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If You Read You Will Judge
My name is Bailey and this is my journal. If you read, you will judge'
My soft auburn hair danced along my hip line as the warm summer breeze swept across my body. I stood atop my favorite site in the whole town, Agony Bridge. Despite its misleading name, Agony Bridge was the most captivatingly beautiful site I had ever come across. It was my get away, and as far as I know, I am the only frequent visitor. There were two small patches of tattered, worn grass where my dirty naked feet had stood for what seemed like days on end.
I leaned against the ratty old fence; it could hardly support my petite body. The view of Agony Bridge set the perfect scene to allow infinite knowledge. Any challenge my busy mind faced would be solved in moments and interpreted as miniscule. It was the only place I felt comfortable in my own skin, the only place I could let go, and the only place I could understand. I turned my face away from the sun, away from the scene, so picturesque, and began to trace the windy dirt trail that lay ahead. I dragged my heels in the dry powered dirt as I staggered along , fiddling with the hem trim on my tye-dye dress. Departing from what, to me, was the closest thing to heaven on Earth, had always been a challenge of mine. I continually turned my head over my tan freckled shoulder, gazing back at the bridge.
I had never been understood by those around me, even if they always admired me. Many people would try to get to know me, try to figure me out. I always denied the access, told people that understanding something could often defy its true beauty. Sometimes the unknown can be the loveliest of all. I was never one to open up to other people, only to myself and the friends in my head. There was, however, one person who, despite my best attempts to prevent it, could read me like a book, first page to last.
He went by the name Layne. I met him at a party during our early high school years, and from that moment on I knew he was going to be someone hard to get out of my head. He stood at average height, however was still tall enough to tower over me. The deep grey in his eyes swallowed me every time I so much as glanced in his general direction. Thin, raggedy, golden dread locks rested gently on his tattooed shoulders. He was my lover, my best friend, my guiding light, and my sanity, and for better or for worse, he was just like me.
On a nightly basis I would spend hours driving with Layne. He had a small, very loyal, maroon pick up truck. We both had a soft spot for driving on dark moonlit roads just dying to get lost. Layne knew everything about me, my past, my desires, hopes, dreams, thoughts. I knew him as well and we had grown so intensely close, we became, what seemed like, the same person. Our biggest similarity and link to passionate understanding with one another was our immense need for heroin. Heroin was my, as well as Layne's, drug of choice and it had become the driving power in our lives. We loved everything about it, the deep incision of the syringe, the feeling of instant euphoria and general angelic presence, the drive and craving for more, even the withdrawal. Layne and I could be sweating lying on the concrete floor in beetle position with the stench of warm, rotten bile pouring from our mouths, and still not regret a single thing. The two of us spent day and night on a vicious chase for the drug. Dropping out of high school together, neither of us were able to hold a steady job. He did what we had to and saved every penny we got to feed the habit, sometimes putting off basic needs like eating. We never knew what we were getting ourselves into, but truthfully, I speak for both of us when I say, I wouldn't change a thing.
Layne and I are both very much captured by art and soul. It was what drove the both of us to drug use. Inspired by bands like The Doors and Pink Floyd, we too wanted to expand our minds and open the doors of perception. We started off with the consumption of marijuana, which, at the time was no more illegal than a pack of Marlboros. After exploring that, our generally addictive personalities drove us to more intense forms of mind search, beginning with that of shrooms, acid, coke, leading up to the Devil himself, heroin.
The addiction had taken an apparent toll on our lives, but none we weren't willing to sacrifice. I always believed in embracing death, embracing the end. I found philosophers like Nietzsche to be ever so intriguing. I knew that the end was never really the end, but only the beginning to something new, and I was welcoming it with everything in me. In the least cocky of ways, I was afraid of nothing. Nothing.
Trust was never a word in my vocabulary, I was one raised by none other than myself, and I had built a wall around who I truly was and no one was capable of breaking it down, other than Layne. He was the only person I trusted. I would literally put my life in his hands, on a nightly basis actually. Layne and I took drives every night, more frequently than not, driving on South Street, the windy dirt road where Agony Bridge was located. I never told Layne how much Agony Bridge meant to me. He knew me well enough to find out for himself. On our nightly drives Layne honestly pressed the gas petal completely flesh to the bottom of the truck and plowed down the road of single car's width. The road winded with sharp turns. There wasn't a single street light, only that of the moon, and to one side was a beautiful lake. I trusted him to keep me safe. I trusted him not to crash, unless it was what he thought was best. I had lost all concern and grasp on life and I was content with never knowing what was going to happen to me and where I was going to end up.
I don't understand how I am even writing this down right now. My hands are shaking so quickly I am beginning to feel muscle tension. Tonight was the worst night of my life, and hearing that from a heroin addicted nineteen year old, must mean it's something big. Layne and I were driving in his pick up, jamming out to some Janis Joplin without a care in the world. Man, I can still hear his raspy soothing voice pumping through my veins, echoing through my mind. While belting out the words to 'Me And Bobby McGee' we approached South Street. Layne rounded the sharp left onto the street and quickly slammed his bare, grass stained foot down on the gas petal. The pick up took off with a roar and I knew we were in for another adventure no different than every other night we spent together.
Layne had been acting a little odd the whole day, but I didn't dare to ask, for I used to always know what was on his mind. For no reason known to me, for the first time I couldn't tell how he was feeling. Yet I pushed it to the back of my mind and stored it in a safe place, knowing I could think about it next time I made my visit to Agony Bridge. Understanding anything away from my sanctuary was beyond impossible.
Swerving left and right, whipping the faded wheel from side to side, Layne was in control. I loved the feeling I got when we did this. I reached over and held Layne's right hand as he grasped the wheel with his left. I was sober and so was Layne. Our dealer was in Shabbytown making bank on a new delivery of heroin we had yet to experience. I, I was sober, for the first time in weeks, and oddly enough, I was happy.
I felt a sudden clench on my left hand. Layne had dug his finger nails into my flesh with a forceful swipe. I looked down at the small slices in my skin, beginning to dot with blood, turning my head slightly to meet his eye, I smiled.
'Do you trust me?' Layne whimpered.
'Even more than myself.'
'Then hold on, Bailey.' he said and slammed the wheel to the right.
I quickly snapped my head forward searching for an answer. The entire windshield's expanse was covered in chips of wood and weeds, but we were still moving. He had jerked the wheel right and smashed through the lonely fence on Agony Bridge. The truck spiraled down and I braced myself for the crash I knew we were about to confront. All one and a half tons of us slammed into the lake and my face hurtled into the dashboard, Layne's into the wheel. Cold dark water began to leak into the cab and I knew I had to get out of there. I grabbed Layne's shoulder and he slumped over onto my lap limp. I instantly found my hands running all over his face, looking, searching, wishing for any trace of his warm breath, but to my dismay, there was nothing.
I trusted him. I knew one day that something like this would happen. I even embraced it. The possibility of Layne's new beginning coming without mine never crossed my mind. He was gone and I was alone in the car trying to wrap my mind around the reality of the situation. He left me. He f**king left me.
I stared down at Layne's profile resting on my lap. I ran my fingers down his cheeks as if trying to sooth him. With a few passing moments I untied the bandana around his head and knotted it to mine. Still rubbing his cheek, I looked around at the challenge I was about to face, I had to escape the truck.
Luckily the cab of the truck was not completely submerged in water yet, however there was no way anyone could pry that door open. I rolled down the manual window and before jumping out, I looked back at Layne's beautiful face. I hadn't much time but leaving him there was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I reluctantly climbed out of the window and splashed into the water, sending instant shivers up my spine. I made my way to the shore line and began to climb up the steep hill to my beloved Agony Bridge, the name had been given a whole new meaning, for that was the emotion swallowing my heart. I stared at the truck slowly sinking below. It slowly sunk and I stood for what seemed like days watching it, never blinking or breaking eye contact. The surface of the lake smoothed out with a last ripple.
The truck was out of my sight. Layne was out of my life. I looked around, bewildered, craving a sense of closure. Agony Bridge, the place where I understood everything and my mind could let loose. Not anymore. My mind was caged. My eyes furiously pacing back and forth. Up and down. I reached in my burlap sack that never left my left shoulder and began writing down how I felt, making art, as Layne always said. I noticed a beautiful white Birch Tree towering above me.
'Perfect.' I said to no one in particular.
Knotting the combination of bandanas onto a strong limb and climbing up the tree, I sat a moment. My bare feet will be dangling close to the ground soon. I knighted myself with the hand made noose and embraced my ending, my new beginning.