It was confused and dark, dark, so dark,
dark like when Charlie got drunk for the first time, came back, and stumbled-open the door long after Sam had screamed at everyone to leave her the f--- alone.
And Jesse is standing there, swaying slightly with the beer and the pounding music, and Charlene feels her ribcage shiver with each bass beat. The pale light oozing off the stage silvers Jesse’s angled face like water, soaks the black shapes around her, pools in each eye as the constant ripple and shudder of the crowd shifts her hips. Somehow her thin, bare shoulders speak her excitement, and in the dim shuffle of the audience she’s half drunk and lovely. “You know that calc test is tomorrow,” Charlene screams over the straight roar of chaos. “Don’t remind me! God!” Lovely Jesse laughs and her hand sketches a lazy gun that jerks at her head -- don’t remind me, God don’t don’t don’t -- and Charlene clenches her eyes shut and still that flashes, dark dark dark, her loose-jointed fingers flicking up, twitching in sickening unison with her mocking head, again again again-- don’t remind me, God,
don’t remindmegoddon’t remind megod god oh God,
Sam loved drinking herself sick, stumbling home with her arm ‘round Charlie’s neck, slurring alcohol love and despair to her ‘bes’ fren, besh’ roomate evr, Charlene a.k.a. Charlie. And “a.k.a.” as Sam loved to call her, was always there to pick Sam up and clean Sam up and sober Sam the **** up. And every stupid drunk party night that semester she told Charlie over and over again: ‘listen, a.k.a., here’s a funny story: a girl went to buy her mother aspirin cause her mother had a terrible ******* headache and she bought some from her dear second cousin Kurt the cashier who was a trublueblooded Eagle scout mama’s boy back from college, that sonofabitch and she came home, but her momma didn’t have that headache anymore and gave her a mostly delicious popsicle and it was red strawberry, the end.’ And every stupid drunk party night that semester Charlie watched and listened as Sam made up new stories about aspirin (always ending with popsicles).
See, Charlie was always there. Charlie never drank. And Charlie, she always listened to the stupid f---ing drunk-strawberry-popsicle story. And Charlie never gave a **** about Sam, did she? She sure didn’t, no, Charlie didn’t.
“I’m gonna go find the bathroom” Charlie screams into Jesse’s ear and plunges out into the sea of dark shadows circling her. The door struggles open, then she’s crushing it shut, crushing splinters into her palms, she’s bending over the counter, both hands white-pressed onto its imitation marble, choking down these sharp sparks of nausea bursting like fireworks inside, and the music’s faded out, its just the thud of that ******* drum that pulses over and over and over --god stop it-- fills the room, rattles the stalls, over and over and Charlie’s convinced its a heartbeat, its Sam’s heartbeat, thud thud thud, god its going on and on and pounding, OH GOD, charlie screams, IT STOPPED, no no no no SAM no SAM SAM SAM OH GOD it stopped no no GOD
next song. drum starts again. and the room is inside of the drum, it is the inside, the taut air’s quivering with each beat, taut ribcage quivering with each beat. Charlie is inside a drum. beat beat beat drumbeat heartbeat thud, thud, thud,
god I look awful, Charlie’s looking at her face in the dim vibrating mirror: blue shadows under her dull eyes, pale, dead-tired, dead-drunk, and so f---ing dead-alive,
she goes back to Jesse, wriggling through the black lumps: lovers making out, heavy spellbound listeners, uneasy loners, angry drunks, drunk as-- drunk as Charlie’s first drunk night.
Sam was so ****** that night and Charlie dragged her home to their dorm, sick of Sam’s tangy alcohol breath and her sagging, skinny weight on her shoulder. “I’m sick of your breath, Sam.” sick of it, god Sam, just stop it, wish that breath would go away, I mean,
it was blowing all over my cheek Sam, cause your **** beautiful face was lying on my neck-- that’s why I said that, I didn’t mean that, Sam.
And then you said ‘well, all right Charlie, I’ll tell you a funny story Charlie,’ and I said ‘oh god Sam, not again,’ and you said ‘no, its different this time’ and you said ‘one day there was a little girl who went to the store to buy aspirin for her mom and the cashier took her into the back of the store and hurt her and she came home and told her mom and her mom slapped her and told her to stop talking ***** and shut the **** up and then that little girl’s throat sure did ache, Charlie, even after a popsicle it did. And Charlie, Charlie, a.k.a. Charlene, sure did hate her breath. see, that’s my story and isn’t it a funny story...”
you drop your drunk roommate on the gritty hallway carpet, give her the key say
‘’bye Samantha", goodbye samgoodbye, bye bye Sam, "I’m going to go get drunk don’t be too much of a ***** while I’m gone.’
floormates told Charlie later that Sam screamed at everyone “hey, all you motherf---ers, leave me the f--- alone,” then laughed, slammed the door. and they did leave her alone.
Charlie came back *****-drunk, touched the doorknob and heard the shot, the door opens,
Sam’s falling and Charlie watches her beautiful, bony wrist flick back as she gets blood all over and ruins her face and Charlie sobers up really f---ing fast. She always was good at that.
There's a note on the desk in Crayola washable marker (purple): "well, a.k.a., I guess I am being way too much of a ***** while you’re gone. you’re welcome. sorry for ******* it all up again as usual"
*Thanks for that Sam, thanks a lot Sam thanks thanks f--- you
I wanted to write a short story in a realistic voice other than mine, so here's a hard, obscene, despairing 20 yr. old? Its pretty dark... not sure if I like it, but it was interesting and different to write.