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I've been all over the place lately. At the beginning of the summer I was plowing through the Needles, Names, and Numbers drafts, ultima...

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Nightmares of the Bottom


“Are you high, Harry?” My father asks.

I’m in shock and complete disbelief that he could even ask such a thing.

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?!!”

He pushes his glasses up his nose. “Don’t bullshit me, you’re fuckin’ high. You been usin’ again.”

My Dad is shorter than me, he’s a good 5’10. I’m six feet even. But fuck if I’m not still scared shitless of him. All things considered, he’s got a right to ask if I’m using. I’ve lost weight, there’s bags under my eyes, I’m pale, sickly.

And, y’know, I have been getting high again.

BUT NOT ON HEROIN OR METH, WHICH MEANS I’M SOBER.

My hand reaches into my pocket as my mother weeps on the couch. I thumb the bag of capsules, making sure I still have them, and didn’t drop them, which would explain the current interrogation I find myself in.

I look back at my Dad. He’s thin, holocaust thin. His teeth are rotting out of his face. His eyes are pinned, his cheeks sunken, his bones rigid. I smell piss.

“ANSWER ME!”

“I’M NOT GETTIN’ FUCKIN’ HIGH ANYMORE!”

“PROVE IT!”

Suddenly I have a urinalysis cup in my hand.

“Please, Harry…” My mother cries.

She looks like shit too. Her skin and eyes is an almost mustard yellow. Surely her liver will give out  soon. Nevertheless, she has a beer in front of her.

“YOU’RE A FUCKIN HYPOCRITE!” I scream.

“BATHROOM! NOW!”

“I don’t need this fuckin’ shit… I came here to visit, not to be treated like a fucking drug addict!”

“YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE HARRY, NOW GO!”

My Dad clenches his bony hands into fists and begins to leave his hospice bed, sitting in the middle of our living room.

“Alright, alright. Jesus Christ…”

I walk through the dining room and into the kitchen bathroom, locking the door behind me and sitting down on the covered toilet lid. I begin to cry.

“He’s fuckin’ cryin’ in there. Little fuckin’ faggot. I DON’T HEAR ANY PISSING GOIN’ ON IN THERE, HARRY!”

“FUCK YOU!” I scream at the door.

“Fuck me, right… Fucking embarrassment is what he is.”

“Yes, absolutely.” My mother adds.

“We did so much to keep him from ending up like this. Catholic school, busted our fucking asses, and WHAT’S HE DO?!?! HUH?!?! WHAT THE FUCK YOU DO, HARRY?!”

“SHUT THE FUCK UP, I’M TRYING TO FUCKING PISS!”

“I knew he was using, I knew the whole time…” My mother cries.

I’m trying to piss, but I can’t. Too much pressure. I shake my cock around like an abusive mother would an infant, to no avail. Enraged, I throw the cup at the wall, and it disappears.

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!

“WHAT?!!?” I roar.

“WHERE IS IT, HARRY, WHERE’S THE PISS?! YOU’RE USING! YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN USING! FUCKIN’ JUNKY PIECE OF SHIT!”

“YOU FUCKING MADE ME LIKE THIS!”

The bathroom door disappears.

“Excuse me?” My Dad asks.

“You… Fuckin’ heard me…” I mumble.

“Pussy. A fuckin’ pussy. That’s all you are. Pinnin’ your problems on me. You saw how this goes. Both of us, we showed you. It ain’t fuckin’ pretty. But you just couldn’t leave it the fuck alone, could ya?! COULD YA??!”

My Dad pushes me, his frail limbs packing quite the punch as I stumble backwards, landing in a hospital gurney. I don’t have a shirt on anymore. I’m very thin. The light is flickering inside my room. There’s blinds over the doors. A TV, hidden behind a glass partition, plays The Sopranos.
I’m strapped to a heart monitor. I can see shadows moving behind the blinds, speaking in hushed tones.

“Seven grams of crystal meth, in his wallet… Here… He’s got pills too, never even seen them 
before…” One says.

I check my back pocket, only to find my bare ass. I’m in a gown. Fuck.

“HARRY??!!?!!?”

My Dad’s voice rips through the halls of hospital, shaking my room as dust falls from the ceiling.

“Fuck. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!”

I rip the wires off my chest and hop off the stretcher, leaning on my IV pole as I stumble out into the hospital. It’s incredibly busy, but no one seems to notice I’m here. A morbidly obese young woman, with jet black hair, very pale and sick, lays in a gurney to my immediate left. A green t-shirt barely covers her enormous stomach and breasts, and she’s packed her lower half in a very tight pair of leggings.

“Why are you here, miss?” The nurse asks her.

“I’m too fat.” The woman replies, her mouth not moving as she speaks.

“And why are you so fat?”

Suddenly, the woman sits up, with a great deal of effort, and points to me.

“What?!” I gasp.

“You made me this way. I was happy. I was fat, yeah… But you didn’t help…”

“I don’t even know you…”

“OH YOU DON’T?!?!”

I squint at her. “Sarah?!!?”

“I PUT ON A HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS, FOR YOU, HARRY! ALL FOR YOU! JUST SO YOU COULD CUM! YOU TOLD ME YOU LOVED ME! IS THIS HOW YOU TREAT SOMEONE YOU LOVE?!!? HUH?!!? LOOK AT ME! I’M DISGUSTING! I FUCKING HATE MYSELF! But I suppose none of that matters to you, right? You’re on to your next victim!”

She pulls up her shirt, revealing her big, stretch-mark riddled stomach. Her breathing grows more labored and frantic. I can see her organs failing.  

“Titillating, isn’t it?” The nurse asks.

“WHAT’S WRONG, HARRY?!? IT WAS SO FUCKIN’ HOT WHEN I WAS CRAMMING DONUTS INTO MY FUCKIN’ MOUTH ALL DAY!”

“Please… Don’t…”

“You wanna see my legs, Harry?!”

“No.”

“You used to love them! Remember you used to give me cankle kisses?!”

“I can’t… Please…”

The nurse pulls up her leggings, revealing obese, fluid-saturated legs, the skin stretched to a layer as thin as cellophane, turgid and purple.

“No… I didn’t mean…”

Suddenly she flops back in bed, the heart monitor running to her body flatlines.

BEEEEEEEEEEEEP….

“Dead. Because of you.” The nurse says, deadpan.

“FUCK! FUCK THIS, FUCK THIS, FUCK THIS, FUCK THIS!”

I rip out my IV and begin to run down a long hallway that never seems to end. Doors line the sides as the lights flicker in and out. I just keep running.

BOOM…

BOOM…

BOOM…

BOOM…

Finally, I reach a door. I grab the handle and it melts between my fingers. I wipe the smears of bronze paint off on the door while pounding on it with my fists.

“PLEASE! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET ME IN! I CAN’T… I CAN’T…”

At the end of the hallway is my father. He’s limping along with a cane, so frail his clothes hang off his frame. He’s snarling at me.

“YOU….”

“YOU’VE BEEN NOTHING…”

“BUT A PAIN IN THE ASS…”

“Fuck you!” I scream as I pound on the door.

My Dad’s shorts fall down. He’s wearing a diaper, saturated with piss as he shambles down the hall, a shell of his old self. He’s not the old man I knew.

“AFTER ALL THIS… YOU’RE STILL… GETTING… FUCKING… HIGH…”

“SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!”

He stops suddenly, his eyes watering up. “I’m tired, Harry…”

“So sleep.” I reply, curling into the fetal position against the door.

“I’m tired of you fucking up. I’m tired of being so sick…”

“SO SLEEP!” I snarl back.

“Why couldn’t you be more like your sister?!”

“DON’T FUCKIN’ BRING HER INTO THIS!”

“Why not?!”

“BECAUSE SHE MADE IT OUT OF THAT TOXIC FUCKIN’ SHITHOLE WE CALLED A HOUSE GROWING UP! MADE SOMETHING OF HERSELF! DON’T YOU FUCKIN’ DARE RUN YOUR FUCKIN’ MOUTH ABOUT HER!”

“Hehehehehehehe…”

My Dad spits out a tooth as blood flows out of his mouth, all while he laughs maniacally.

I wake up.

**

“Mr. Miller? We’ve been expecting you.” A muscular bald man says as he takes my bags.

I’m led through what appears to be some sort of new age opium den. It’s relatively empty. Hookahs filled with some sort of narcotic leave their users slumped out on pillows, dreaming. A pink light fills each room. We walk through a beaded doorway, leading to a room-wide booth seat. A table sits in the middle, holding a bottle of Jameson and a massive pile of Cocaine.

“There you are. She’ll be in shortly…” The man says, nodding.

“OK.” I reply.

I go to town. Snorting, drinking, smoking. The beaded doorway rustles, and in walks none other than MuffinMaid. In the flesh. She’s a bit heavier than her recent posts would imply, but every bit as sexy.  She’s tall, as tall as me, clad in a pink bikini. Her belly almost obscures the second half as I drink her in, her pale blue eyes enrapturing me as she tosses her black hair out of her face.

“Mr. Chin says I have to take care of you.” She says sheepishly.

“C’mon over, darlin’, I don’t bite.” I reply.

She smiles and chuckles, taking a seat next to me.

“You, um… You mind if I…” She stammers, motioning to the coke.

“No! No, no, no, no, no! By all means!”

She snorts up a fat gagger and swigs Jamie from the bottle. My kinda woman.

“Can I bum a smoke?” She asks.

“Absolutely.” I reply, handing her one from a pack that seems endless.

“Thank you…”

She lights the smoke, exhaling seductively before looking at me. There’s something fucked up about  her face that I can’t put my finger on, but I love it.

“You wanna play with my tummy?”

“I thought you’d never ask…”

I put my face in her stomach, my dick throbbing through my jeans as I do so. I kiss it, worship it, its soft warmth returning me to a childish state as I rub my face over it repeatedly.

“Hey, Harry?”

“Yeah?”

As I look up, I realize it’s not MuffinMaid.

It’s my sister.

I fall off the booth seat, knocking over the table and coke and booze resting atop it. I begin to crawl backwards as my sister’s face looks back at mine.

“How could you do this?!”

“HARRY?!?!”

“NO! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! NO!”

I vomit all over my shirt.

Then I wake up.

And I vomit again.

I haven’t been getting much REM sleep lately.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Home Alone


I drum my fingers along the arms of a leather armchair, the balls of my feet twisting into one another as Chernobyl plays on the TV hanging from the wall.

I’m only half paying attention. I don’t have the attention span for much anymore, besides drugs, booze, and cigarettes. Everything else is a distraction of necessity. I shoot up from the armchair, pacing around my living room anxiously, running my hands along my oily scalp.

My breathing grows heavy and my heart begins to race. I don’t know what the fuck to do. Well, that’s not entirely true. I know what I want to do…

But it’s 4:30 PM…

I grind my teeth as I stare at the clock. Alex has been at work for an hour and a half. My eyes drift to the kitchen counter, where my keys and wallet rest. I’m in my pajamas still, but when has that ever stopped me?

In an instant, I’m in my car. I begin to back out of the driveway and head for the liquor store, a force unseen guiding my movement, poking and prodding me from behind with white hot poking sticks.

Let me make one thing clear.

I have liquor.

But I can’t start with the liquor at 4:30.

Even I can’t do that.

“Will that be all?” The old woman behind the register asks.

I pause and sigh. “Pack of Marb reds too, please.”

“Sure thing, honey.”

I brace myself on the counter as my heart rattles around my chest like an inmate in solitary confinement. I run my hands over my head again as I stare down the six pack of PBR tall boys sitting in front of me. I want to down one right now. I wanna pounce on it, like a sailor pounces on their love after being at sea for six months.

You really can never have enough cigarettes.

I cruise home, smoking all the way, even though the ride is barely long enough to get halfway through my butt. As I reach the porch I stop short. I cannot smoke inside, such behavior is forbidden.  Suddenly, the cigarette is burdensome. I want booze. I want calmness. I want relief.

I stamp the cigarette out prematurely, angrily, and then crack open a beer. I guzzle half of it down in a few hearty swigs, putting the rest in the fridge as I catch my breath. I’m not the biggest fan of beer. It always felt like beating around the bush to me. It leaves me bloated and yearning for more. But it curbs my anxiety, and allows me to think for a second. And for that, I am thankful.

I sit back down in the armchair, and put on a Sopranos re-run. I can quote this show like the Bible. It’s the one where Tony B gets out of prison. Tony B, Jesus Christ. Such a short arc for such an impactful character. I would suck David Chase’s dick if it meant I was given a quarter of his writing talent.

Beer number two is cracked in record time. I begin to ease up a bit more. The Cocaine in my desk drawer is calling my name. I thought I took this time off to have fun, but it’s caused me nothing but stress, anxiety. I just wanna get high, and when I get high, well…

I don’t wanna get as high.

Then I wanna get higher.

And so on.

And so forth.

I get up to take a piss. It’s yellow, a sign of dehydration. Let’s see… I’ve had two slices of Domino’s pizza in the last two days, and a decent amount of water. Or at least, I thought I did. I have no appetite. Well, that’s a lie. I’m hungry, but the idea of food detests me. Which I suppose is ironic in a way, what with my gut and tits and all.

I down two Gatorades back to back, almost vomiting as I pace around the kitchen. I cover my mouth in a futile attempt to resist my gag reflex. I choke my own body into submission, and while I’m packed to the brim, it eventually begins to filter though my kidneys to my bladder, and moisture begins to form on my palms. My anxiety begins to alleviate a bit. I collapse into the armchair, put my head in my hands, and run them down my greasy face.

I get up to piss 20 minutes later, and take the time to inspect myself. My beard is unkempt, uneven, but that is to be expected. I have bags under my eyes. I’m  breathing heavily, despite not physically exerting myself at all. My blue eyes are cracked and tinged bloodshot, a glossy coat of desperation in their solemn gaze as I splash water on my face.

I storm out of the bathroom and take the immediate right to my bedroom, sitting down on my unmade bed and tearing my nightstand drawer open. I pull out my copy of Appetite For Destruction, as well as the eight ball of Cocaine in a small ziplock bag.

I dump a bunch of it out, pressing my license over it as I run a lighter over it. It compresses to a flat, clumpy, powder, probably because I’m in a basement. I don’t fuckin’ know, I’m not a God damn scientist.

I scrape the residual Coke off the back of my license and, like a Benny Hanna’s chef, chop up the Cocaine into a few fine lines. My hands shake as I pull a straw out, its insides caked with Ketamine, MDMA, and Cocaine, and sniff a fat line to the face.

My heart pumps as the Gatorade kicks in and I re-center. I get up, arms swirling in windmill motions, pacing around my room, thumping my chest like a Gorilla. I trot out from my room swinging dick and taking names, turning around halfway down the hall to close my door.

After all, Alex’s parents still live here.

And they don’t need to see this.

I smoke a cigarette, and another, and drink another beer. It soon grows boring. I throw on some Guns N’ Roses to drown out my own thoughts…

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!

WE GOT FUN AND GAMES!

WE GOT ANYTHING YOU WANT, HONEY WE KNOW THE NAMES!

WE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT CAN FIND

WHATEVER YOU MAY NEED

IF YOU GOT THE MONEY, HONEY, WE GOT YO DISEASE!

Beer now bores me. I fling open the fridge and pull out my handle of Jack Daniel’s, old number seven. I slam the shot glass down. It’s 5:15PM. What am I to do?

A car door slams in the driveway, sending me into a frenzy. I bolt to the window like a dog anticipating its owner’s arrival, and realize it’s Alex’s Mom.

It checks out.

This is when she usually comes home.

She’d have no reason to come down here.

I’m just Alex’s reclusive roommate.

That always pays his rent on time, might I add.

WHICH MEANS I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM.

Shot.

Cigarette.

Line.

Shot.

Cigarette.

Line.

Line.

Shot.

Another shot.

Cigarette.

Cigarette.

Another shot.

Line.

Bump.

Cigarette.

Shot.

Soon it’s 8 PM. I’m hammered drunk, but the Cocaine fuels me to go further. A lot of drunks will tell you they use Cocaine as a means to drink more, and little else. The actual Cocaine high means little to them, as it only facilitates more drinking.

I’m not sure where I stand on that.

I’m an uppers guy, I always will be. I love the heart-pounding euphoria of Cocaine. I love chopping it up on a CD, I love putting it up my nose, I love the numbing effect, artificial or not, on your nose and throat. I love the way it drips down my esophagus and coagulates in my liver as Cocaethylene.

I love how much fucking money I spend on it.

I love how it dictates my entire night.

Boy oh boy, I’m getting hacky now, aren’t I?

I am oh so sickeningly predictable. I stumble to the bathroom, my fingers fumbling for the light switch and slamming the door shut behind me.

When, suddenly, everything begins to shift and change.

I’m no longer in my apartment. I’m in the bathroom of some sort of music venue. Sounds of a genre I can’t pinpoint boom distortedly against the walls of the dingy bathroom. It’s just me here now, unzipping my jeans in front of a row of urinals.

When suddenly, the door swings open.

“Guy! How ya doin’?! Long time no talk, huh?!?!” He says.

I stop pissing as I look at him. He comes up to the urinal next to mine, despite several others being open. He smiles a wicked grin, his teeth crooked but not as horrendously as my own. He’s got a widow’s peak, and a mischievous smile on his face. A scar runs diagonally across his face, almost symmetrical in its haphazard execution. He smacks his lips and smiles at me as he whips his hog out and drains the main vein, as it were.

“Sup? Cat got your tongue?” He asks as he pisses.

“Nah…” I stammer back.

“Huh! Awful quiet all of a sudden, aren’t ya?”

“I don’t know…”

“You don’t know?”

He’s dressed in a cheap suit, and slams his hand against the flusher thingy before turning back to me and putting his dick back in his pants

“Fun, isn’t it?”

“Huh?”

“All this? All this time?”

“Fuck off.”

“Oooooooof! That hurts, bud! I got feelings too!”

“The day I anthropomorphize addiction in my stories is the day I die. Fuck off.”:

He puts his hands up and smiles again. “Alright! Alright! No harm, no foul! Catch you on the comedown, tough guy!”

 “Wouldn’t count on it. I got Xanax.”

“Oh! Well then, excuse me! You’ve got it all figured out then don’t ya?”

I nod.

“So why not finish pissin’?”

I realize I’m still holding my dick. I can’t piss with someone else there, it just can’t happen. Call it insecurity, call it what you will, but it won’t happen.

I put my dick back in my pants. He begins to laugh.

“You ever hear of rebound anxiety, Harry?” He asks as I wash my hands.

I shake my head.

“No? C’mon. A degenerate of your caliber has to be familiar with that!”

“Nope. Don’t know what you’re talking about. If you could fuck off, though, that’d be great.”

“That’s just the thing, though, Harry. You invited me in, and I’d prefer to stay.”

His teeth grow jagged, yellow, and dry like my own. His dehydrated tongue smacks around them, taunting me.

I slam the faucet handles off with as much aggression as my mind can muster. This only makes him laugh. He follows me to my bedroom, where I rack up more Coke.

“Now we’re talkin’! This is the Harry Miller I know!”

“FUCK. OFF.”

“Oh, my dear, dear, friend… I’m afraid we’re in far too deep to consider that a viable option now. 
Like it or not, you’re stuck with me. You’re also a hack writer, by the way. I mean, c’mon, personifying addiction as a tall, dark, and handsome man with charisma and a sleeve full of magic tricks? Not exactly re-inventing the wheel, are ya?”

“Well if I’m a fucking hack, I’m a fucking hack, right?”

“HA! That’s right. And ain’t shit you can do to change that. You are the Dean Koontz to  Morbo2000’s Stephen King. The re-rock to his fish scale…”

“Yeah. Yeah, I am. And so fuckin’ what?!?!”

He shrugs. “I don’t know. I just know it fucks with you.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Oh yes! It drives you fucking crazy. It’s the only thing I let you have an ego about: who’s the bigger loser. Who’s got the better stories of drug-fueled degeneracy, of self-pity and self-destruction. You know you’re both losers, right?”

“Morbo’s got fucking kids, and he’s sober now…”

“You do know I don’t exist, right? You sound fucking crazy right now.”

I snort a line and look up, and he’s gone. It’s 11:30. The back door opens up.

“Sup?” Alex asks as he comes inside.

“Nothin’. Nothin’. You uh, you want a line?”

“Ah, twist my arm why don’t ya….”