Copyright © 2017 by John Wiber
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“Man, she called me.”
I roll over. Try and pass out again.
“Man. She called me. Just now.”
“I know, you fuck. Just got to sleep.”
“I can’t man.” And after the awkward silence suspends between and above us in this fucking filthy room and this dusty ass cushion underneath my head, I realize that I have to ask him something. But I can’t really think of anything good to say. There’s nothing profound to be said, really. You’re a twenty-two year old guy going through a break-up, get over it.
“I just know she’s thinking about me right now.”
“Well, so am I, and let’s be honest, that isn’t really a good thing.”
“You don’t understand, man. It’s just not… the same. You know?”
Oh, I knew alright. I knew perfectly fucking well what was going on. Just like some old bastard knows that while he’s sitting there in front of his perverted television, his pecker popping from six hits of Viagra, that as he’s sitting there jacking his filthy pecker off to that innocent little slut on the late-night infomercial, that little fucking skank, with the cute little smile and the perky tits, well, that little skank could very well be his own daughter, and yet, the wank continues.
“Are you seriously going to go to bed right now, man? You’re going to go to sleep? Look at my fucking hand man, it’s broken.”
“That’s because you punched the fucking brick wall.”
I sigh and roll from my mangled heap on the couch, furiously stuffing a pile of barely broken up weed into the bowl and pulling back hard on the bong, I pull like it’s the last fucking thing I’ll ever do; like there isn’t any here, any now, but just there. You know? Like not really having to feel anything. That’s heaven man.
“See,” he says, “you don’t even know what I’m talking about.”
“I know exactly what you’re talking about.” I say. Then I cough.
“Oh, you do eh? Well, why don’t you enlighten me then…”
“Okay.” I say. Then I pause. “Did you have fun tonight?”
“Of course I fucking had fun.”
“Yeah I know you did bro. You told me you loved me like sixty times.”
“Whatever, man. Get to the fucking point.”
“Okay.” I say, then I pause, again. “You acted more like yourself tonight than I’ve seen you in a long time. You didn’t give a fuck man. You were just here. And it was awesome, everyone had fun, I mean look at Gordo there on the couch. Fucking guy is passed right out, I can see his blacked-out pupil staring at me. He’s here. You’re here. I mean what is there to figure out?”
“You don’t get it man.”
Then he laughs.
“Gord is fucking hurting right now, isn’t he?”
“Not as bad as you man, look at your fucking hand.”
“I know right,” he says, and lifts his hand up feebly in the dim light. It looks like a broken branch. Just a fucking twig, dangling there like it had nothing left, and there’s even this big black X on his hand, because he got kicked out of the bar or whatever, and for some reason this fills me with a sick sort of dread, looking at his mangled hand with the black X on it, so I smack it away, hard, with my fist.
“What the fuck dude…”
And then he was on me. And I took a couple good ones in the face, I mean, they woke me up or whatever, although I don’t really know whether my state right now could be defined as awake. Anyways, wait… what was I talking about again? What the fuck is going on, seriously. I’m sitting here with a guy who I’ve only known for fifteen years, and haven’t seen in the past two… and I know we got along real good back in high school or whatever, but everything’s different now. You know? Like it’s just not the same or whatever. Anyways, I’m sitting here with this guy who’s never been this fucked up before, and I absolutely cannot think of anything relevant to say. I mean, should I bring up how my parents stayed together until I went away… or how his parents are still together now, but they fight all the time, or, how about Catherine’s family, the best people I’ve ever met, I guess, and then her dad got cancer, and everything was black, you know, it just changed… and the thing that breaks me up, you know, the most… is that when I saw the two of them together, you know, like without all the other bullshit, I mean, it was pure.. I guess. Whatever that means. And I know that I’m here for this guy. Whatever that means. But what if this was it? What if this was his chance and he blew it, and now I have to sit here with him, loving him to fucking death, remembering everything we’ve been through, you know, like that small but unspeakable shit that no one would ever really talk about. But it’s between you two… you know, and like he’s here on top of me with a broken fucking hand that he’s punching me with right now, in the face, and my nose is bleeding a bit, I can taste the metal sort of taste, you know, that comes with blood, or whatever.
“Get the fuck off me man.” And the one shot I take seems to snuff out any sort of fight he’s got left, and he just sort of collapses again on the couch beside me… and we’re both just sitting here, tonight, whatever night it is… and I guess that doesn’t really matter because it all turns out the same in the end right? Doesn’t it? I mean, I’m lying here with a fucking broken nose and I’m crying for no reason at all really, because it doesn’t hurt… And all this other shit is happening around us, you know, like between us, across the fucking ocean, in the sky… behind our dimensions, or whatever, and maybe I’m just trying to sound profound or something… but wait… what was I talking about again?