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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Senses Working Overtime


I'm not sleeping much anymore.  I like to think the speed takes care of that.  It gives me jolts of energy that keep me moving when I'm tired.  Ordinarily, I try not to hit the pills too hard during the day when I'm at my job.  It's different once I'm home — I can drink, and my high is perfect.  But when I'm at work, it's hard to concentrate.  It's so difficult to be still.  My flesh has to work very hard just to stay inside my skin.  I also get afraid I might be having a heart attack.

I make up little rules about the drugs and break them.  No powder, just pills.  No popping before 4:30.  I change the time to 3 pm.  Try to at least hold off until after lunch.  I am hung over and exhausted most mornings, so that seems to work out.  I can't keep anything in my stomach before noon anyway.

It's the same with the drinking in the evenings.  Quit by midnight.  2 am.  C'mon, get some sleep.  But I won't lie down.  I love this feeling so much that I can't bear to be away from it.  I don't want to miss a minute.

This evening, I ran all the way to the parking deck — just to run.  When I got to my car, my throat was burning.  It was like I could eat my own heart.  I think and know these extra thoughts in my brain now that make me feel more alive and interesting.  Life is dangerous and exciting.  I never want to not be doing this.

I cruise along for a little bit and blast the radio.  I want the other drivers to hear the songs I play and admire my taste in music.  I smile and wave at guys as we pass one another.  It's a silly game, and I like the attention.

I pull off the highway and into the liquor store parking lot.  I load up on my usual supplies - beer and wine.  Plus, several ice cold tall boys.  I have to pick up the baby and do a thousand things.

At the counter, an older gentleman stands to my right.  He is dressed for the office, with his tie loosened and sleeves rolled up.  Clearly, he is finished working for the day.  He stares at me as if we know one another.  I smile and pay for my booze.

"I love that smile," he says.  "I followed it all the way here."

His comment makes me uneasy.  I don't know who the fuck this guy is, but he's officially creeping me out.  I slide my stuff across the counter and turn to leave.  He grabs the bottle he's purchased, hustles to the door and holds it open.

"Where to?" he asks.

"I'm going home," I tell him.

"I'll come with you."

"Not tonight."

Shit, shit, shit.  

I walk quickly toward my vehicle.  He follows me, whistling through his teeth.

"Sweet girl, I like what you've got."

I open the passenger door and toss my packages onto the floor.  He presses himself against me, holding my wrist with one hand and my waist with the other.

"You got me hard," he whispers into the side of my face.  His breath smells like old gum.

I twist myself around and push past him.  I can't even believe this is happening.  I am embarrassed and scared.  Plus, he is old.  I hurry to the driver's side and slip the key into the ignition.  I pull away with him still leaning inside the car.

"Fucking cocktease," he yells as I hit the gas, and the door slams shut.

I take the service road for almost a mile and pull back onto the expressway.  I keep checking the rearview mirror to see if he is following me.  It's hard to tell because the sun has gone down, and the only things visible are headlights.  They all look the same.  Everyone is back there.

I reach over the seat and fumble for one of those loose beers.  I crack it open and raise the can to my lips.  I swallow and swallow and swallow until I need to take a breath.  Then, I drink the rest until it is empty.

I did not ask for that, I think to myself.  I didn't do anything wrong.

Then, how come it feels like I did?

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