I’m not awake. I’m not.
I AM NOT AWAKE!
I am awake.
It’s not the kind of barely awake when I can pretend I’m dreaming and slip back into unconsciousness as if awake had never happened. My eyes have lost their heaviness and my bladder is screaming for relief. I’m not going back to sleep today.
I am fully, undeniably awake.
The blackbirds are bitching in the eaves outside my window. The triangle of soft light sneaking under the blinds tells me I’ve fallen asleep on the wrong side of the bed. The right side of the bed seems to be blocked by another human being. A man. I’m not sure if I should know him.
Just what I need on top of the alcohol fog left over from last night. I move my head to peer at my new bed buddy. I swear I can hear the slosh as my brain floats around in a skull full of tequila and salt.
He’s still sleeping. Lucky jerk. He is slumbering silently with his back to me. He is hogging most of the bed and all of the blankets.
My territorial self wants to slug him in the shoulder and shove him over, but my hung over, self-loathing, mortified self lets him sleep. No need to poke the bear.
Snippets of last night’s activities are beginning to solidify into an actual memory. I moan and cringe with the realization of what I’ve done.
Flickers of mouth against mouth, flesh against flesh, screams of pleasure and pain. Empty promises.
Geez. What will my neighbors think?
I’ve always been so quiet. I’ve not been known to have such a wild side. I’ve never parked my car halfway in the yard at two in the morning, dragged my drunk ass into the house and had raunchy, loud relations with a man I have known for only one evening. A man whose name I do not know, and cannot, for the life of me, recall right now. I am such a slut.
I am suddenly obsessed with finding out what his name is. I’m thinking back to dinner, before the bar, before the booze, when Sandra introduced us. “This is my friend from work…” Galen? Garth?
I sit up slowly and scan the floor for his pants. Surely he has an I.D. in his wallet, right? I’ll just slip it out and have a look before he wakes up. He’ll never know.
My body is achy with the familiar feeling of having been overly intimate. My thighs are sore, and my breasts are bruised from his excited love bites. I see a friggin’ hickey on the left one, right above the nipple, dammit! What is this? Junior High? Is he marking his territory? Does he think I’m his new girl?
I hop out of the bed and start sorting through the clothing that has been haphazardly slung in all directions: my panties, my bra, his shirt, a stinky sock (definitely his). I can’t find the pants, and I’m beginning to get pissed that this slumbering, blanket-stealing, bed-hogging, no-named idiot is still in my house stinking up my air with his dirty laundry.
“Hey, Gavin,” I say to him, not bothering to whisper. I just want him to get up, get out and stay gone. I shove his shoulder with my fingertips, but he doesn’t move. “Graham…Grady…” I shove harder and then shake, but the oaf is still non-responsive. “Gordon.” I grab his shoulder now and pull him toward me onto his back.
Somebody is screaming like a maniac. My hand waving in front of me is flinging blood everywhere. I want it off me, but it’s not coming off. A warm gush between my legs lets me know that my bladder has finally been relieved. I won’t have to bother with the bathroom. Apparently, this is just as good a place as any.
Gunther is lying in his back staring into nothing, and the blood is everywhere. I don’t know how I didn’t smell it before. I need to vomit. His neck is just a massive black hole. Somebody has slashed it. I don't think it was me. My stomach heaves and I retch onto the floor, not onto Griff. He’s suffered enough. No need to add vomit to his list of woes.
“You WHORE!” That hiss comes from the corner of the room. One of my Grandma Hazel’s upholstered conversation chairs sits in that corner. I usually toss my jacket and my briefcase there after a long workday, just before I kick off my shoes. Right now, there’s a woman sitting there with a shotgun pointed right at me.
“You think you meant anything to my Gabriel?” she whispers. I don’t know why she’s whispering.
“Who's Gabriel?” I ask, confused. I've never met a Gabriel in my life. What the fuck is she talking about?
I’m not dead. I’m not.
I AM NOT DEAD!
Aw shit. I am dead.
It’s not the kind of dead that you can come back from either. My chest is stinging on the ragged edges of the hole that used to be my heart. Crimson red seems to be the new black. I won’t be slinking back into life anytime today.
I am fully, undeniably dead.