Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Fiction: "In and Out of Rehab" by Jeremy Void

In and Out of Rehab
Jeremy Void

I was to go to a rehab center in Houston, TX, the following day. This was my last night to do it up.
Me and Lacey met up with Andrew and Caitlyn in Harvard Square; Travis was there too. They all knew the score; they knew that tomorrow I’d be gone.
We hit the bottle hard, in the Pit, in the alleyways, going back and forth from the packy to the street corner so we could constantly replenish our stock of booze.
The star-speckled night sky was static. The crowd was bustling—from shoppers, to drunks, to winos, to bums. Men in business suits going home to their families after a long day of work, or to their mistresses to let out some steam. Hipsters with their friends having a blast and going from one store to the next. Hippies with their long dreads trying to sell some bud. Gangsters trying to sell some dope. Junkies trying to score. Hobos trying to make some change. Hookers trying to turn a trick.
Andrew would do this thing where he’d run at some random person so fast they’d flinch and right before he’d crash into them he’d stop there and start dancing. It was pretty hilarious. Lacey was around my shoulder. Caitlyn was glued to Andrew. Travis was in the middle, and he wanted to score some pot. We moved from Harvard Square to Central Square, all the way down Mass Ave. and back, harassing folks, shouting, being weird and mean, but funny.
This was our city and tomorrow I was going to leave….
When we arrived back at Harvard Square, after causing the slightest of mischief in Central Square, Andrew and Caitlyn were gone. Travis was still with us. I called Andrew and he told me where he was. Travis, Lacey, and I followed his directions but when we got there he was nowhere to be seen. So I tried again. Where are you? He told me and the three of us went there and he was gone again. What the fuck is going on? I was starting to become rather aggravated. He knew it meant a lot to me to be with my girlfriend and my best friend tonight. This was my fuckin night, and he fuckin ditched me. Tomorrow he could do what he wanted—after I was gone———but tonight, this was my fuckin night.
He led us all over the place; it was like a wild goose chase. Everywhere we’d go was exactly where he wasn’t.
I was so frikken pissed.
Finally I saw him coming up the street. I ran to him as fast as I could and shouted: What the fuck!
Huh! he said.
What the fuck! And then I went to slug him in the face but I stumbled and he moved and my fist split open on the side of the building. Fuck!
He looked at me fierce and I saw him and Caitlyn and Travis—since he was Travis’s ride home—all take off around the corner.
Now it was just me and Lacey. I looked at her and she was beaming because it was just the two of us now and now I could give her my undivided attention.
We walked along until we got to the park. We sat on the fountain and talked and laughed and drank whiskey from the two-liter coke bottle. Before long, I forgot about Andrew; he was dead to me.
Some guy a little older than us wandered into the park.
As he passed the fountain, I said: Hey!
He came over to us and he had weed. So we smoked with him. I was pretty sure he wanted to have a threesome with us. It became quite apparent when he asked to kiss me and I said sure and then he gave me some pot to take home and Lacey and I left and he didn’t seem too happy about that. But whatever, this was my night.
We smoked and drank all the way till 7AM and my flight was at 8 and I got on the plane and immediately ordered myself a drink.
This was it: my last bout of freedom.
I ordered another drink. And then another. But the guy who was there to take me to the program said I shouldn’t have any more. So I stopped.
I don’t remember much of what Houston looked like as he drove me to the program; I don’t remember much of the program either because they subdued me with Ativan the whole time I was there—for alcohol withdrawals and anxiety.
I left a week later because they said I was trying to take advantage of some girl in a vulnerable state. She was having a bad day and I read her some of my poetry—that was it, I swear. Nothing else happened between us—although maybe it could have if they hadn’t kicked me out so quickly.
The morning before I left, I took an Ativan. The guy got me and took me to the airport and first thing on the plane I started drinking again and I don’t remember much of the flight.
Or much of getting home.
Or much of meeting up with Lacey.
Next thing I’m waking up beside the fountain where I kissed the guy a week earlier.

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