SCARS - Grant Maierhofer (Published by NOTA)
“Friends came like unwelcome scars. Look left, right, there’s friends, there’s people ready to be your friend. Work late and take naps before the shows start. The shows start late, around midnight, people moving and sweating and living all together that way in dark rooms surrounding the earth but for now it’s only right here, only where the speakers crack and break and drop out all too often and the smiling faces of people that want to be your friend make you sick more than anything else.
You’re an edible thing, you understand that, don’t you? You understand that you’ve been put in this place to be stared at, ogled by morons, danced with by the piddling attempts and strides of lowbrow malcontents desperate to touch your face.
The first is a guy named Mike, he smiles too much, tells you one too many nice things, and quickly you’re moving onto some girl named Judy with black eyes and makeup running down to the crevasse in the center of her neck. The two of you make out during some Misfits cover and she grabs your tits, grabs your ass. She’s violent, you like that. She’s mean, you like that more. You bite her collarbone and draw a sliver of warm blood, it drips down and she guides your face to it, imploring you to lick it up.
Midnight comes back the following day and it’s some new room with new strangers and new drugs and new drinks to fuel your prolonged malaise in this fitful spree of blood and cement and lust. You decide you’d like to settle down, you’d like to be calm, you’d like to try dating guys and only guys for once. You decided this and shortly thereafter somebody offers you coke. You hate coke, but you also hate this room; hate these parasites. With him you’re in the bathroom snorting lines of hot white powder and suddenly the world is quite boring and uneventful.
A song plays out on the speakers in there between sets, something you’ve heard a thousand times but can’t immediately recognize. Suddenly you’re running. You run out of the bathroom and out of the club past the bar and the morons and the loud thumping bass pounding against your thighs and hips causing you to shake. You’re out into the street sobbing, hot tears welling up and pouring down your cheeks like incessant bothering flames that won’t let up, merely compounding upon themselves in stronger and more aggressive waves.
You wake in the hot light of a room foreign to you except for the bedding, everything else has changed. Around you there’s clutched a blue blanket with white bunnies spanning the top and bottom, a warm blanket, familiar, your childhood blanket. You roll onto your side only to realize you’re in the bed of your brother and he turns to stare at you with those bright blue eyes and you realize what has happened.
“Where is she?”
“Oh, she slept on the couch. She’s fine. She thought you’d be too cold out there the way you were shivering; she brought you in here last night. I was dead asleep.”
“Jesus, Mike, i’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry at all.”
The day that follows is like a mirage. The wife cooks you breakfast and you sit there with your legs curled up onto the rigid wooden seat staring at the two of them conversing and you realize you’ve forgotten your brother’s face, his reactions, his expressions. This brings you down terribly, you smile curtly and explain how you need to take a shower worse than perhaps anything in your life at the moment.
They guide you downstairs where a large bathroom full of towels and soaps and a grand glass shower welcomes you.
The door closed and locked you pull the drugs from your pocket and take two Xanax with a quick handful of water in the sink, it goes down slowly, leaving behind entrails of some plastic residue. You turn on the shower until the room begins to fill with steam and only then allow yourself to enter. The water sprays your side first, the ribs on the right, and it burns quite a bit. You sink to the floor and stare up at the light on the ceiling, a small fan blowing and carrying out the steam. Christ, you think, this is the end of me…”