Tell your mother she was right when she called you a whore. A lazy, careless, stupid whore. You thought you could get away with it, didn’t you? All that fraternizing and frivolous frolicking, drowning your sorrows at the bottom of that bottle. Putting off for longer what you could’ve done tomorrow, or next week.
By the way, I checked: That unchecked demon that came in behind you left the goddamned door ajar. Sick with the pneumonia you gave her when you fed her a steady diet of charm and oblivion. Probably going to blow the fucking place up if it’s not worth saving, you unaccountable bastard.
Your soul’s not worth saving. Stop trying. I told you, your futile attempts to outrun, to out-earn, to outwit your past. Did you not realize your baggage has been in your backpack the entire time? That it’s been guiding your every move? You’re a coward masquerading as a saint. Moral clarity? Since when have you been so principled that you couldn’t have had your mind changed by the right reward attained the wrong way?
And yet here you stand. Disheveled. Sloppier than a two-dollar bum who picks you up on Sycamore Avenue — remember her? — asking if you’d like a ride back to the causeway in exchange for a hand job and some chocolate. Some fuckery. You just had to, didn’t you? Altruism as self-sabotage.
You’re a spineless sycophant thirsty for the blood of purpose, filling up on chance encounters with characters too bleak to forget yet too boring to remember. Congratulations on finishing the pack and the gram, seven hours closer to death with nothing to show and nothing to live for.
Remember, dear, when she read from the bible and told you she was “on fire?” Remember the way you gasped for air when she touched you by the hand to grab you by the throat? No? That horseshit you spewed for days and weeks and months and all the days and weeks and months run together, darling. It’s all come to bear as the cross you bear — alone with everybody. The company of loneliness. The death of that which left your dreams dashed at the altar of what you may have been, had you been a bit more discrete or discerning.
Wild were the nights, dreary were the days, and the rat-bastards who sunk your ship with their own tales of woe — tales you believed. Sagas you burned for. Consuming, subsisting and bingeing on vicarious proxy events you could only get closer to, but never come close enough to touch.
Gone were the moments. The fleeting, tragic, fantastical moments — the ones that kept you awake slumming it in the flophouse in the Fruit Belt, while dense, hazy EDM played and you wrapped your arms around a single teen mother, aged 24 and older than you, who told you she was in the presence of greatness when she heard you recite your favorite Kurt Vonnegut, with all the pizzazz of a local-market daily obituary.
You fucked. And you forgot. And now it’s all one big blur. You connected. You engaged in post-coital mumbles. You vanished, and still vanish, into the din of nights long gone and stories not worth retelling. You tell them anyway. You wish you hadn’t. Haven’t you learned by now your stories tell on you?
You built nothing, yet you asked for more wood. You burned it. You started again, and set it ablaze when it wasn’t quite right. The house sits vacant still, uncovered, failing code inspection. Like some post-apocalyptic Superfund site.
Oh, now there’s this present, in which you’re so clearly present, absorbed in a hyper-focused state of surreal self-obsession. Oh, but to be alive! To be free of the hell of high expectations! To be the sum of those whiskeys and key-bumps and lonely nights spent inside someone else. Keeps you young. Keeps you fresh. Keeps you searching for when your life shall finally begin again — yet you keep pressing reset while the menu screen flickers as the only light left in the room.
When your mother, the demon, the single teen mom, the night-lady, the plug, the whore and the builder all sneak in your soul and crowd out the applause — they’re enabling you. They’re engulfing you. They’ve become you. Ah, but now you’re not lonely! You’re remembering the wreck and embracing the carnage.
That shit, that irresponsibly un-adult, unadulterated shit you did and keep doing, long after it was fashionable. It is you. And if you’re not careful, it’ll catapult you into the afterlife — a canonized deity of debauchery with a yarn to spin and a seat at the bar with Hemingway, Stalin and Jesus. You’re here. You’ve made it. Congratulations, and welcome home.
And if you see your mother there, tell her what I told you at the beginning, and when you see the look on her face when you do, I hope the mirror breaks.
Thank god you’re not there yet. There is still time. You can, and you shall be redeemed. But don’t expect me to encourage you. No, that shit’s on you … but you got this. You always do, don’t you?
You’re on your own. I’ll see myself out now.