Archive for December 10th, 2009


Short Story: Tasting Salt (A Fragment)

I’m waking up to the sound of my cell phone ringing and as I open my crusty, sleep glued eyes and look around to try and figure what the fuck is going on, I realize that I stink of sour booze and am still very, very drunk.

I’m in my bed, well, technically, I’m on my bed and I’m still wearing most of the clothes from my 21st and the bed sheets feel sticky underneath me. My curtains are still open and the lamp by my bedside is still on – Jesus! How did I get here? Also, my skull feels cracked and my mouth tastes musty and stale, like I ate a couple of mouthfuls of dung last night.

The goddamn phone’s still ringing – where the fuck is it? Maybe I should just go back to sleep? My hand flops around on the bedside table, near where the ringing is coming from, but no phone, I just knock the lamp over. I feel so thick and sludgy; I don’t know what the fuck is going on. I roll closer to the sound of the cell phone ringing and flop off the bed and realize that my phone is under the bed and answer it.

‘H’lo?’ I say, my swollen tongue lolling uselessly in my mouth.

‘Baby? Jesus, I’ve been trying to get a hold of you since eight this morning, why don’t you answer?’ It’s Chrissy.

‘I think a truck hit me.’

‘Are you ok? Where are you?’

‘In my bedroom, I’m fine.’ This conversation is already starting to irritate me, I get up shakily and rub my face. Something crusty flakes off. I see glass of water on my desk. I drink some.

‘You weren’t fine last night.’

What? When did I see her last night? I drink more water and try to remember what the hell I’ve been doing, but all that comes to me is that beach I swear I woke up on. That was real, all this other stuff is bullshit.

‘Baby? Are you still there?’

‘Yes, and I was fine last night, just grumpy, I’m sorry you had to see me like that,’ I figure this is a safe bet, I usually get a little out of hand when I drink. Maybe I ran into her last night and got a little rowdy, sometimes I do this.

‘I don’t blame you for being upset, I’ve had some time to think this morning and what I did was wrong, I’m just so confused, Rick and I just happened, it meant nothing…’

Now I’m really racking my brains. What have I been doing? Where have I been? I remember celebrating my 21st and going out afterwards and I think I played a couple of songs live somewhere and there was some kind of fight and a couple of bongs probably, and then a lot of walking, and then… some kind of… argument? Was that before or after? Then waking up naked on a beach, that must have happened yesterday, that’s probably why I feel so crusty, all the sea sand and salt still stuck to me. But that doesn’t make sense, none of this shit makes any sense – who the fuck is Rick?

‘… it’s just that you flew into such a rage when I told you, I’ve never seen you like that, God, you had this look I’ve never seen before and I was so worried that you might do something stupid last night –‘

‘Wait, are you sure you saw me last night? When did you see me?’

‘Last night! Don’t you remember?’

‘Sure, sure, yes…yes…’

‘Baby? I want to see you, I’m worried about you, you really scared me last night…’ But I’m not listening really any more, I’m looking at my hands…

‘…I know it’s been hard, it’s been hard for me too, but we agreed this was for the best…’ Now I’m hearing her voice tiny and far off because I’ve dropped the phone and I’m walking into the bathroom and I’m not feeling very well…

‘…I don’t want to lose you, baby, and I’m so scared that you’re going to do something stupid…’

I can’t hear her anymore, she’s too far away now, I’m in the bathroom, I’m standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom and I’m looking at the person who is supposed to be me and I think I’m going to be sick because I’m covered from head to foot in dried blood and I’m pretty sure it isn’t mine…