I alone wake to the sound of my alarm clock’s grating chimes. I suffer them everyday, not because there’s somewhere I need to be, but because I want to see her. After turning the alarm off I sit up and look around the floor for a shirt from my unkempt, twin-size bed. My fathers’ death and my subsequent inheritance could afford me either a decent place to live, or a temporary respite from work. I chose the latter.
At first I enjoyed the free time, but it wasn’t long before I felt empty. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I tried to pick up a hobby but none of them really stuck. Drinking was one of them. That’s how I first saw her.
After I quit my job I grew my hair out, but I couldn’t stop shaving. Tried to grow a beard but after a few days the bristly hairs would start to annoy me. They were all I thought about up until I could shave them off. For hours afterwards I would rub my hands across my face, my chin, my neck, gaining pleasure from its un-natural smoothness in comparison to the hairs that had so recently been growing there. They grew there still, but for now I was content to completely forget that fact. I placed the cap back onto the disposable razor and threw it into the waste basket next to the toilet. Look at myself in the mirror, still coated with a thin film of condensation from my recent shower. Stare at my short, brown hair while still rubbing my face with my right hand. Wondered if I would ever become bald. I still had a full head of hair, and neither of my parents were bald, but a grandfather and an uncle, both on my fathers’ side, were bald. Is baldness a recessive gene? Is that even how it works? I had been out of school to long to be able to answer either of these questions.
With long hair and a clean shave I looked much younger than I actually was. While I would regularly get carded with this look, I had no problem blending into college house parties. I had no friends who went to these parties, much less friends who were even in college. I have no charm or speak with any sort of charisma. What I did have was a case of beer, bought earlier from a convenience store, a legitimate retailer, by me, a legitimate customer with a legitimate form of ID. None of the party-goers knew this, or even cared. It was more beer. They didn’t even notice it was being carried in by someone they didn’t even know. The point was that it was more beer. Of course, I always brought the cheapest case in the store, offering it up to who I thought were the hosts of the party in exchange for my entrance. Once they were distracted, I would drink whatever else they had, which would either be as good or, in most cases, better than what it was that I brought. I did this numerous times at the same house for a few weekends in a row. Mostly it was to see if they would eventually recognize me. They’d greet me with a smile, alright, but it was always only for the beer. I tried starting conversations with people I’d seen there before but there was always this look in their eyes like they didn’t know who I was. I kept my long hair in front of my eyes, head tilted downwards, hiding my tears as I drank more and more of their beer. I was stumbling home one morning after a night like this that I first saw her leaving my building.
A fight broke out in the next room, something about drinking all their beer. I drunkenly panicked. I looked around the room for a place to hide my plastic cup of stolen beer. I’m sitting in a recliner, and I’m comfortable, so I can’t get up. I try and place the beer down next to me but the cup hit the lever and beer splashed onto my hand. I panic some more before I saw a can of the same beer I had brought.
Saw a car parked outside of the house with the vanity plate “KERETA.” Still have no idea what it means.
Before I’d left and seen the plate I picked up the can of beer. It was just barely within my reach from the recliner. My fingertips brush its rim and I watch the beer fall over. Its contents spilled out onto the stained carpet, but there wasn’t much left and the flow soon slowed to a stop. The can, now easily within reach, I picked up and filled with what remained in my cup. The cup itself was dropped behind the recliner. In hindsight I’m sure everyone would’ve seen it had their attention not been completely diverted by the increasingly heated argument, or if they weren’t drunk. Apparently I’d spilled quite a bit when I was transferring the beer, as my leg began to feel quite wet.
I felt quite safe wit my alibi as I heard the two men get closer. Watched them for a few minutes, and then felt very bored. I left, not caring if I’d gotten my money’s worth of their beer. A car was parked at an angle too sharp to have been made by somebody sober. Its license plate was “KERETA.”
I walked a few blocks to the nearest gas station with an ATM. There was still plenty of time before the bars closed and I wanted some cash to spend at them. All I had in my wallet was a few ones, an old condom, and my debit card. What happened to my ID? Must’ve left it at the gas station where I bought the case of beer. Turn around and head back, retrace my steps.
Walked by many houses playing loud music. Wasn’t really listening, too drunk to think about anything other than my missing license I hope they have it they’d better fucking have it if it’s not there I swear to fucking Jesus fucking Christ - somebody hits me. Somebody’s fist hits me. I didn’t see it or the person it belonged to coming through my long hair. On the ground, crawling away towards the road. There was a curve of flattened grass and XX XXXXX XXXX XXXX X XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXX. A sharp pain runs through my side. I get up and run in agony. What did I do? I run some more.
I sat in a chair by my door, looking at a cheap wall clock. It was a battery operated analog clock, black and white. I like analog clocks over digital. Something about seeing the hands move.
I should pick up a wind-up alarm clock. I can afford it for now. I look online at some random jobs that are available around here. I don’t anything interesting, other than a gun. I don’t need a gun.
After my father died I burned all the pictures I had of him. Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about doing that, drunk, crying.
5:42. I get up and look through the peephole. The sound of my own breathing becomes extremely obnoxious. I can’t hold my breath. Slowly stroke my crotch. My breathing becomes harsher as my hand moves faster. There she was. She walked past my door, quickly and quietly. I make my way to the bathroom and continue stroking with my eyes closed and my underwear around my ankles. I think about her.
We’re in somebody else’s bedroom. The smell of pot still lingers in the air from the others who were here. A new smell arose as we smoked from a hookah that had been set up earlier in the corner of the room. I had thought it’d be funny if the hookah pipe was passed around the circle in the opposite direction of the joint, but I didn’t bring it up, I just giggled and smoked and laughed and smoked and grew quiet. I put my hand on her leg, slowly caressing it with my middle finger. Now we were alone. It isn’t long before we’re on the bed. I’m kissing her hard and fingering her just as viciously. Without any prompting she undoes my fly and begins sucking me off while I fall back and get in a position to still finger her, ending up almost in a 69 position but not quite. I’m glad; I have mild claustrophobia.
I finish cleaning myself up and pull up my underwear as I get off the toilet seat. I wash my hands and walk from the bathroom to the kitchen. My stomach wants me to eat something. Tired.
I wake up and go back to the kitchen to pour myself some cereal. I need more milk. There’s nothing on TV, but I watch it anyway.
My hair sticks to my face now walking away from the attack. People call to me. I hear them. I don’t listen.
My heart is beating too loudly and I’m breathing too harshly. All I want is my ID. I get it.
It’s a Tuesday. My slow day. I step outside with the TV still on and the door unlocked. The city seems empty as I drive around. The fridge was always empty. I buy things to fill itshutupjustshutthefuckup
Sitting on the toilet with all of my clothes in a pile next to me I reach over and grab a small knife I’d placed on the edge of the sink after washing it. Its edge drags over my skin. Faster and faster. Red lines on my thighs. I smoke another joint, then shower. I should grow my hair out again. No. Fuck that.
“You should grow your hair out,” she says.
I told her I quit my job so I could take some time off for my grief. Really I just didn’t want to work. For some reason she wanted me to grow my hair out. I hadn’t had long hair since high school. I didn’t care either way.
For the first few weeks she would come over quite often, knowing I’d be home, that I had nowhere else to go. We didn’t fuck, hadn’t fucked in a while. She was just boringbored. I had shit that wanted to do but she didn’t care. I broke up with her before the first month after I quit ended. I still grew my hair out.
The first time I was with my new "friend" was at a party. I’d seen her a few weeks earlier. I followed her the next few weeks. I knew her. I knew some of her friends by name. Followed her to a party. This party. She kept disappearing. I’d find her again looking drunker and more dis-sheveled each time. I give her a shot and slowly put my hands on her as we talk. I kiss her. Her tongue is numb and rough and tastes of alcohol; her breath reminds me of a fruity mixed drink and semen. I didn’t care about any of that. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been kissed with this much passion. We find a room and fuck on the carpet. I’m on top at first, but she’s on top by the end. She keeps riding me even after I cum. I can’t stand it and want more.
I don’t ask for her number. I don’t need it.
We see each other at parties and fuck. Nothing official.
I visit my dad where he’s staying at now that my mother divorced him. He’s doped up on the pills the nurses, I don’t know if they’re really nurses, gave him. I can’t tell if he knows I’m here or who I am. He opens his mouth and a line of spittle falls to his shoulder. I’m too disgusted to clean it up.
I feel the trigger carefully in my pocket as I walk down the street.
“I’ll shoot somebody,” I say to nobody and everybody.
Not a head turns toward me.
“I’ll shoot myself.”