I couldn't speak until my second whiskey and water. I just stared into my glass as Breann told me about Lena and Clare's medical issues, personal details, and getting a lead on Lucas Bonner living in Las Vegas, Nevada.
She talked nonstop for almost 10 minutes. Seeing my blank face, Breann stopped mid sentence and said plainly,
"Caleb, I know music and liquor is where you are right now, but you head back to Georgia tomorrow. Whatever is on your mind needs to be on mine. Just say it."
I took the red straw from her jack and coke and twirled it in my fingers. The syrupy plastic feel made me think of my kids fingers after they ate pancakes and tried to hug me.
"We're going to die without new hearts, Breann. I ran into that nurse. She told me she was there when the first three were born. She knows what we are. Without one of those doctors fixing us, it's over. I don't feel like investigating. I don't feel like googling strangers. I don't care about Lena in Texas, Clare in Arizona or Lucas in Las Vegas right now. I want to drink until I'm numb. Then later, we'll eat something greasy to soak up this booze and I'll go home and tell my wife we have to call our insurance agent and make some changes."
Breann wasn't a person who felt sorry for herself. She leaned over, put her hands on my face and said slowly, "I just found you. I'm not going to lose you. You sure as hell aren't getting rid of me. We find these doctors, get new parts, and fight through this. Tell Shane whatever you want. But, know this, in a week or so, we will know everything about the evil assholes who made us like this. Now, drink. I've crawled home from here before. It'll be a blast to have someone do it with."
Memories became lost in the pouring of more drinks After the fourth or maybe fifth, things happened in blurs. The band was terrible, I remember. They wanted to be Smashing Pumpkins but they couldn't play very well. Breann got familiar with the bass player's girlfriend. I pushed and shoved someone with the band. I'm sure I looked ridiculous doing it all 15 years older than most people around me.
At some point it began raining. We got caught in the street waiting for a cab, and the rain fell over me in sheets, sobering me a little. I felt like I was drowning in information, illness, and indecision. How do I swim through this wave of change washing over my life? At some point, Breann and I sat down on the curb waiting on the cab and the wet became comforting.
I woke to a pain in my chest and a cold sweat. It was still dark. I stumbled into the bathroom, turned on the light, and looked into the mirror. Old bloodshot brown eyes judged me. The pain increased. I felt a deadness in my hands. I reached for my toothbrush and could not get it into my grasp. I dropped to my right knee and tried to maintain a steady breath. Then I began to pray...."Please God, just give me a little longer. Let me make this right with my family, the people who love me, God. I know I don't deserve it, but they do." The pain dissipated. Feeling came back slowly to my hands and fingers. I was still sweating. I found my phone in the pocket of my jeans from the night before and texted Breann, "Come and get me. Let's find these people and get our lives back."
I looked at the corner of my phone. It was 6:30 am. I made it to another day.
*blogger's note* This is another piece of episodic fiction from a story I am writing. The other parts are here
2) personality crisis
3) serendipity 6
4) Hot Dog Harbinger
5) Goodbye Stranger
6) House of Irony
8) Dead Man's Party
9) Hope Springs A Turtle
I hope you take the time to look over the other entries and enjoy. Feel free to constructively criticize.
Please go to http://www.studiothirtyplus.com/ and read my piece titled The Lesson of Kurt Cobain, http://www.studiothirtyplus.com/magazine/read/the-lesson-of-kurt-cobain-_1516.html. It's the 17th anniversary of his death today.
The above blog post is based off a one word prompt from Studiothirtyplus called LAS VEGAS.
Today's song is from Smashing Pumpkins. I was listening to the Singles movie soundtrack driving to Tennessee for work yesterday and heard the last song on the CD, Drown. It represents what I felt writing this .