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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Got The Time...


I sit in front of the typewriter at my job, with a seven page list of customers on my lap.  A box of unaddressed envelopes on the side table to my left and a small stack of completed ones on the right.  Clerical stuff is monotonous, but I enjoy it.  Plus, I can type really fast - 95 words a minute, with hardly any errors.  It's like a cool party trick.

Speed is the perfect drug for a young typist like myself.  I can blast through documentation, labels, invoices and estimates.  The work I do isn't particularly challenging, but I am precise and detail-oriented.  I like neat piles and clean correspondence.  And most of all, I adore compliments.

I also answer the phones at the main desk.  I am friendly and conversational.  I love talking to people, especially when I'm high.  My boss doesn't really like when my co-workers hang around the reception area.  He says it looks like we're having too good a time.  Everybody scatters when they see him get off the elevator after lunch.  They reassemble for conversation once he leaves for the day.

I tell stories about my family.  My mother, especially.  I miss her the most.  I make the rough stuff sound funny.  I prefer when my audience is laughing.

I know my mom is disappointed in me.  What can I say?  I am a disappointment.  I keep fucking shit up.  I'm sorta glad I live so far away.  I am completely out of touch with everything back home.  I can do what I want now.  But I want her to love me.  And I can't figure out how to make that happen.

I work with architects and interior designers.  A few guys and a lovely group of women.  Proper southern ladies.  One is named Lynda.  She gave me a bunch of clothes from when she was younger.  Some pretty dresses and suits that don't fit her anymore.  They're not necessarily what I'd pick for myself, but she gets so excited whenever she sees me in her outfits.  I try to wear them often because she's so nice.

I keep a metal Sucrets tin in my purse.  It's filled with Dextro-amphetamines. Dexies are my favorite kind of speed.  I have other pills, as well.  My less popular leftovers are stored in a small, black film canister.  They're all different shapes and colors.  I love having drugs in my bag.

I pinch out two and two, every twenty or thirty minutes.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  I don't count how much I take.  I just refill the containers each morning.  I address them as I would vitamins.  As a matter of fact, I don't even do vitamins.  But I sure as shit do these.

My hangovers vary in severity, depending on how much I drank the night before and whether or not I've slept.  I try to keep it together during the day as far as the speed goes.  I hate getting too cranked up.  But hey, I'm no scientist.

And like I said, I'm not counting.  All I know is by the end of the day, I definitely need a drink.

*******

Five o'clock, and I am out the door.   I'm super wired and glad to walk.  Heading toward the parking deck, my mind is spinning and unfocused.  I count the steps as I go.  I see my vehicle.  It is gold.  I bet I will reach the car in seventy steps.  Closer, closer.  Sixty, sixty one, sixty two - and I am there with eight steps to spare.  What will I do with these extra eight steps?

I search my bag for the keys.  They're not in here.  Shit.  I stop and dump the contents onto the pavement.  I find them, unlock the door and get in.  I start the engine and drive.

My teeth are clenched.  My fists are clenched.  My thumbs are tucked inside two sets of four fingers on each hand.  For a second, I panic and think I only have eight fingers.  I forget about the thumbs.  But then, I remember.  So I add those two to the other eight, which makes ten altogether and I feel better.

I squeeze my thumbs to remind myself they are still there.  Both hands at the same time and then alternately, left and right.  I squeeze until they start to hurt.  I dig my nails into the center of my palms.  I shake out my wrists because it feels like my hands might climb up inside my arms and disappear.

I've gotta get home.  I have so much to do.  I can't believe how much needs to get done.  I make a list in my mind so I won't forget anything, but the list gets too long.  And the longer it gets, the more I forget what's on the list.  At the top or even in the middle.

All I know is as soon as I get everything done, everything will be okay.  And everything will be okay as soon as I get home.  Then I can get what I need to do done.

First, I will go get the baby.  No, wait.  First, I will go to the liquor store.  But first, I need to stop and get gas.  I am almost on empty.  What was I just thinking?  Oh, yes.  Gas.  And while I am there, I will buy beer.  After that, I will go to the liquor store and get wine.  Then I will go get the baby.

Jesus Christ, I am busy.

*******

I get what I need.  Only now, there is traffic.  How will I ever collect my child? Suddenly, my reasonable commute is a stagnant death crawl with no end in sight. All cars are frozen, and the highway is a parking lot.  I am trapped in a small cage on wheels.  But hey, at least I have beer!

I pry one of the Millers from the six-pack I bought at the gas station.  Good thing I am in the right lane.  I turn my head away from the vehicle to my left and take a nice, long pull.  I swallow and swallow and swallow until I need a breath.  I tuck the can between my legs and wipe my mouth on the back of my hand.

I recalibrate my vision, staring straight ahead.  Eyes on the road, I creep forward several inches.  I shake the can to gauge its contents.  Act natural, Mary.  I angle myself accordingly and drain what's left.

There is no movement on the road, and my brain is upset.  My body needs to go in order for this kind of high to work properly.  I lick my index finger and press it into my lozenge box full of pills.  Four is good, plus two more.  I feel really tired.

I grab another beer and try to relax a bit.  My eyelids begin to close.  They are like heavy hotel drapes, hanging right beneath my forehead.  Fuck.  I may doze off if I'm not careful.  Right here while I'm driving.  All activity above my neck is powering down.  My head tips back momentarily and jerks forward.

Double fuck.  I'm pretty sure I'm asleep.  I scrunch my eyes closed tightly and open them quick in efforts to shock my face.  I do this a few times and slap my cheeks really hard, but nothing helps.  I am sandbagged.  I try to figure out how much I slept the night before.  I went to bed at 4:30 and woke up at 6.  That's not a whole lot of time.

And shit!  I am right on top of the car ahead of me.  Startled, I slam on the brakes. My nose hits the steering wheel and immediately starts to bleed.  I have no tissues, so I tear off a small piece of the paper bag that holds my booze.  I moisten it on my tongue to make it soft and jam it up my nostril.

There is blood on my pants.  Goddammit, these are good pants.  In my mind, I begin scrubbing the stain.  I add 'wash pants' to the list of things I have to do once I get home.  For Chrissake, I just have to get home!  And get that baby.

When the congestion finally lets up, I pass a tow truck, two police cars and an ambulance.  Several motorists exchange information.  It doesn't appear as though anyone involved is seriously injured, but they do look upset and rightly so. Accidents are upsetting.

I wonder what would happen if I were in an accident.  Who would even know?  I have no husband, no boyfriend.  I'm all alone down here in Little Rock, but I tell you what... I'm not going back to New York.  No fucking way.  It's bad enough my mother can't stand me long-distance.

All three lanes are wide open, so I hit the gas.  What a relief to be moving again.  I speed up faster than I should, agonizing over relationships I don't have and can't change.

Fuck it.  I should just keep my eyes shut until I roll this piece of shit.  Take it right up over the divider and keep going into that blanket of weeds.  I don't wanna die or nothing, but I wouldn't mind the attention.  Construction workers will see my crash and run toward the action.  They'll rush me to the hospital, and I will sleep for three days straight.

When I wake up, my mom will be there.  She'll tell me how much she loves me. Deep down, I know she does.  I really like that idea.