Thursday, May 12, 2016

I Have a Runny Chest

I have a runny chest this morning. I can feel it, hear it dripping like a leaky tap. I have this shunt that drains fluid from my skull into my stomach. When it works it sounds like murmuring voices. Like voices from my past, recorded in fluid. I once knew a guy who was determined to drink himself to death. He owned a restaurant where I worked as a cook. His name was Bob. He would open the restaurant at ten a.m. and begin drinking screwdrivers. He would drink screwdrivers for the next twelve hours, then down a double shot of straight vodka and go home with an unopened quart. The next day he’d start all over again. He averaged (conservatively) a gallon of vodka a day. His skin was yellow, the flesh of his face and hands swollen, deformed by years of alcohol addiction. He had a frightening smile. He was quite a character and I wondered what caused his bottomless pain. I lost track of him after I quit my job in 1992 but I found out a few years ago that he’d finally succeeded in dying. Now I can hear his slurred, murmurous words in the thunking, shunking draining of my shunt...

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