6/15/2014

Brick Fence (Short Story)

Brick Fence

I woke up this morning, I’m seventy-five years old, and yesterday I buried my beloved wife. I’ve come a long way. Hell, forty years ago I thought I might one day reach thirty, but only if I was lucky enough not to choke on my own vomit. Back then I consumed at least a fifth a day, and much more on weekends when it’s almost acceptable to be piss drunk in public.

I never remembered a single thing past sunset, and I always woke up someplace different. The good mornings were when I’d wake up to look over and see a pretty girl lying next to me. Sometimes I would even get a chance to use her shower before leaving to go have a few too many drinks yet again. On the bad mornings I was covered in my own bodily fluids, big-spooning a bottle in some alleyway.

I wasn’t necessarily homeless, I just never went home. I stopped by the old apartment complex maybe once a month to pay rent, but I never gave half a damn about having a place to live. All my money came from my father. He had so many credit cards and he was always so drunk that he didn’t even notice when one of them ended up in my wallet. He paid somebody to pay his bills, which also included: my rent, my booze, and the cholesterol that today clogs my arteries.

Then came my twenty-fifth birthday. It was the first time I had ever woken up in a hospital, and I have no idea how I got there. There was a girl sitting beside me who I had never seen before, and she was absolutely gorgeous. Her smile made me feel alright, because that was the best I could feel at the time, pricked with countless IVs and my badly broken arm in a sling. She told me that if I were to quit drinking she would stay by my side until the day she died. I haven’t had a drink since.

But yesterday was her funeral, and today I’m seventy-five years old. I think I’ve earned myself a drink. Just one drink to celebrate my birthday. For God’s sake, I’m seventy five years old, I can do whatever I damn well please. Get me a fucking drink. Whiskey ginger; my drug of choice.

————————

Today I woke up in my grandson’s college dorm, feeling three days older than seventy-five. The look on his spinning face tells me that it’s already Sunday morning. My legs have melted into a strange gelatinous substance, and I’m not sure I’ll ever walk again. This couch isn’t too bad of a place to die, though, and they even left a bucket for me to vomit in. It’s almost full.

My grandson's facial expression is scaring the shit out of me. I wish I could remember this kid’s name, damn I knew it as clear as day on Friday afternoon. He wears one of those grins where I know it’s because of something I did, but I have no idea what I could have possibly done. The last thing I remember is pouring myself a drink on my seventy-fifth birthday. Now next to me on the coffee table is a big pile of white powder, and there’s still half a handle of whiskey on the floor. Fuck it all, I’m seventy-five years old.

————————

It’s my twenty-fifth birthday, and I’m at my grandfather’s funeral. He choked on his own vomit on the night that I graduated college. I’m drinking a whiskey ginger and sitting next to my father, who isn’t likely to remember this. He’s had five more whiskey gingers than me, and we’ve only been here half an hour. There is an open bar at my eighty year old grandfather’s funeral, and my father is piss drunk. 

I went over to the bartender and asked for a whole bottle of whiskey. As expected, he responded with a disapproving look. I shoved a twenty in the tip jar and grabbed the bottle, popping the cork on my way to the casket. I took one quick swig for good luck before laying the bottle across my grandfather’s chest. Later we sealed his casket, and my grandfather carried that bottle of whiskey with him to the grave.

No comments :

Post a Comment