Sitting on the cold, dank floor, my body aches to die. I clench my temples, willing the pain to disappear. The pain ravages throughout my veins, bounding up and down my body. I open my eyes for a split second before the hot, white light blinds my retinas. Slamming my eyelids shut, I moan in agony. I gingerly open my eyes again testing the limits of my vision. Across the room I see the orange bottle shimmer in the harsh glare. My insides gnaw their way to light as my outsides make me acknowledge their need for darkness. I glance at the light switch which resides next to the bottle, both too far to seek sanctuary. I close my eyes. I try--and fail--to ignore the tremble of my feet. I squint. I contract my face into a compact ball, trying to hide from the pain. My legs throb as they lie, limp. My brain tries to distract me from what I need. I need the bottle. I need it. I need it. I blink my eyes into fruition. My stomach turns as I lift my body, falling at the pathetic attempt. I grit my teeth. The gray walls blurr and spin. Faster and faster they bound, round and round my head. I scratch at the pain building in my chest, scratching the skin raw. Red flows from my body. Damn escape artist. I hear a siren, so far. The noise burrows itself into my ear, nestling up like a hibernating bear. I try, and fail, to push it out. I want it gone. Silence seems so far gone. Will it ever be quiet again? My shoulders pulse in agony….The shining bottle rode into town. I smile at him as he jumps down from his pristine white horse. He matches my smile and I laugh in return. He strides over to me and lays a hand on my head. I am confused until his grasp touches my forehead. The overwhelming pain subsides. The sky is blue. I grab the bottle’s hand and we dance to the sound of our heartbeats….Pain. The suffering floods back. My mouth tastes like iron. I reach for the water bottle lying next to my wallet. My neck stings at every gulp my dry throat swallows. The water is warm. My mouth craves the chalky salvation. I taste the freedom on my lips. My cheeks are hot with the rouge that matches the stain on my fingers. I smell urine. I can barely make out the whisper of the wretch from two nights ago. I smell the dirty laundry piled under the sink. I can make out the odor of my grimy body. I lift my skeleton up from the depths of hell falling onto the toilet. The bottle of sweet relief is an arm's length away. My body, layered with sweat. The torment seizes my brain. I think of Mother. She would be so proud. So happy, again. She would love me, again. She could be proud. Again. The pain shouts to shut up. I wrap my hand around the bottle. I pop the cap off, releasing the sweet aroma of solace. I grab a handful and say goodbye to Mother, until next time. I devour. I lean back against the toilet, awaiting the succor. The alarm clock thrown upon the floor reads 12:01. I hear nothing but the drip of water from the leaky tub. I taste warm saliva. I smell the pizza wafting from the all-night pizzeria down the street, through my ajar window. I feel the pain escape my body. I wave at it, like an old friend. I’ll see it again soon enough. I stand on my two feet. I walk through the threshold. I grab my coat from the hook by the door and walk down the stairs to the street. The cold, fresh air fills my lungs. My stomach grumbles. I go down the sidewalk to grab a slice.
My Cadence of Suffering
November 26, 2017