My Only Friend

(this is a piece I wrote for my fiction class, I thought I’d share.) (photo credit Jessie Shelton)

Angie wandered to the kitchen and found most of a bottle of Jameson sitting on the bar. She grabbed it up and headed upstairs, uncapping the green bottle and taking swigs directly out of it.  Gallie had a nice house. It was like her place, a little. Her ex-house. Repossessed as of the eighteenth, she watched them put the big Keep The Fuck Out lock over the doorknobs, and tears threatened to spill hot onto her concealer. She dabbed at her eyes with a careful finger, trying to shoulder how much she’d lost in such a short span of time.

The house. The stretch. Brad, her yoga instructor. Charlene, her majordomo. It reminded her of watching dominos fall, these slices of bad news toppling her life over. She walked up the stairs to the master bath, with its hardwood floors and its glassed off shower and deep soaking tub. Gallie had told her to take anything she wanted. She’d mentioned there was Valium around. This lead Angie to snooping. She set the bottle of Jameson down on the counter and found the mirrored cabinet. She jerked the hatch open and noticed how many little yellow bottles were in Gallie’s cabinet. Enough to kill a horse.

She found the Valium. There were a few left, but Angie wasn’t sure it was enough to do the job. She started poking around her cabinet in search of anything else she could take. She found a bottle marked cyclobenzaprine, with an ambiguous message, “For pain.” The bottle was almost full.

Running a bath seemed like the thing to do while she waited. She took another swig of Jameson and stepped into the rising level of hot water that made her feet tingle and turn pink. Angie thought about everything that happened. The video that started it all, the video of her creating her sculpture. It had gone viral, she couldn’t believe the hit count. Until Abhimanyu Singh himself contacted her to purchase the piece. He was the highest profile client she’d ever landed.

Her stomach gave a violent lurch. Quickly, she reached for the Jameson and swallowed, drawing down the liquid into her stomach. She couldn’t fuck this up, or she’d be in rehab for months.

She thought about her fame. She was a has been now, washed up, worse off than when she’d started. No one thought her art was cutting edge anymore, everyone was off chasing her copy-cats instead, Helene and Ursula. Who had a name like Ursula? It was as fake as the rest of her, Angie despised her.

It was getting hard to breathe. Angie leaned back in the hot water and tried not to struggle. Then she heard something speak. “Really? A suicide attempt? Isn’t that a bit overdone?”

Angie tried to look around the bathroom to see who spoke, but the glass revealed that she was alone. “Who said that?”

“I did,” said the Jameson bottle.

Angie almost dropped the bottle. Instead, she set it carefully on the edge of the soaking tub. “Why are you talking to me?”

“I’m the spirit of drowned sorrows. And you took too many pills,” The Jameson bottle’s voice sounded tartly disapproving.

“Fuck off, I’ve lost everything,” Angie snapped. It was hard to feel angry with so many relaxants in her system but she felt distinctly pissed off at the moment. “You don’t know anything about it.”

“Oh, I’ve seen plenty of artists kill themselves when their popularity sinks low,” the Jameson bottle supplied. “I’ve been in the toxicology reports. You need to puke, and soon, if you’re going to live to prove them wrong.”

“There’s nothing left,” Angie said plaintively.

“There’s this,” the Jameson bottle said, and showed her.

Fighting the lethargy in her body, Angie pulled herself up the sides, and stuck a hurried finger down her throat, gagging almost in slow-motion as the drugs pulled her body towards a grave. With a final push, she brought up the mass of booze and pills, onto Gallie’s pristine white tiled floor.

“Now what do I do?” Angie said, still gagging on the bitter-sour aftertaste.

“Get your ass to a hospital,” the Jameson bottle said. “Then get back to your art. Don’t get tied to what you can get from it. Just be proud that you made it.”

Angie reached for the Jameson bottle, but her fingers didn’t respond to their commands and she knocked it over on the tile, too. The neck of the bottle shattered and littered shards amid the vomit and the ceramic.

She looked at where she could safely step and found there wasn’t anywhere. She hoisted herself out of the tub and gingerly stepped down into the morass.

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