By: Ryan Lynch
Mental despair, complete insanity, and rosy cheeks; this is my being in a nut shell. I lay on my bed entangled in sheets with three cigarettes burning at once. Rolling around on my bed grasping my stomach with red irritated eyes, hacking shamelessly, the picture frame in my vacant hand broke under the force from my numb fist. I feel the glass embedding itself in my skin. No pain whatsoever. I sit up straight and admire the damage inflicted upon myself. With all the blood around, our picture escaped with merely a little smear of blood on your neck. Ironically enough I felt that seemed a good look for you.
I fumbled through the disturbed, newly stained sheets for the bottle of revelation. That sweet sick burn got me every time. I cringed and smoked one of the smoldering cigarettes closest to me. After a deep inhale I took one last chance glance at your face; manipulative, beautiful, drunk, and naked. I felt the urge to continue to weep almost unbearable, but just like I always did, I gulped it down in the same old sweet sick burning way. I spent the rest of that night asleep with my head resting on the toilet basin. The cold porcelain became slick and wet from my drooling through out the night, but dared not to move for the earth and my head seemed to be out of a signal for the time being.
The next morning was oddly enough, pleasant. The sun was shining bright and I started out my day with a cigarette like I had for many years. As I sat in my living room, slowly waking up, I decided it was time to change a few things, having noticed random items that made my stomach churn with a mere glance. It was THE time for change, and I wasn’t complaining about it anymore. Once I spent a quarter of an hour debating my plan of action, I decided upon something peculiar. I was to move. I was to move far away from everyone and everything. I had no car, but my feet were in good shape. I had no degrees of any kind, but I had working experience. I was a poor string less puppet without a proper home or owner, and quite worn to add on to the list.
Where to go? Having not left the east coast for well… all of my life, I decided to move down south. Massachusetts felt better behind me than it did before me my whole life up until this point. Having little money in my pocket and a guitar on my back, I was in a great mood. My hair was blasted back as cars sped past honking and screaming things like, “Nam’s over douche bag!” or my personal favorite of the day, “ I smoke rocks! Woooooo!” These things all made my day all the much more enjoyable, for it was very hot and it was tiring lugging my things along the highway. As dusk set along my path, I started looking for a place to crash for the night.
My 4 star suite was located under an under pass. I spent the night on top of the high-rise watching cars speed by. I felt unusually comfortable in these unusual surroundings. My little fire kept me company until its life seeped away causing my eyes to grow heavy, and drift off into sleep.
I began walking, the sun was high above and I was sweating profusely. My soaked clothes weighed me down making me clumsy. I tripped and fell face first on the pavement. I closed my eyes as my face lay still hard pressed on the concrete, soaking up all the pain in my face. I laid there for not long when I heard the roll of tires creeping not two inches in front of my face. Sitting up, I quickly admired the damage done, and sought out the identity of my unknown caller on my piece of road at this moment. I stared for a moment; hardly believing what my eyes were showing me. It was a woman, whom had the striking resemblance of a goddess if I ever saw one. Her honey blonde hair lay about her face in wispy curtains shielding her eyes from me. Her bright red convertible of some kind seemed to fit her mysterious persona like a puzzle piece.
She didn’t speak one word neither did I. She merely leaned over the passenger seat, lifted the handle, and gestured for me to get in. I didn’t argue, I threw my things in the back and shut the door rather louder than I had wanted. She put the car in drive and sped off along the highway. I chanced glances at her whenever a turn permitted me to do so without her noticing. I did this for a couple miles when suddenly, she spoke: “Where are you headed?” It took me awhile to calm my nervous nature whilst I composed a solid answer. “I don’t know.” It was the truthful response seeing as I had no idea where I was headed exactly. “Well that’s fantastic; I’m headed in the exact same direction as you.” The monotonous sound of her voice gave me what little insight I needed to know about her past. She was hurt just as I, if not more.
The conversation, no matter how short it was seemed to be enough for her. I was beginning to like her already. Hours went by with the local radio blasting random alternative beats that blended together with the roar of the wind to my ears. I spent the time wondering one question and one question only; what was her name? I was starting to wonder when the gas would cause us to make a stop, thus leading to the inevitable burden of more conversation. Just minutes later I heard the turn signals universal clicking. We took a left into what appeared to be a gas station. Everything n’ Nothing Mart; the name put a wide grin across my face. This would be the place to talk. This would be the place where the next few days of my life would be decided.
As we pulled up to the gas pump I felt the car come to a slow but measured stop. I hear a sigh escape her mouth as she put the car into park. I look over to see her head resting on the steering wheel, staring at me. Her eyes were not covered this time. An icy blue mixed with a subtle shade of gray, they reminded me of a dreary day on the shores of my favorite beach, yet they were so full of life. I could do nothing but hold my breath, and her gaze. She smiled eventually, pulling her sleek hair behind her ear, she spoke again…
“I’m Essence.” She said in a voice just above a whisper. “I’m Jessie.” I said in the same voice. Throughout our introduction we held each others gaze the entire time. She eventually broke the contact by positioning her head so she was looking down upon the carpeted floor, she closed her eyes. As if an electric shock had crept out from her seat, she jumped and got out of the car. She quickly disappeared within the shop. I reached into my pockets for my cigarettes, opened the carton which revealed one last stick. I slid the last solider standing behind my ear and exited the car.
When I entered the shop I noticed that it was only the cashier standing in the small rank shop, where was Essence? The old man behind the counter observed my actions and quickly said, “She’s in the back.” He pointed to the sign that read, “Restrooms.” I lifted my hand as a sign of gratitude and made my way around the back where the drinks were kept. I returned to the front counter with my arms full of the necessities to keep me going for the next few days; three bottles of vodka, two forty ounce beers, and assorted snacks. “Looks like you all are in for a hell of a night” said the old man sarcastically. I ignored him and asked for a carton of camels which he placed on the counter next to my other purchases. “Thirty dollars and ninety four cents please” said the old man almost absent mindedly. “You don’t want to see my I.D.?” I asked tensely. “No, no, we all have our fixes young man, some are healthier then others, none the less the fix chooses us… not the other way round’.” I smiled and left the shop.
I took out a beer and packed away the rest in my bag. I cracked it, tossed my cig, and began gulping down the bitter liquid. I had no intention of stopping until the bottle was at least half gone, but a quiet voice in my ear made me gasp and choke. “Were you planning on sharing that or were you just going to indulge yourself while I drive these lonesome streets sober?” she wore a sad smile but meant the statement to be humorous. After I wiped the foam from my unshaven face, I passed the bottle to the left. She got in the car and placed her bag on my lap. I noticed she had bought another two bottles of vodka and another carton of cigarettes. I began to smile and she caught it immediately, “You have a warm smile, you should wear it more. What’s the occasion anyway?” I turned around and showed her the contents of my bag. “Well shit, you’re straight after my heart, aren’t you now?”
We hadn’t even driven a mile when she finished the beer and chucked it out the window and burped like she was one of the guys....
just the beggining