I'm not insane. He's not dead. He's here with me. My Whiskey Man always joins me when I drink, and we get on just fine.
Whiskey man's my friend, he's with me nearly all the time. And he always joins me when I drink. In fact, he's here with me now. Sitting beside me on my couch as I ready a line of coke. He's my Whiskey Man. Always has been, and always will. We always get on fine. Sometimes he drinks too much, and passes out, but hey. That's fine. He's my Whiskey Man. It's to be expected of him.
As I lean down to snort the fine white powder, he finishes the rest of his Jack, letting the bottle slip from his fingers. He looks to me as I lean back against the couch, looking to the ceiling, sniffing. The powder burns the sensitive tissue inside my nose. But I'm used to it.
"Gonna share?" He asks. Brushing my fingers over my nose, look to him, smirk over my lips.
"'Course, Whiskey Man." He smiles as I pass the mirror over to him. In an instant he's got one hand around his unruly curls, to keep them out of the way. Leans down, and snorts the line just as I had done.
"Tell me again how I got that nickname?" He asks. I nod.
"Well. Some years ago, Duff bet that you couldn't drink a few fifths of Jack, and still be able to walk a straight line." He bursts into a fit of giggles. I continue to speak. "You downed I don't know how much exactly, walked the straight line he'd laid, turned, posed, and announced yourself the one and only "Whiskey Man", and that Keith Moon had nothing on you."
He smiles, edges closer to me, then rests his head on my shoulder. "Never leave me, Steven?" I tangle a hand in his dark locks.
"I'll never leave you. Not as long as you always remain mine, Slash." The lock to my apartment door clicks, followed by the door opening. And suddenly, my Whiskey Man is gone. Duff enters my apartment, and smiles weakly.
"Hey, Stevie. How you doin' today?" He asks. I look to my side, eyes full of sadness. I know what the tall lanky bassist wants. He wants to make me believe that my Whiskey Man isn't here. He is here. He just did a line of coke with me...Eventually, I look back to the bleach blonde tower that is Duff.
"Fine, I guess." His eyes narrow, upon seeing the white powder and razor blade on the mirror.
"Steven. You can't be taking cocaine with the medicine you're on."
"I'm not taking those fucking pills!" I snap. Duff flinches, obviously hurt that I've snapped at him. He just doesn't understand. Doesn't understand that my Whiskey Man is here. Duff moves to kneel beside the couch, and takes my right hand. His hazel eyes staring into my blue ones.
"You need to take them...I know this is hard for you. It's hard for me too. It's hard for everyone!" I shake my head. Duff continues to speak. "Slash is dead, Steven...He died two years ago."
"NO!" I shout, taking my hand back from Duff. "He's not dead! He's here, with me! He just did a line of coke with me!" I continue to scream, oblivious that tears that have been hanging on my lashes are running down my cheeks.
"Steven. Please." Duff pleads, grabbing my hand once more. "Please, take the medicine. Sober up. Come back to the band." I shake my head. "Appetite" hadn't even been out a year when it happened. My Whiskey Man had overdosed on the very drug I'd managed to fully kick. Heroin. Mr. Brownstone. It was kind of ironic. Axl always said it'd kill one of us. We always thought it'd be me. Sometimes I wish it was. I still remember walking into our room of the house we all shared, and seeing my beautiful dark haired Whiskey Man on his side. He looked so peaceful. I thought he was sleeping at first.
I called his name. He didn't respond. I moved to his side, and placed my hand on his shoulder, which was colder than it should have been. I gasped. Checked for his pulse, and found nothing. I screamed, I cried. I held the lifeless body of my Whiskey Man in my arms, and sobbed into the hair I'd buried my face in countless times before.
Duff was the first to hear my wails. When he saw me clutching Slash's body, he knew what had happened...but it didn't actually happen. Couldn't have! I was brought back to the now by my Whiskey Man's lips upon my own. I don't remember when Duff left. But I guess it doesn't matter. I reached out, tangling my fingers in his unruly mane. He was here. He was alive. I wasn't insane. And if I was, then dammit! Insanity is fun.
I ran my hand over the side of his face, letting my thumb linger over his cheekbone. His tanned skin was warm to the touch. Not at all cold. My hand didn't go through him either. "Why do you keep leaving me when people come over?" I asked softly.
My Whiskey Man only smiled. "Because. Those who don't believe don't deserve to see me, Stevie." He purred as he spoke, and nuzzled my hand.
Life went on. My ex band mates coming over to check on me ever so often. Leaving food, and the like, as I don't go out any more. My Whiskey Man doesn't like to be out of the house, so I choose to stay in with him. I don't want to be apart from him, if I don't have to be.
"Steven. Tell me about when we younger?" He asks. We're in bed together. Sweat glistening off our bodies, as we share a smoke, and bask in the afterglow of our passions.
"Alright. Do you remember when we tired to acid wash our jeans in your kitchen sink?" He nods. I continue. "You spilled the bleach, and succeeded in ruining the new carpet your mother had put down." He giggled.
"Oh, she was so pissed!"
"Yeah. I took the blame. And she swatted my ass with your belt. Oh, god, that hurt!" I burst out into a fit of giggles as well.
"And you remember that time we set fire crackers off in the backyard, catching the neighbor's rose bushes on fire?" I broke out into hysterics now, as did my Whiskey Man.
"Yeah! Remember Mrs. Lane's expression when she saw her roses on fire?!" I tried to mock her expression. This only caused us to laugh even more. A knock at the door caused me to calm myself. "Back in a second, babe." I smiled. He nodded. I got out of bed, slipped on a pair of jeans, and went to answer the door.
I was greeted by two men in white uniforms.
"Are you Steven Adler?" One of them asked. I nodded.
"Yeah. Why?" The one who hadn't spoke reached in, grabbing my arm, and dragging me out of my apartment.
"What the hell?!" I screeched. As the men drug me down the hall, and out of the apartment complex, I saw Duff standing out by a white van, along with Axl, and Izzy. Duff was crying, Izzy was biting his lip. Axl looked completely blank.
"I'm sorry...This has to be done..." Izzy spoke softly, as the two men in white threw me into the back of the van. I screamed, banging on the door after they'd shut, and locked it.
"Where are you taking me?!" I looked around desperately for my Whiskey Man. But he was no where to be found. I whined, curling up on my side, clutching my knees close to my chest. I felt so lost without my Whiskey Man. I was scared. I didn't want to go to some unfamiliar place. I felt so alone, so in the dark, despite the blinding whiteness of the van's walls, and the sun which streamed in through the windows on the van.
After what felt like hours, the van finally stopped. I was up in an instant, hoping to see my Whiskey Man as the doors opened. But no...My Whiskey Man was no where to be found. The two men in white dragged me out of the van, and into a pristine white building. Everywhere I looked, white. The walls, the floor, the ceiling. The uniforms of the people inhabiting the building, and their hair, white.
"Where's my Whiskey Man?!" I cried, as the two men escorted me to a room. I looked around. The room was bare, except for a desk, two chairs, one in front, and one behind said desk, and a file cabinet. All of which were white. I now noticed that a man, dressed in...You guessed it. White, sat behind the desk.
"Come, Mr. Adler. Sit. Talk with me." He spoke sternly. I obeyed, sitting the chair, fiddling with my hands. "Tell me of this Whiskey Man. Who is he? Where did he come from?"
With a little hesitation, I began to tell the man all about Slash. How we had met in school, formed a few bands, became lovers, got with Guns N' Roses, recorded an album..And how he had supposedly died, but was with me, but no one else could see him. The man, which I had now realized was a doctor, said nothing. Only nodded a few times, staring at me intently, or writing on a pad of paper.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Adler...But there's no room for Whiskey Man." He spoke with a finality in his voice. My blue eyes welled up with tears. No. I couldn't accept this. My Whiskey Man. I needed him. I loved him!
"NO! He's not dead! He's alive! ALIVE! He's at my fucking apartment! I swear! I need to go back to him! He'll waste away with out me!" I screamed. The doctor pressed a button, which I guessed was some sort of intercom or something. He spoke softly, so softly that I couldn't understand what he was saying.
Not more than thirty seconds later, the two same men in white came in, stripped me of my jeans, and forced me into a white uniform. I fought them. Screaming, kicking, hissing, and spitting like an enraged wet feline. It did no good. One of them hit me in the back of head, causing stars to burst before my eyes, and pain to radiate through my skull.
I gave up the fight, tears spilling from my eyes, as they strapped a straight jacket on me, then threw me in a padded white cell.
"Whiskey Man. I'll never forget you." I whispered, head hung as I leaned against the wall.
"I know. And thank you. I love you, Steven." I looked up quickly to see my Whiskey Man in front of me. "This is the last time you'll ever see me. I have to go now, Steven. Thanks for everything. Get better. Go back to the band. You know it's what I would want." And with that, my Whiskey Man faded into nothingness.
"NO! Slash! Come back!" I cried out, the name sounding so foreign upon my lips. I had hardly spoken that name since the day he died...It was always Whiskey Man...Because that's what he was. My Whiskey Man. He always joined me when I drank. And we always got on just on fine.