... it's day 8.
I'm on the nightrain
Fill my cup
I'm on the nightrain
Ready to crash and burn
I never learn"
("Nightrain" – Guns 'n' Roses)
A/N: Day 8 ... I smoked too many cigarettes while writing it. I won't spoil it though. Just read.
DAY 8: SOMETIME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
"Did you know him?"
"Oh yes. Tragic, really."
Who are they talking about?
"I'm surprised they have an open casket."
"Oh it is simply amazing how far the funerary profession has advanced. Morticians truly are artists."
"Oh you're right. He doesn't look any worse than the last time I saw him. Very ... true to life."
Who the fuck is in the box?
"Oh dark humor, how I love thee. What is your name?"
"Beautiful! Were you and he ... close?"
"Were we? If that's what you call it."
"You need a real man, my lovely, someone to take care of your every need."
What? Who the fuck is that? Kat? I'm right fucking here!
"You know, there's no one around and well, he's dead ..."
Oh my god. That's me ... I'm dead.
Day 8: At 3:01AM
Portrait of a fucking alcoholic. It isn't a pretty picture. It starts out very benign – almost pleasant – and then it starts to change. You change. The paint never seems to dry. It's just an oily mess with angry brush strokes haphazardly littering the canvas. You don't want to look at it – to stare too long for fear of getting sucked into the reality of it. But you do. You give it a long, hard, thoughtful look just like when you drive by a fatal car accident. Deep inside you need to see the blood on the asphalt – maybe a little dismemberment throw in for good measure - but at the very least a single bare, red-speckled foot or arm lifelessly protruding from a strategically placed opaque white covering.
Through some sheer fortitude you didn't know you had you turn away from the bathroom mirror – from the surrealistic portrait that started back at you. Two more seconds and you would have disappeared you told yourself – or at the very least tried to push your fist through it.
You can't help but ask yourself if it really was a nightmare this time. You don't even know if you're really awake now. Kat's still sleeping peacefully. You usually woke up screaming from the nightmares, which in turn would wake her up. Your side of the bed was empty. Cold. You didn't know how long you had been walking around the small apartment like an apparition. The darkness wrapped around your body. It felt like a lover tempting you as your edged yourself closer to the inevitable. The thought crossed your mind that perhaps death was the ultimate orgasm.
There was something about the middle of the night. There was the whole 'creatures of the night' aspect, which of course you'd always been drawn to, but it had another mysterious pull to it. It was almost as if the world changed during the wee hours of the morning and another reality took its place. While most were transported off to the land of dreams, anyone else that hung around were rewarded with an underexposed negative. It was the seedy underbelly of everything and you were slipping further and further into the night.
You searched in the blackness for the bag with its smuggled contraband. You tried to snap yourself out of it, but it was a half-assed attempt at best. You blamed the therapist – for putting the idea into your head. You couldn't blame yourself after all. You pulled the bottle out and dropped the bag back on the floor. Out of the corner of your eye you saw the clock: 3:32AM.
DAY 8: AT 3:32AM
I need this. I'm fucking dead inside until I decide to rise from my own ashes one last time. I need the ritual of it. This is the night that I die. This is the night that I come back from the dead.
Day 8: AT 3:33AM
He felt alone, but what he couldn't see was that he was surrounded. It was true that the night held it's own secrets from the day. Doors that were previously closed were able to creak open. The atmosphere around him was thick. Something watched over him as he silently talked to himself, caressing the glass bottle in his hands. It was very far away, but the door was open, allowing tendrils to interact with the physical plane. Beads of sweat formed on his brow, yet he felt a chill that seemed to hook into his spine and shake it all the way to where it connected at the base of his skull. Was it enough to effect any change – to give even the slightest bit of hope?
Day 8: At 3:35AM
For whatever reason she was suddenly awake. She instinctively ran her palm against the sheets, over to the right side of the bed. It was cold. She shot up. She didn't want to panic. She didn't want to be the coddling, clingy girlfriend, but her insides ached knowing that he'd probably had another nightmare. He was in pain, physically and mentally and there was only so much she knew she could do. Their whole relationship was based on equality. She didn't want to upset the balance – make him think that he couldn't do something on his own. However, she knew he needed help through this - she'd even told him so but was careful how she helped. She'd known him a long time. They'd been through a lot of shit. It was true their relationship was in no way average, but she knew him inside and out and right now she got a sinking feeling.
Day 8: AT 3:37AM
I gotta do this. I'm not fucking crazy. I'm not ... I'm talking to the fucking dead. I need some fucking help here. Give me the fucking strength to make this my last drink. I've made my decision ... it's better if I stay. I could've been dead by now but I don't want to be the guy in the coffin. Just pour it on out. Fill'er up. There it is. My last fucking drink. No party. Just me and my demons.
DAY 8: AT 3:38AM
She watched from the shadows after her eyes had adjusted to the light. He was sitting on the couch. She felt a lump in her throat when she saw the bottle in his hand - saw him pour the liquid contents into a glass. She wanted to run to him and take it away. He sat hunched over as if a pain in his middle was making it uncomfortable or impossible to sit straight. He ran a shaky hand through his long hair. In a way, she felt betrayed. It had seemed he was slowing doing better – even with the nightmares and the withdraw symptoms still plaguing him. She wanted to look away but she couldn't. She had a morbid desire to watch him take another drink. It was like catching a glimpse of a bad accident. She felt like she was indeed watching an accident. Visible tremors passed through him as he brought the glass to his lips. She held her breath as he swallowed. Tears were clouding her vision.
DAY 8: AT 3:38AM
You feel like you're putting a gun to your head. You want to relish the way it makes you appreciate life. You hold your fate in your hand. With one small movement it will be over and you'll find out what's on the other side. In those final moments synaptic brain pulses will fire off. Your life will flash before your eyes. You'll feel the life drain from your body. All pain will be relinquished.
That's your metaphor. That's the one you've chosen because you're demons are dark motherfuckers. You bring the glass to your lips. It's so familiar – so comfortable. You want to enjoy it, like a last breath. The liquid creates its own heat as it travels down your throat. It burns inside your chest. You close your eyes to concentrate. You have to remember everything – everything about this moment.
DAY 8: AT 3:40AM
She willed herself to walk forward, out of the shadows. She didn't know what she was going to say. There was love in her heart, but it was slipping through the fissures. She wondered how she could save someone who obviously didn't want to be saved.
Day 8: AT 3:40AM
I breathed in slow and deep and opened my eyes. I guess I had died and gone to heaven instead, 'cause there stood Kat right in front me. She was beautiful. What little light was in the room made her skin glow. But her face held so much emotion. Was she crying? Then I realized I still had the bottle in my hand ... the freshly drained glass. She saw me drink it. Oh god. She doesn't know about the ritual ... she doesn't know this was the last one. I have to make her believe me. Nothing else matters right now.
"I know ... I know what this looks like. All I'm asking, is that you hear me out, okay?"
"Kat, don't be upset with me ... please. Don't cry. You should be happy. I realized, at therapy yesterday actually, that I never had an official last drink. So this was it – this was the gun I put to my head right here and I pulled the fucking trigger. I killed the old me. I hoped you would understand why. I might always feel the pull of this shit. I needed the ritual. I needed to die and rise from my own ashes. I can face what's ahead now. Do you understand?"
I watched as the tears streamed down her cheeks, but she was shaking her head, smiling. I set the bottle and the glass down and went to her. We stood there in each other's arms. It was the first day of the rest of my life.
A/N Part II: So. Moving right along here. How are you guys out there feeling? I know a lot of you are reading this and not saying anything about it. I'm just curious how this whole story is making you feel when you read it (those that haven't already commented as such, of course). What do you guys think about the dream sequences? Honestly, they're one of my favorite things in these chapters. This one is a pretty wild chapter too (writing-wise). And if you're wondering, I did find a bottle of Absolute under a pile of dirty laundry and I did do what our "Gerard" here did with it. I remember what it tasted like ... the way it felt in my chest once I'd drank it ...
I wanted to just let loose on this one – make it all crazy and make you want to ask, "what the fuck is going on here". The POV's all over the place because like I said, it's a crazy chapter and I personally didn't give a fuck. I was just switching shit up as I felt like it to describe certain things. There's even some supernatural shit in here. Mostly because I actually believe in weird stuff like that though – even if it might have just been my over-active, detoxing imagination. All in all, Day 8 was a day of destruction and revelation. It was about tearing down and then rebuilding. That was the reality of it.
Here's something random that popped into my head today, but in a way is kinda related to this whole sordid tale. iwillstakeyourheart asked me, "what was the most fucked up thing that happened to you as a result of getting so shit faced that you passed out?" She meant before the whole "rock bottom" stuff – back in the "hay day" of drunken debauchery where for all intents and purposes, I truly believed I was having a good time. Well one thing kinda stood out from the pack, so to speak when she asked me that. Maybe I'll tell you all about it later ... unless you're sick of drunk stories by this point.