There was just no one. And it was never, ever going to change.
This was it. I was utterly and horribly alone.
Nothing but blackness. Nothing but darkness.
© 2012 J.E. Tobal