Every Story Demands its Pound of Flesh

IMG_0327 (1)A night spent drunk, sucking down whiskey and ginger ales like water in a hipster dive bar in Allston. There’s a doll that looks like the bride of Chucky perched above the door and a skull oozing red fumes painted on the wall. The right bartender will give you Jim Beam. The wrong one will give you some crap called LTD that tastes like someone dripped whiskey into melted butter. It’s not good, but it’s easy not to care, when it’s your third drink.

There’s nothing quite like watching a room full of hipsters – tattoos and beards, striped hair and dark, ripped clothing, plaid and safety pins and sharp edges – rocking their shit out to Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. It takes you a while to join in, but you do. You can’t mock when you’re also knocking around the room, running into your friends, sloshing your drink, dipping your ass like you have any idea what its like to be sinuous or graceful.

News flash: you never have. But its easy not to care when its your third drink.

A long wait on a cold sidewalk. An Uber and a girl who seems desperately, uncomfortably drunk, who throws her phone onto the street on her way out of the car. Pizza and breadsticks when all you really want to do is fall asleep.

A slow morning. A slow day. A new wallet. You want to burn this presentation of yourself to the ground, but you can’t because you’re still attached to it by the soft skin behind your ears, behind your knees. Target’s selection is shit anyway. You fight yourself – wanting to know what your shoes tell the world about you, knowing they can never make someone know you in your sensitive places, your dark places, your burning hot and frozen places.

A cold night spent shaking out of your skin because too good stories are rattling around in your brain, are making their bitten edges known. Every story demands its pound of flesh. You’re afraid that you’re too scared, too safe, too smart to find out if you can stand to feel like this for more than an hour at a time.

Will you sleep tonight? Even typing the question feels like tempting fate, courting disaster. Feels like nothing. Have the words exorcised the demon in you? Are you inoculated?

Will you sleep tonight?

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