That being said, I thought I'd share a little teaser. This is an unedited, fresh-from-the-draft sneak peak. Enjoy.
My home paints the picture of my frivolity. Empty beer bottles and pizza boxes strewn throughout the living room. A shattered bong in the corner. And there, in the middle of the floor, lies Pete, vomit caked on his face. Even the darkest of souls needs friends—and drug dealers. Pete is great at his job, that is, if he’s not joining in on the party. I don’t really remember inviting him over, but quite frankly, I don’t remember much of anything that happened this weekend. Or last week. Or the last month. Did I mention I have an addictive personality?
“Thanks,” a woman says, struggling down the stairs. I watch as she pushes hard against the railing, the old wooden spindles rocking back and forth. Aside from her drunken gait, she is a pretty woman. Long blond hair, slender frame, scantily dressed. As she walks out the front door, I wonder how much money she got out of me. If I knew where my wallet was, I’d find out. For all I know, she has my wallet. That dumb, belly-bearing Jezebel.
I laugh at myself, though nothing in this situation is funny. I laugh a lot when I’m not sober, or so I’ve been told. I can’t remember.
All of my days start the same, supreme disappointment followed by the supreme desire to self-medicate. Questions like How can I get more alcohol? and Where’s Pete? are the norm. Unfortunately, Pete’s on my floor. That means I’ll have to go out. I’ve been living like a vampire for months, so the thought of the sunlight hitting my eyes makes my already-pounding, hangover headache throb even worse, if that’s even possible. But I have no choice.
I force myself up off the couch and sidestep the garbage. My head throbs, my body aches, misery lingers. I have to summon the energy from who knows where just to make the first step. This is the me without self-medicating. This is the me that is forever sick, depressed, and would rather die than stay this way.
Slowly walking up the stairs, beautiful eyes stare back at me from fancy frames. I do not look at them. They are only reminders. As I pass them, I curse God for the miserable state that I am in. Why do I torture myself? I’m not sure, but I’ve never had the guts to take the pictures down. I just can’t.
The bathroom is directly across the upstairs landing. The walls are green—her favorite color. I can’t change them. Another reminder.
There are still two toothbrushes on the sink. Mine is red, hers is green. I use hers. Brushing my teeth, I stare into the cracked mirror. I see a man with dark circles under his eyes, protruding cheek bones, pale skin. I am not the person I was six months ago. I smile to see the dimples on my cheeks. Those are still the same. They were her favorite feature.
I punch the mirror, causing more splinters to snake up the glass. It’s a stupid thing to do. Now my knuckles are bleeding—everywhere. But it doesn’t really matter. I’m so numb to the pain anyways—the physical pain at least. It’s the mental pain that matters, the anguish. That’s what I need to cover up with a drunken stupor.
I take a cold shower, if anything, just to feel something sharp, unwanted on my skin. I don’t bother to shave. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I just don’t want to look like a homeless man. Not that there is anything wrong with being homeless. Most of my friends—the ones I get high with—are homeless. But there’s always that chance that if I go outside I’ll see someone I know from my former life.
It doesn’t really matter that I’ve showered. None of my clothes are clean. I pick up some dirty clothes off of the spare bedroom floor. I don’t use what was once our bedroom. I can’t. Her scent is still on the pillows, in the sheets. I’d rather die than lay on that bed, breathing in the scent of her perfume, my mind telling me that she is lying next to me, only to wake up with the realization that she is not. As I put on my T-shirt, I take a moment to look into our room. The bed is still a mess, the way she left it. Some of her clothes are stacked on her dresser, a pair of her shoes on the ironing board by the window. Her silver necklace on the nightstand by her side of the bed.
I can only stand to look at the room for a few seconds, then I’m walking back down the stairs, staring straight ahead, cursing the row of pictures again.