Rot With Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Short story about a 30 - something year old reflecting on his lifestyle of the past few years.

Rot With Me.


I’m awake, but yet to admit it to myself. I’m conscious, but yet to face what lies ahead. I let out a gentle groan as I rub my fingers through my hair – as I exhale, my eyelids peer open. In no attempt to move my body, my eyes are shiftily darting around in a random pattern to establish where I am. Any attempt to actually move could be fatal – I realize this as a splitting headache is occurring – and one that I won’t be able to shake by knocking back couple of pills. As still and motionless as can be, I lie staring at the brown painted ceiling, fixated on the flicker of light through the curtains – the sun is rising – it’s still early. Stretching in a morning should be built into your routine, but this takes time and precision to do without upsetting my stomach. The taste of warm saliva rushes to my mouth and the familiar acid feeling running from my gut up to my chest has rapidly come on – I can’t even suppress it – its coming.

Sitting bolt upright and scurrying towards the end of the bed, clutching my mouth with my left hand, keeping my right hand free to open doors – I get to the bathroom as fast as quick as I can – at least I’ve established that I’m at house anyway. The semi broken down door for the bathroom that’s barely on its hinges is viciously pushed open and to my horror, there’s already someone leant over the toilet and to make things worse, I’ve started throwing up. Making my way to the bath at the other end of the room proves to be a harder task that I’d have thought, especially when the warm, fizzy, burning puke is seeping through my fingers, causing the sick to run down my arm. A wet heave of puke comes guzzling out and lands somewhere around the plughole, thus, releasing the smell and creating another wave of sick. I start to violently and very loudly throw up, holding my hands in the bath against the sides to brace myself. This isn’t normal throwing up; the pain in my stomach to my chest is unbearable and is causing me to lose the strength in my arms that are preventing me from falling into my own mess. Hurling and in a tremendous amount of pain, my arms buckle and without any attempt to save myself – plunge into the pool of mess I’ve just created. Whoever the person was who was over the toilet flees, scurrying past my exhausted body – making no attempt to help me out of my current situation.

The scariest moment of my life came when I lie face down in my own sick warming up my face when a thick, more solid texture came from my mouth. Once I spotted my own blood through my tear-filled eyes whilst being in this lifeless state, I panicked, struggling to breathe or at all move my body I had to lie and take the consequences of what I’ve provoked myself. It could have been for a 30 seconds to a minute, but it felt like an hour – for what felt like the longest time of my life I lie as still as possible feeling more blood and puke dribble out of my mouth. Once I think I have finally stopped, I attempt to hoist myself up to step out of the filthy bath, I am weak, my stomach feels empty and my insides ache all over. Wearing nothing but a blood and sick covered shirt, I make my way over to the mirror, shuffling my feet slowly as opposed to actually walking. The mirror is stained and has a corner piece missing that has been smashed out. Once my eyes adjust, I see the red, bloodshot eyes with black rings around them. A split lip and freshly chipped tooth stand out along side of the strands of blood and saliva dripping from my rugged beard. A quick wash down and a brush of my teeth whilst pausing every now and again to spit blood down the drain should make me feel slightly more human. As I’ve wrapped my dressing gown around my shivering, weak body, I realise the descent down the stairs is a lot harder than anticipated. With each step, a sharp pain shoots through my stomach and another pounding in my head occurs. I catch a glimpse of the clock once I’ve reached the bottom of the staircase – 8:15 – still early, I don’t see anyone else still here from last night – the one left in the bathroom must have been the last one here.

I gradually get closer to the kitchen as coffee is the first thing on my mind. The kitchen is an absolute mess. Glass, sick and general stains are everywhere – I’m not sure who’s to blame for the mess, but I know that the last thing on my mind is to clean any of this up or to face any form of reality today. I take a seat at the dining room table to ease my confused and dizzy mind as I light up a bent cigarette I found soaked in lager that has been tipped over on the table. I find my hand to be shaking as I attempt to utilise the lighter. Every draw I take pains me deeply and causes me to clutch my chest – but I still keep inhaling everything I can into my own system.  I sit as still as I can attempting to soak in the silent atmosphere, but can’t dismiss the fact I’m still franticly shivering – I’m not cold but I can’t seem to bring myself to sit perfectly still at all. I’m now past the point of worry about throwing up my own blood as it’s happened before – but never this violent. The very recent and familiar sour taste of acid rises to the back of my throat once again, forcing me to temporarily stop smoking.

These few moments, trying to deal with the pain as best I can have given me time to reflect in my head at what’s been going on. Another party last night, more fuel added to the ever growing fire, another day to wake up hating myself and in desperate need for care. Reflecting at my dining room table eventually turns into a mental trance as I start to look back at my life for the past few years or so - barely affording to pay rent, eat when I have to, not when I want to, and the realisation that I have nothing. My lifestyle never used to be this bad, but the past couple of years have really caught me up. Until now I’ve struggled understanding that nobody is actually here – and I’ve not realised until this moment how much I actually need someone there for me. I have no immediate family left and my friends have flown the nest or are struggling with their own personal issues to give me a second thought. Once I’ve admitted to myself what I am, It all becomes so obviously clear – until now, I’ve never accepted the fact that I’m always one of the eldest people at the local club every single weekend, desperately attempting to clutch onto my youth as I prey on the young girls in the club, never succeeding in my painful attempt to gain someone who cares. I know what my house is – just another venue for the young girls to drink until all hours before finally heading home. Sometimes women I manage to convince to come back to my place – and any of their friends they end up bringing with them – sometimes unwanted friends who’ve hurt me. So many temporary ‘friends’, ‘mates’ for the weekend who take advantage of my gullible and naïve attitude in my pursuit to find someone who actually cares – who can actually see past the fake front I’ve been putting on for years.

Every weekend I vow to myself that I will pack everything in, the drink, drugs, bad habits - turn my life around for good, find a job, a career, a woman – a potential wife, a friend, a partner, an actual path in life that leads somewhere – not this brutal, vicious circle I’m in now. This is hitting home hard as it’s not just an issue at weekend anymore, the hardest part to admit is the weekday habits, the days where I’m inside my house from when the local drink shop opens until just before it shuts. With the budget I live off, cheap cider is the only realistic thing I can afford to buy to consume on a daily basis. These are the times no one dares to speak up about – sitting in a dimly lit room drinking 3-5 litre of cheap cider a day with no food in the house and wondering where you will get money to pay rent this month from. To anyone who I come into contact with, I’m a waster – an absolute poor excuse of existence, the main reason I’ve been so direct for people to come back to my house to me isn’t for a one night encounter – it’s a plea for help – via a friend or potential partner to ease me away from this life, I want someone to recognise that I’m screaming out for help but am just too scared to voice my thoughts. I’m not entirely sure how much more I can take of throwing up blood and barely eating but I can’t see any point in attempting to change at this stage of my life, now stuck in the routine I’ve been doing since I was 18 – I can physically feel that my body has had enough. My shaking happens every time after drinking but has never lasted this long before – I snap out of the mental trance I’ve allowed myself to fall deeper and deeper into and come back to the cold, harsh and very true reality that it’s now 8:25 on a Sunday morning and I’m already thinking about another taste. I’m an alcoholic, a drug addict and have severe stomach cancer. My insides are rotten and I’ve not known a true friend for years. Do I attempt to treat my condition and sway away from the lifestyle I have lived for years? Or do I continue doing what I’m doing, trade my coffee for this leftover vodka I‘ve been clutching in my left hand since I’ve been sat in the dining room? Do I attempt a shot at an actual life with prospects, morals and goals? Or do I continue living for the weekend, barely getting by and just think ‘fuck it!?’

Submitted: March 28, 2017

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