“I said… I lied Ma. I don’t know what else to tell you. It’s really not that fucking hard to understand. Again and again you keep going on and on and on. I fucking lied, alright?”
My mother completely changed her stance, standing in the way she always stood when she was upset. Her left leg became shorter than the right; she placed her hands on her hips and opened her mouth up. Every time she raises her wretched upper lip my mind drains void and I clench my fists.
“Why would you lie like that Mark, what the hell are you lying for?”
“Ma, I’m not even gonna answer that question. You know yourself I don’t give shit about anything you say. I lied, that’s it. Shut your fucking mouth Ma.”
“You know Mark…” she began to say before being so appropriately interrupted by myself. My mouth, wide open in disgust didn’t even get the chance to close before a statement thrust itself out of my throat.
“I said shut up Ma.”
“Mark I’m starting to get real tired of you talking to me that way.”
Without thinking, my feet pushed themselves across the squalid carpet shreds towards the decaying green door.
“Mark. Mark, where are you going?” I heard my mother speak in her strong New English accent. I had no reason to answer her; she didn’t care what I was doing. I shook my head and continued brushing along the carpet. My fingers gripped the raw, numbing handle of our door holding the cracks together. I ripped it open and felt a rush of bitter, biting air that froze my fingers solid. Stepping out onto the sidewalk, I felt the crisp ice crunch underneath my feet. I lazily shuffled out towards my car hoping my shoes would stay dry. Touching the handle of my rusty green van, I looked up. I scanned the neighborhood with my small swollen eyes jumping from house to house. “Every goddamn house is the same.” I said to myself. I attempted to find any difference in the gradually deteriorating shacks that lined the sidewalks of Acorn Avenue. It was a movie in my vision, a horrific and depressing sight to see. These were the houses of worms, of rats, slugs, and maggots. A few chuckles jumped off of my tongue as I shoved my key into my car, jerked it left, and opened the door. For whatever reason, I felt as if my car would be warmer on the inside than it was on the outside, it wasn’t. “Fuck!” I screamed, slamming my brittle palms onto the steering wheel. I twisted my hands towards my face in an appalling fashion, exposing the lumps of bones along my wrists. My hands were red and pulsating. The white flaky snakes skin holing onto my hands made me turn them away. I turned the car on, and a CD started up with it. A song that I had left on when I stepped out last began to play from the middle; the first word that pumped from my speakers was coincidentally… “Fuck.”
“Oh… shit.” I giggled. “Haven’t I said that enough already?” I imagined the artist in the same situation as I was. “heh… haha… hahahahahahaha!” I started to laugh hysterically and slam myself against the broken seat I was sunken into. The laughing continued for two or three minutes until I looked out of my foggy glass window into my house. My mother was standing in the door, crying. My smile drew back into a dead stare, as if I had acquired her as some kind of target. “There she goes again, again with the crying. Stupid bitch doesn’t even know what she’s crying about… heh… haha… hahahahahaha!” I started to laugh yet again, this time a sharp, vicious, sadistic laugh. I reached my fingers up to my forehead and scraped my nails across the sickly white plastic I called a face. It peeled, just as I thought it would, and I bled a little bit. Just as the laughter began to get even more intense, I felt the warm air exhale from my dusty AC units. The air burned my newly opened cuts but I remained calm while the warm air soothed my body into a healing sensation. I rested in my car for a while, pondering my next move. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew why. There were only two things on my mind… coke and money. I knew I couldn’t get either of those things from where I was so I gave John a call.
The phone began to ring. I could feel myself slowly becoming insane. My feet tapped nervously, my hands shook as the ringing in my ear slowly faded in and out. “Fuck” I said yet again, recalling that John answered his phone every time I called him. “Shit… something’s up.” I pulled the car into drive and slowly slid across the smooth ice down the street. As any person would know, it’s especially hard to drive over ice. But living in Colorado, I had grown used to pumping my breaks and slowly handling the gas to get anywhere. Every turn I took, right, left, right, left… same, simplicity. Everything was the same. Every house, every mailbox, even all the cars looked at least somewhat similar. My old brown tires fell into and popped out of every pothole under the broken black ice. I moved slower than I thought, around every turn, down every dip, up every hill until I arrived at the dilapidated brown house with the swinging blue shutters. My car, just now warming to the temperature I desired, pulled off up and over the curb aside John’s house. I grabbed the warm pleather that was slowly sliding off of the handle on my door and prepared to make my way outside and into John’s house. The instant my fingers clasped the handle, I paused. My body had completely stopped itself, a gripping paralysis holding me. I couldn’t speak and I obviously couldn’t move. I could only stare; stare into the object in front of me until the horrific hallucinations took me. I knew what was coming, and I wasn’t going to try and stop it. Looking upon my hands, I felt a rush of orgasmic warmth roll over my shoulders and crawl up my neck. A high-pitched, meditative ring reverberated in and out of my ears on both sides. The ringing gradually sharpened and grew into an even more soothing, pulsating sensation. My eyes locked on the dirty broken nails glued to my fingers. My history, my past, slithered into my brain, I drifted.
“Mark I really with you’d just go to school.” I heard my mother say.
“Ma I was fucking sick of school to start, why would I ever go back.” I screamed to myself aloud.
“Damn Mark, how much of that shit you gonna do?” John’s voice floated into my ear.
“Chill the fuck out John! I’ll do as much as I want. It’s my fucking money!” I screamed aloud. The ringing became more intense and my nails burrowed into the handle of my door.
“I love you, Mark. I’ve never loved anything this much.” Christina’s voice blasted into my ears with an cutting energy that I would forever remember.
“I love you too.” I said aloud, responding to Christina’s voice consuming every thought in my ever-intoxicated mind. I could hear her voice again, ripping my brain to shreds.
“Fuck you Mark! I fucking hate you!” Those words… kill me day after day. I heard them, haunting, harassing, burying and manifesting themselves in my entire body.
Images quickly drew themselves into my mind, my sight went black, my motor skills were lost, and I was choking, drowning, asphyxiated by the air that I breathe. There was spit, water, or vomit, something in my throat. I tried to swallow but the paralysis gripped me.
I was in a room. Only a single light hung from its cracked ceiling. That one light dangling so sinisterly between cracks and holes in the concrete lifted my spirit to see. It was the only glimpse of hope in this desecrated hopeless hell. The light was covered in a yellow crust, the source of which I did not know. I felt a monstrous darkness consuming my entire body, a hole caving my chest inside of itself. I still couldn’t breathe. Gasping for air, attempting to calm myself, I inhaled an odor. The room smelled so putrid and vile, a stench that strangely enough, I recognized. Shuffling my feet across the filthy concrete seemed to move me but only a few inches, my only desire to end this nightmare. From my right ear, I heard a booming crack. I looked up to the sound to see a man surrounded by blinding light. He stood so comfortably, looking down at me from a wooden staircase. From what I could see, his face looked shriveled and dead. I screamed at the top of my lungs in panic and horror several times, causing my eyes to itch and water. Adrenaline pumped through my veins as I reached my trembling hands between the thick strands of hair standing on my head. I gripped my hair and pulled my hands downwards as quickly as I could, thinking it might calm my fear somehow. The pain of each strand slowly being unnaturally ripped from my scalp only added to my loss of sanity. I looked at my hands covered in blood and wet strands of dark brown hair, and couldn’t help but scream again.
“You… you’re funny.” I heard the man state in a tranquil and harmonic tone.
“What the fuck is this!” I screamed. I had never heard my voice like this before. My throat became slender and small squealing yelps attached themselves to my every word. The man chose not to move. He waited, watching me wailing and quaking in anxiety and laughed. His laugh sounded familiar, some wicked, repulsive howl that I thought I had heard somewhere before. The man lifted his right leg and violently kicked the door he stood adjacent to in the purest of rage until he stopped laughing. He turned around, released one last chuckle and slammed the door behind him.
“Mark! Mark! Mark!” I heard shrieking in my right ear. I opened my eyes, and I was in my car again. I let out a massive sigh of relief, realizing that the horrific situation I had been so thankfully removed from was but an illusion. I swallowed sharply and opened my mouth.
“What?” I peered up over the armrest of the van to see John’s girlfriend, Stacy, standing nervously at my door. Her peeling face, so diseased and pallid, poured tears down the sides of the bruises and cuts opening her cheeks. I will say, even though Stacy was not the hottest thing around, I still had somewhat of a crush on her. I would often fantasize about fucking her and I could never tell why that was. Was I actually attracted to this girl, or was it just thinking of the possibility that John would blow his brains out in the back of his Ford Explorer because I fucked his “fiancé”. She did have a nice body, or at least it was above average. John had her in the palm of his hand with the drugs, and their need to get high together. She’ll believe anything when she’s high. Nevertheless, I always looked at her the same way. I looked at her as if she was a dog, a nuisance, something that needed to be gotten rid of.
“It’s John! It’s John! Please come inside god dammit! He needs help!” Without uttering a word, I pushed my door out into the freezing air, draining all of the warmth from my skin. I stood up and sighed, stretching my chest into a yawn.
“Mark… Mar… Mark. Please, help me this is urgent.”
“Stacy,” I looked her in her right eye.
“Shut the fuck up.” I could hear her choking and gargling her throat and I looked at her with a slanted eye.
“Oh god. Oh god.” she cried, facing her back towards me. Stacy sprinted towards John’s house in fear, climbed up his front porch, leaned over the rail, and vomited violently into the dead black bushes that wilted unevenly around his home. Something was obviously wrong, yet I still could not recognize the severity of the situation, or what somebody else may consider severe. At this point, I had walked from the sidewalk to climb up his porch, as Stacy had done. I stepped away from her wasted undernourished body and the fetid malodor of the vomit that continuously poured from her throat. I walked through the threshold of the open doorway and tripped on the poorly installed carpet that surrounded his “living room.”
“Wow… how do you guys live in this shit hole?” I asked Stacy. She was still vomiting. I wanted to laugh at her, but I knew that after a delirious overdose (which I believed this was) she would have passed out by now. In what daylight shone through the apocalyptic haze blanketing the town, I saw John’s old ripped jeans lying on the floor, connected to the aging skateboard shoes he was sporting every time I saw him. I rubbed my hand against the rough, dirty drywall until I found a plastic switch. I paused for a moment, wondering what horrors I might be exposed to with the simple flick of a switch, and hesitantly turned the light on. John’s dry corpse lay in the middle of his living room halfway under a rotting table in front of his torn leather couch. I walked two steps closer, and stared down at John’s body. The floor around him was littered with a bloody needle, a tube, a spoon, and what looked like his drug of choice scattered all over the carpet. “Fucking retards,” I said to myself, softly kicking the evidence around the body. I could hear the cries and screams outside from Stacy. I was quickly growing tired of the ugly masculine yelling coming from outside I flipped my body around and faced the door. I poked my head out of the doorway. “Stacy! Would you shut the fuck up! Jesus Christ the fucking cops could come any minute now and you’re screaming like a little fucking pussy! Shut the fuck up you stupid fucking cunt! Get in the house!” Stacy lowered her voice to a nearly silent whisper, slowly dragging her feet across the cold carpet. She sat down on the couch and put her face in her palms, weeping uncontrollably. “God… dammit Stacy! You two are the stupidest fucks on this planet, I swear to Jesus fucking Christ.”
“Mark I don’t know what to do. He’s dead,” she said, shakily sipping from a blue cup that must have been filled with some kind of alcohol.
“Alright, listen.” I looked Stacy dead in her eyes for a few seconds, and then began to pace the floor around John’s carcass. “I’m going to run in the back and get rid of his shit. Every bit of it’s traceable. I want you to get the fuck out of here and forget this ever happened. Go home and forget. Don’t call John’s mother, don’t call your mother, don’t call the police, and don’t call anyone. And don’t you ever fucking tell anyone that I was here.” Stacy removed herself from the couch and walked slowly out to her car. I felt as if I was having a normal reaction to this death, just as I did to my father’s. It wasn’t too strange, seeing a lifeless body strewn out like a rag doll. I felt myself grinning a bit. John was the last person I actually gave a shit about. He constantly asked me for rides, he always overcharged for the goods, or used mine if he didn’t have any. John was an asshole, and he deserved to die. If anything, his death signifies the growth of society. I sighed yet again and kicked his head. It shook a strange way and I found it incredibly amusing. After kicking his empty body, I looked through the window and saw Stacy pushing her head against her car door and screaming once again. “God dammit… Stacy! Leave! Now!” Stacy flung her car door open, sat down inside her seat, and I turned away. Realizing this was a moment of opportunity for myself I ran into John’s room and looked through his drawers. “Come on, come on, it’s got to be here somewhere.” I ripped his mattress from his bedframe and saw two small bags filled with white powder, and one with yellow powder. Each bag was probably about an eighth of an ounce at most, and I was slightly disappointed. “Dammit. Well, it’s better than nothing.” I peeled the white bags from the bedframe and put them in my pants as quickly as I could. Running out of John’s room and through his threshold I realized Stacy was still in her car. I couldn’t coach Stacy anymore. I was wasting my time trying to calm her down and keep her out of trouble. She fucked up and so did he. I was sick of doing things for people without thanks or pay. Stacy can take what she gets she probably deserves it. “Christ… You know what, fuck her.” I said, after already having made a decision in my head. I sprinted to my car, and pulled the door open as quickly as I possibly could. My shaking hands struggling to insert the key into the ignition, I realized my luck in the situation. A long smile grew across my face as I turned the ignition, pulled my car into drive, and slowly rolled away. I began to laugh as I felt the bags surely filled with cocaine tucked neatly into my pants. My hands caressed the old white shirt I was wearing. I always wore these thin white shirts because I thought they showed off my pectorals. I hadn’t worked out too much in my life, but I figured that I would at least try and show off what I have. Why should I even have to show it off anyway? Women should crucify themselves for a chance to be with me. I can’t stand knowing that John had a better chance with most women just because he doesn’t know how to leave anyone alone. “Persistence they say, that’s the key… that’s the key… persistence.” I wondered aloud how this could be. Persistence in my mind was being bothered to the point of murderous intent, as many of my friends often had done. My train of thought always continued until I had no idea where I had started.
My car bounced its way all the way to my house with a horrible squealing coming from my engine. For just a second, one second, slow, barely squeezing itself into time… the music stopped, the noise from my car stopped, I stopped smiling, my heart dropped. Then, from nowhere, I heard the snare and double bass explode from the drums wailing from my speakers, my heart shattered, and my eyes opened wide, as did my smile. “Fuck yeah!” I screamed as loud as I could, pulling down Acorn Ave, I realized that I would be safe, and my mind was completely elated. My mind felt better than it had in a good while, as if it had been healed. I knew that I wouldn’t have to deal with drug dealers for at least a week or two, which was nice, but the thought of dealing with new ones was an annoyance. I hated drug dealers, and though I had been a drug dealer myself, I found them to be the most bothersome, disgusting, scum of the earth.
Trying to ignore these thoughts as best I could, I danced out of my car and skipped across the street towards my house, the bags of cocaine still protruding from underneath my pants. I walked down the cold path, my feet so hot with excitement; I melted the snow beneath them. I ripped the door open once again with a half grin on my face, and instantly felt another rush of warmth, healing my dried brittle face. I used the term “half grin” to describe the way I smiled. For some reason, whatever the type of happiness I was feeling, only one side of my mouth would curve upwards. Half grinning, I flicked the light on, and turned my head into the living room. My smile instantly dissipated as I saw my mother consumed within herself, crying hysterically.
“Ma…” I said. My mother’s hands were covering her face, her body jerked up and down, tears streaming in between her fingers. I had never seen her so upset in all of my life. “Ma… What’s wrong Ma?” She sniffled, trying to hold back her squeals:
“He… he hit me.”
“Who hit you Ma? Who the fuck hit you?”
“Greg hit me. He hit me a hundred times.” I knew that Greg hit her; I’m not even completely sure why I asked. She had been with Greg for years now, and he’s never stopped drinking, or screaming at my mother. But Greg had never hit my mother, not until now. I had been eagerly awaiting an excuse to beat Greg until he’s dead, and now I had one.
“Ma I’m going to his house.” Ma didn’t say anything, a signal to me that what I was doing was fine with her. I ran up to my room, and carefully pulled the bags of cocaine out of my pants. Fortunately, the bags did not break; sparing me the pain of losing something I felt I had won. It was mine after all. John shouldn’t have done what he did, but after all it’s not like it wasn’t expected. I found the coke and it was mine. I couldn’t make up my mind, it was like some morally right therapist was bitching at me and for a brief moment of time I pondered whether I should even use the cocaine or if I should even go to Greg’s house. All the while, I shook some cocaine out of its bag into a small mound onto the desk before me. I pressed my driver’s license down and chopped the cocaine up until it was ready to be shifted into a solid line. I pressed my nose down to the desk and inhaled.
At first, I did not really feel anything. However, about twenty seconds after that my throat became incredibly numb and a feeling similar to an adrenaline rush captured my consciousness. “Oh.” I grunted, moving about the room in random pacing motions. “I’m gonna fucking kill that guy! I’ll kill him!” I picked the bag of cocaine up from its bottom and put it in another bag that was conveniently sitting inside my desk drawer. This, of course, was a bag that I had used for drugs before, and will most likely use for drugs again. My room had always been a haven for drug abuse. Where not only myself but friends and even drug dealers on some occasions would come to test the product. My room had a warm and comforting feeling about it while the world surrounding it was grey and melancholic. Even with the feeling of being here, my anger still persisted. I reached under my bed and inhaled a cloud of dust, experiencing the most uncomfortable feeling I had in a while. I obviously wasn’t supposed to be breathing in the dust, so I usually kept my distance. I should’ve known under my bed, my bed there would be dust. I lived in the most disgusting environment that many would call borderline homelessness. I wanted to vomit, but momentarily slowing my breathing seemed to help.
I grabbed my baseball bat from underneath my bed and gripped the hard rubber handle as tight as I possibly could. My hands felt like scissors. I knew if I gripped hard enough that I could break this bat in two with none but a simple squeeze. I spared the bat for then, as I knew it would be necessary for the task I had ahead of me. I stood up and shook off the dust that evenly coated my hairline. After checking my face in the mirror for a good hour as it felt, probably ten minutes in reality, I opened my door. My mother was still whimpering downstairs. Her weak and powerless cries gave me a sense of power. This was a strange feel for me. I usually laugh or at least feel some kind of swoon at least from the pain of others. I love to see tears; I love to know that people are being torn apart on the inside, even funnier on the outside. I especially loved to see women hurt. Those lazy neatly packaged pieces of shit were only good for one thing. I knew I was right. I knew women were pieces of shit, and that wasn’t going to change… but I didn’t hate my mother. She was just like them all, a worthless skank. Hell, if she weren’t my mother, I’d love to see her kill herself. However, this woman raised me; she cared for me when nobody else did. I had a lack of a role model to look up to my entire life, and that’s where she failed as a mother. But through all of the love I felt for my mother, I still thought she was stupid and useless; she probably deserved to be hit. Nevertheless, I knew that she was family and I had to do what was right.
“Hey Ma… Ma… you hear me?” I said from the top of the staircase. Ma didn’t answer, she couldn’t. Her choking sorrow was clogging her throat, preventing her to speak. “Ma, I’m going to Greg’s,” again, no answer. I ran down the stairs and out of the door.