Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Red Door

After a long day at work I finally made it home by 5pm. Its Thursday so I still have one more day before I get 2 days off, then its back to the 5 day grind. 2 days off is never enough. We shouldnt work more days than we have off. It should be 5 days off and 2 days on. Even then Id complain. I knew I would be drinking alot on the weekend so I decided not to stop at the liquor store on the way home. Every man should take at least 1 day off before a bender. So I get inside, take off my work clothes and huck them into the laundry basket. Theyll sit there for a week. I walk into the kitchen and open the fridge to find theres nothing to eat for dinner. Now I really want a drink. I look on the bottom shelf where I keep my beer and see that its empty. Is this God's doing? I begin to make my way back to the bedroom to sleep off the hunger for food and alcohol when the phone rings.
"This better be good news," I say. I never answered politely.
"Oh it is, believe me."
"Yeah man. I just picked up a case of beer and a bottle of rum. I know you work tomorrow, along with most people, but why dont you come by for a little bit?"
"Fuck, I dont know how you do it Trent. Youve been off work for a few months and you still manage to drink more than me."
"Im a pimp. I got your mom workin the late shift tonight. She should reel me in about $40 or $50."
"Son of a-"
"Hey now! You do want free alcohol dont you?"
"Come on, dont be a pussy."
"You know I cant turn down free beer you dirty bastard. Youre lucky Im all out."
"Im lucky? Youre lucky youre the only dead-beat I know who still drinks on work nights."
"Im the opposite of lucky."
"Dont be a smartass. Ill be there in an hour, I gotta shower first."
"Ok. Pick up a couple packs of cigarettes on the way over here, Im all out." He hung up the phone.
God dammit, I thought. I knew he wasnt going to give me anything for free. Its always something with that guy. Smokes, food, a ride; I cant win.

I pulled up to Trents house around 6:30pm. It was a decent place with a big lawn. There was a small patio on the front with 2 chairs next to the front steps. It was an old house but he recently re-did the roof and the patio. He re-painted the outside, added a brick path from the driveway to the stairs, and a new front door. He loved his new front door. As I started going up the front steps he was coming outside with the case of beer.
"Nick, you made it!" He handed me a beer. "You see the new door? Isnt it nice?"
"Yeah, its nice. But, why is it red if the rest of the house is white?"
"Well, Im Irish. In Ireland, most people have a red door to ward off ghosts and spirits. I learnt that from my grandmother. I like it."
"But we arent in Ireland, Trent."
"Its called heritage, Nick. Anyways, did you get the smokes?"
"I got 3 packs of Benson and Hedges. I should have bought something cheaper, now that I see you didnt spend a dime over 10 bucks on the case of beer."
"You dont like Pilsner?"
"Oh I do, dont get me wrong. I just dont like to drink cheap beer with expensive cigarettes. Its unbalanced."
"Youre a weird guy, you know that?"
"Fuck you too, Trent."

We sat on the front patio for the next hour in silence as the sun went down. The radio was on inside but I could barely hear it.
"Bring that radio outside," I said.
"I have no where to plug it in out here. Lets just go inside."
"Let me finish this smoke first." I took a couple more drags and threw it on the grass.
"Hey man! Dont be throwin your butts on my grass. I dont want to have to pick that shit up tomorrow morning."
"You dont even have a job. It'll give you something to do."
"I have enough to do. I got an 8 hour shift tomorrow at noon."
"An 8 hour shift? Doing what?"
"Sitting my ass on the couch, haha."
"Son of a bitch."
We walked inside and Trent got the bottle of rum out of the freezer. I pulled out 2 glasses from the cupboard and put a couple chunks of ice in each of them.
"Do you want any mix with this?" he asked.
"What kind is it?"
"Naw, just give it to me straight."
"Atta boy."
He filled both glasses full and handed me one.
"Jesus man, I gotta work tomorrow."
"Its early, Nick. You worry too much."
"Im on the edge of getting fired. I cant be hungover."
"You wont be. After you finish that we'll have a couple more smokes and then you can go home and get a good nights rest. Youll be fine in the morning."
I knew once I started on the rum I wouldnt be able to leave till the bottle was empty. Trent really backed me into a corner. He knew damn well I wouldnt leave after 1 glass. He walked over to the radio.
"What station should I put on?"
"Some old rock," I said. I only listened to oldies when I drank.
Trent changed it to a classic rock station then went to the bathroom. I walked over to the back window to see if he had done anything with the backyard yet. The last time I was here the grass was all torn up and he was in the middle of redoing all the planters.
"Still redoing the yard back here eh?"
"Yeah! Im gettin a couple of guys in next week to help me finish it!" he yelled from the bathroom.
Where does all the money come from, I wonder. I finished the rest of my glass and got some more ice. Just before I put some ice into Trent's glass I saw there was still some rum in it. I finished it and put the ice in, then filled both our glasses to the top. I heard the toilet flush.
"Did you finish my glass?" Trent asked.
"No, I just added more rum."
"What about work tomorrow?"
"What about it?"
"Are you going in?"
"Yeah, I have to. Ive been coming in hungover too much lately and my boss caught me sleeping a couple times."
"Oh, shit. Tell him you have a condition. Tell him you cant help it and your medication makes you fall asleep."
"That wont work."
"Sure it will. Every boss will back down when an employee has a medical condition."
"Look, you have your red door and your backyard. Leave the stories and the lies that I tell my boss to me."
We finished our glasses as an old blues song played on the radio. I got up to go to the bathroom and felt the drunk hit my legs. It always hit my legs first.
"Where you going?" Trent asked.
"Dont be snortin anything in there. I just cleaned the counters today."
I ignored him and went down the hallway and into the bathroom. I turned the water on and let it run. I pulled out a little baggy with some cocaine and a credit card from my wallet. I chopped it all up on his clean counter top. Fuck him. Hes lucky Im not using a razor blade. I set up a couple big lines. Ill pay for this tomorrow, I thought. I snorted them one after another then flushed the toilet so I didnt seem suspicious. That hit the spot.
"Damn, Ill probably get fired tomorrow."
"Ah well, its worth it. Fuck my boss. Fuck it all actually, lets finish that bottle."
"Slow down Nick, whats gotten you all riled up?"
"You did. You got me all riled up by forcing me to drink tonight."
"I didnt force you to drink. You forced yourself to drink. I just supplied the alcohol and you couldnt help yourself."
"Youve been shovin it down my fuckin throat all night! Im onto you, you cock sucker!" The coke wasnt mixing well with the rum. I began to get paranoid.
"I havent shoved anything down your throat! Youre lucky I dont shove a goddamn bottle down it right now with the way youre acting!"
"Is that a threat? Are you threatening me? Dont you remember what happened last time?"
"You mean the time when I was piss drunk and you gave me a cheap shot after I called your woman a whore? Youve always been a cheap little cunt, Nick."
"Ah to hell with you!" I threw my glass to the floor and it shattered all over the place.
"What the fuck! You better get on your knees and clean that up. I dont give a shit if the glass cuts up your legs!"
"Dont fuckin push me you piece of shit!" I went in for a right uppercut and missed which allowed Trent to catch me with a knee to the stomach.
"You snorted that fucking powder in my bathroom didnt you?! I can see it in your eyes you junkie!"
I caught my breath and went back in with a left. My left was never good but I got him right in the cheek. I followed with a right to his chin and he fell to the floor.
"Ill take you to fuckin school son! I snorted this shit all over your clean counter. I used a razor blade and scratched it all up and left the mess for you to clean later. Now get in there and clean it you goddamn fairy!"
He got up faster than I expected holding the bottle of rum which must have fell off the table. He got me right on the side of the forehead. Glass with little drips of blood on them went everywhere. I stood my ground but had to lean into the wall. Trent stood there, breathing heavily, holding the neck of the bottle in his hand. A pool of blood was forming on the carpet as I leaned my head down, staring at the ground.
"Its over Nick. Just go home, fix yourself up, and get some sleep. You need your job."
"Fuck you," I said. "I dont need shit." Good thing I had those lines otherwise I would be in tremendous pain.
"You need to fix that shit up and get to sleep. Im not having you passout here with a head full of blood. I have to clean all this shit up and I cant do it with you around. So just go."
"Whatever." I walked out the front and didnt bother to shut the door behind me. What a mess.

The next morning I wokeup for work at 7am. My head felt like a trainwreck. I could barely focus on anything and my hair was soaking wet. I got up and turned around to look at my bed. There was blood all over the pillow and the sheets. I ignored it; I couldnt be late. I got in the shower and as the water hit my forehead I screamed in agony. Fresh blood started to drip down my cheek. What a mess.
After cleaning up the cut and putting on some clothes I made it into my car ahead of schedule. A rush of fear came over me. I hate driving when Im this hungover. Its worse than driving drunk. I pulled out of the driveway safely and made it onto the highway towards the warehouse I worked at. I passed a few restaraunts along the way but I was in no shape to eat. I drove into the parking lot of my work slowly and managed to park between the lines. I lit a smoke and closed my eyes. I should just drive back home, I thought. Fuck it. I walked inside after my smoke and of course my boss was standing right there.
"Well, dont we look pretty," he said.
"Thank you, sir."
"What the hell happened to you? You said you wouldnt be hungover anymore. Now, not only are you hungover, but your skull looks like someone tried to chop it with an axe. Explain yourself!"
"Well, you see, my front door isnt red, sir."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"My front door isnt red, sir. I have nothing to ward away any ghosts or spirits. I was attacked in the middle of the night."
"You have some imagination, son. Now tell me, who attacked you?"
"I was attacked by ghosts, sir. They really did a number on me."
"Thats it! Get the fuck out of here! Youre fired! Ive had enough of your shit!"
I walked outside in a confused state. The hangover was overwhelming. I was in no mood to sleep after what just happended so I got into my car and took my cell phone out of my pocket. I wonder what Trent is doing right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment