I’m flipping and turning the half empty bottle of Mountain Dew in my right hand like it’s a liquor bottle at work or an empty flair bottle as I shuffle flashcards with my left, mumbling. Today hurts, the “blues” are weighing on me big time. I twist open the bottle cap to take a swig when a memory explodes in the back of my head and makes a tsunami of goosebumps crawl in waves down my skin.
The sky was a gorgeous shade of cloudless blue and the hot sun reflected off of the white sand, sparkling silica turning night and day inverted…..the sky below and the ocean above. I was in that tacky black pair of Wally World swim trunks with Shaye in her Malibukini, the colors matching that of the pastel wash sunset on any bottle of Malibu coconut rum, her boyfriend Steve tossing a football around, wincing as his previously dislocated shoulder twinged and twitched from the occasional stretch to catch a pass.
I flexed my fingers, the Celtic love knot sterling silver band on my left ring finger still feeling foreign, the sight and feeling making my head swim, the metal sparking in my eyes with fireworks of surprise, shock, ooh and aah, and the feeling that it was all just a dream.
“He asked me to marry him…..and I said yes.”
I bite on my lip and smile all at once, awaiting her shrieking joy and her wise disapproval.
She took a sip out of the giant bottle of Mountain Dew, more a bottle of Seagram’s 7 and some coke to dye it enough to pass anyone looking for alcohol consumption on the beach crowded with tourists and college students.
She shook her head and bit her lip, surveying the ocean lost in thought for a minute, then turned her head to me and said.
God I can taste the whisky, warm and rich across my tongue and the fire spreading through my head and the fact that I can’tfuckingdealwiththisshitanymore.
I walked to my car and stuff everything into my bookbag and toss it into the backseat, down below where I can’t see it.
It’s 10:30 am.
By the time I make it home any local watering hole will be open and I can pretend that the stresses of existence will be waiting for me some other time. That the next period exam never happened and I didn’t just flush my GPA a little farther down the tubes.
And I drink Crown. So quickly the shots make my head spin and the room pulsate.
I’ll cry over my failures when I’m sober.
I’ll cry later because I don’t plan on being sober for a long.