30 January 2010

Slipped My Mind, Again - Part 1

Something stops me from seeing too clear
A misty haze floats round the room
The murmurs make it hard to hear
The voices and the words

Jason shivered, slick with sweat. It confused and amazed him to be hot, cold and numb all at once. His lips cracked again, trying to smile but the splitting skin made him wince, which turned into a cough that ended with a mouthful of saliva and bile over the side of the bed. He moaned, or something like it, a wounded animal drone that echoed off the blue-tinged plaster of the bedroom walls. It momentarily drowned out the tinny singing that leaked from a clock radio, lying on its side atop the night stand on the right side of the bed.

A minute passed, stretched over the armature of a cold hour. Jason opened his eyes again. The fuzzy blotches shimmering over his watering eyes slowly snapped into soft focus on the window opposite his bed. What he thought were ghosts turned into off-white curtains, tinged yellow with age and lazily drifting in the breeze. Breeze? Jason murmured, a raspy croak sounding loud over the low hum in his ears. Breeze? Why...breeze? S' winter, I thought the window...closed? It's freezing outside...He wondered if he should get up and check.

Another minute passed before Jason awoke again. He found himself staring at the ceiling and breathing in the miasma of stale bourbon and vomit. Jesus, it's cold... A slow blink or three and the problem of the window floated to the oily surface of his mind. I didn't close it...did I? I did, I did...shit...I broke it. 

The days seem to drag away
My speech is sparse and tends to slur
I wonder what happened to my friend to day
Can't hear the words

Lifting his head ever so slightly, pushing back at the syrupy dizziness that overwhelmed him, he squinted at the window. It was broken. A jagged hole was nearly in dead center of the lower light. Pearly light was spilling in, along with a few flakes of snow. The sill had a light dusting of snow, along with a smallish drift on the floor in front of the window. 

Faint street noises wafted in on the icy air. Jason groaned again. The effort of keeping his head up was too much, and it dropped back to the mattress. A faint spasm of shame rippled through his frame as he recalled how the glass was broken. He passed out as the bedside phone began to ring, a plaintive bleat from its hiding place amongst the empty bottles.

Oh, ohhhh
Your name has slipped my mind again
Oh, ohh
Your name has slipped my mind again

Maria sat very still, an alabaster statue in the winter light bringing out the sharpness of her cheekbones. Jason, its done. I'm sorry, I...just...I've had enough.

Jason had often teased her about those bones, saying it made her look like a Russian empress. The backhanded humor of it nauseated him now, given that she was ending their relationship by fiat, by royal decree. He choked back on a million things he wanted to say, forcing out instead a rather weak, Enough of what? The empress pinned him to his seat with a terrifically cold stare.

You know what, Maria snapped.
No, I don't, I don't...came the stammering reply.
Are you serious? How could you not, we've argued this a million times...she paused. A million or more...You made everything else more important than us, and I can't, I won't live it anymore...

Jason could not hold her glare. He turned his head, gaze searching the people passing by the coffee shop window as if he would find sympathy or an irrefutable comeback. The city ignored his desperate silence. Maria stood up to leave. Her coffee stayed on the table, barely touched and rapidly cooling off. I'm sorry...Jason sagged. Her hips hovered beside the table, Jason could see them from the corner of his left eye. He gasped, remembering those hips under his hands. He turned his head further away to hide his eyes. Maria sighed, made as if to say something else but thought better of it. She turned abruptly on her heel and was gone.
It's hard to focus in this light
I'm growing warm and feeling dull
The heartbeat pounds with vicious fright
There's something to remember

Jason struggled not to weep, but the sobs burst forth, magma spewing from the soul. The sound woke him up. His vision was flickering, and he thought he might be going blind, something not totally unexpected given the amount of alcohol and pills he had consumed. A few wet breaths later, and the flickering resolved into the ceiling fan turning lazily overhead. Its blades were reflecting light off the ceiling in an oscillating pattern. At least I'm not blind, thank God, Jason muttered. The phone began ringing again, and below in the street a car horn blared followed by the metallic crunch of vehicular impact. Judging from the sound Jason thought it might be close to the front door of the brownstone in which he lived. Angry voices welled up through the hole in the window, and he passed out.

To be continued...

Passages in blue are lyrics (used without permission) from "Your Name Has Slipped My Mind Again" by Ultravox.


  1. I am really looking forward to the next piece

  2. I, too am anxious for the next part. This has captured my interest. Great story so far.

  3. Nice angst... if angst can be called nice. Maybe powerful is a better word.

  4. You write from the soul, touching places that are hard to look at. Awesome!

  5. You are such a good writer!
    Can't wait for the next chapter.

  6. That was pretty impressive, GB. When can we expect part deux?


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...