Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2 Days, 7 Trips, and 12 Minutes in Heaven


It was only a week ago that I found myself driving to the liquor store for the fourth time in the same day. It was the beginning of my two day weekend and when I woke up I had a plan to drink all day; and I mean drink. So there I was, cutting through traffic like a maniac, trying to make it to the liquor store as fast as possible. I wasn’t on a schedule or anything; I just had no patience when it came to alcohol. My tires screeched as I drove into the parking lot and I hit the curb as I tried to park.
“You better watch that speed, you could have killed somebody,” said a woman as I stepped out of my car.
“You don’t know the half of it,” I said.
“What the hell does that mean?” she asked.
“Watch the news later. Casualties everywhere; kids, dogs, families; it’s just a bloody massacre,” I muttered as I walked into the liquor store.
“That man is a murderer!” I heard her scream through the windows. “He’s drunk! He’s driving drunk! He told me he hit a few people already!”
“Is she yelling about you?” asked one of the store clerks.
“You know, I’m not really sure. Can’t be though, I haven’t had a drink all day.”
“You sure smell like you have. Smells like you just finished a drink on the way over here.”
“Ah yes, I had a beer with dinner. There’s no harm in one beer. She must be out of her mind.”
“Well, I’ll be keeping an eye on you.”
“And I’ll be keeping my eyes on her,” I said, as I walked over to a voluptuous brunette in the rum aisle.
“Rum’s a damned fine drink,” I told her.
“It sure is,” she said. “Do you work here?”
“Here? God no; I wouldn’t last a week in this place. Surrounded by booze all the time, I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off it.”
“Yes, I suppose that’s true,” she said as she laughed.
“I’m surprised I’m even able to stand, this is my fourth trip.”
“Fourth? You’re insane.”
“What can I say, I’m the goods baby.”
“Have you been buying a lot each trip?”
“Not really,” I said, lying through my teeth. “Some friends came over earlier and drank most of it.”
“Oh, I see.”
“So, yeah, I was thinking, since were both in love with rum-“
“Oh, I’m not in love with rum,” she interrupted me. “I barely drink.”
“You barely drink? I saw the way you were looking at these bottles. I know that look; I give them the same look.”
“No, really, I don’t drink often. I’m just here to pickup a bottle for a barbeque tomorrow night.”
“Come on; seriously?”
“I’m serious.”
“Oh well, I guess that’s good. Now I can get whiskey,” I said, as I headed towards the whiskey aisle.
“I thought you were in love with rum?”
“Only if you were, doll. I can’t stand that shit. I’m a whiskey man. And yes, I’ve been buying a lot each trip. And no, I didn’t share with any friends. And yes, you’re damn right I cherish alcohol more than woman.”
“Asshole!” she shouted, as she picked up a bottle of rum and quickly took it to the cashier.
“Still got it,” I said.
I passed by the vodka and tequila and eventually came across the whiskey. I grabbed a bottle of Jameson and paced around the beer section. Did I really need beer?
“Hey, buddy, can you bring a case of Kokanee up front for me, my hands are tied,” I said to a young guy. I wasn’t even sure if he worked there.
“Sure thing,” he said.
“And don’t shake them. If one of those explodes when I open it, I’ll be back, and I’ll be looking for you.”
I walked over to the cashier as the young man carried the beer nervously. I gave him a couple bucks for a tip and told him I was joking, but I would probably be back; not for him, for more alcohol.
“Nice kid,” I said to the cashier, an elderly man.
“He’s new. A little slow, but he’ll learn.”
“Did you see the brunette that walked-“
“Sir, let me stop you there for a second. I’m not sure I can let you walk out of here with all of this.”
“What do you mean? Oh, wait, I get it, good idea. Let the kid carry it out for me, that’s damned good thinking.”
“No, sir, you don’t seem to be balancing on your feet too well, and, frankly, you smell like you’ve bathed in beer.”
“Bathe in beer, man, you’re just full of good ideas today! Twenty-four might not fill the tub; maybe I should get another 24. What do you think?”
“I think you should just stick with the bottle of Jameson, or I’ll have to get the manager involved.”
“Is the manager a female?” I asked, with a grin on my face.
The cashier picked up the intercom.
“Ok, ok! Just give me the Jameson. A real tight ass, aren’t you?”
“I’m just doing my job, sir.”
I handed him the money for the whiskey and walked out the front door. The crazy woman was gone, thank god. I got in my car, started it up, and drove over the curb and out of the parking lot without hesitation. If someone got in the way, it was their own fault. I lit a cigarette and turned up the radio. I always had the music on as loud as possible, that way if a cop put on his sirens, you could pretend you didn’t hear them.

After I got inside the first thing I did was make myself a drink; Jameson and ginger ale. There were cans and bottles spread all over the tables and floor, but I didn’t care. I actually enjoyed it. It reminded me of my incredible drinking ability. I stumbled through the mess and sat down on the couch to use the phone.
“Come on, Jack, pickup,” I said, as the phone rang.
“Yeah, who is it?” he answered.
“Jack, what the fuck are you doing? Get your ass over here!”
“I’m sleeping, man, I have to work tomorrow. Are you drunk right now?”
“Of course I’m drunk! I have two days off, so wake up! I got a bottle of Jameson for us.”
“You’ve been drinking like a fish lately, haven’t you?”
“Do fish drink water?”
“I’m talking about alcohol, man.”
“Fish don’t drink alcohol.”
“Forget about the fish, man.”
“Alright, anyways, I got everything but a person to bullshit with. Oh, and I met a brunette at the liquor store.”
“You did? How’d that go?”
“We talked for a bit, I could tell she was eyeing the goods, but then she said she didn’t drink.”
“What a bitch.”
“I know; who doesn’t drink now a days?”
“No kidding. She must live a real sad life, man”
“See, Jack, you understand everything.”
“What’s not to understand? You can’t hang out with people that want to stay sober; that’s just depressing man.”
“Well, I guess you’ll have to come and have some whiskey then, or you could be the sober, depressing guy who has to sleep before work. Either way, you’re a bitch.”
“Fuck you,” he said, as he laughed. “I’ll come by in a bit. Save me something to drink. And you better have cigarettes, I mean it.”
“Yeah, yeah, go to hell.” I hung up and lit a cigarette.

By the time he showed up I had finished half the bottle of whiskey. I had one smoke left, I was about to pass out, and I was too drunk to stand up and answer the door.
“Nick! Open the door!” he shouted. “Get your ass up, I didn’t come here for nothing!”
I rolled off the couch and onto a pile of empty beer cans. “Son of a bitch,” I mumbled. I reached up on the table and grabbed the last cigarette and a lighter, laid back on the empty cans, stared at the roof, and lit it without even acknowledging Jack.
“You bastard!” he continued. “I’m climbing through the window, fuck it!”
I looked over and saw him trying to climb through an open window. He managed to get in safely, and walked over and stood above me.
“Welcome to the party,” I said.
“You’re a real asshole, man.”
“Then I probably shouldn’t tell you that this is the last smoke.”
“I bought my own on the way over here. I knew better than to depend on you for anything.”
“I saved you some whiskey.”
“You didn’t save it. Look at you, you can’t even stand up.”
“Just give me a minute; it’s been a long day.”
“A long day of drinking,” he said, as he sat down on the couch and pulled out his cigarettes. “You drank half the bottle already? We just got off the phone not even twenty five minutes ago, man.”
“It came that way. Bloody thieves at the liquor store. Selling me only half a bottle; I should go kick that kid’s ass.”
“What kid?”
“The kid that shook up my beer cans.”
“We’re talking about a bottle of whiskey, man. I don’t see any beer left anyways; just empty cans.”
“He did it on purpose.”
“What are you going on about? What kid, what cans?
“The brunette was probably his girlfriend. He was all fired up with jealousy, so he shook my fucking cans!”
Jack ignored me and poured himself a glass.
“We should get outside, get some fresh air,” he said.
“Fill my glass up, then we’ll talk.”
“Fill your own glass, that is, if you’re able to.”
I grabbed onto the edge of the couch and lifted myself to my knees. I was halfway there, but I needed a break. Jack had his pack of smokes on the table in front of him, so I took one out and lit it.
“Get up, man. Smoke that outside or you’ll just lay back down when you finish it.”
“You know me too well, Jack.” I stood up on my feet and leaned against the wall. The front door looked too far so I sat down on the couch. “Just sit down, I’m fine,” I told him.
“When did you start drinking?” he asked.
“About 10 years ago.”
“I mean today, man,” he said, laughing.
“I woke up, came into the kitchen, opened a bottle of something, red wine I think, poured it and that was that.”
“And here we are; day one.”
“Two more to go.”
“Do you think you’ll see that brunette again, man?”
“I hope so. She was fine, real fine.”
“All you have to do is get her to have one drink; that way, it won’t be so fucking depressing.”
“It’s not like she never has a drink, man. Maybe she just didn’t want to drink tonight. She was going to a barbeque tomorrow. Not everyone drinks everyday.”
“We do.”
“We’re special. We can handle it.”
“We can?”
“I don’t know, man. I think so.”
“Well, how do I find her?”
“Go to the grocery store tomorrow; the big one. Maybe she’ll be buying some food for the barbeque.”
“I’ll see if she’s at the liquor store in the morning.”
“She won’t be at a liquor store, especially not in the morning, man. She was just there today. Try the grocery store.”
“What are the chances?”
“Not good. But what else are you going to do, man?”
“I guess you’re right,” I said, as I leaned further into the couch pillows.
“You look tired, man. I’m going to take off so you can sleep. You should get up and hang around the grocery store in the morning. By the sounds of it, this broad probably wakes up early to run her errands.”
“What the hell am I getting myself into?”
“A pussy, man. A great, big, juicy pussy.”
“Well, you never know.”
“Fuck off.”
“Alright, man, call me tomorrow, let me know if you see her,” he said, before shutting the front door.
I stared at the wall for a minute, trying to focus before I slept. There’s nothing to worry about, I thought, I’m the goods, I’m the goods…

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