Tag Archives: alcohol abuse

Some Assembly Required pt. 2

25 Mar

Some Assembly Required pt. 1

FAllen

Artie realized the gravity of the situation. He was trapped. His leg was in agony and he thought it was surely broken. Above all, his chief concern was that his beer buzz would pass without him watching his Netflix shows.

His cell phone vibrated on the kitchen counter. “Help!” he meekly shouted. He tried banging on the floor, trying to get the attention of the tenant below. His efforts were met with a few thumps back from the handle end of a broom.

He felt himself losing consciousness. He decided it was better that he let the feeling take him away. Either he would wake up to a possibly more favorable scenario or the sweet relief of death would alleviate the situation.

An amount of time unbeknownst to Artie had passed before he came to. He people talking. He tried to cry out but he had no voice. His vocal chords were not damaged; just nothing came out despite his better efforts. He also had no response in his limbs. “Oh my god” he thought, “I´m paralyzed.”

The voices were clearly talking about him. There was no urgency to help. They seemed to be gossiping about Artie. Nothing they said was flattering. In fact, it was hurtful. Artie even tried to cry, but no tears fell. He slipped back into unconsciousness.

Artie was startled when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He was still encased in the darkness of the armoire, yet the arm seemed to just pass through the wood.

“Artie, are you all right?” the voice asked.

Artie came to and saw his neighbor. The armoire was still in the upright position it had been before the fall. The ladder was capsized on the floor. Artie had smashed his head on a pile of lumber.

“Artie, I heard a crash and I ran up as fast as I could. I found you here unconscious! Good thing you keep your door unlocked.”

“How long ago did you hear the crash?” Artie asked.

“A few moments ago. The time it took for me to get up here”

“Wow, great!” Artie was relieved that it was only head trauma that made the episode feel like a long time had passed. He was happy to know the window of buzz was still open for optimum Netflix viewing.

The end

Some Assembly Required pt. 1

14 Nov

armario

Artie carefully slid the box cutter down the taped seam as to not damage the contents of the intricate packaging. He was excited, yet nervous. He was still unsure if he would be able to assemble the armoire by himself.

In his anticipation he had watched hours of YouTube videos about putting this monstrosity together. He made a list of do’s and don’ts cultivated from perky, over caffeinated, wannabe internet celebrities. He had his unused and fully stocked tool bag and he was ready to go.

The first thing he noticed was the quality of the wood. It was extremely thick and heavy, considering how little he paid. After all, he had spent hours reading reviews and they all spoke highly of the quality materials so he shouldn’t have been surprised.

After a few hours of fervent assembly and dutiful beer drinking, the armoire started taking form, as well as his buzz. He marveled that the once pile of wood was transforming into an actual piece of furniture. The alcohol increased his amazement even further.

All was going smoothly until he got to a piece of trim that he couldn’t for the life of him figure out where to put. His determination and attention to detail were starting to float away with each gulp of cold beer. He was starting to get antsy and wanted to be done so he could watch another episode if the Netflix series he was currently on, while still buzzed.

He thought he figured out where the piece fit, on the inside of the opening for the sliding door. He had to climb in to screw this piece on. He saw it was a little high up so he propped the ladder on inside of the armoire. The screw hole was just out of reach but Artie was too much in a rush now to reposition the ladder.

As he reached over to insert the screw, the ladder slipped from under him and as he fell to the floor and the heavy armoire fell with him. It laid over him like a tomb. To make matters worse his leg was smashed and pinned under the internal drawers.

The first thing he thought was to reach for his cell phone. He was in a lot of pain, entombed in the armoire and completely stuck. A wave of panic washed over him when he realized his cell phone was on the kitchen counter. Charging.

 

To be continued…

Some Assembly Required pt. 2

Thanksgiving Hangover

27 Nov

Hangover

As Ben slowly came to consciousness he could only remember two things about yesterday. It was Thanksgiving and he drank too much. In reality the turkey grease in his beard reminded him of the former and the feeling of dirty death in his body reminded him of the latter.

Throwing up was inevitable, but he was putting it off. He hated throwing up. He couldn´t shake a certain feeling of guilt despite not recalling anything from the previous day. He went to check his phone for clues. The battery was dead. “Lucky phone” he thought. “I wish my battery would just run out one day”

Self-loathing was overtaking Ben. This happened frequently during Ben´s hangovers and hangovers such as this one were happening more frequently as of late. His embarrassment was augmented knowing his whole family bared witness to whatever transpired yesterday. Most had traveled from out of state to see what a sad sack Ben has become.

After a few hours of fighting it, Ben gave into the urge to purge. This made him feel slightly better. He realized he´d better face the family and get it over with. Every hour that passed, the feeling of shame and embarrassment grew. He slipped into some jeans and brushed the taste of vomit out of his mouth.

He embarked on what felt like an interminable trek down the stairs. “Oh, great” he thought. “They´re all there”

He peeked around the final banister and timidly said “Hi.”

“There he is!” a beaming aunt cried, “Our hero!”

“Hey sport! You rest up well after that adventure? You deserve it” an uncle chimed in.

Ben´s head was spinning. What are they talking about? Another aunt kissed him on the cheek as she handed him a cup of coffee. “Special cup for the hero of Thanksgiving!” she said, “Ummmm, someone still smells a little of yesterday´s indulgences” she chided, “Heck, you deserved it!”

Another aunt approached, “Ben, your clothes from yesterday are in the dryer, I even put an extra dryer sheet in there for you”

“Why?” Ben asked, perplexed.

“Don´t be silly” she responded.

“No, really, what happened?” Ben insisted as he put his hand to his forehead.

An uncle started in from the other side of the room “Oh, Ben, you really don´t remember, do you?”

“Not really, sorry” he answered.

“That´s okay! Hell, I was young once, I think I forgot a few nights myself” he laughed “Your little cousin Andy was a playin’ and a slidin’on the ice on the pool; ice cracked and he fell right in. Don´t know why you were there…

Ben knew, he was smoking a bowl at the side of the house.

“…but thank God you were. You jumped right in, not thinking for a second about yourself and snatched little Andy right out of the water, from under the ice, with the quickness. You 100% saved his life”

“Three cheers for Ben!” an uncle cried.

“Hip, hip, hooray!!!” they repeated.

Ben stood there bewildered, but feeling a little better.

 

 

The Match

12 Jan

blood-test

The difference between one brother and another can be as vast as if the two have never lived under the same roof. That was the case for Brad and Erick. Brad was a giver and a pleaser. Erick was a taker and a seeker of pleasure.

The contrast was stark as far back as when they were babies.  Erick was always ripping the toys out of the Brad´s hands which was completely unnecessary because Brad would have simply given the toy if Erick had shown in the most miniscule level of interest in it. Erick preferred violently taking the toy because he would not want to see Brad feel any of the pleasure in giving. Decades of adulthood passed without the two having any contact. This ate at Brad and the latter fact delighted Erick.

One night both brothers received a call. The call came from the same person and had the same information. Their father was dying and both were being requested to take a donor compatibility test.  Brad relished in the opportunity to be a hero. Erick loathed the idea of being so inconvenienced and shuttered at the thought of a needle tearing a hole in his skin and penetrating his vein.  Besides, the thought of his mother being widowed and alone slightly tickled him.

As Brad sat in a thumbing a magazine, waiting his turn to have blood drawn, a disheveled bearded face plodded though the waiting room. “It couldn´t be” Brad thought to himself.

The man plopped down beside him. “Hey shithead” he said.

Brad fought a tear that was burning his eye with will to run down his face.

“Erick! Hey brother! You look, um good!” Brad said.

“No I don´t. But neither do you so we are even” he snapped, fighting the urge to smile. He didn´t want Brad to even dream that he was happy to see him, though he was a little.

“So, how´d they convince you to come?” Brad asked.

“The girl I´m banging said she wouldn´t put out for a while if I didn´t at least take the goddamn test. Even if it comes back positive, she ain´t gonna know” he answered.  The woman he was referring to is his live in girlfriend of five years.

“In that case, I hope I´m a match” Brad chuckled.

“Me too!” Erick roared with inappropriate and slightly forced laughter, sprinkled with a smoker´s hack.

Both men left the clinic with a band aid covered cotton ball on their forearm.  For the next few days Brad waited by the phone with waves of anticipation washing over him. Erick stayed drunk and even forgot why there was a dirty band aid clinging to his arm.

Neither had received a call but Erick´s arm had grown purple and painful to the touch. Brad´s impatience grew to epic proportions. Brad even tried calling Erick even though he knew it was of no use. Even if the number was correct, Erick would probably not answer it anyway.

After a heated, yet typical drunken fight, Erick’s girlfriend walked out promising never to come back.  Went it got this far it meant she´d be gone for at least a week. Usually, Erick relished in these recesses and basked in his freedom, usually getting drunker or higher than usual. This time he wouldn´t. Not even vodka and vicodin could mask the pain in his now swollen, multi color arm.

After seeking for more than three days, Brad finally acquired Erick’s address.  He would not rest until he knew that either he or his brother could be a possible donor. When he arrived to the house he was taken aback. Brad´s living conditions were even worse than he expected. “How could someone live like this?” he thought to himself.

He knocked on the door. No answer. He thought he heard moans coming from inside and they sounded like Erick. He slightly pushed on the door. It was enough to open it. The door did not close properly, let alone have a lock. Erick was on the floor. His face was white and covered with sweat. One arm was raw and swollen, it looked as if it has been burned. It was the arm the blood sample had been taken from. The smell was overwhelming.

Brad said in horror “Let´s get you to the hospital. That arm don´t look so good.”

“It don´t feel no good either” Erick replied, “Ever since that goddamn test. Knew I shouldnt´ve  done it. That bitch tricked me” he was drunk and Brad could smell it over the stench.  “That asshole, son of a bitch of a father of ours is finally gonna get his way after all these years” he stammered.

“What do you mean?” Brad asked.

“Bury one of us! Especially me, the fuck up” Erick said, eyes rolling into the back of his head.

Brad convinced his brother to go to the hospital.  “You have an HAI Mr….”  the doctor trailed off. He couldn´t make out Erick´s last name.

“English, doc” Erick moaned.

“Hospital acquired infection, sir” the doctor replied. He continued ” It´s spread all through your body. Given your lifestyle it has already ravished your weakened system. Let me talk to your brother outside” he said with a forced smile and led Brad to the hall.

There he gave Brad the news that his brother would probably only live for another week. Brad took the news hard and asked if he could be the one to break it to his brother.  The doctor obliged. Erick took the news almost as a relief. There would finally be relief from the pain of his ailment and from the pain that was his life.

Erick was sent home with a smorgasbord of drugs to act as a bridge over pain from the current moment to his eminent death.  One day, high as a vulture with a good draft under its wing, he answered the phone.

“Is this residence of Erick….” the voice trailed off trying to make out the last name.

“Yeah, yeah, sure is” Erick answered.

“I have some good news and some bad news” the voice said.

“Hit me” Erick said.

“The good news is, you´re a match for your father” the voice informed.

“Go on, you said you had some bad news” Erick said with a smile.

“Yes, well, due to the infection I´m afraid we can´t use you and your brother is not a match” the voice said.

Erick sat there in silence with a smile from ear to ear.

“Sir….sir….” the voice on the phone called until there was an audible click.

“This is a great day to be alive” Erick said as he slipped a morphine strip on his tongue,  popped a rainbow of pills and washed them down with cheap vodka.

The Long Way Home

27 Jul

*note from author: I debated long and hard if I should post this or not. If you choose to read on, you´ll see it is pretty graphic. X rated, even. A part from a few details in setting, the story is fiction despite the opening line. I really want to make that clear. The exercise was to write a fist person, raunchy story. With that said, reader discretion is advised.

party

The following story is factually true. Take into consideration it is being told through the distorted lens of a drunken teenage boy. Seventeen years already has history distorting powers. Let´s take into consideration the alcoholic soup the story swims in. Reader discretion advised. Enjoy.

It started off as a typical Friday night. Warm ups included whatever was the cheapest thirty pack of beer the store had to offer and taking turns on the gravity bong. The gravity bong for the uninitiated is simply the most ridiculous homemade device for smoking marijuana. Google it. Ours was a one gallon milk jug in a bucket of water. The same bucket we used to clean the house. Who am I kidding, the house never got cleaned.

We were good and wrecked when somebody suggested we go to frat row in down town New Brunswick, New Jersey to “get fucked up”. We were all attending an educational establishment too embarrassing to mention here, so we piggy backed the party scene at Rutgers University. We decided I was not sober enough to drive so someone else, who was probably equally inebriated but could hide it better, did.

At this stage of my life, Friday and Saturday nights had two purposes. Get wasted on whatever I could get my hands and cumming. The former happened regularly, the latter, at least at the hands of others, not so much. We got to the party and I set my internal radar on drugs, alcohol and any girl with self esteem low enough to touch me. On this fortunate night, I scored on all three fronts.

As I said, full recollection of this story is impossible but some things are still clear. The girl I struck up a conversation with was blond, so skinny she could elicit pity and had awful teeth. I remember the teeth because this is a pet peeve of mine, but I was talking and she was listening so I looked away. I remember playing a few rounds of beer pong when she suggested we find somewhere a little more private to enjoy each other´s company.

The Rutgers frat houses are strange structures. They are the old mansions of Johnson and Johnson executives from a century gone by. They are full of little hidden hallways, staircases and rooms that are hard to imagine what purpose they once served. We found an unoccupied room that only fit a bunk bed. You had to contort you body just to get into the thing. Bingo! We found our love nest.

We started making out and I managed to get her clothes off. She was too drunk to get mine off so I was obliged to help. I don´t remember much from this passionate encounter but I remember a few things. First, we did not have sex. As you will see, it would have better if we had because I would have been able to break her evil spell, get away from her and the rest of the night would not have gone down the way it did. We were then interrupted by a chubby fellow and told to leave the ex slave´s quarters immediately.

I pretended to like her for a few more hours with the hopes that she would make that sneezey feeling in my crotch that seemed to be the focus of my life. The party was winding down and I noticed my ride had left. She offered her place to crash. What a coincidence. I wish I could give more details of what happened next but I really don´t remember.

I do doubt we had intercourse because no black out is stronger than an orgasm. No matter how drunk or high I was, I remember them all and file them to be later used in search of manual relief. When I refer to this night in my mind, a message comes up “file empty”. But the story does not end here.

I woke up in a strange place. I was cold. In fact I was shivering. I pulled the covers over my shoulders. Colder yet. What gives. I looked around. I was clearly in a girl´s room but there was no girl. I put my hand down on the mattress. I realized what had happened. Exactly what I feared most as a twelve year old when I slept over at friend´s houses had happened. I made water in her bed, Miss Daisy. It was a gusher too. Everything was wet. My mind raced despite the pounding headache. I thought about gathering my things and jumping out the window. We were on the third story.

I did what any honorable man in my position would do. I pulled my jeans over my pissed in underwear, put the rest of my clothes on and went down stairs. She didn´t even look up from the television. This I remember as if it were yesterday. I told it was fun and it was nice to have met her. I even remembered my manners and told her she had a lovely home despite the fact it looked like a future hoarders episode. It was a few years away from that but that´s ok because the show hadn´t been invented yet. Like the gentlemen I was, I offered my phone number. She told me to write it on the dry erase board on the fridge. It had the grocery list and I felt bad about erasing it so I left it alone.

This was an age before cell phones. I had no cash for a cab and not even the bus. I was a good five miles from where I lived. Talk about walk of shame? This was the Bataan Death March of shame. I put my head down low and took that walk. I threw up a few times along the way but I made it. I was greeted with a round of high fives. I regaled them with my tale and I was awarded the “green hit” from the gravity bong for my troubles.

Work Makes Free

5 Jul

Work Makes Free

Rudy needed to be shaken out of his destructive patterns. His partying, which started out as fun on the weekends, had started to seep into the work week. His mind started to see Wednesday, the middle of the week, as a bridge to the next weekend. Then Tuesday became a bridge to Wednesday, Thursday a bridge to Friday night, until Rudy realized he was not partying anymore but strait up abusing drugs.

Rudy was honest with himself. He knew what he was doing was wrong but he could not stop himself. He would wake up saying to himself that this was going to be a clean day. Cut to moments after work, he found himself in the gas station in check out with two tall boys in hand asking for a pack of cigarettes. On his way home, the two beers would give him the courage to say no to saying no and he found himself at his pickup spot and yet another night was forgotten and another morning was difficult to face.

Rudy decided to call his uncle, who lived on a farm an hour outside of the city, and asked him if he could crash there for a while. His uncle understood why without Rudy even having to say so. Rudy´s uncle was a wise man so he made Rudy tell him regardless. He wanted Rudy to admit it to another human, out loud, knowing this would help Rudy manifest the necessary changes.

Rudy was fortunate to not have physical withdrawal. He was using for such little time that his body never adapted to the point it needed it. In fact, Rudy didn´t even miss getting high. Being on this other path made Rudy´s brain forget the need for escape. The only hard part for Rudy was waking up so early. Breakfast was at five in the morning and they were at work by five thirty.

After a week, even the early wakeup call became easy. Rudy´s uncle was getting used to the help. It was a big farm and good help was hard to find. When he did find it, it did not last long as the workers were generally migrant and did not stay put in one place for too long. Rudy felt great. He believed his system pretty much reset to zero. Rudy felt he could go back and face the world.

His uncle asked him to stay for at least another week. He explained to really make these changes concrete, Rudy would need a little more time. Rudy felt confident. He wasn´t even thinking about getting high. With a lot of reprehension in his heart and an open invitation to return, Rudy´s uncle said his farewells. There were even a few tears shed by both men during the farewell.

As Rudy pulled into his apartment complex parking spot he felt and acute, heavy darkness. He looked around at all the fairly new, financed to the gills, fancy cars, the dilapidated low rent buildings and felt a little confused and a little disgusted. This is life, he asked himself? Live in a particle board box, go to an unfulfilling job just to drive a car that is barely affordable on a month to month basis. Rudy didn´t have the tools to stop such negative thinking. He climbed the rickety stairs to his one bedroom apartment.

He opened the door and a waft of familiar smells greeted him. Stale cigarettes, a glade air freshener and musk attacked his senses. He hadn´t had the foresight to clean his apartment before his farm retreat. In the ashtray were two half smoked cigarettes. One was a standard tobacco cigarette and the other a hand rolled marijuana cigarette. His first impulse was to throw them away. But something told him not to. That something told him that he paid money for those things and one does not throw money away. If he wasn´t going to consume them, at least a friend could, he thought. Of course he was kidding himself because he had no friends.

He put the ash tray under the sink and turned the TV on. At the farm, he would have already been sleeping by now. After flipping through the channels he realized how bad TV was. He hadn´t noticed before because he was high. Even commercials seemed to reveal  deep secrets of the universe while high. He told himself he should go to bed but again, something convinced him he was not even tired. That something told him to light the marijuana cigarette. It would at least make this unbearable television more palatable.

He gave in and smoked the joint down until it burned his fingers. Then he lit the cigarette and waited for that familiar feeling. As the cigarette burned down to the filter he realized he felt no different. There was no altered feeling, no euphoria, no giddiness. Nothing. The feeling of nothing actually made him feel worse. Why did he break his drug fast if he weren´t going to feel high? Since he had already started the engine, he was going to have to at least “go deep” as he liked to call getting high.

He got in his car and drove to the pickup spot. He got his usual little plastic baggies and barely drove away before pulling over and consuming the contents. He was desperate. He could not get the drugs into him fast enough. He used more than the normal dose and immediately nodded off. As he rolled in and out of consciousness thoughts of the farm passed through his head. As he did chores in his mind his physical body, planted in the front seat of his car, went through some of the motions.

He would come to, see where he was, cry a little and nod off again. This went on for a few hours when his dealer knocked on the window. He rather impolitely told him to take his party elsewhere. Rudy obliged. He was so out of it in his mind he was starting the tractor and not his car. He told his dealer that lunch time was over and that he´d get back to work. The dealer, perplexed, told him to go wherever he wanted, just to get out of there.

Rudy made his way towards his apartment but missed the exit. He kept driving. He came to and found himself on the highway. When he was not driving slowly on the highway, he was cleaning pig troughs or spreading fresh straw. He drove until he found himself back at his uncle´s farm. He opened the car door, stumbled a few steps, fell down on his face and passed out.

In the morning, Rudy´s uncle walked outside and on his way to the barn saw Rudy´s car. A smile came to his face. As he walked to the car his smiled vanished in an instant when he saw his nephew face down in thick mud. He ran to the boy´s body. He tried to wake him. There was no pulse. He was not breathing. He cried for help despite the fact he was the only soul for miles.

Rudy´s uncle called an ambulance. Rudy was pronounced dead on the spot. Only an autopsy would reveal if it was the drugs that killed him or if he was asphyxiated in the mud. Rudy´s uncle could not shake the chills from the irony if it were the latter. The farm offered salvation to Rudy but in the end might have been his demise.

El Gringo pt. 6

16 May

Part One     Part Two

Part Three  Part Four

Part Five

Dirt road

 

Gary asked for an officer who speaks English, which wasn´t all that uncommon to have. The receptionist called for Officer Medina.

Officer Medina came up to the front, greeted Gary warmly and asked him to follow him to his office. After leading him there, he sat him down and offered coffee which Gary was more than eager to except.

After throwing back the bitter black liquid and feeling a slight buzz of energy, Gary told his story, again, what he remembered. Officer Medina just shook his head in a show of disappointment. Then, his eyes opened wide expressing surprise. He threw his finger in the air in a Eureka like moment.

“Oh, Gary. I think I know why you are alive today. Let me make a call” Officer Medina furiously dialed a number on his touch tone phone. He was wildly gesticulating and speaking Spanish at 100 miles per hour.

He hung up the phone. “I was right! I know why you are alive today. The jungle saved you my friend”

“How so?” Gary asked.

“I just confirmed that two people were found torn to shreds, probably by a jaguar and it is around where you say this happened. I will send a crew to check it out. Wanna ride along?”

Gary felt uneasy but he thought, with all the help he had received, maybe this would help with the investigation. “Uh, ok” he obliged.

Gary got into a World War II era jeep and was off with Officer Medina and his crew. Gary could not have known this as his memory was so spotty, but they were on the same road that lead him to his captivity and ultimate escape. They started down a jungle road and came to an abandoned car.

“That´s it! That´s the car! I am sure of it” Gary screamed.

“I´ll be damned” remarked Officer Medina. “Let´s take a look around” They all jumped out of the jeep and walked towards the car.

“Take a look in the back seat Gary. Make sure you didn´t drop anything there” Officer Medina said.

Gary was sure he had left nothing but he knew the officer was being nice so he obliged. As he bent forward he felt a prick in his buttocks. Then he felt pressure that smushed him to the bench seat not letting him get up. The crew was speaking in Spanish and the more he tried to understand, the more he couldn´t. He started to feel the same way he did in the bar that night. Maintaining consciousness became labor some.

As the tunnels he was looking through became more black he heard something in Spanish that he could make out.

“Gringo guts gonna get us paid” then he heard laughter. Then he heard nothing.