I feel a bead of sweat running down the centre of my spine, so I push back into the deep chocolate leather sofa that’s comfortably supported us through the past god-knows-how-many rounds, and let my already sodden shirt absorb it as best it can.My pack is almost dead and I’m already through this weeks cheque so I savour the last smoke I’ll pay for this week.
The distorted lounge music grinds throughout, seeping in and out of our superficial conversation, frequently obscuring words and meaning. The truth is, when you really don’t care about what is being said, you just let it go.
She’s probably talking about her mother not loving her or about the trouble she had in college or how no guys really understand her. I don’t really know what she’s talking about. I’m just nodding in all the right places and saying stuff like, “That’s too bad.”
Seems to be working just fine.
I say, “You’re beautiful hon. Why do you care what anyone else thinks of you?”
She says, “Oh, you’re just saying that to get me in to bed,”
'Course I am.
She’s okay to look at, I guess, if you’re a drunken disillusioned man in a dark late night bar in the crappy end of town. But then under those circumstances, so am I.
I say, “I’d have to be one lucky bastard to ever sleep with an interesting, intelligent, beautiful woman like you.”
She says, “You’re such a terrible flirt, keep saying stuff like that and you might just be in luck.”
I’d only really be in luck if a bolt of lightening struck me from the heavens and burnt out this graphite heart that’s been eating at my soul like rage filled cancer all these years.
Didn't used to be like this; no grey, no lines, no thousand yard stare, full of hope, full of joy, full of naïve stupidity.
She says, “Are you listening to me, handsome?”
I say “Yeah sweetheart, tell me some more about the dickhead that knocked you about.”
I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, stupid worthless whore.
You’re wrong about that. You find it so easy to forget that we’re all human beings out here. She's just like you and so am I, except we don't feel what you feel.
We’re damaged by years of trawling for love and finding only hollow reflections of ourselves in the haunted eyes of those that we share our dependence for counterfeit gratification.
She says, “Where you wanna go now?”
I want to go back to the start. I want to try again and this time maybe I’ll get it right and I can look from the outside in and say with you, ‘How can people live like that?’
I say, “I’ve got something that'll really get the party started back at mine.”
Where do I go from here? I’ll go to the same places in the same order with the same results.
She says, “Do you love me?”
I say, “’Course I do sweetheart, ‘course I do.”
You never know, with enough stuff up my nose and cheap whiskey down my throat, I just might.
I crush the empty pack in my fist and throw it on the floor. She gets her bag and we start the long crawl home.