The best part of waking up is vodka in your coffee cup.
If it was up to me, I would just lay here until death came.
Actually, if I died and went straight to hell, which was highly likely, it would take me a week to notice I wasn't alive anymore. That's how much my head hurt. The rest of my body was an entirely other story; it hurt even more.
Why was it that I could never just have a nice evening out and wake up looking and feeling even remotely human in the morning?
I sucked at avoiding any kind of drunken injury, in fact, it felt more like I was a magnet for sharp things and anything to stumble upon.
I also sucked at keeping the alcohol intake at a normal level.
So I guess there's no point in asking why.
I decided I could sacrifice a minimal amount of my minimal energy supply to check my cellphone, so I let my arm wander around the bedside floor knowing that was propably where I had dumped my clothes last night.
Soon enough I found what I was looking for and wasn't all that surprised to see there was 45786 missed calls and multiple messages.
I knew what they would say, some asking about my disappearance last night (which I had no memory of, but also which I knew had happened, being very well aware of the pattern of my 'nights out') and some wondering about my condition this morning, obviously not worth answering.
I browsed through the inbox and deleted all messages but one.
It was from Frank, my only friend besides Grace whom I'd known since first grade but never spent a lot of time with until after Frank re-introduced us and we really hit it off, and Mikey, whom I loved dearly but who was also starting to get more annoying by each passing day. Do guys PMS? I thought about that for a while, then smiled at the tiny screen. The two words made me want to get up and take a shower, make myself presentable enough and get the day started.
It said "party tonight".
Frank I had known for all my life, much before I met Mikey. My mother was friends with Linda, his mother, for the most part of our childhood. Once she started figuring out Frank's rebellious nature and spotting a new tattoo on the still under-aged boy's body each week, she became a little more.. reluctant.. when it came to my being friends with Frank. Also, she slowly but surely stopped seeing Linda. Frank had gone to an all-boy boarding school after they had moved from Belleville to Kearny.
It wasn't until I dropped out around middle of my senior year at the age of eighteen that I started hanging out with him again. Frank had just turned sixteen, the dark age of full force puberty, and boy was he trouble.
And trouble had been exactly what I'd been looking for.
I smiled at various memories that played in my head, most of them including running from the cops or setting something on fire.
I dragged my sorry ass to the bathroom hating every step, and close the door behind me almost in time to avoid seeing Mikey's stupid smirk.
He had been on his way to my room to make fun of me. I was in a helpless, defenceless state and just like every other morning, he saw his opportunity come. That's what it was like having Mikey as a friend, and even worse, roommate. He would make fun of me every chance he got
and that was usually the mornings when my hungover body wasn't up to putting the kid in his place.
I knew I didn't give Mikey enough credit, but it was just these goddamned mornings that blocked all sunshine from my thoughts. Mikey was a great kid, but I wasn't in the mood to list his good qualities, especially when he only brought out the annoying ones whenever I was hungover.
I locked the door and started to undress when I finally realized there wasn't much to undress apart from my panties. So that's what the stupid smirk was about.
Well, I shrugged, if the kid hadn't seen breasts before, it was about time he did.
Thirty minutes later I finally felt alive enough to face the outside world. Or Mikey, to start with. I stepped outside, already fully dressed. I was glad I'd left the bag of clean laundry in the bathroom yesterday. My jeans felt too tight and my sleeves seemed to be half an inch shorter than before. I knew I had messed up programming the washer, but I was never going to admit it.
I made a stop by my room and then went straight to the kitchen.
"Coffee?" Mikey asked looking a little too smug.
I was going to tell him to buy an issue of playboy so that the next time he saw boobs it wouldn't be such a remarkable event, but I decided to keep my mouth shut.
Instead, a gave him a tiny smile and reached for the coffee pot. I poured some, then opened the bottle I'd grabbed from my room and poured some of that too.
I gave it a good stir, took a sip, and faced the now shocked looking Mikey.
My smile turned apologetic.
"I'll just have one, to get the motor running" I tried to joke
"Whatever" He shrugged, though his face told me it was far from 'whatever' to him.
I sat down on the other side of the table, when he started talking again.
"You're starting to make my brother look like a saint" He smiled, but only to hide the concern in his eyes.
"Glad to be of service" I whispered taking another sip. The vodka burned my throat just enough to make my voice sound less like a crow's.
"Your brother seemed sinless enough to me. It doesn't take much to make a nearly college graduate look like a saint. They usually are saints to begin with"
"Yeah, nearly" I scowled under his breath.
I saw him twitch a little as he grew silent again.
"There's a party tonight" I announced, trying to lighten up the atmosphere only to receive an incredulous look from Mikey.
I put the cup down on the counter and groaned dramatically, "Stop trying to act like my big brother Mikey, you're a kid, I should tell you to stay away from parties but instead-" I paused to lift the cup back up and take a sip
"-I am asking you to come with us. Now am I cool or am I cool?"
I saw a little smile on his lips though he tried to hide it.
"Where is it?" he made much effort to keep his tone even. Poor Mikes sucked at trying to sound indifferent.
"I don't know" I admitted, "But Frank will be there, too"
I knew Mikey looked up to Frank, though Mikey himself was the older one of the two. It was a boy thing, I guess, and Mikey was still a kid at heart in that adorable way when Frank on his behalf was well, boyish, too, but in the I'll never fucking grow up kind of way.
I had been about to call him more mature than Mikes, but that would a big enough lie to rule out any of my plans on going to heaven after I die.
It was as if Mikey was twelve, still innocent and blissfully unaware of the mischief the older boys were up to, and Frank would be -say- a year or two older, giving recklessness a whole new concept, by which he would in fact be less mature than Mikes, though they both had it backwards. I told you, definitely a boy thing.
They had only met maybe once or twice, but Mikey's eyes definitely lit up everytime I mentioned Frank. Frank thought Mikes was a great kid, but the adoration was pretty much one-sided.
I rose up downing the rest of my morning drink feeling only a little less feeble. I still wasn't sure if was going to throw up or not.
I decided to rush outside the house, fresh air might be a good idea. Also, I'd decided to pay Grace a visit.
"I'll be at Grace's" I informed the four-eye "Call me if you're coming to the party, I'll know the time and place by then"
Unnecessary little details, I thought, I was always having a party wherever I was, even if no one close to me was.
Usually that was the case, too, people got bored just watching me drink
and make stupid jokes. Everyone but Grace and Frank. In fact, Frank drank and made stupid jokes with me while Grace drank and giggled. We were a hilarious trio, as far as we were concerned.
I was pretty positive that there was still too much alcohol in my blood system, so to avoid getting thrown in jail for driving drunk, I decided to walk.
I could feel the vodka cheering me up now. One little drink and the hangover was that much easier to deal with. Whaddoya know, it was a good desicion to wake up today.
I don't know why I had to be so damn pessimistic in the mornings. Why cry over something you knew the cure to? It was silly.
Grace's place was only a few blocks away, which always made me a bit embarrased that I'd actually considered driving.
The door was open, as always. Leaving a door unlocked in New Jersey, Grace was quite inventive when it came to selfharm, I thought with a laugh.
I could hear Frank talking somewhere, his voice enthusiastic to the point of irritating. Grace giggled.
"Knock knock" I hollered from the doorstep to announce my presence. Hell, they might be half naked and no one wanted to see that. Grace I could deal with, but Frank.. I shuddered dramatically even with no one there to see my show.
I know I didn't give him enough credit, he was good looking, in his way.. A lot of girls seemed to think that, atleast. But I had seen him in diapers, I had seen him
practising peeing standing up. I had seen him wearing lipstick he'd stolen from his mom when he was five.. I had caught him kissing a piece of paper to see what kind of mark it left, and saying things like "pwetty" and "kisskiss". It kind of fucked the whole perspective.
"I guess it's too late to say 'come in'" I heard him chuckle, from the kitchen, I think.
I walked in to see Grace cooking, something I didn't expect. Well, if boiling eggs counts as cooking, that is.
I threw myself on the nearest chair. Frank was seated on the counter, swinging his legs.
"Mikey saw my boobs" I declared
"You showed Mikey your boobs?" He peeked from behind the range hood above the stove, puzzled.
"Unintentionally" I complained
"Lucky kid" he said and we both stared at Grace who lifted the eggs out of the boiling water with a tiny tea spoon. I was sure she'd be picking them off the floor in just a second. The very last one she picked up swirled a bit on the spoon, trying to find balance, and ended up falling on the floor with a cracking sound. Good thing it was already boiled. Less of a mess.
Frank and I shrugged as he turned back to me.
"So where's the party?" I asked, only receiving a smug smile in return. It took me a minute to figure out the meaning of that stupid grin that had now spread across his face.
"Here?" I was surprised to say the least, the place was like -what- ten square feet in total? Frank smiled wider.
"Grace?" I tried "Are you two being serious?"
No response, except for the muffeled cursing that came from the floor as she, assumably, was picking up the pieces of the shattered egg shell.
Frank nodded once then turned his focus to Grace and started whining about not wanting to eat something that had already been on the floor.
I shrugged. I guess it didn't matter where the party was, as long as the word 'party' still held a promise of reasonable amount of alcohol to it.
And it always did.
I could see Frank was already tipsy, and I was eager to reach that state of mind aswell. I had been accepted to a college, after all, and that was worth celebrating. Two nights in a row. Hell, we could even make it three, Ms. Delanger had told me I wouldn't start until Monday. She thought it was less confusing that way than having to start in the middle of the week. I had disagreed, I was very convinced that it would be just as confusing no matter what day of the week it was, but I'd nodded anyway.
The countdown had started and I had only so much time to do whatever I please before the routines and schedules would catch up with me again.
And I was going to make that time the best yet. We were young and -for the time being- free of all responsibilities and there was a party again tonight and there was nothing wrong with that, I reasoned with myself.
Yes, we drank too much, but we also cursed too much, fought too muchand avoided our parent's calls too much. Wasn't that what being young was in general?