5:30 a.m. February 3
And that concludes our emergency broadcasting test system we now return you back to the regularly scheduled program.
3:40 a.m. February 3
Fuck it. I line up the eight ball she just handed me in three straight, perfectly parallel lines. I suggestively motion to her, giving her first dibs (or in this case, first snorts). Even in this type of situation, momma taught me right - a boy's got to remain a gentleman; ladies first. She smiles gratefully as she arches her back and smoothly grazes her nose to the glass tabletop. In one sweeping motion the white powder invades her blood stream like an army of mercenaries out to seek and destroy. With her pupils dilated, she tilts her head to the heavens letting out one loud gasp. She turns back to face me, kisses me on the cheek and playfully says, “Your turn.” What a sweetheart.
I inch closer to the table and prepare myself. I do the same, but I take two lines to her one. I raise my head to the heavens like she did a moment ago, shutting my eyes in euphoric escape, enjoying this ever-fleeting moment. I open my eyes, awakening from the anesthetic matrix to re-enter the world with a distinctly sharper view of “reality.” Praise the lord. Who needs salvation when you've got coke.
I wipe my nose and clear my nostrils of any possible residue. I turn my focus back to my future conquest. She looks at me, clearly disappointed, and says, “Is that all you have?” Greedy bitch.
I blankly stare at her, completely immersed in my own private elysium. She tangles her legs with mine and continues talking – something about where I should go to score some more blow. I can barely make out what she's saying. At least I think that’s what she’s going on about. I hear her words, but my mind has drifted far from the sectional couches occupying the corner V.I.P. booth of this particular after party's after party.
I've been out with little miss 'Chyna White' a few times now. Each time we've gotten together has been the same as the last: loud music, spilled drinks and existential anesthetics. I don't know if I can label what we share on a semi nightly basis as dating. Rather, it's more a collective numbing of pre-existing emotional scars. What I like about the whole arrangement is the fact that she doesn't ask me about mine and I don't feel the burden of hers.
At this very moment, she's practically sitting on my lap, stroking my thigh. Mentally, I'm almost entirely absent from the present events. The only thoughts that anchor my mind to the tangible world are 1) Damn, her voice is incredibly annoying, and 2) I think she's wearing the exact same outfit she was wearing when we first met a few weeks back - a ridiculous brown faux-fur coat bottomed off with black pleather leggings. She is relentless with the talking. It's absolutely aggravating. Why won't she just shut up, even if it’s just for a minute? She's beginning to kill my buzz. From somewhere nearby, I hear a familiar voice.
“I think Vince has some. He owes me. Why don't you grab. He's just over there talking to that doucher from that talentless band.” Patrick to the rescue.
Miss 'Stardust' smiles, ever so satisfied and says, “I'll wait for you here baby”.
I get up, walk over to this Vince character, and do as Patrick suggested. I negotiate. Ten minutes later, we make our way to the men's room and conclude our business exchange. I return, means to corporeal liberation in hand, to find this fake-fur-wearing, yay-snorting trick straddling Patrick. I sit across from them and watch her tongue carnally meet his ear lobe. Patrick looks at me apologetically. She notices, stops and culpably smiles. She lifts her body from his lap and walks over to me.
“You're not mad are you baby?”
I can't really say that I am. I'm not surprised at Patrick or at her. I honestly don't even care. I met her just a few weeks ago – right after my break up. She's nobody to me. Recently, the days have become long and the nights even longer. I just need somebody to pass the time with – someone to fill a temporary vacancy. I am indifferent to the immediate situation. Moments ago, I was barely mentally present; it would appear that I have now reduced my status to audience.
She mimics her performance with Patrick, placing her tongue in my ear and seductively straddles me. Patrick laughs. She gets up, procures three shot glasses and a nearby unattended bottle of vodka. She takes a seat between us, fills each shot glass and says, “To life's empty lullabies. Cheers!”
We down one shot, then another, then another. When the bottle is empty, she rises from her seat and makes her way back to Patrick's lap. She whispers something in his ear. He nods, grins devilishly and leaves the party. Trouble. Minutes later, she makes her way over to me, sits, places her hand on me, enticingly suggesting that I follow Patrick.
“Let's make this night unforgettable,” she whispers.
She grabs my hand and leads me out of the club to where Patrick has just hailed a cab. The three of us get in. We arrive shortly after at his current place of occupation – a financial building on King and Bay. It's four in the morning so it's completely deserted. He slaps the face of his I.D. card against the security panel of the door. We take the elevator twenty-one floors up.
“We have a lounge on this floor reserved for executives. Lorenzo, did Vince hook it up?”
I hand him the little baggy. He lines it up on a nearby table.
She inhales her allocated portion, gets up and starts dancing; she is as tempting as ever. Patrick and I watch as we heighten our feelings of competence by lowering our sensibilities. She begins to slowly undress and salaciously touch herself.
Patrick turns to me and whispers in my ear, “now isn't this better than Cranium with Jessica and her lame-ass friends?”
He walks to her and begins kissing her body. She looks at me and draws me over with her finger. For a moment, everything ceases to exist as my mind replays the last year. It's been almost two months since I've seen or even spoken to Jessica. I try to put her out of my mind. I try to fill the void she left behind with continual movement, but eventually life slows down and everything catches up. In those few moments, everything seems to come crashing down. I've been through many break ups, but none like this. Our failed union seems to mirror all my past crimes – reopening every emotional scar.
I've never handled anything close to heart very well. In fact, I've typically done better avoiding dealing with anything emotional altogether. When that subway train left that station two months ago and took everything I knew with it, I decided to strip my life of any thoughts of the last year. I metaphorically burnt all the mementos of 'us' and I've held up alright. But at this very moment everything seems to have caught up to me. Inevitably, my soul has adapted and has built up a tolerance to my regular fix: the combination of night timing and emotional anesthetics. I need something stronger than the regular dosage to numb my current fever, and tonight might be it. But there are certain lines in life that you don’t come back from once you’ve crossed. The first time is always the hardest, but after that desensitization takes over and what once seemed momentous – good or bad – eventually becomes routine. Sharing the girl you’re sort-of-currently-dating with one of your best friends is one of those moments.
I take a deep breath. I’m hesitant. Then the weight and agony of the last year and experimenting with this 'forever' business come crashing down, which is enough to shake me back to now. To this reality. My life. So I say to myself, fuck it. This is my reality. This is my life. Fuck forever. Fuck destiny. Fuck careers. Fuck 50 inch flat screen TVs. Fuck dishwashing machines, luxury cars, PVRs and MP3 players. Fuck zero trans fat snacks, low cholesterol and full dental coverage. Fuck Clue and Cranium nights. Fuck low-interest loans, three bedroom condos and dinner parties. Fuck vegetarian meat substitutes. Fuck substance and fuck finding myself. Fuck wasting my time righting this week’s imaginary wrong. Fuck Sunday morning mass. Fuck the future. Fuck hesitation. Fuck it all. Because when there's nothing left to burn, you might as well set yourself on fire.
I chemically numb the last of my moral virtue and dive soul first into the rabbit hole.