Demons – Willis Gordon

by Horror Sleaze Trash on October 26, 2011

We give ourselves to God when the Devil no longer wants us.

I hate Sunday nights. The dark, quiet, restrained nature they have, the impending doom of work the next morning. After letting you run free for two whole days, you are once again subjected to the chains of the 9-5. A grueling, soul-crushing, fruitless ritual we do to gain power, and social status. Do a good enough job to earn a good enough paycheck to buy a good enough car to catch a good enough woman to have good enough sex and have good enough children and have a good enough life, until you die under the eerie discomfort of dull fluorescent lighting and some temp on the graveyard shift dumps your body in the morgue to the shattering sound of no one caring.

But what do I know? I haven’t been to work in a month. They’ve probably found a replacement by now, some worm to do the bitch work for them. It doesn’t matter who does it, we’re all faceless to them…

Some folks get off on the power, flexing at other people. Making them feel weak and helpless. I knew an executive once who used to hire secretaries just to berate, belittle, and occasionally cop a feel, which led to tears and subsequent humiliation. After he fired them for being “Weak” and “Without vision” he’d be in a good mood for the rest of the week.

We all have our kinks and our vices. We gotta get off somehow. For the past 4 weeks I was holed up in my filthy apartment with endless bottles of cheap beer and rot-gut whiskey, so I guess that’s my thing. Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek make being a drunk on a budget a painful chore. But she was always there; I had to stay sober long enough to make sure she was alright. One she’d pass out somewhere or go to bed on the mattress, I’d get up and walk into the kitchen with my guitar, light a cigarette, and pour myself a highball.
She always loved the rain. It’d been doing a lot of it over the course of the previous two or three weeks, so she would camp out on the windowsill next to the radio and stare deep into the heart of the storm. Her shoulders rolled with the thunder and her eyes flashed with the lightning; a deep hazel that was once bright as the midday sun, but were now faded and sunken in by black circles. She’d brush her dirty brown hair over her ear and look over at me every once in a while and smile. I’d sit there at the kitchen table with a bottle in front of me and just marvel at her. The childlike wonder she had with the rain. Eventually when she’d move to the floor I’d walk over and sit down behind her, and she’d fall back a bit and rest her head on my shoulder. I’d whisper in her ear and we’d talk and watch the rain, trying to remember, trying to get back. Back when it wasn’t all about work, or money, or waiting on the Man.

Every Tuesday there’d be a knock at the door and no matter where she was or what she was doing, she’d spring up and bolt for the money drawer and open the door. The Man was a shady looking guy, but I guess that’s a requirement in his line of work. She’d always get real girly and her mannerisms would become childish when he was around. The Junk took her energy most of the time, but after the paralyzing euphoria of that first kick she would get a burst; dancing to the rock on the radio, spastic and idiosyncratic movements jolting through her body. A lightning bolt of focus. And then when the first wave died off, she would just lie there, nearly lifeless but in a state of such physical and mental ecstasy that I’d be ashamed to disturb her.

Eventually our routine of drugs, sex and drink got the better of us, and it started to run our lives. The Man came more often, and I was out to the corner store for more High Life, cigarettes, and whiskey. Eventually we got into a bit of debt, but he was pretty lenient for the time being. Schedules were made around passing out, waking up, lying down and shooting up. Before long those endless rainy nights faded into distant memory, to some other world, and we drifted deep into the swallow of excess.

I woke up when the sunlight hit my eyes through the grimy kitchen window. I had passed out face down on the table at around 3am and was now trying to collect myself. The intro to Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You” steamed out of the radio and filled the apartment as I tried to get to my feet. My vision was hazy and I wasn’t as coordinated as I remembered, but I ambled to the living room to see her curled up on the mattress. I watched her for a moment, and then realized she wasn’t just serenely sleeping, but totally motionless.

Rushing to my knees at her side, I grasped her shoulders and shook. Nothing. Called her name. No response. She was gone, and never coming back. I was finally alone. Clouds were still hanging over the sky that Thursday morning when I kissed her goodbye; another storm was coming. Every ounce of my being wanted to stay there, wrap her in my arms and howl in agony until the seas rose and the sun flickered out. But something in me told me to pack up and go. I staggered to my feet, crushed the blood-filled syringe under my boot, and packed a bag.
My hands are bleeding. I must’ve tripped in the gravel. I don’t even remember it. I’m running now, harder and with more abandon than ever. But where am I going? I look around. I’m trying to get to 12th street so I can catch a cab… Get to the train station. She- We owe the dope man money. Have to get to 12th. I must’ve run right into the storm, it’s raining hard now. Christ, it’s raining. I’m nearly blind.

I wave down a taxi on 12th and sling my bag into the cavernous backseat of the Crown Vic before spilling into it myself. I croak out my destination and the Cabbie cranks the windshield wipers into high gear and takes off. He’s telling me some story about a customer who called for a pickup and was dissatisfied by the hygiene of the taxi. Or something, I wasn’t really listening. Anyone who has ridden in a cab before knows the driver has a running monologue that goes on whether someone is in the back or not.

Hands shaking, I lit a cigarette and slipped the lighter back into my jeans. I heard more musings on the divide between the haves and have-nots in America. Crazy bastard was still going. I took a long, deep drag as I saw the station come into view. We rolled in and he wrapped up, giving me some indistinct, formless moral to it all, and I mumbled my agreement. I gave him the last of the crumpled up bills in my wallet and walked away from my home forever.
I’ve been on this train for a day and a half now. I used my emergency cash and bought a ticket for the furthest thing headed west. I’m trying to start again, trying to forget the emptiness and Pain I feel whenever I think about her. Whenever I see her face. When I pulled out of the station that stormy Thursday, I watched the raindrops slide down the window. The paths they left looking like so many wasted veins, track marks. I have to shake that off now, start again. There’s still time.
We all have our kinks, our vices…our demons. I know I have problems to work out, hills to climb; but you know what? So do you. I’m not saying that I’m running off to join the clergy and teach special Ed, because people never change the big things, but I can make adjustments. I know it. I have to believe it.

There’s still time.

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