...it's day 2.
("Thrash Unreal" – Against Me!)
DAY 2: SOMETIME IN THE MORNING
Breakfast scared me. I really didn't want to be sitting in that small restaurant right then. I looked like shit – confirmed by everyone I was with – and I felt like I was going to collapse at any moment.
Yesterday after I wasn't able to keep down a fucking piece of toast, I just crashed, but when I got up and no one was in the room. I went for my secret vodka stash in my suitcase and took a couple swigs ... just to help me relax. The guys came back and brought me a Gatoraide and a vitamin water and made me drink those. Somehow, I kept them down, but that's all I'd had in my stomach for like 24 hours.
So yeah, breakfast was scary. The whole place was so bright it felt like it was burning right through my eyeballs and into my brain. The tables were small, the seats were uncomfortable ... the whole thing was just a bad vibe. Looking at all the food was making me feel like I wanted to puke again. It wasn't even breakfast food. It was like people were eating noodles and rice and fish and all sorts of stuff that didn't equal breakfast in my mind. Yeah, I knew I was in Japan, and I loved Japan, but I just wasn't in the mood to look at fish as a breakfast item.
My stomach muscles had never been so sore in my life. It hurt to breathe. And breathing itself had become a bit of an issue. I felt like I had to take shallow gulps of air to breath at all. All the while, there was this snowball in my mind getting larger and larger ... what if I couldn't handle this ... what if I freaked out right now ... what if I got sick? Thinking about that shit was making me lose what little control I felt I had at the moment. This was all way beyond a hangover that was for sure.
"Uh, guys? I really need to get some air right now."
I got up and my knees were a little shaky. It felt like I was gonna pass the fuck out right there. I saw Mikey look at me with concern. Ray got up and started to walk with me. As I slowly made my way to the front door I thought for sure every pair of eyes in the place stalked me. I silently asked myself, "When the fuck did I get so paranoid?" I felt like I needed a smoke.
The sheer chaos of what was going on out on the street was adding another dimension to everything for me. Like I said, I loved Japan, but right now I felt like the whole place was a carney ride and I was about to toss my cookies. My heart felt like it was trying to flop it's way out of my ribcage. There was something really unsettling about that. Like, I started to fixate on just my heartbeat and I swore that I could feel it do something fucked up ever now and then. My shoulders started to tense up and I got this funny feeling at the base of my neck – almost like a pins and needles thing, but different.
There seemed to be no place I could go where I didn't have to stare at things moving or blinking or whatever. I realized I had left my smokes in my other jacket. I really fucking needed one. I looked at Ray. I'm sure my face was utterly panic-stricken.
"Fuck! I forgot them shits in my other jacket!"
"Okay man, uh, it's okay, just stay right here and I'll go get one from Frank."
All I could think of was, "fuck fuck fuck". It was like my mantra – repeated over and over again as if I could disappear into that singular word and off the crowded street. I tried to focus on just one thing so my eye caught a sign at a building next door. It was an Asahi beer advertisement. That's what I needed. I needed a fucking beer. That's what would make this all better. Ray came back with a cig and Frank's lighter. I realized my hands had started to sweat at some point when I grabbed that smoke. When I tried to light it, I realized I was also shaking. I was hoping Ray wouldn't notice, but I could tell he did just by the look in his eyes. He tried not to pay attention and just gazed across the street.
Smoking was not making me feel any less relaxed. That was problematic, because I liked smoking. If something I liked wasn't even doing it for me, I knew I was well fucked and far from home.
"C'mon, let's go back in and eat something."
I reluctantly turned around and went back inside the cramped restaurant. The second I sat down it was like a tidal wave of nausea slammed into me. I could almost feel any remaining color I had drain out of my face. The guys all looked at me like I was about to yak right on the table. I tried to take a deep breath. Frank was the first one to say something.
"You know, maybe it was all the shit from the IVs last night that's not agreeing with you?"
I could have slugged him. That's all I needed to think about was fucking huge ass needles jabbed into my veins pumping god knows what into me. The noise in the place was startling to rattle my brain too. I was wringing my hands under the table ... trying my best to sit still even though it felt like my insides were jumping up and down like a pack of rowdy kids in a bounce castle at a birthday party. Everything shook. I looked around the place desperately to find a bathroom. I really didn't know what was going to happen, but I didn't need to be sitting at that table when it did.
"I-I gotta get to a fucking bathroom."
They all looked at me but once again it was Frank that said something.
"Okay, I'm pretty sure there's one like down the hall there. You want one of us to come with you?"
I wanted to be alone, but I didn't want to be alone. I felt like I was going to die at any moment. It felt like I had the flu and a nasty case of food poisoning ... with a little pounding hangover headache throw in for good measure.
Frank got up with me and we walked down the hall. The place was microscopic, but it felt like that hallway just went on and on forever. I opened the bathroom door and it was just a single toilet. I didn't give a shit at that point.
"Oh, well, I'll just wait out here."
"Frank, I don't give a fuck right now, just come in."
I stood there for a sec, but quickly decided I needed to sit down on the floor. I was pretty sure Frank didn't know what the fuck to do so he was just standing there leaning against the sink staring at the wall. I was sweating like a pig. My whole body felt like it was rebelling against me. I took my jacket off. I felt like I needed to drink something ... anything.
"Frank ... do you think you could go get me some water or something?"
"Yeah ... yeah sure ... just hang out here and I'll knock when I come back."
He left. I sat on the floor just gripping my knees to my chest. My stomach was actually rumbling, as if I was hungry – hell, I should have been hungry after not eating since a couple hours before the concert the other day - but food just seemed like a bad idea right at that point. All I kept thinking was that something was really fucking wrong with me - that maybe I had picked up some virus or something. I needed to calm the fuck down. I hadn't taken any pills in at least 24 hours. I wondered if I should double up on the Xanax. I heard Frank knock and I told him to come in.
I had trouble holding the cup. Tremors were wracking my body and the more I tried to be still, the worse it seemed to get. I was spilling half the cup on myself and onto the floor.
"You really need to try to eat something. Why don't we just get something wrapped up to go and head back over to the hotel?"
I was taking very small sips of the water. I felt like if I gulped it, that I would either gag or throw it right back up. Frank was right though. Maybe if I tried eating something I would feel less out of it. I felt like I didn't want to move off that cold tile floor though. The thought of walking back to the hotel in my state seemed to be making my heart pound like a jack hammer. The thud of it seemed to ripple through my whole body. It's a weird fucking feeling being so aware of your heartbeat. I felt sick again, but this time it felt like my intestines were tying themselves in knots. I didn't know whether I needed to puke, or shit, or pass the fuck out or what.
"Dude ... I think I actually have to take a shit."
"Yeah, that's my cue to wait outside. Ha! You might want to lock the door when I leave, but if you feel like you're gonna pass out or something hit up one of our cell phones. We'll just be waiting outside. We'll order you something to eat and then we'll go back to the hotel, okay?"
"Yeah ... yeah just gimmie a few minutes."
I got up to lock the door after he left. I couldn't help but look in the mirror over the small sink. I looked like fucking death. Beads of sweat were running down my forehead, plastering some of my hair to my face. I had dark circles under my eyes, and it wasn't fucking make up. I was pale ... paler than usual. I blinked several times. I turned on the cold water and splashed it on my head and face. I didn't know whether I was hot or cold. I could see the artery in my neck pulsing. It seemed like the walls of the tiny room were closing in on me. My mind just wouldn't shut off. One second I was focusing on just how bad I felt, then the next I was fixated on my heartbeat again, then on how long I'd been in there fucking hiding, then on what the fuck was going on with my stomach.
I stumbled back over to the toilet, got my pants down and sat. I realized the fucking seat was heated. The fucking Japanese, man ... what was is it with them and tricked out toilets? I had to actually tell myself to just get a grip again. I was still clinging to that water cup as if it was some sort of security blanket. I remember thinking, "how the fuck did I get here?" and by here, I meant how did I get to the point where I was. There was no question I was a fucking alcoholic ... an addict ... addicted to the self destruction. I actually shook my head and laughed when I silently asked myself, "Aren't you fucking having fun, Gerard? You don't even know what fucking end is up."
I had guessed I had puked everything that was ever going to come up in the last 24 or so hours, so now whatever was left was going to come out the other end. And it did. At first I freaked the fuck out but then I remembered Frank telling me that at the hospital they made me drink all this black shit. I sat there for a few more minutes after my bowels had stopped their seizures. I dumped what water remained in that cup I had in a death grip over my head. I did feel moderately better though. What the fuck ever that was had to be some toxic shit ... literally.
I tried to dry the sweat and water off my face and out of my hair with the automatic dryer, then slipped out the door. Mikey was waiting in the hall for me.
"You okay, bro? I'm fuckin' worried about you, man."
I just wanted to hug him. Once again I felt like utter crap putting my friends and my own flesh and blood through this.
"I'll get through it. C'mon, let's get back to the fuckin' hotel."
The walk back was torture, but at least I wasn't where I was before the bathroom incident. It never felt so good to get back to a hotel room though. As Frank promised, they grabbed me some food to go. It was a bowl of rice with some veggies and chicken. I ate the whole fucking thing and managed to not feel sick. What I really needed to wash it down was a fucking beer though. That need became a singular beacon flashing in my brain.
"How are ya feeling, dude?"
"I feel better than I have all day, but no where near a hundred percent. I think I wanna go downstairs for a smoke."
...and a drink.
"I'll go with you."
"Naw, it's cool man, stay here, I'll be back in like ten."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm good."
I left the room and headed back towards the elevators. I felt like a fuckin' junky needing his fix. I hated myself, on a number of levels. I got downstairs and headed right to the small gift shop where they had drinks and munchie food. I bought one beer and another pack of smokes. I had to find some place to down the beer where no one would see me. That wasn't for public consumption. I already felt lower than dog shit. I didn't need anyone else to see how weak I really was.
There was a public restroom near the hotel's restaurant. I ducked in there and headed for a stall. I closed the door, leaned against the wall and used my lighter to wedge the cap off. With every gulp I slugged back it felt like I let one more person down in my life. I squeezed my eyes shut. I felt the water welling up under my eyelids. I could not fucking cry about this shit. I was doing this to myself, nobody else. This is where I'd gotten to – hiding out in fucking bathrooms to drink. I had to pull myself together, but even I couldn't ignore the way my body responded to the booze. It was as an instant elixir ... numbing my brain and soothing my body. Yeah, I'd need a lot fucking more to really feel better. But then I caught myself – "What the fuck, Gerard? Feel better? Are you fucking crazy? Have you really lost your fucking mind? You need to sever this cord ... put the fucking beer down."
I set the bottle on the floor and walked out. I didn't even want to glance in the direction of the wall of mirrors. I couldn't bear to look at myself again. When I got back out into the lobby I saw Ray and Frank standing by the door. They spotted me.
"Dude we didn't see you right outside, we were getting worried."
"Oh, it's cool, I just had to piss."
I was a fucking liar too – on top of everything else. And I still needed that cigarette.
"I'm gonna have one more smoke."
Ray went back up to the room and Frank joined me. Once we were standing out on the sidewalk he spoke up.
"You know, you don't have to hide in the fucking bathroom. I'm actually not sure it's good to go absolutely cold turkey in your uh, case."
Frank knew me too well. He knew what a pathetic piece of shit I'd become.
"Oh. Well, I-I just, well, I ... fuck. I'm really gonna do this, Frank. I'm fucking serious this time. I've reached the bottom ... there's only one way to go now and that's up."
"Okay. That's step one. Just don't shut us out okay. We don't mean to seem like we're watching you like a fucking two year old, but don't try to go from a hundred miles an hour back to zero in a day. We talked to Brain today ..."
I just stared off blankly at some flashing neon sign.
"Of course he asked how you were. We told him you were hangin' in there. He called the doctor ... set you up with an appointment for when we get back. He just felt that after the whole, uh, hospital incident you should probably get checked out."
I fucking hated the doctor.
"Yeah. Right. Can't wait for that."
My sarcasm didn't escape him.
"I hate to say shit like, it's for your own good, but ..."
"Yeah. I'll go. I want to get off these fucking pills too, Frank. They haven't done shit in awhile – even if I double up on them. And now on top of being fucking depressed, I feel anxious. I feel like my fucking heart is tearing it's way out of my chest. I need to get clean ... like all the way clean."
A/N: Sooo ... here's day 2 ... more personal shit in this one. That's all I feel like saying right now on that topic.
I'm not done "talking" though ... you probably knew that, huh? You guys all pick up the latest issue of Gerard's comic, "The Umbrella Academy" yet? Well if you haven't, you should. That comic is the fucking shit's shit man – that's a good thing ... you know, when you say something IS the shit, it's like so good there's no more words for it. I guess you could just say it was fucking good. 'Cause you know, just throw and f-bomb on anything and it just becomes like, way past whatever the precursor was. Anyway, in Dallas #2, Gerard really showcases what a twisted little fucker he really is. I just have three words to say to that: Hazel and Cha-Cha. I fucking love those two characters. So I guess I just let you all know what a twisted little fucker I am too, then, eh? Well, birds of a feather flock together and all that.
Now after dumping all this heavy shit on all of you, I figured I might as well end it with something funny ... so here goes.
Today I'm standing in the kitchen and iwillstakeyourheart comes up to me and I say, "Hey, reach in my pocket, I got something for you." She looks at me with that look - you know the one you give someone who you think is giving you shit or pulling your leg or whatever. So she says, "And what's in your pocket?" And then I say, "Chocolate balls". Then she goes, "Chocolate balls? I didn't know you had balls made of chocolate." She was being snarky of course, but I'd started it, right? So she dips her hand down into the front pocket of my jeans and feels around in there and the whole time I'm watching the look on her face and she locates what's in there and pulls her hand out and says, "They're ... chocolate ... balls." And I just go, "I told you." and walk off. I'm pretty sure she ate 'em.