A barrage of images, flashing. Lights of different sensations, colors, temperatures washing over me; bending my neck and twisting my spine. I’m falling up with my head on sideways passing places I’ve stayed and people I’ve touched and tasted, people who have touched and raped me with their pollution of thought disguised as sermon. Delivered from phallic pulpit to parishioner. I’m cold and hungry all over again, shaking from malnutrition and disgust as faces bedecked in false eyelashes and Maybeline pass by my dark little corner of the world. Their expressions all mirrored in the magazine ads that are openly re-touched and airbrushed to the point that we can no longer identify our “role models”. The plasticity of their reality saturating what little clothing I wore, dragging me down deeper and deeper into that safe cerulean sky I laid under as a child, and I jump.
The sheets which cling to me here, in this reality serve only to prove I was now the one who was wet. Drenched in the intensity and reality which dreams present. Emotion presented in such a tangible fast forward way suits me and this multitask mentality I have come about quite honestly. If you think text messaging while driving is dangerous try restraining a 60 year old man. A man whose neck you failed to break properly as he seizures and sputters about on your kitchen floor like a child’s toy whose batteries are almost dead. All the while the asshole super is screaming through your apartment door about your “3rd late payment in under a year.” After that, I feel quite assured I could pilot the death star while text messaging and polishing my toe nails.
I swing my feet off the side of the couch I’ve come to enjoy more than any bed. The back support serving as something solid I can press myself up against in the darkest of dreams. It makes me feel safe and supported the way no memory foam ever could. My toes brush the chilled surface of laminate and I cringe. It’s only August and the heat should be on (if I could afford it), by October it’ll be cold enough in here to keep eggs. The sudden realization that I’ll have to be on my way soon lifts my spirits enough to help me stand and make my way to the cold coffee from last night, or the last time I was conscious.
The gritty and syrupy texture of coffee well burned and long forgotten seems like it should be chewed before swallowed, it’s then I laugh to myself wondering if the sudden change in consistency deems it a “solid” breakfast?
Weaving my way through orphaned furniture I clear a place to sit on the floor. Suddenly the door of my apartment shuddered. Scuffling roach like footsteps bombard my ears with the finality of a visitor. Rubbing my eyes quickly, orienting myself, my head pans side to side searching for something I could have missed the other night when doing my ritual round up. The knock came loudly followed by her voice asking if I was home. Of course I’m home, the stupid bitch knows I’m home, in fact very few have ever seen me leave. It’s Debra (a link in the chain of Terra the junkie, fellow Meth head and prostitute, one of the forgotten), she’s muttering something about Terra and the banality of her words sickens me. I’m gagging to the point of vomit, I drowning in a sense of disgust and this cunt won’t shut her fucking mouth. Nothing left to do but get rid of her. I’m glad for the pipe she just finished sucking, the minute I see her reflective eyes and the fresh blood drying around the sores on her face. I’m thanking the God who never heard me that they allowed her to show up to the fight without an arsenal. But I’m most thankful for the bargaining chip I just received.
Making sure to keep my voice disguised and layered in sleep I speak “Heeey, Deb.” She mumbles and sobs incoherently. “Dude, dude, dude, slow down chicka. You just woke my ass up. Get in here before my asshole neighbor starts to bitch.” Grabbing the skin covered bone she would consider a shoulder, I drag her into my place. Her eyes wide with fear and obvious anxiety about being here alone with me, glaze at the realization I’m shutting the door. “What the fuck are you screaming about Deb? I swear to fuck your gonna get my poor white ass kicked out of here. Last week you and Terra come by begging for just enough cash to get a teener, I mean your good for it right? Whatever man, I still haven’t gotten my money back and I bet you’re here to ask for more, right? Where’s your little friend? Waiting downstairs because she knows, that I now know she’s the one who got my ass fired from the bar?” I was throwing questions at her so fast I watched her eyes dart back and forth like the ball in old school Atari Pong. She stuttered, looked shocked and comforted all at the same time, while her hands made their way to her face, picking up where they left off clawing at the crank craters which made her the most recognizable whore on Prospect Street. She fell back into my couch, my bed which I’d now have to disinfect before I ever considered sleeping on it again. My ruse continued seeming to gain a speed and life all to itself “What the hell are you doing here Deb? I don’t have any fucking money, I now have no mother fucking job thanks to you and your little girlfriend who doesn’t even have the guts to come up here and ask for money to buy blue belly. That bitch better not be down there propositioning the doorman again, she nearly got me evicted last time…” at which time I paused for dramatic effect while I watched her confusion spread and multiply in the tears which gathered behind blue eyes. I started again only too sincere and comforting “Debraaaa, what the hell is wrong? You know I’m a bitch I didn’t mean anything by it?” Blah blah blah, she finally gets to the point. “I dunno Rave (that’s what I’m known by around these parts), I thought maybe she was here? Thought maybe you’d fucking let’a stay here. Thought maybe she was laying in some gutta after you kicked her ass, but at least you could tell me where to find‘a. If she’s not here Rave, I dunno where else to go.” She cried then, real hard soul shaking tears that soaked the stained tank top she wore and smeared her three day old mascara. Her body shook in sorrow and fear of the unknown as I watched, getting off on what she didn’t even realize she was feeding me. The whole time my face resembling a placid African stream just before the crocodile strikes. “What do you mean Deb? Terra didn’t come home?” I laughed to myself then, home, what home? Does a blood, shit and piss stained mattress in an abandoned old house serve as a home to anything worthy of calling themselves human? “It wouldn’t be the first she time ran off without explaining herself, now would it?” She cried harder, “You don’t und’a’stand, we didn’t fight, everything was going great, we kissed goodbye on Tenor as we split ways said we’d meet up at Disco’s fa breakfast.”
If you haven’t figured it out, Debra and Terra were dykes. Wellll, dykes by their definition although they‘d probably call it something classy like lesbian. Disgusting facades of human beings finding solace in any incantation available, if you want mine. “Deb… this is ridiculous. How long you been tweeking? When the last time you slept? Ate? What day is Deb? Are you sure you seen her last night? Are you sure you didn’t fight? You ask me, looks like your near sober and confused. You feeling sick?” She answered with her body before she spoke, gave away her ace, her weakness before I needed it, but it suited my purpose, I had work to do and the game was just sad. I would be only too happy to get rid of her. Once she assessed her angle all the features on her face morphed into that of a stricken puppy needing a hug “Ya’ know, maybe ya’ right Raven. Maybe I’m just strung, maybe if I got my head clear the poles would realign,…I just” I cut her off then “Don’t have any money?” “Jeeezuuus Rave, I wasn’t gon’ ask you fa money, you see I just gotta find Tobias he’ll lend me the money if you could gimme a ride?” She was really trying hard. She knew I didn’t own a car, further more knew I had no state i.d. let alone drivers license. I stilled the excitement that may have given me away by taking several slow pulled breaths through gritted teeth and began again. “Hellllll Debra, I’ll give you the money (and before saying, hissing, lying this next part, I swallowed hard), you and Terra have been good friends to me. You seem like your going through a hard time, I’ve been there. I ain’t no monster. Just remember to come and see me as soon as she comes home, on that night ya’ll can foot the bill.” Dim little Debra’s eyes lit up like she’d just won Star Search. Her veins which I’m sure trembled in anticipation seemed to become more vibrant in hue. Their blue flooding my gaze and soaking my soul. The next ten minutes it took to give her the money I stole from Terra’s wallet and shoo her suddenly completely, and amicable bright, sunny ass from darkening my door step any longer, passed as if in frames. Alone again inside the sanctuary of my apartment; I pressed my back against my door and sunk into the floor, before I knew it, I lost time again.
If you would like to continue on reading Emma’s journey, please look into my folder named Work in Progress , that is where you will find the following chapters numbered. I did this in the hopes of making the story easier to leave and come back to, tied up in neat little packages.