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Road to Relapse - Bleed It Out (Part 2)

Road to Relapse - Bleed It Out (Part 2)

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Published by djames2
Part 2 of chapter 3 in Road to Relapse - enjoy it!
Part 2 of chapter 3 in Road to Relapse - enjoy it!

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Published by: djames2 on Jun 11, 2010
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06/10/2010

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Street lights. That¶s the first thing I remember seeing in the darkness. There¶s no sound outside of those goddamn humming noises from the dull bulbs that create little craters onthe pavement. I assume that there¶re houses next to me, surrounding me even. They all have front doors and windows and I those windows there¶s more darkness and moredepression and more anxiety. But out here there¶s a promise land, a Mecca, something holy«.but I can¶t see it because it¶s dark and because I was never meant to see anything in the first place.Then there¶s the smell. There¶s always the lingering smell of whiskey in the air. It emanates from the trees like sap and carries itself in the gusts of wind like leaves on anautumn day. It burns me entering my nostrils, igniting a fire on the insides of my body. I can hear all the tiny machines pumping my heart and regulating my blood flow, slowlybeing burnt alive (is the right word alive?) by this inferno. I walk, but walking is as painstaking as moving a boulder. My legs are heavy, and the ground seems to pull me down every step of the way. I struggle and strain my musclesinto submission, but I do not stop moving. If I stop moving I know what will happen. Thelights will go off, and the world around me will become black. I can feel the houses watchme as I move. I do not like this. Floral smells now. They¶re only there for a second but I can smell them, like anair spray used in my bathroom. The smell causes my muscles to release all their tensionin hypnotic submission. I try to force them to continue working but they refuse to listen tome. I start to nod off, unable to keep my posture. If I fall on the ground I will beconsumed and I will die. This is a fact that I¶m sure of. I reach into my pocket, hoping for salvation in the strongest way possible. I want a bible. I don¶t know why but the image of a bible is reassuring to me. What I pull out is abottle of whiskey with a cross on it. Inside the bottle there is a thick, dark red liquid that  stinks of chlorine. I unscrew the cap and chug. If this is the blood of Christ, I¶m not  getting any drunker.³You can¶t drink that whole bottle,´ I hear a voice shout out to me from thedarkness. To the left a light turns on with a clicking noise, and I see Dante standing there, looking at me with dead eyes. His features are haunting, and even though his lipsdon¶t move, I hear him repeat himself. ³I bet you can¶t drink that whole bottle.´
 
Game on. I chug. I continue chugging even after I know I¶ve had enough, and even after I feel like I¶m going to throw up with the liquid simmering inside of my stomach like a volcanic eruption. I don¶t want to drink this, but I don¶t have a choice. If I don¶t drink this liquid right now, I lose my identity forever. Dante walks away from me before I can finish. I have no choice but to chug asquickly as possible and chase after him. The ground that once pulled my legs down hasreleased their grip on me, and suddenly I am on ice trying to run like a penguin. I slip all over the place and struggle to keep my balance, constantly fighting the forces of nature. I catch up with Dante around the back of the house, and he¶s waiting in line for something.There¶s a man there, holding his hand out. He is bald and smells like cheese witha goatee that¶s dated and full of crumbs. I hate him but I don¶t have a choice in avoiding him. He asks to see my identification. I hand him the empty bottle and fall over. My eyes seal shut, and for a moment I contemplate playing dead. If he¶s a bouncer, he can¶t kick me out because I¶m already gone. He¶ll have to call the hospital, and I¶ll get my get out of jail free card for playing possum. But it doesn¶t work that way. My brain stops thinking. All thought shuts down. The machines inside my bodycease function. I suddenly fight to hang on but can¶t for much longer. I know that I  screwed up, but there¶s no turning back now. The ground below me grows lips that expand as a tongue made of maggots rolls out from the ground and scoops me up like alick off of an ice cream cone. I don¶t try to fight it. I made my bed, and it¶s time to die init.
With the radio off he has no choice but to listen to the sound of the windwhipping by the car as they past each telephone pole, street sign, and tree. Julie does notsay much, keeping her focus on the road. He should be able to listen to his thoughts, buthis mind is frantic. There is an information speedway going right through his thought process, making even the simplest of observations impossible to deal with. He misses thedays when he could have his mind clear, when words did not charge through senselesslylike they were trying to play red rover with his thoughts. He used to be able to take a ridein a car and not think about anything. Now all he can think about is useless nothings.³We should go out to eat,´ Julie says spontaneously, nonchalantly.
 
He looks at her curiously. He feels so much smaller than her while she sits in hiscar, in front of his steering wheel, commanding his every direction. ³Okay, where do youwant to eat?´³Brian and Sarah texted me in the grocery store and said they were going out to breakfast at this little café on the eastside, why don¶t we join them?´³What about the groceries?´³They¶ll be fine in the car.´He sighs, almost impatiently. ³Yeah, sure ± that sounds nice.´Julie turns the car in a new direction, towards a new destination. She seems socontent, he thinks. Everything about her is simple and satisfied. How can she be happy allthe time? How does the road seem to bend to her will, and not the other way around?³Stop the car.´The mirth drops. ³What?´³Stop the car,´ Dominic repeats. Julie pulls over on the side of the road. Rundown houses litter the sides of the streets like a virus. Paint peels off the sides like rottingflesh, and the doors hang on their hinges like decaying teeth. The whole neighborhood isdeteriorating.Julie shifts uncomfortably. ³Dominic«why are we stopped here? You know thisis a bad area. People get hurt here.´His only response is by opening and shutting the door without so much as aglimpse in her direction. He soaks in his surroundings like a sponge. Birds still chirp ondays like this, where the sun is shining even though it¶s November and the air is frosty but tolerable. Heaven still exists, even while these people dissipate to hell.The click of a car door opening and the slamming of a car door shutting breaksthe ghetto beauty of his portrait. He turns his head and meets eyes with an uncertain anduneasy Julie. He can almost feel her skin curl. This is the kind of neighborhood you keepdriving through, not the kind where you stop and take a picture. She must think I¶minsane, he reflects.³Dom,´ she almost pleads, ³can we please go?´³You don¶t see it, do you?´

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