It was the last gig you played before the Day of Quitting. Realized later that the sound of that was reminiscent of the time three months before when you said the same damn thing, but this can be different. Can. Be. Different.
Out there wailing like a cornered bobcat, the lights making sweat ooze off you like a baby’s hurting tears. Out there in the glow of it all, man it feels like you can live about a billion years. But what did the doc tell you just a month ago? How he shook his head as he looked at your arms and legs, then filled the script because you slipped him a few hundred extra. Not to worry, doctor, you ain’t seen the real me. The real me is stronger than any fucking drug. Gonna show you who has willpower! This guy! Yeah, this guy.
Not many know just how lonely you are. Put on a good face, don’t you? Say the right things and give a wink when someone asks a question; like you know a joke but you ain’t gonna share it with anyone else. All just a fucking slo-mo tango kinda ritual you weave among the usual spells that follow the famous. Step aside, all, there’s a star coming through, and he has no time for chitchat. Hell, most of time this one can hardly speak anyway.
It’s just past three in the morning and you’re sitting in a candlelit room with guns and knives on the coffee table opposite the sofa where you pull up another fix and pound that spike deep. Feel it groove…feel it leave you cool and so damn perfect. Till the world starts to melt away and the weight of all responsibility rolls off you and out the door. Gotta rehearse the set for the show tomorrow, but that’s light years away now. Now is just us. Now is what it feels like in your spine as every molecule finally relaxes and you learn how to really let go.
Cancel the show, you mumble to your manager. Show is off! Show is off! Repeat it a few million times to yourself like it’s some mantra that is gonna stave off the hunger building in you. Grab the bottle, get some relief with a few tablets. Might just make it to the next show. Never know what kinda comeback this one has in him. He’s proved them all wrong before.
Just look at you! Making that new day shine bright in the dark of the hotel room. Not gonna need anything for a long time but you and your friends there on the table: Little thin rubber strap, thin hypo, bottle cap, glassine envelope. Got the whole world right fucking here! Who needs more than this? Not this guy! Not. This. Guy.
Manager on the line, shrieking about it all going to hell. Saying he quits. Man, shit! You quit years ago. Haven’t been able to protect me since I signed that contract years back. I care if you quit? Nope. Not at all. Go! Be gone!
Not a whit of worry for weeks until she drops by and you let her in. Listen when she says the thing in her belly is yours. Oh, fuck! You need this about as much as you need a hammer against your temple. Just kill me already! A baby! Shit, man. Babies don’t need to try and raise babies. You are looking at a very very bad potential daddy, you tell her. She just starts crying, so you make the promises and send her off with a few folded bills.
It’s all gonna work out somehow. Fill that thing up and find that right spot just between your toes. All gonna be peachy keen in a minute or two. Doesn’t matter what they say, long as you don’t have to face all their stares, their words, their horrible feelings.
Don’t have to feel a damn thing except what you choose to.
What. You. Choose.
Laughing as you sit back and the warm pulls you into a blanket of skin. This is one perfect day. Best day yet. Proved them all wrong again.
Copyright 2016 by Andrew Bradford. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.
2 thoughts on “‘Perfect Day’ by Andrew Bradford”
Stunning! Absoutely stunning!
Good story, it’s a great picture of a star in denial.