A short story written by Christian Tanner
The drug frenzy at Ben’s house lasted until morning. We didn’t stop talking until the sun came up. We talked about everything. When the sun came up, we talked about how the sun was already coming up. All night we sat at a glass patio table in Ben’s backyard drinking Jack Daniel’s whiskey and doing coke and molly. All night long, we talked about everything from movies to philosophy, TV shows to psychology. When you have that many drugs running through your system, you’re on top of the world. You’re a king, a god even. I’ll do anything and everything to keep my mind clear. I don’t want to think about how my father murdered my mother and then I killed my father. I’d rather stay up all night and do a bunch of blow with new friends.
Bishop and I left around 8 a.m. and we stopped at a doughnut shop to get breakfast. I was still grinding my teeth. I grind my teeth when I’m really high. We ate a few doughnuts and some pigs-in-a-blanket then we headed to Bishop’s house. When we arrived, his parents had already left for work. I slept until about 8 p.m. that night.
I’ll start by telling you I’m finally waking up and I don’t feel quite like myself. I’m a little agitated and my teeth are sore. I feel like my mind is three paces behind my body. My mind is saying one thing, but my body is doing another. I’m only going to the bathroom but by the looks of me, you’d think I was on one of those balance boards. The wall is the only reason I haven’t fallen over. Bishop lies on his bed in a deep sleep, dreaming of my nightmare-ish reality. I’m sure he’ll wake soon. I don’t know where his parents are, but they’re not here. While I’m peeing, the reality of what happened two days ago is finally sinking in. You’ll feel it. Finally, you’ll feel it. I pace back and forth through the bathroom, wondering what I’m going to do. I look at myself in the mirror. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror but you didn’t recognize who you are? I stare deep into my own eyes while I wonder who I am. I can feel the anger. I can feel it. The hate. The rage. The constant lack of assertiveness. I can see my father in me. I see him. Everything is starting to shake. Everything in the bathroom is moving. The toothbrush is ratting inside the container. The mirror is going side to side. The soap is sliding back and forth. The brush is falling off the counter. I hold onto the counter top as if it were an earthquake. Everything is moving. I close my eyes only to open them again. I blink over and over trying to get a grip, but I can’t. It finally hits me. Everything suddenly stops and I’m standing straight up staring at myself in the mirror. Everything lies perfectly straight on the countertop while I stare. That’s all I do. I see my dad in the mirror. I see myself, in a blood soaked dress. Then I see my dad again. Now I see myself, in my sister’s dress. I see my dad in the bloody dress. I see myself – naked. Just me. Completely naked.
My back crashes against the wall while I let loose of my body weight while gravity takes over. I repeatedly tell myself, “Don’t you dare cry. Don’t you dare cry. Don’t be a bitch.” I won’t. My legs do the work so I can look into the mirror again. There I am, regular ol’ Calloway. I run into the kitchen and grab the car keys hanging from the hook. I want to drive again. I run outside and click the unlock button on the remote and get in the car. I slowly pull out of the driveway and onto the road. Seconds after leaving, I look to my right to see my house. My old house, anyway. For old time’s sake, maybe I should go in one more time. I turn around to take the car back to Bishop’s house. I pull into his driveway and hop out of the Toyota. I run towards my house. I dip under the police tape and I check to see if someone left the front door unlocked. I run to the side of the house where my room is and check to see if my windows are unlock. I push the window up and climb inside of the house. The smell. Jesus, that smell. I see myself sliding down the wall in my room. I feel like it’s happening all over again. I feel my father’s evil spirit lingering in the room. I can feel him, he’s standing behind me. I can practically feel him breathing down my neck. “I won,” I yell. “You fucker!” I know he heard me. The air is heavy tonight.
I walk into the living room. The carpet’s destroyed, but I like it this way. I can smell my dad’s decaying body rotting away. I walk into the kitchen and grab a bottle of my dad’s whiskey and I pour myself a drink. The sad part is, I’m sitting how my dad used to sit. I’m drinking his drink. I feel like I’m becoming him and there’s no way to change it. Drink after drink I feel more like him. Finally, I’m fed up. I throw the bottle off the refrigerator and the glass flies throughout the kitchen. Some of the glass lands on the floor and some of it lands on the countertops. Some of the glass even hit me. I’m tired. I want to end it here. This is my goodbye. I will die in the same house as my good for nothing father and my alcoholic mother. I grab a kitchen knife from the drawer. Also, I grab a rag.
There’s a rag in my mouth so I don’t bite through my own teeth. I hold the knife to my arm. ready to slide it from my wrist to the joint of my arm. I don’t feel it, however blood pours out, but it’s not deep enough. I try again to make another cut, but my breakdown withholds my determination. I can’t do this to myself anymore. I slam the knife on the table repeatedly. My tears roll off my cheeks and drip into the blood on my arm. I use the rag as a bandage while I walk into my room. I open my closet. There it is. It’s still beautiful. You’ll see the dress. You’ll see me put it on. You’ll see me stare at myself in the bathroom mirror with a gash on my arm and its blood is dripping from my fingertips. You’ll see it, you’ll see me. I pull out a small bag of coke from my right pocket and pour it onto the counter top. You’ll see the coke and blood spots on the bathroom countertop. They’re next to each other. You’ll see me do the coke. You’ll see me look at myself in the mirror. You will see me smile. Then, you will feel it.