I had to get this out of my head one night before I fell asleep.
Gail bit down on her bottom lip, enjoying the feeling of pain that came with a salty taste in her mouth. She aggressively stroked the arm fabric of the raggedy living room recliner while rubbing her legs together as her own obscure method of light masturbation. The liquid narcotic that flowed through her system intensified her already hyper-sexual desire. She wanted him, but even if it wasn’t him, she’d take any man who was seated in the chair opposite of her at that moment. It just do happened to be a twenty-something year-old kid named Brian.
She once knew a Brian, but that was a short story from long ago.
The feeling was all too familiar to her, as she’d often pay for her drug of the choice with the only thing she had that men would want. Her suppliers would demand she inject the first half of the product in front of him, right before she’d drop her work skirt and panties to her ankles and assume the usual position to process payment. She’d save the rest of the batch at home to enjoy in her own privacy.
This night was different. Gail had worked from sunup to sundown at the diner, serving as a waitress for two back-to-back shifts and doing a few quickies in the back alley to turn a decent tip here and there. Everyone who walked through the diner doors were regulars, all but an out-of-tower named Brian, who was in the area on his own personal mission. Judging from the huge tip he left from one cup of coffee, Gail seen him as a guy with deep pockets, hoping she’d be able to dig deep into them somehow. With rent being two months overdue, she had to do something, and the only solution she had was to do what she did best, other than waitressing.
Gail stood from out of the recliner and sat on Brian’s lap, frantically kissing various parts of his face and neck, showing just how horny she was. Brian however did not seem in any way interested, looking at her as if she were a lab rat, undergoing a test study trial run. She noticed his disinterest and figured a second plan to get him in the mood, dropping to her knees to play with the zipper on his stonewashed jeans.
While doing so, Brian became fascinated with the many bruises on her shown. Each telling a story of when and where she shot dope into her arms for a temporary high. He knew Gail was a junkie, and it showed all over her body. Frustrated by his lack of interest in her, she stood up and drug ass back to the recliner.
“What are you, gay?” she asked while fixing her empty lighter to spark a flame for her cigarette.
Brian replied with an empty stare, visually playing connect-the-dots with the injection marks on her arms.
“How can you live with yourself looking at what you’ve done to your body in the mirror?” he asked in a dull monotone.
Gail became furious, believing he were a host from one of those reality television shows, looking to talk religion into the minds of junkies and lock them up in rehab facilities. She tossed her empty cigarette lighter at his forehead in anger.
“Is that what you came here for? —shit man, you ain’t even got a hard on down there, ya faggot.” she said aggressively, searching around the trailer home for another lighter.
“I actually came for a number of reasons.” he confessed, seated in a calm, comfortable position, having both hands resting in his lap.
“Oh yeah, what’s that?” she asked.
“To remind you of the night you dumped me in a garbage can as a newborn baby.” he responded, still dull, unemotional, brash, and straight to the point.
The rambling of household items came to a sudden halt once Brian’s words were understood. She faced the man seated just a foot away from her, trying to make herself believe she were hallucinating.
“Who the fuck are you!?” she asked once the hallucination concept didn’t work out the way she wanted it to in her mind.
Indeed, the man relaxing on the couch was her son, or who she believed died just one day after being released from the hospital after birth.
Brian looked into her eyes to see his own, and Gail noticed it too.
“You were high on drugs, and the responsibility of taking care of a helpless child was interfering with your drug addiction, so you stuffed me in between garbage bags and acted as if I never existed.
She remembered the event like it happened the day before, leaving a crying baby in the trash dumpster without no remorse whatsoever.
Gail fell to her knees and begged for her son’s mercy and forgiveness, crying tears of morphine she’d often pump into her veins.
“Forgive me,” she begged. “My life was never supposed to had turned out to be this way. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever once thought about my future when I was young. Your grandmother had always raised me to think that the work of a woman was in the home, and a man would take care of his family. I always believed that to be true, but all men ever done was use me, and I let them.”
Gail tasted her sour tears while bringing old nightmarish memories to the front of her mind, staring at the floor as if she were projecting her thoughts in the form of a motion picture.
“I don’t even know who your father was, there were so many to chose from, but they were all bastards. and I didn’t want to raise one. In fact, I didn’t know how to raise a child at all, I mean look at me and who I was back then. I’m no different, still the same old Gail who don’t know any bit of math other than adding and subtraction. I’d rather not have a child than bring him into the hell I was going through.”
Brian folded his arms while shaking his head.
“That’s no excuse for what you did to me and what you allowed all those men to do to you. I could’ve been anything in this world if only you believed in me… The same goes for you… Yet you continue to pump that junk into your veins as a way to escape what you call hell. Failing to realize that life is truly what you make it to be. It really is. So everything you see around you is what you allow yourself to be a part of. And it’s a shame to come here and see that after twenty-seven years, you still have not realized your true potential.”
Brain stood from off of the couch and turned away from her, in the direction of the trailer door exit.
“That stuff you shoot into your body is fear. Let it release through your pores and free yourself from your own mental slavery.” he said before turning to face her one last time.
“You have an option that I no longer have. Wake up and be better than this, for I always believed in you, even when you didn’t believe in me or yourself”.
Before his departure, she sought to know the answer to one question.
“What happened to you…After I left you in the garbage can that night?” she asked while wiping tears from her face.
“… I died.” he said before placing a baseball cap on his head. The cap she used to cover his cries for help and blend him in with the rest of the garbage. Just as his mother did years ago, he walked away and never turned back.
As the door closed behind him, Gail got back on her feet and rushed to the exit to follow. But to her surprise, she opened the door to find not a man in sight. Nothing but a dark, lonely road, leading to a frozen red light.
Gail closed the door behind her, staring at a half-empty morphine bottle that sat on the night table nearby.
After seeing the ghost of what would’ve been her son, she was able to ignore the calling and break the stranglehold that drugs had on her. She looked into the mirror and for the first time, saw a reflection of a woman she now believed she could be. She’d work at being that woman, for her son and for herself.
© 2011-2012 Christopher L. Bacon