Chapter 12: This Rat’s Got Wings
I flew down the stairs and burst open the door of Tony’s stale apartment and I breathed deep the air of the world around me. Sunshine soaking into the stone covered sidewalks, reflecting off the white lines of the shoulder of the road, penetrating every window and alleyway with light, everything felt so real. Almost surreal. Like God turned up the contrast on everything when I wasn’t looking. The air felt cleaner, the grass greener, the streets felt safer and my head felt lighter. It almost brought me to tears.
I got myself together to start to plan. What day would be best to stay sober? I had already wasted the opportunity today by ripping face not a few moments ago. I have to think about what day of the week is best to endure without any substances. All this planning made me think of the times I’d plan out a day for shrooms or acid.
Mondays are obviously no good; a return to the state of work and school and usually rain. It always seems to rain on Monday morning in this city. I can’t start my week sober. I think Tuesday might be worse, because at least with Monday you have the fool’s hope that the week will end soon, but Tuesday reassures you that the end is far and dark. Wednesday is a possibility; you’ve gotten half way through your work week, but at the same time you feel as if you should reward yourself with a little bud and pizza. Thursday is a no go because its payday, I always reup on payday and you have to smoke a little before you buy it. Friday and Saturday…fuck that shit. Sunday, though…the day of the Lord, the day of rest and peace; although it seems sacraligious to smoke weed on this day, it almost seems hypocritical not to just reflecting on all the lazy Sunday’s I’ve had. I think the best day might be to get though Wednesday without any substances in my body.
I looked at my cell phone and discovered that today is Wednesday. I have to get through a week of hazy thoughts and inibriation before I can complete the task ahead of me! What if I forget about it? Can I take my allergy medicine and still be “sober”? What if I simply can’t do it?!…No! I’m a fucking man. I can do anything I put my mind to. I’ve excelled for over 7 years in the education and work world completely stoned, I can go a sparce 24 hours without it. Thankfully, I had a week to ween myself off of the stuff before diving head first into a day without it.
I felt that it might be time to get food into my system. I went down to the Jambalaya place on the corner of Market and Main. It’s late spring and they always bring in their famous “GaterBurgers” around this time of year. I always wonder how a place in the Northeast obtains alligator meat, but I figure it’s better that I never know the means of how they get it. I went inside and saw Kurt at the counter. Kurt’s my buddy who works at Wendy’s, always gets me and Tony free burgers when I come in during the night shift. Solid dude, wondering what he wants at a Jambalaya place…considering he’s vegan.
“Hey man, what’s happening?” I said to Kurt. He turned to me looking more pissed off than I have ever seen anyone and said “Do you know what these fuckers are doing here?” I answered carefully “Uhm, selling food?” “These scumbags are capturing and murdering an endangered species to sell to unknowing consumers. Those Alligator Burgers are an abomination and should be made illegal. It’s people like them that are fucking up entire ecosystems by taking away already endangered predators to be ground up into disgusting meat patties. It’s sickening!” He stormed towards the door and said to the man behind the counter “You haven’t seen the last of me. Stop selling those burgers or I’ll shut down your whole fucking establishment!” and he slammed the door behind him.
“Jesus…” the greasy man behind the counter said “If he’s that upset ‘bout the gaters, I hope he don’t find out ‘bout our chicken wings. Anyways, what can I do ya for, sir?” I hesitated “Uhh, I think I’m gonna go. Maybe somewhere less…hostile.” and i quickly exited the restaurant. As I left I could hear him grumble “Fuckin’ hippies.”
I decided at that point the most peaceful thing I could do is go home and make another peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the safety of my apartment. I started in the direction home on my board, but suddenly was stopped by another spectacle of humanity. Two very athletic young men had apparently experienced a small accident while driving. Instead of simply calling the authorities to sort out this matter and getting eachother’s information by looking at their insurance cards and drivers licenses, they thought it better to get out of their vehicles and fight eachother in the middle of the street. To make it better, they had to take their shirts off to show off their glamour muscles and tribal tattoos. I wanted to simply skate past it, but a crowd had formed on each sidewalk so I had to walk through to get past the stupidity. It sickened me to watch these people enjoy this gladiator fight of the modern day. They cheered them on and heckled em as if they were at a cock fight. I knew for many, this was the highlight of their week.
No one would move when I tried to politely get through the mob, so I entered the circle that had been formed around the two brutes. I decided to head towards the two damaged cars and the sidestreet they currently blocked. Without thinking, I headed in that direction, but was quickly met by the tussle of two large men who started wrestling with me underneath them. The man on top threw a punch that landed just short of his target, but hit me dead in the jaw. “How the fuck do you miss a punch that close” I thought. But soon after a couple more hit his target and myself and I, for the second time in one day, blacked out on asphault.