Tearing at my heels.

I wake up in a hotel room, the air still and quiet. A harsh and unwelcome ray of sunlight hitting my face through a slip in the curtain. I squint my eyes and shield them with my shaking hand. Clearing my dry throat and slowly sitting up, the hangover rising up and connecting to my heavy head. She, sleeps to my left, laying on her stomach, face pushed into the pillow. Little breathes of air, softly blowing the strands of her hair, back and forth over her mouth. She looks impossibly peaceful in these morning hours. Her slender hand hanging over the side of the bed. The soft smile she sleeps with, like she knows something beautiful, and she hasn’t told me yet. Tyler’s still perched in the lounge chair, eyes closed, darting back and forth under his eyelids, and I imagine he dreams of all the things he won’t tell me. Maybe, it’s a dark place, maybe it’s a place of cumbersome memories, or maybe he’s just full of shit. I’m tired of trying to put the puzzle together.

His face is pale and ashy, his lips, dry and cracked. The rails of cocaine from the night before have left   a lackluster residue over his skin and I expect him to rise to the day, bitter and sketchy. As usual.

Stumbling over to the card table, I sit down and pour myself a large glass of liquor and some kind of dark cola. The gratifying burning in my gut sets the tone for my day, and I’ll be drunk from here on in kids.

Taking in the childlike noises of the sleeping pair, I reach into my jean pocket and pull out seven dollars. Seven dollars. I laugh, and shake my head, relieved that at the very least, I have enough money for a pack of smokes. With a fuzzy head, I turn and peer at the  forty ounce of liquor sitting on the table next to me, two thirds full, to the bag of weed in my lap, and I sigh in relief. Rescued by my ammunition. Able bodied to walk independent from my fear, drunkenly oblivious to my own stupor, and be free. Well, as close to free as I’m going to get, and for today, that’ll do.

Tomorrow evening brings it own obstacles.

Obstacle number one, get Babyface out of the bedroom and away from She. Obstacle number two, get into the back bedroom with She, alone. Obstacle number three, hope to God the bedroom window is unlocked. Obstacle number four, get out of the bedroom window and hope to God, again, that we can run far enough, and fast enough, that they don’t catch us. Which would most probably lead to a good beating, and one hundred percent chance of being raped. Sounds like some kind of sadistic weather report, and I’m lured back into seeing myself sitting in that hotel lounge chair. Pacified by the gulps of flat coke and vodka. My eyes closed, taking in the only quiet peace the day will hold for me. Before they wake up, and the melodramatic documentary of our dysfunctional tirade takes over. Slipping indiscreetly into the roles we’ve appointed ourselves with.

Reality, spurting towards us, wild eyed and foaming at the mouth.

A rabid dog, vicious and cunning in it’s attack.

Plunging ahead, in it’s mania and tearing at my heels.

Ripping away at the soft flesh underneath.

Taking me down with one searing grip.

Hot puncture wounds making a mark out of my ignorance.

Unfortunately, reality for us, comes in the form of well raised street pimps, and not a rabid canine.

I would have preferred the bitter saliva, and lock jaw.

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