I wake up, my head is thumping and hurting something fierce. It’s reminding me of how fucked up I got last night with whoever is sleeping in my bed today. Just some local nobody that I picked up at the bar in my disparity to get laid. I shrug and know I’m a local nobody too. I should probably stop this, but I won’t.
I fall out of bed and make a decent amount of noise. I curse loudly and drag my knees over the cheap carpet. My partner rolls over in the bed, grumbling. I crawl around aimlessly for a bit before finally getting to my feet when I get to the bathroom. The floor is cold and hard. I’ve woken up still a little drunk and very much hungover. I want to vomit, but I don’t.
I stare in the mirror to find a pair of hauntingly sad and exhausted eyes staring back at me. I am twenty-four years old. I scratch the scruffy beard that’s beginning to grow on my face. I silently stand in the bathroom in my wife beater and boxers. I look like I’ve been run over by something. I splash water on my face. I want to wake up my partner, but he’s snoring now, so I don’t.
It’s quiet here. Someone honks their horn below the apartment complex. I hear my ragged breath rattle in my ribcage from the cigars and whatever else I managed to get my hands on last night. In the mornings, my body detests this poor treatment, but I’m not stopping anytime soon.
Tonight, I have another piano gig at a seedy bar downtown. I will the next night too… and the next. I live paycheck to paycheck. I’m always right on the edge, but I get by. I wonder who I can bring home tonight.
My voice is low and scratchy. “Who the fuck am I?” I already know the answer. It’s long and stupid.
I want to move on. I want to grow up. I want to live.
I want to be real.
I’ve become a slave; I’ve become estranged from the former image of myself.
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