Tag Archives: alcohol abuse

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.

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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.

 

 

El Gringo pt. 5

13 May

Part One 

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four 

Jungle home

“Hello….Ola” Gary stammered.

“Deus mio! Un gringo?” the old man responded.

“Si, un gringo” Gary answered.

“What da hell you doing here?” the old man asked.

“Chico led me here” Gary answered.

“Who da hell is Chico?” the old man asked and pumped the shot gun. The sound of the cartridge being chambered dropped Gary to his knees.

“I´m sorry, I gave your dog a name… Chico. I followed him here” Gary said, on his knees with his hands reaching for the sky. “I escaped something terrible. I mean no harm, I need help”

“Oh. You can get up” the old man lowered the shot gun. “I´m sorry about this” he said nodding towards the gun. “Around here, you can´t be too careful. A lot of crazy people”

Gary stood up and offered his hand. “My name is Gary”

“My name is Guillermo, nice to meet you. Come inside. Do you think they followed you?” the old man asked.

“I am pretty sure, no” Gary said feeling hope for the first time.

Once inside Gary told Guillermo everything he could remember. Guillermo explained how he was able to speak English. He had lived for twenty years in New York saving his money to one day go back to his native country and buy a piece of land in the bush and live off the grid.

“I am pretty sure they wanted your guts, but why they left you there, I don´t know” Guillermo said. “It´s pretty common around here. Don´t take it personally either. They do this to locals too. Gringo guts no more valuable than local guts. They saw an opportunity”

“When it light again, we get my truck. I take you to town. Nobody bother you here” Guillermo continued.

Gary thanked him profusely. Gary slept on what might be described as a couch in what might be described as the living room. Chico slept on the floor beside him and did not stir until sunrise.

When day broke, Gary, Guillermo and Chico hiked a few kilometers to where Guillermo kept his truck. It was well camouflaged in a makeshift garage made of cut bush. It was an engineering feat, Gary thought to himself.

When they made it to town, Gary thought it best to go straight to the police to report what had happened. They stopped off at an ATM first. Even though his wallet was gone, they didn´t find his emergency fund ATM card tucked in his underwear. Gary withdrew the equivalent of around $100 USD which was a handsome sum for a person of humble means in these parts. Guillermo refused. “You just come visit me at least once before I die. That payment enough”

They stopped in front of the police department. They said their good byes and the pickup was off, kicking up dust from the dirty cobble stone street.

Part Six

El Gringo pt. 4

11 May

Part One

Part Two

Part Three 

jungle moon

After what felt like hours, but in reality was more like twenty minutes, Gary was aroused by the sound of movement in the bush. It sounded frantic and without direction. It was coming toward his direction and getting louder by the moment. It took all he had not to cry out. He sat up with his knees tucked into his chest. Tears were flowing down his face. As the movement crept ever closer Gary decided he would succumb to whatever fate had in store for him. He didn´t have it in him to fight.

The rustling now was right outside of the tree that was hosting him. The braches started to move. He let out a childish weep and with that an animal burst through the lower bows of the tree. Gary closed his eyes and waited for death.

While Gary braced himself for excruciating pain he felt something wet and cold on his face. He opened his eyes. It was nothing more than a mangy dog sniffing him all over. He couldn´t hold it in. He started to cry. As the dog sniffed him over he embraced the wiry haired creature. Though it looked like a feral dog, it was quite domestic in the way it interacted with Gary. Gary pat the top of the dog´s head and the dog responded in kind. The dog rolled over and presented its belly to Gary. Gary pet the dog’s belly, tears flowing.

This renewed Gary’s spirits. He did not even think of the danger the dog offered, making even more sounds and in turn making it easier for his foes to track him. He decided to set out again with the dog in tow. He decided to call the dog Chico, which the dog seemed to immediately respond to.

Gary walked and the dog followed. The dog suddenly stopped and stared into the distant for a few moments.

“What´s wrong Chico?” Gary whispered.

The dog came to and started walking at a brisk pace. It was clear that he wanted to take the lead. Gary was all out of options so he decided to follow. The dog was sniffing furiously. It was clear he had a chosen path. After about a kilometer or so they came to a clearing in the bush. There was a rusty wire fence that was practically falling over in places. Chico was beside himself. He was jumping excitedly nuzzling Gary with each jump. Even in the dark it was clear that there was a little shack in the middle of the clearing.

Chico lead Gary towards the shack. As they approached, Chico bolted for the door. It was slightly ajar and he was able to open it with his snout and he entered. Once inside he began howling. Gary heard some extra movement in the house then a voice speaking groggy Spanish.

The door flew open and an elderly man was standing there with a shot gun screaming unintelligibly in Spanish. Gary understood when he heard “Who goes there?”

Gary was in a panic. This was either his rescue or his demise. It was a matter of time before the old man saw him, so running was out of the question. He decided to approach slowly with his hands over his head.

Part Five 

El Gringo pt. 3

8 May

Part 1

Part 2 

Jungle night

Gary sat just there for a while, alone. He started to feel better physically but emotionally he was falling apart. He was beating himself up for being so stupid. He was ashamed that he drank so much and fear started consume his mood. He heard some rustling in the bush. He wanted to call out the woman´s name but he had forgotten it. He thought to leave the car and look for help but he had no idea as to where to go.

A good amount of time passed and Gary gathered the courage to leave. He scavenged the car looking for anything that might help him find help. As he was sitting in the driver seat he noticed there was blood on his hands. He examined them. There was not a cut to be found. Then he checked his body. Nothing there either. Then he noticed a shimmer coming from the steering wheel. That was the source of the blood. There was thick coagulating blood all over it. This freaked Gary out. He jumped from the seat. He took a few moments to gather himself. He walked around the car to the passenger side. In the glove box he found a flash light that was so dim it was hardly usable. There was also a pair of pliers, a nail cutter and to his great joy, a map. He checked the rest of the car but found nothing useful.

Gary set out down the road that had brought the car to its current location. He quickly realized the folly that he was making. If the people were to come back to the car, surely they would use this road. He decided to cut through the jungle. The bush was absolutely alive with noises. Gary was shaking. The dim flashlight barely lit the area around his feet. He had to fight the urge to lay down and curl up into a little ball and cry.

He walked for about ten minutes when he thought he heard footsteps. He froze in his tracks. He felt paralyzed. It may have been his imagination because after a few interminable minutes he heard no further sign of someone or something walking around. He made up his mind to enter into the bush until he found some kind of hiding place where he could wait out the night and continue his trek with some daylight.

After some time he came to a large tree that was overgrown with vines. It provided almost a teepee like structure. He gathered up the nerved to look inside. The prospect of what was waiting for him on the other side was almost as scary as the prospect of being found by an enemy who he had no clue was.

He peeked his head inside and shone the dim light around. To his relief, there was no sign of life. Gary went inside and succumbed to the urge to lay down and curl up into a little ball and cry.

Part 4