x One For The Road x

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A quick read about a guy with a bad habit.

Submitted: January 22, 2013

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Submitted: January 22, 2013



I’m not a strong person. Never have been, never will be I suppose. This is the same thing I always think when I find myself sitting in front of my poison. The hard dusky amber-colored poison. I know it’s bad for me, but the worst part is that I think it’s bad for you too.
I didn’t know what was happening until two months ago, well into my last year of college. By then I was very well aware of the fact that I had a drinking problem. Most of the foul things a drunk could do I had done, threw up on my girlfriend, sure, hit on my friend’s mother, check, pissed on or in places that weren’t a toilet, you bet, and again one of those might have been your mother. Yup I lost friends and jobs and everything in between. I never drove though, so I considered that a point in my favor. For the most part I was just your average lush.
Until one time, someone  just caught me on the wrong day…. and I melted most of his vital organs. From what I heard later it had been pretty gruesome, one minute we were arguing, the next he’s crumpled on the floor with most of his insides draining out of both exits.
I couldn’t tell you myself though. I was pretty hammered.
It got me to quit drinking though, not because I was convinced I had done anything, but because everyone else was. No one ever said so outright, but the way peoples’ attitudes toward me changed was enough. Hell, just the looks I got. They had no proof, of course, I mean shit like that doesn’t really happen right?
So with my free time I did some digging. Since my twenty first birthday there had been five unexplained deaths; four here in Denver, and one in my hometown.
They were all people and they all mattered, but the ones that stick out and the ones matter to this story are the first and the last.
When I was in the fifth grade I was small. And like now I didn’t have many friends, so inevitably I became a popular target for the bullies. In particular was this one ginger cunt, named Barrett O’Dell. That year we both tried out for the basketball team. I made it and he didn’t. For a whole week he left me alone, and for just a moment I thought I had actually done the impossible and somehow put the bastard in his place. Then one day as recess was ending, when everyone was heading back to the drudgery of the classroom, he caught me coming out of the restroom. He shoved me back through the door, and when I tried to push past him, socked me square in the mouth. I remember being scared out of my mind at first until I saw his eyes. They were small beady green things with nothing at all in them. Just hate. Raw stupid hate. I’d never seen that look before and to this day the one word that comes to mind is evil. The sad thing is that when my eyes met his I didn’t continue to cower and beg him to let me go. Instead I gave it right back. I don’t know why, but somehow I just couldn’t allow it to go, without… I don’t know. I think that that kind of hate had no right to exist, especially on a child’s face. I hated his hate, if that makes sense. I don’t know, I suppose it doesn’t matter, look or no look, and for all my kicking and screaming, he didn’t say a word as he broke all of my fingers… one at a time.
I don’t remember much after that. White hot pain. Crying, a lot of that. Principals and cops. A new school. I never saw that kid again though, I know that. I read about him though. He died at the age of twenty two. His death was just notable enough to make the papers not just because of how young he was, no that was only part of it. No the real meat of the story was in the “unusual circumstances” of a seemingly healthy young man dropping dead in a bar from what the coroner could only describe as “acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis” after having only one beer. Pancreatitis for those not in the know is when the stomach stops digesting what it’s supposed to and instead starts feeding on itself and sometimes any other nearby organs, most commonly associated with chronic alcoholics. Which Barrett, most certainly wasn’t according to his wife of one just under a year.
Barrett O’Dell died a couple weeks after my twenty-first birthday. I’m not exactly sure what I was doing at the time, but I have a pretty good idea that it was the first time I got maudlin all by myself sitting at my computer with a bottle of Jack.
A terrible way to die. For a terrible person I tell myself, and so too for the next three that I read about. All people that hurt me. All people I tried to forget. An old boss, an old flame, and another dickhead like O’Dell. All of them deserving… in some way. Right? No. I know that’s wrong but some part of me is still holding onto the possibility that this isn’t real, that these people all dying wasn’t my fault. I didn’t know after all.
Part of me wonders if maybe hate is something you can catch like any other disease. I wonder if maybe Barrett didn’t infect me with it all those years ago. Then I have to ask myself another question. Who do I hate? I ponder on it for a long time and just when I feel I have it, it slips away. Instead I go back to reading about the last one.
His name was Justin Williams. He was a sophomore. He hailed from a small town here in Colorado like me, hell, we even liked a lot of the same stuff. It’s all there on his Facebook page just like anybody else's, only now his is a memorial. All of it except for anything resembling a reason. Then I see it. It’s a picture of Justin and some buddy of his, there’s a witty caption underneath, but the main gist of it is that they are both obviously sloshed. That isn’t what catches my attention though, its Justin’s eyes. They’re the same exact dirty green as Barrett’s, and even though the look isn’t there, I wonder if maybe at a certain angle or in a certain light… I realize the poor guy died because he looked at me wrong.
I read that last night. What I did next was the same thing I always did when I felt like I was losing my grip on everything. It’s the same thing that monsters like me, who never learned how to care, always do. I drank. And I drank. And I drank.
This morning I woke up to a world with about 140,000,000 less people in it. No one understands it. Nobody else realizes the one thing that connects all these people. Their eyes. Not yet. It’s a tragedy on the grandest of scales and I try to tell myself that it’s only about 2% of the world, really. How fucked up is that?
The silence though. It’s everywhere. Almost like the whole world died. It could happen, I think to myself. I make a noose. I hold it for the longest time. I cry, for all those people, for that little boy. I get up and I leave the noose on my bed.
I know who I hate now, and I know how I want to die.
I’m not a strong person. Never have been, never will be I suppose. This is the same thing I always think as I find myself sitting here in front of my poison. This hard dusky amber-colored poison. I know it’s bad for me, but the worst part is that I know it’s bad for you too.

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