I am ripped from a self-medicated coma to the sounds of lawn mowers and screaming children outside my window. It all comes to through a haze thin membrane that still has its tiring hold on me.
I have this image of an infant calf being born, dazed and disoriented, hanging from its mother’s cunt, still encased in the protective sack that is now suffocating the defenseless and senseless animal.
I am that stupid animal.
The terror that is going on outside my window continues uninterrupted by my own problems. They are demons, mutated and corrupt and I am convinced that they’re doing what they’re doing all to awaken me. My eyes are being stabbed to pieces by the white flash glow that is burning from outside.
I am that stupid animal, opening my eyes for the first time and desperately wanting to return to where I came from. Tumbling face first to the floor, the fall is cushioned by a pile of dirty laundry and crumpled pages.
My brain is still flailing in the suffocating membrane and my eyes are devoid of depth perception; I’ve awoken too soon. I took the last three pills several hours ago, can’t remember which ones and although my muscles are still deeply under the chemical currents, my mind has chosen to wade through the murky parts; dragging the rest of me along like a snail with a cracked shell.
One of the broken doll children from next door is crying in a teary eyed retaliation to get her mothers attention. Her brother is attempting to convince her that she should stop crying and that he didn’t mean whatever it was he did. The empty headed child believes her brother and the mother never shows. I’m convinced the boy forces himself on the young girl.
I fumble for leverage from whatever is within reach and shuffle my way out to the living room. Benny is manically typing away at the computer, his face stern and in deep concentration. Only his eyes express the exhaustion his body is feeling, while his hands race to keep up with his mind.
I make my way to the kitchen, hitting the play back button on the answering machine while grabbing for a bowl and a spoon. The first message is from my mother, casual call, checking to see how everyone is doing, she sounds like she’s trapped in the machine. I pour myself some cereal and milk as the second message begins. It’s Lenora, Gisele’s boss; she wants to speak to me about scheduling an appointment for the position I applied for over a month and a half ago.
On the fridge is a statement from the car insurance company, last months payment is overdue and their threatening to cancel the plan. The car’s been sitting in the driveway for two months, I take down the notice and crumple it into the trashcan. There’s a bill from the towing company, who brought the car home two months ago, complaining of insufficient funds in my checking account. There is a note from Gisele, it’s addressed to me, she says that I haven’t done anything around the house, and that I need to start helping out with the daily maintenance of the place. She concludes by adding that if I ever touch the thermostat again she will be forced to inflict grave bodily harm to my person.
I carry my bowl of soggy cereal to the couch, Benny has fallen asleep at the computer; his hands are still typing away. My cell phone begins to madly vibrate on the coffee table; my brain decides to answer it, my hands take a few more seconds to comply.
My voice comes out in a dry husk, my throat constricts at the dehydrated cords, forcing out some sound.
I swallow some mouthfuls of the sugary milk to ease the strain.
“Is any one there?”
I can barely make out Gabriel’s voice over the fading signal.
“Hey Don. I thought you’d be sleeping.”
“So why did’ya call?”
“Figured I’d leave a message. Anyways, there’s an opening tonight at the gallery, was wondering if you’d want to come along?”
“You in it?”
I sip another mouthful of color coated milk.
“Yep. Got two pieces in the show.”
“It starts at eight. I can pick you up if you want to go.”
“Yeah, sure, why not. Be here around seven thirty.”
“So… are you doing all right?”
His question is out of place and his voice is attempting to hide the fact that he knows something, or wishes to know something.
“Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?”
I finish off the milk, leaving the cereal to fend for itself. Benny has awoken and he’s shutting off the computer and packing up his papers.
“Listen, we’ll talk later all right?"
I dismiss and move through muscles dipped in syrupy sedation.
"I gotta go. O.K? Be here for seven thirty and I’ll see you then.”
I drop the phone in time to catch Benny before he walks into his room.
“Hey, what’s up?”
Benny doesn’t say anything and walks into his room as if I weren’t there. Chances are he wasn’t conscious enough to hear me and chances are he chose to simply act as if I weren’t here. I get up and throw the cereal mush in the garbage and add the bowl to the growing pile in the sink.
I grab a bottle of Hydrocodone and dump its contents into the palm of my hand, there’s possibly ten or fifteen pills, and after weighing the decision of exactly how many will work, I decide on four as a decent number. It’s about nine a.m. now, which gives me enough time to sleep this off and be mobile enough to meet Gabriel at seven thirty. I throw the covers over my head to shield myself from the continual radiational flash burning through my window and get myself comfortable for the waiting. As I begin to feel the medicine burning behind my eyes in its fuzzy warmth I can hear the empty-headed girl next door begin to cry once again.