B.J. Mills Profile

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B.J. Mills

Location: United States

Member Since: July 2017

Last online: April 2021

Open for read requests: Yes

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      He drank alone, the darkness of the cool room he sat in surrounded him, making him aware of the dampness in the air.  The harsh, Irish whiskey sloshed in the cup as he grabbed it, raised it to his hot, chapped lips, and drank over and over again.  The whiskey burned the cracks in his badly dehydrated lips, but it calmed his nerves as the warmth quickly migrated from his mouth to that special spot deep in the pit of his stomach.  His intense feeling of anxiety faded away as the whiskey lit his soul on fire, causing him to feel whole again for the first time in a great number of consecutive sunrises.  It was good, he decided.

      He tilted his head yet again to polish of the last of the whiskey in the glass, ensuring that none was wasted and that he drank every single drop of the precious, golden liquid medicine.  He felt the drunkenness taking hold of his body, quietly easing his mind for the moment.  He watched a tiny, brown cockroach scurrying across his stainless-steel tomb as he drank, rethinking the life he’d lived in forced solidarity for the last two years, seven months, eighteen days, and a handful of hours - but who was really counting anyway?  It wasn’t as nice as the ranch in Texas he grew up on, but the metal box buried one-hundred and twenty feet below the barren crust of the earth above him had served its purpose well.  After hours of drinking and contemplating his situation, he decided that this was still better than certain death.  After all, as lonely and depressed as he had been, loathing in grief and anger, he was still alive.

      He ran his dry tongue over the roughness of his badly chapped lips, tasting the whiskey again, enjoying the subtle hints of the aged oak barrel and the sweetness of the grains used in the distillation process.  His alcohol induced high left him flying in happy clouds of near infinite joy and supreme bliss.  However, he knew this new-found pleasure would eventually fade in to a raging headache, the blending of the headache and loss of bliss leaving him as empty as he was when he started drinking.  He could already feel his temples trying to beat their way out of his skull with a pounding that could only be described as the pedal of a bass drum thumping away at a metal concert.  But it didn’t matter in the end; the alcohol already flowed through him, removing all inhibitions that would stop him at this point.

      He snatched the bottle from the table angrily to pour himself another drink.  He tipped the bottle to his aluminum cup, filling it just below the rim, carful to not pour it on to the table so he could continue to ration it.  The cockroach he saw earlier had found his way to the top of the stainless-steel table he was sitting at.  He studied it closely for a moment, amazed at the survival tenacity of the tiny creature, and then violently crushed it underneath the weight of the glass whiskey bottle in his hand.  He read somewhere, probably grade school, that cockroaches would be the only creatures to survive the end of the world.  He quickly decided that was bullshit as he stared at the goo underneath the glass vessel in his hand that used to be a roach.  If a whiskey bottle could end its fragile life, a nuclear bomb certainly could, too.

      As he drank at the table, he looked around the shiny metal room affectionately which he affectionately named Casa de la Bunker, and glanced at each object in it, wondering how many times he had seen them in the past.  The room itself wasn’t large, only about twenty feet by twenty feet, but as small as it was, it held most of his worldly possessions.  Directly in front of him was an aluminum bookshelf which spanned the distance from the floor to the ceiling and held nearly a thousand books and magazines, most of which he had already over the last couple of years.

      To the right of the bookshelf, sat a well-worn matching tobacco brown leather loveseat and recliner on adjacent walls, threadbare and roughly formed to the shape of his body.  The recliner and loveseat sat on adjacent walls, separated by a barn wood end table adorned with an antique lamp with an Edison bulb.  The eclectic lamp was almost certainly an impulse buy from his late grandparents, the stained glass and lead-bead lampshade casting a warm, low light throughout the room.  The matching coffee table sat dented and scuffed from years of use and abuse in front of the loveseat and recliner.  A large book of Edgar Allen Poe short stories and poems sat on top of it, covered in a light coat dust.  He started reading it a month or so ago, but his ability to concentrate had dwindled as the days dragged on, causing the book to set unopened on the table for a significant amount of time.

      Directly behind the table he sat at was a small kitchen, adorned with all of the normal kitchen amenities you would expect in doomsday bunker.  It held a sink, counter, small refrigerator, a two-burner stove, and an in the wall, a garbage disposal unit, fueled by the destructive power of fire. 

      To his left, was the gym.  When his grandfather built the bunker in the 50’s and 60’s, the room was intended to hold several sets of bunkbeds. But as his children grew and moved out and had children of their own, he had the foresight to replace the bunkbeds with gym equipment, fully aware that physical fitness played a huge role in the mental trials and tribulations one would suffer while sealed in the bunker in the event of a catastrophic event.

       The gym wasn’t top notch, but it did boast a treadmill, weight bench, squat rack, and 400 lbs. of plates.  Although 400 lbs. seems like a large amount of weight, a man will get strong with the absence of everything but books and a gym, both of which he used often to pass the time and to occupy his mind.  If nothing else, the time in his prison had made him a stronger and more intelligent man.  He decided that was good.

      Behind a small door on the left side of the gym lie the bunker’s only remaining bedroom and is where he spent a lot of time sleeping to recover from working out and as a mechanism to pass time.  In fact, he probably slept more in the last couple of years than he had in his entire life combined.  And even though the room only held a small walk-in closet, twin bed, and an on-suite bathroom, he felt peaceful there and always woke refreshed.  He constantly woke angry due to circumstance, but definitely rested.

       To his right, sat the most important room in the entire shelter: The Supply Room.  A couple of years ago, the room was abundant, full of water, dry stored vegetables, freeze dried meats and milk, various types of jerky, Meals-Ready-To-Eat, medical supplies, several cases of whiskey, and several cases of cheap red wine that had had aged surprisingly well and tasted wonderful.  But what was once a roadmap to his survival, was now as barren as the earth that laid above him.

      As the thought of an unfruitful storage room slammed in to him like an 18-wheller at full speed, he glanced down at his cup again and saw it was running as dry as the storage room.  He decided the near emptiness was unacceptable, reach for the bottle, fumbled, and knocked it over, spraying the alcohol all over the table and floor.  “Dammit!’, he exclaimed out loud, “Ain’t enough of that shit in the storage room to being with.  ‘Specially if I’m wasting it like that.”, he grumbled.  He righted the bottle and filled his cup again, more carefully this time, fully aware his intensely impaired state would catch up with him sooner or later.

      He put the cup to his lips again, sipped the whiskey, and immediately realized that sooner had come way before later.  His stomach wretched with sickness as sweat began to pour down his forehead and back.  He felt his mouth filling with water, his bloodshot eyes tearing up, and knew a release was moments away.  His body was physically begging to get rid of the liquid he had poisoned it with and he heaved heavily, vomit and sputum filling his month.  He tried to swallow the gross mess, but he swiftly jumped up knowing the attempt would end in failure.  He staggered toward the kitchen, made it, and projectile vomited the liquor in to the sink, spewing bile in-between the fingers of the hand he had clamped over his mouth.

      He grabbed a towel and wiped the vomit from his hand and chin and then tossed it in to the incinerator.  The tears were still streaming down his face and he brushed them away with the corner of his hand as he looked at the mess he made in the sink through blurry eyes.  The water supply was too critically low to rinse it out now, so he’d have to figure out a way to clean the stomach contents out of the sink tomorrow.

      He leaned heavily against the concrete counter and tried to regain his balance.  The queasiness returned momentarily as the wretched smell of liquor infused puke invaded his nostrils, consuming his balance.  He wasn’t sure if he needed another release, to the counter became his temporary refuge.  He heaved again, but was able to contain the toxic mixture of bile and booze in his body this time.

      “Can’t go wasting it that way, either”, he grumbled as he wiped a bit of vomit from the corner of his mouth with a bare hand.  His quantity of bottles had dwindled well below his comfort level and he decided that no matter what, he wouldn’t vomit again that night.

      He took an extra moment to steady himself before stepping towards the main living area.  His attempt to walk in a straight line failed him and he found himself grabbing the doorframe of the kitchen to keep from crashing in to the floor.  He laughed out loud to himself at his high level of intoxication as he stumbled back to his seat at the table, ensuring to keep his hand on the wall the entire time to maintain his balance.

      He flopped down in to his seat, leaning deeply to the side as he grabbed the empty whiskey bottle, feeling the coolness of the glass in his hand.  He rubbed the bottle against his forehead and snatched up the aluminum cup which was still nearly full, whisky sloshing over his hand and down on to the table.  He bent down to slurp the whiskey off of the table before taking another long, slow sip and swishing the liquor around in his mouth to remove the unpleasant taste of vomit, feeling the burn of hot iron again as the liquid touched his split lips.

      The bottle had done well to cool his forehead and the whiskey to warm his stomach but he still was somehow unsatisfied with his current condition.  Although he was fully aware of his high, he realized that the bust head was in control of him.  This angered him to the point of an unanticipated emotional explosion as he pulled the bottle from his head and sloppily flung it across the room, shattering it in to a thousand jagged shards on the corner of the aluminum bookshelf and leaving a slight dent in it.

      He studied the shards and appreciated the dim light from the antique stained glass table lamp shining through them.  As the beauty of the lit shards hit him, so did the need for sleep.  His anger subsided as quickly as it hit him and he firmly pressed his hands in to the stainless-steel table, pushing himself up unsteadily.  Off to bed it was, the shards would have to wait until later.

      His room was only steps away but it felt like a mile as he lurched and swayed towards it.  He thought about the impossible decision that lay ahead of him, momentarily understanding that he was in no condition to contemplate it now.  He knew the decision could literally be the difference between life and death, and terms that are thought of in absolutes, should only be considered when the mind is clear.  He needed to sober up an get a good night’s sleep before he would begin to process the pros and cons.  Yet, as he hobbled towards his room, he knew that good sleep would not become of him because he would work his mind through the spirits and anxiety throughout the nights.  Inevitably, nightmares and daydreams would invade the space that was meant for sleep.  This, he knew to be fact.

      When he entered his room, he found the corner of his twin bed with his clumsy, drunken hands and slid into it sideways, far too intoxicated to bother with the green wool blanket that sat on top.  The blanket was army issue and warm, but it was scratchy and not something he particularly wanted to deal with throughout the evening.

      He closed his eyes and felt the room spinning uncomfortably around him.  He groaned, sickened at the stomach offensive spinning feeling.  He laid there for what seemed like hours, but was only moments, before falling in to the darkness of his incredibly strong buzz.  Tomorrow would eventually come, and with it, a decision he had been dreading for ages.


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