“I’m addicted to being a loser.” He slurs.
“I Uber surge-priced for this?” These thoughts foam to the top like the beers clinking around us.
“I used to think I could even finish a sentence.” Obviously his psycho-shrill doctor lady has stopped returning his neurotic voicemails.
“I’m a lost writer, trying to convince myself I’m a writing by writing as little as possible and then have an existential crisis about not writing enough to call myself a writer, because if I’m not a writer, then I am nothing else in this world, and then I’m truly lost. A lost writer!”
I wish I had expensive charcoal oak-rimmed glasses to adjust carefully, like I was about to say something equal in worth the time he’s wasting not just this evening, but the full tab of years listening to his unchecked esteem issues. But I could see clearly without the aid of spectacles and even worse, I could still think clearly among the drunks surrounding me.
He decides to just get wasted again.
“Make that two.” I shoot my finger at the bartender hoping the back of his head would explode all over the fake booze bottle display and splash into everyone else’s sugar-tini pacifiers death-gripped in their bony hands with just a dash of liquor and enough gore reaching their widening, screaming mouths, so they can all taste what they really came here for — blood. But instead, neat heavy tumblers now swish in front us.
I desperately tunnel back in through the darkness of my mind so I could only be the husk he wants as a sounding board, and not the underused intellect subconsciously looking for a fatal choke point within this people packed hazard to set the most damning of fires with my makeshift molotav Manhattan cocktail. The too heavy mix of sweet vermouth and off-brand bitters was worth tossing for the flaming murder.
I stopped listening to his self-hating gargle but he doesn’t notice. He never does. It’s a dismal reality for him really. A self-fulfilling prophecy of being a useless drag of a man-child because that’s all you can ever think about. I’m sure his shrink has tried to penetrate that mortally fragile security blanket of existence to tell him these simple facts, but he was too dreadful to take notice. Right there in front of him. Like everyone else I’ve ever met. They live a life of problems they created for themselves only to covet it like a suicide bomber’s vest. If we weren’t all so busy telling each other how stressed, or worried, or depressed we all are about every damn thing in our oh so modern lives, we actually might remember how to enjoy ourselves… or at least get one tiny moment of clarity between the chaos and the ugly truths.
Looks like he’s already done with this round. Better catch up.
“I need to piss.” He grabs my knee and squeezes it. I can’t tell if we just had a breakthrough moment or if this was him morse-coding his last will and testament. The fuzz of liquor has fully rushed through me now. I sigh in my stance and swivel slightly around my stool. I bite my cheeks and accept the pleasurable numbness.
Might as well join the resistance. At least until everything starts to ring like a broken church bell and I forget everything I’m resisting in my own life, except the profound ecstasy of wasting my inner voice by slobbering all over the barroom floor at the end of each night. And just then, the pure evil takes me on a roller coaster ride that doesn’t snap off its barbed metal pipes until my too tight ash boot cut slacks slap into the honey brown double doors of my steel box condominium within a bigger steel box waiting for some analog rapture or at least another Northridge, so I can finally afford to move again; to at least wallow in the substantial financial misery of others.
Now- it’s just that easy to get lost like this in any other stream of thought. As is the sloppy groaning, sucking, peeling and holding it all in from puking till you cum inside someone else’s puckering dark hole of sexual anguish, then concuss against the Faberge egg lifestyle of soft, safe designs daggered by obvious desperate horniness to penetrate everything down to the noiseless appliances and utter void that is flatscreen, interactive mania.
“Put it on my tab.”
Smiling? And paying? Maybe I should have paid attention this time.
Two tickets for this bumpy, anesthetized ride purchased, fingers swiped, man-made electronic money disappearing into the ether, and now we’re stumbling out the door.
I didn’t even have time to spit on my knuckles yet and I know his ass is already sweating.