Monday, October 01, 2007

Black Dog On My Shoulder - A Short Story

OK, lying in bed watching the second hand slowly tick by. Come on, come on you think. Almost eight in the morning. Banks will be open soon and that cheque that has been on hold for the last week should now have cleared. About bloody time. You are not even sure how you have managed to make it through these past two days.

Throwing the covers back you put two unsteady feet onto the floor. Your muscles tighten then twitch. You are now dancing on your toes into the bathroom. Looking in the mirror you shudder. Last night's makeup is now streaked across your face. It takes ever effort to run the water. You make a feeble attempt to make yourself more presentable but who are you really fooling? Do you honestly care? No, you just need to get to the bank. Look down to see what you are wearing. OK, your shirt has definitely seen better days but the slightly ripped cutoffs will do. A bra wouldn't hurt but that just sounds like too much work and you have places to go. Now.

OK, where did you put the keys yesterday before you fell into that restless sleep willing the next day to arrive quickly? Think. Think. You were angry and sore and feeling tremendously sorry for yourself that you put them...?? Right, tossed them at the old man who now is sleeping deeply and not worth the trouble of waking up because he certainly won't be of any help and this would not be the best time to argue. You can easily tell by glancing around the bedroom that it has been a couple of days without. The laundry that you frantically started the last time you were feeling normal has not been put away. Instead all of the hours spent sorting, folding, piling have been for naught. Soon to be dirty laundry again is strewn from the en suite bathroom door out into the hall. Stumbling across it, you shake pieces to see if your keys will suddenly free themselves. Hah! There they are. You scoop them up in your hand, tripping head first out your bedroom door.

You pull your aching body into your vehicle. Before you even have the keys in the ignition, you are throwing your car into forward and screaming down the now busy street. The morning rush hour is upon you and your frustration starts to build. Don't even have a smoke to drag on. Broke, remember? Quickly, quickly, get to the bank before the lineup becomes unbearable. As you reach the top of the incline, you can see the green and white sign to the left indicating the bank's parking lot. Flipping your turn signal so it flashes left you manoeuvre your car into the left hand turning lane and quickly scream into the parking lot narrowly avoiding the oncoming cars. Barely stopping to shove the car in park and remove the keys from the ignition, you are bounding up the steps two at a time.

Struggling to open the heavy bank door, you slide on through and immediately take your place at the end of the line. Tap, tap, tap your foot goes. You can barely contain your legs from shaking so you try to distract by withdrawing your wallet from your purse, aimless flipping through it looking for your bank card. Finally it is your turn and you thrust your card into the face of the smiling teller. You mumble the amount that you want to withdraw and silently keep counting to ten in your mind so that you don't end up losing what precious little sanity you have left.

"Anything else that we can do for you today, Ms S?" the teller asks in a grating voice. You look at her and silently shake your head not trusting your own voice. You practically snatch the stack of $20 bills from her hand and shove it carelessly into your purse. Throwing it over your shoulder you rush out the glass doors jumping once again into your vehicle. Halfway there. Mission almost complete. Another twenty minutes of this annoying traffic and you will be in a much calmer, peaceful space.

You push down on your accelerator risking the chance of being stopped for speeding. Willing to take this chance today so tired and sore your body. Finally you are in front of your dealers house. You park your vehicle and bound up her front steps, knocking loudly on her door. Usually asleep at this time, she absolutely promised that she would make an exception and wake up for today's visit. No answer. Frantic you knock a little louder and a little louder again until you finally hear her dog barking. You hear some shuffling behind the door and the sequential unlocking of enough locks to protect Fort Knox. She waves me in. I quickly close the door behind me, locking all the locks abruptly. I stagger up the stairs behind her tossing a pile of twenty dollar bills on her bed in front of her. She counts them, puts them in her wallet and then counts out the required amount, dropping each pill carefully into a small, clear baggy.

I pocket them and casually look around her room. I know that she hates anyone to do anything at her place but decide that I can't wait so I mumble something about having to go to the bathroom before I head out promising that it is only the toilet that I need and nothing else. I race down the stairs and lock the bathroom door behind me, frantically searching through my purse for everything that I need. Quickly crush my pills in the spoon that I have laid on the back of her toilet, draw up sufficient amount of water through my syringe and fire it into the center of my spoon. I search through all of my pockets until my lighter is located and then quickly set fire to the underneath of the spoon. Just as the liquid comes to a boil, I remove the flame from the spoon. Stirring the now dissolved mixture, I then proceed to drop a filter into its center and quickly suck up all of the dope until the filter squeaks that there is no more left.

I sit down on the edge of the bathtub and lightly tab my forearm looking for that sweet spot. Located. With as steady a hand as I can muster, I line the syringe up with my arm and gently jab it into my skin. Drawing back on the plunger, I see the barrel fill with crimson color. With measured speed, I depress the plunger until there is nothing left in the syringe and gently remove it from underneath my skin. A small drop of blood forms as I drop my head forward, sighing. My breathing slows to barely a whisper. Raising my head, I inhale deeply while at the same time throwing everything into the top of my purse. I run my arm under water, flush the toilet and quickly exit the bathroom happy now that the last three days are all but a faint memory.

No comments: