I asked some Jehovah’s Witness men if they believed living and dying might be the same thing. They gave me a pamphlet.
Henry was a gentle guy despite knocking my face in a bit that day. I didn’t blame him for it. There was an interference in the connections in his brain. You would be the same way if someone were in your head clipping wires like that.
I went to find Joey. He was always a good time.
A stomach full of pills was making me displaced. I headed to my spot at The Carrigan for two-dollar drinks, to nod off.
I forgot Joey had been with me for a while, but there he was.
Sandy would pour like an angel. She asked if I knew my nose was bleeding on my shirt.
I was in my twenties. My fingers were yellow from smoking. We slept in the car that night.
The next day we saw this bush. Red berries. I couldn’t tell you why it seemed worth remembering.
Most of the time we were afraid because it seemed like something was wrong with us, but we didn’t know what. In that moment we saw the bush we felt much less alone. It felt great to be alive to be able to see that.
We waited for the bush to burn. And when it didn’t, I lit it myself.
The bush burned until Joey snuffed it out with his piss.
After the bush was when Joey died. Or maybe that was a different time.
I’ve never seen this cemetery before.
Can’t you see?
It’s a Drive-In man.
They're showing a movie and nobodies even here.
I see. I… thought it was something else.
This alcoholic painter, Warren, rented a room down the road. His floor was layered with empty vodka bottles and canvas. Just enough space for his mattress pushed into the corner of his room.
I would often visit for days, bleeding over each other, hashed by cheap vodka and high-grade pot.
Some guy jumped off last night, he told me.
Did you see him jump?
I saw the ambulance lights.
You didn’t see him jump?
No, I heard from Guyman.
Guymans’ real name might have been Sam.
We had been buying from him for close to a year when we could afford it. Sam was older. Costly but reliable, he had a friendly way towards us. I think the things about us he most liked were the things we hated about ourselves.
That’s as much as I can say I knew him.