This is part two of a nine part series I will be publishing over the next several weeks. Please comment, question, critique, and criticize. With your help, I hope to work this into a successful story.
Damn that Last Drink
After about twenty-five cigarettes in about two minute’s time, I gave up. Poor sleep, procrastination, and parties no longer seemed a good idea because I had to get that paper done. Thought it good planning though: academics and recreation all in one. Observe an event. Write about it. I remembered Dr. What’s-his-Name saying something about observing something unfamiliar for an objective look at the world, but I decided it’d be easier to watch what I knew. I went to the bar intent on observing and not participating. But when you’re watching a beer-bong competition and you know you can nail that bottle faster than that cocky jerk who always sits behind you with all the answers to all the questions the professor ever asks! Well, observation turns to participation, and that turns, well, you can guess, I’m sure.
It was hopeless. I could not write and I had to get that paper done. Didn’t turn in the last one and my grade was pretty close to bad. Determined to prove to Professor whatever-his-name-was that I could be objective, I went searching for the standard hangover cure—aspirin and coffee, neither of which I had in the house. Digging through my purse and medicine box, to no avail, I returned to my computer desk. Again, I tried to write my objective observation about last night. Again, I failed. I threw my hands up into the air and let out the deepest, greatest, lung-collapsing sigh of frustration yet to be felt in my little hole-deemed-house. The force of breath rattled my stacks of paper. The breath circled the room, hit every wall, bounced across, then up to the ceiling, down to the floor, crept up and reentered my lungs, fresh but uninspiring.
I needed aspirin and coffee to proceed. Rising from my desk and walking to my door, where everything still lay from my late homecoming last night, I slipped on my jeans. Sitting down to rest, I stuck my feet in my ragged tennis shoes without socks—there weren’t any close. I pulled on a little white t-shirt lying on the floor from who knows when and tied a jacket around my waist for safe measure. You never know what the weather will be like, or if the store will have the AC blasting. I wrapped a striped scarf around my neck for the cuteness factor; it certainly wasn’t warm enough to be practical. I found a hat under the couch cushion to hide my knotted hair. Getting down on my hands and knees I grabbed my keys, wallet and cell phone, all of which had slipped out of the back pocket of my jeans and onto the floor, just enough under the couch to be concealed. Standing up, the rush of last night’s last beer hit my head like that drop on a roller coaster ride that sends your stomach into your throat. I stepped out the door and locked it, allowing the creaking screen to slam shut. I considered making a contribution to the lawn decorations, but, without having eaten breakfast, there wasn’t much to contribute. I spit on the grey concrete porch steps—spit, step, spit, step, spit—then walked down a long sidewalk that divided my front yard in two uneven sections. Down more steps, polka-dotted with more spit, I stepped onto 17th Street and turned towards Main Street.
After clearing the shady yard, I told myself, when I’ve made something of this life I’ll make a law against this much sunshine. It made my eyes water and took nearly all the energy I had. The ball of blindness diminished my sight. The wind chilled my bare arms. The tiny hairs stood at attention. The little pimples made my arms look like raw chicken legs. My blood shivered. I untied my jacket and put it on. My disappointed mother’s voice entered my head: Better hot than cold. My mother could drink an ocean a day, and sweat two. It was because she was always hot. It always seemed unreal, unnecessary, but she insisted on pantyhose, socks, jeans, t-shirt, sweater. Smack in the middle of summer, too. It was like she didn’t leave the Virginia winter with the rest of her family.
To Be Continued…