I’ve just finished drinking a three hundred and fifty five-milliliter bottle of coke. The Mexican coke. Which is not like regular coke, and not because it still contains traces of Cocaine, as urban legend and common myth might lead you to believe. It comes in a glass bottle, and it’s stumpy and cold in your hand. It tastes different, like a fountain soda in a bottle. The cap is almost always discolored in some way. It costs a dollar fifty, and I always give the guy two dollar bills, even if I have the change in my back pocket. The one my phone is in. The change scratches up the display, because for the first time since cell phones were invented I have a non flip-top model. I keep ringing people in my pocket.
The guy in the deli doesn’t have a name. He’s just a guy in the deli. He’s from Mexico, and it’s not really a deli. It’s actually a really shitty Mexican take-out place, that sot of doubles as a deli because no one really wants to eat there, except for the Mexican construction workers, and my boss, and so more often than not people just stop in to grab a coffee, or some water, or Plantain Chips, or a coke. My boss eats there most days. He’ll have a burrito or a cheeseburger or just a plate of chicken and rice, and he eats over my shoulder sometimes and I don’t bother getting lunch.
The deli guy gave me a straw, and I think I left it on the counter, along with my change. Neither of these things are particularly abnormal so I’m not too sure why I’m thinking about them as I walk. I think about Kenneth instead, who is in the marines and in Afghanistan having already spent one tour in Iraq. I think Kenneth has a thing for my wife, which doesn’t surprise me, as he’s her younger brothers best friend. I don’t really know Kenneth as I’ve only met him a couple of times, but I do think about him on top of a tank somewhere, pointing his large mounted gun at some darker skinned men somewhere, and blowing frozen chicken sized holes in their chests.
The coke dries my mouth out, and is only really good for maybe the first half of the bottle. After that it’s not really cold enough and I throw the rest away. It’s rotting my guts from the inside out and, like the rest of the world, I know I shouldn’t be drinking it.
I locked the door to work when I left, of course, and although the alarms not set and there’s still a lot to do before I leave in a couple of hours, I think about not going back and leaving for the day. Maybe the week. Maybe not come back at all.
I have an interview tomorrow in the middle of the day and the expensive black trousers I bought for it, don’t fit me as well as I thought they did, and the dry cleaners didn’t do the best job taking them up.
She bought me a belt today to go with them because the one I had lying around was too thin, too shiny, too Next. And I hope it’s nice because I could do with having a belt to wear anyway. It’s been a lot of years with a shoelace, and it has nothing to do with growing up, but I think sometimes I’d rather wear a belt. Although I’d prefer brown, I think.
There’s a girl sitting in a parked car, that I pass, she’s black and younger than me and has a child on her lap. She’s pulling her top down, and the kid is rocking slightly, and I think if I’d been here a few seconds earlier I would have seen a large swollen nipple, or at least the edge of one poking out from infant lips; the edges of a nipple, for which I can never remember the name. I would have seen a whole lot of that, and so I’m glad I walked slowly. The girl in the car is overweight, and tired looking and keeps her head down as I walk by. The child is still rocking back and forth.
The coke is still rotting my insides and my stomach feels heavy. I’m not going to eat lunch, because I’m going to wait. Until later when I’m in the city and we’re all together and I can sit and relax and eat no meat, no sugar, no beige foods at all, a plate of green.
The shoes I’m wearing rub my toes a little, because they’re a week old and I didn’t wear socks. They look okay though. I’m looking into the big glass door at work, thinking about not opening it. It looks like it wouldn’t mind staying shut forever. I think about how many rolls of film I have to develop, and whether I should have worn this Fred Perry or not. Nothing interesting comes into my head for a good thirty seconds, and then for no reason what so ever, I think about a picture of Madonna’s kid I saw earlier today. The one with the mono-brow; the angry looking one. I fucking hate Madonna, and am shocked that she even exists, let alone still, and that I’m thinking about her or anything at all to do with her, and her kid is fucking awkward looking. I’m still looking at the door, but no longer really at my reflection. I’m looking past it, looking at the stuffed heads on the wall, and the endless, endless heat that I can feel stretching all the way to the back of the room. I check for my keys, and remember that I haven’t taken a single vitamin yet. My coke is in the trash, that I’d much rather call rubbish. We’re going out for dinner.
The bed doesn’t feel the same now that it’s higher up. On it’s frame. It might be the sheets. I’m not sure. My legs have nothing on them and are dangling from the side. They look like shit. I know no one will tell me so, and I’m sure they’re just being nice because I can see all the bruises, and the really deep cut in my calf, and although I’ll admit they’re a great shape, and I’m sure I should be grateful to have such nice legs, I worry about the state of my knees, and the fact it looks like I have more caps than most. There’s a mountain range beneath the skin, and I trace my fingers through the valleys sometimes, and think about how I’ve never climbed a mountain. I’ve been in the hills, in Colorado, that I’d rather not think about, and in the desert, which I’d also rather not think about, but not up a mountain. A triangle top of snow, a path and a ragged edge. My feet are in a glass bowl, that’s on top of the chair, that I brought from the bathroom, and there is salt in the water, and it bubbles a little, and it makes my feet feel fantastic. Or better at least.
I’m in my underwear, because we live alone, and there is only one other person that is going to walk through the door, and I don’t mind them seeing me in my underwear. I know they’ll like it, and anyway it’s hot and I don’t know what to wear, and I never do, and it’s getting late. Or it’s later at least.
There are a couple of things we’ve put up on the wall, and I’m staring at them, tilting my head at an uncomfortable angle, and wondering when he moved the feather, which he hung a few nights ago with my direction, and is now in a slightly different spot. Maybe it looks better there, but I’m not sure because I can’t really remember exactly where it was before, because it’s only been moved a little, but I can still tell that it’s been moved. Just not for how long. I left my toes from the water and watch as the drips drip-drop back into the mixing bowl. That I look from the kitchen, that was the only thing I could find in the house to use, aside from the dirty bucket we use for mopping the bathroom floor, and dying our clothes black. I take the towel we used this morning to clean up after we both woke up from regretting not having done anything the night before, and picking the right spot to wipe off my feet with. I stretch out, arching my back as far as it will go and touching my toes to the floor, which is collecting small puddles from my carelessness, and I’m sure the cat, which is sleeping in the window, will lick up before I get around to wiping up. My back pops with an unrealistic cracking sound, and I plant the soles of my warm feet on the floor, and firmly, with reason, stand up in our room.
While changing, I think about having sex tonight, because I think we should, and it seems like a great idea, and because once the day starts a certain way, I get a certain way, and feel greedy and I have no reason to think that he’ll mind.
The idea of wearing jeans passes, which is what I was thinking about as I stood waiting for an outfit to come to me, like they do for a second, before I reject them completely, or else try them, and stare at them, and change them slightly, and belt them, or tuck them in, and try different shoes with them, and then reject them completely. I pull a skirt up to my waist, and tuck in the grey shirt I’ve been wearing all day anyway, and I pull the zipper, and close the cuff that keeps it all together and I’m almost done. I think. It’s been hot all day, which is why I couldn’t bear the idea of wearing jeans, and yet I’m sure I’ll be cold, especially in the restaurant, which is always cold, and I think about putting something on over the t-shirt. Which will make me feel better about wearing the same t-shirt I’ve had on all day, and so I find a belt, which was not what I was looking for, but what I found while routing through the closet, and I pick up the sweater he likes, that he tells me is like a letterman jacket, only better and in no way masculine at all, and that he says he’d wear. If only he could. And I stand up and push my arms up, above my head, I stretch out to touch the ceiling which I can do, on my tiptoes, because I am tall, and these ceilings are low, because we’re in a converted attic, we think. And it feels so much better to stretch and pull at myself, and for it to be me doing the stretching, and not something else, someone else, for a change. And I have to tuck my shirt in again and readjust my outfit. My hair isn’t done, so I think about that also.
Outside, because we have huge windows in every room of our tiny apartment, I can see nothing but leaves, and branches and tiny pieces of sky. And in the day time this relaxes me, and my feet are still a little damp, and the pill I took when I got home is still floating around me somewhere, and I can still feel the dust of it on my teeth, and so I push my fingers against my gums, and they taste a little of salt and I think about how I have to go to the dentist soon, and at night the leaves and the branches and the patches of black sky scare me a little if I’m at home, without him.