Jan 3 2009, 10:56 AM
Here's something I've been working on lately. I used to write a lot, but I haven't in a long time, so I'm way out of practice. This is kind of a way to get me back into the habit. It's not the best thing I've ever written, but I'm mostly just using it for "practice".
Also, it's not done. This is just what I have so far. It'll be much longer in the end (if I ever get to the end). I'm not really sure where it's going.
The morning sun nudges me awake. Groggily I peel back my eyelids and lift my heavy head from the pillow. f*cking sun. I've got to get those blinds fixed. My skull feels like an anvil, the morning, the hammer; and it's striking while the iron's hot.
Shit. What happened last night?
I sit up -- or try to, anyway, but I quickly regret it. I want to lay back down, but that'd be admitting defeat, so I force myself to sit on the edge of my bed.
I'm still wearing all my clothes from the night before: worn bootcut jeans, brown Champions, and a dark blue t-shirt with an orange and a juicer and the words "Squeeze me" emblazoned across the front in contrasting yellow comic book letters. It was cute the night before, but things are always different in the morning.
Something presses against my thigh, too smooth to be keys, too cohesive to be quarters and pennies. I pull it out. It's a Zippo, perfectly smooth, without anything engraved on it. It clearly belongs to a minimalist, but it's not mine. Another mystery to track down.
What the shit happened last night?
My mouth tastes like an ash tray, the gritty taste of my future. Or is it my past? I trudge to the attached bathroom and brush away the horrid taste.
I don't even smoke. Well, not much, at least.
In the mirror, I look fine; my eyes are a bit bloodshot, but whose aren't after a Friday night? I shrug and spit out the toothpaste.
Wait. Lily will know what happened.
My phone's in my pocket because, well, it seems all my effects are still on my person. I pull it out. It's a black LG Chocolate -- a nice phone, but I felt a bit unmanly buying it. No messages. I'd like to say that's odd, but it's not. I find Lily's number. She picks up after two rings.
"Lily? Hey, what's up?"
"You need to think of a better phone greeting. `What's up is kind of passť."
"Oh. Hey, you were at that party with me last night, right?"
"I wasn't at the party with you, but I was there, yes."
"Sweet. Do you remember what happened?"
"How could I forget?" Her voice was as dry as a martini.
"Yeah? Can you fill me in?"
"Well, you told everyone about that time we hooked up after that party."
"That one last February?"
"That? That was, like, eight months ago. I've hooked up with tons of girls since then."
"Besides, I wouldn't've mentioned that."
"Well, you did."
"Don't sweat it. It was only mildly embarassing."
"Was that the party that you threw up at? You know, after you were sitting on my lap and...stuff."
"That's the one."
"Hey...throwing up didn't have anything to do with me, did it?"
A pregnant pause. "Goodbye, Ian."
"Yeah, see you -- " Click. No help there.
The sun shines painfully bright through my window, but the air has that crisp, cold look about it, as though it'll cut through your skin like a hot knife through butter as soon as you step outside. I shrug on my hoodie and hat and head down the street towards Sigma Alpha Mu, and my friend Greg's room. Greg'll know what the hell happened.
Greg's not actually a frat brother, he just plays one on TV, but he's chilling out there on a deck chair like he owns the place. As I approach, he gets up as though to greet me, but instead he pukes over the railing.
"Hey, Greg," I say, mounting the steps.
"Hey yourself," he croaks, wiping spittle from this lips. "Sorry about that. I saw you coming and thought I could hold it together until you left, but..."
"I'm glad I have that effect on people."
"Yeah." He flicks a cigarette from the pack in his hand, then offers one to me. They're cheap Camels, and none too appetizing.
"No, thanks. I don't smoke. Much."
"Yeah," Greg says, lighting the cigarette. "That's not what you said last night, when you smoked half a pack of mine."
"Yeah, yeah." He takes a puff and blows a cloud over my head. "It happens -- when you get that drunk, you either smoke way more than you usually do, or f*ck some girl you don't know. Probably against her will, too, in your case."
"Thanks. I'm just catching flak from everybody today."
He proffers another cigarette. "Here. Just take one." I do. As he touches the flame against the tip, he says, "Crazy night last night, huh?"
"Yeah." I take a drag. "What -- "
"What happened? Shit, man, I don't really know."
"Too bad. Probably make a hell of a story."
"Yeah. Speaking of stories -- hell of a story you told last night."
"Really? You mean, about Lily?"
"What? Shit, no. You told some other epic story. Something that took, like, an hour or two to tell. It's hard to estimate time though when you've had that much vodka."
Greg looks up to the sky, pondering thoughtfully, but his attempts to grab his thoughts are as futile as would be his attempts to snag the ash floating up and away from his nostrils. "You know, I don't really remember. All I recall is that it was really boring, the kind of story that'd get filed under 'S' for 'Semi-Autobiographical'."
"Sorry my life is so boring."
"Relax," Greg says, taking another drag. "Everyone's life is pretty boring."