“1, 2, 3, shot!”
Hastily I sling back the contents of the glass. The liquid hits my throat with such a burning force I feel my insides churn. As my eyes haze, my limbs get numb, distancing function from my body – the world becomes askew as I slam the glass back on the table.
All around me is a violent mix of voices – music blaring – lights flashing. I do my best to stand still, yet find it impossible. As my legs go out beneath me a hand steadies me, lingering on my lower back.
“Wanna dance?” He slurs in my ear. A shiver shoots down my spine.
My entire being freezes – I don’t want this. My sober head says no, but all instincts were drained as soon as the tequila entered my system.
“I’d would love to do,” I slur back, choking on vomit as I place my hand in his sweaty palm.
We begin to dance, back and forth, limbs tangling in a chaotic mess. I shut my eyes. If the world becomes black on my own command, I’m still in charge. Soon, I know, the world will become udder darkness by the toxins I’ve willingly washed down.
Drink after drink after drink.
He pulls me closer as the beat slows down. His hand traces my hip, drawing tiny circles on the exposed midriff. Our lips edge closer and I breathe in his scent, musk mixed with cigarettes – it makes me nauseous.
His eyes close as he leans to the right. My mind leaves my body as we cinch together. The kiss lands – my insides wrench.
“I’m going to vomit.” In my drunken state it escapes as a scream – “I’M GOING TO VOMIT.”
His eyes snap open and he pushes me away from his former grasp – fleeing away from the distressed girl in front of him.
Drunken eyes stare – glares of disgust slapping me in the face. My cheeks redden as I dart my eyes around the room, looking for a familiar face.
A single tear rushes down my face. The floodgates are about to open; I need to get out of here.
I dash for the door, leaving a trail of loneliness and despair in my wake.
Outside the bar is a crowded street of lust and liquor. Girls are being dragged away by hungry men. Bums are playing the drums on the corner, begging for money from those with none to give.
The night air stabs my bare arms, peering down at my being, I notice the torn jeans that hit right above my ankle, and my retched oxfords on that are shredding from many a nights of drunken wandering. Donning my front is a pocket shirt with the sleeves gone, displaying my once-toned arms and wrists covered in bracelets.
“They make me feel adventurous – like I’ve seen stuff.” I once told someone, as I sat alone, drowning in Gin.
Suddenly the realization of the distance to get home hits me. Drowsiness clouds my vision and I begin to sprint. I run through red lights, through the dark streets and alleys. I can’t see where I’m going; yet I keep churning my legs.
Sharply I round the corner and in a flash, I’m on the ground.
Delayed, I squeal. Lazily picking myself back up, I see two figures above me. They extend their arms in an offer of help – “you okay?”
I shake my head no and remove myself from the notion of just another drunken damsel in distress.
Steps ahead, I glimpse the apartment key code. Nervously, I waver towards it.
0405 – wrong. 0345 – wrong. 0234 – wrong. Another failed attempt and I’ll be locked out in the cold, alone, shivering in my own filth.
0-5-0-4 I hesitantly punch in. The door swings open. A rush of hot air wraps itself around me, much like the blanket my mother used to drape over me when I was a child.
Stairs are the only thing standing in my way, they stare at me with just disdain.
“You’re a mess.” I can hear them chant.
I step down hard on them. “You’re dirty damn stairs!”
I bound, two by two, up to 306. Fumbling for keys in my purse, they seem to be covered in oil –slipping through my fingers to the ground below. I let them be and without reason step back, position my body to ram my shoulder up. I connect, the force startling me only for a second.
The door splinters beneath me, shards of wood fall down to my feet.
Not wavering at the ruckus I’ve caused, I fumble to the couch and the world goes black.
I awake to the sun streaming through my windows, a pear stem dangling out of my cheek and the stench of vomit hovering in the air.
“At least I’m alive,” I mumble to myself.
I pull-up from the couch, alcohol still settling in my system, making my balance laborious. My eyes focus on the wrecked door ahead of me.
Stumbling to the bathroom, my contacts glued to my eyes and throw-up clinging to my hair I take one look at myself, peering into my hungover blue eyes.
Mascara is smeared under my eyelids, a sign of a good night, a foe once told me.
I tear the clothes from my body and begin to wash myself clean. Scrubbing away grime and gritty hands – the night begins to come back in pieces the longer I let the water wash over me.
Shots. Stumbling. Falling. Vomit. Men.
My phone beeps, breaking me from the flashbacks.
Ready for a night out? The text flashes on the screen.
I smile, standing naked in the bathroom, water dripping to the floor.
Always. I type, my thumbs not missing a beat.