One too many packs of cigarettes a week. Two too many shots of bourbon a night. Three too many lines to get me through the day. Four too many. Five too many. So many too manys. All such clichés. I figured myself too smart for that, too quick for the nasty little diseases and brutal little tumours that caught so many of our ‘nearest and dearest’ with their endless charity balls and star studded galas. Get in, get rich, and get out whilst everyone else is still trying to where they’d seen my name. Diamond encrusted evenings swam away, declining interests (if the people don’t know your name, you don’t have a name and you’re home alone tonight) or expensive aftershave and limos to the gated section of town (the driven snow, Mommy Dearest). Watching the wheels spin and always spinning back to me cleaner and richer than before. Every evening and every gilded golden building recognised me and led me to their best table, their best wine, their best of luck, their best of everything. Someone up there saw my sneering and smiled back, saying, ‘have another, it can’t hurt’. Just a little pain. Just a little blood. Deal with it later. See a doctor. Can’t be serious.
Seems it can. Some lab coat sent me a letter. ‘Please arrange an appointment as a matter of urgency’. The ghastly green clinic didn’t recognise me, and someone up there no longer gave a crap. Hooked up to a drip (sounds like my second marriage!) and manacled with uncomfortable plastic bracelets (no Cartier?), I was laid out in their finest suite, up (down?)graded with all kinds of machines and monitors, screens and sirens where another lab coat gave me a length of time that seemed like a lenient sentence for a late library return. Someone’s having a real chuckle. Someone’s having a bad day at the office and got their facts wrong. Do all the tests you need to do, get it right, and I’ll get the hell out of Dodge. Get me out by tonight, and I’ll try not to sue your asses to death. It’s alright Mommy Dearest; I’ll be out in no time at all.
Two weeks later. Still not out. Feels like a stuck pig, and these lab coats are doing nothing but sticking needles in me and being real nice when I scream at them to fix me Everybody gets nicer the worse I am to them, and the nicer they are, the worse I get. Some polite and professional pant-suit came to ‘talk me through what’s happening right now’ and left in tears. Two nights ago, one of their goddamn machines broke on me and sirens blared, and people ran in and shouted and stuck more needles in me and all I was doing was sleeping. Why can’t they believe I was only sleeping? Why couldn’t I be only sleeping? Why can’t I be just sleeping?
Three months since black letter day. I need a good rest (how in Goddamn Hell’s name can I be asleep most of the time and still not get enough?), but I’ve got real nice to these guys now. I’m gonna be nice to everybody now. A month in here has scared the crap outta me, and now I’m gonna go straight. I was trying like hell to sneak in a smoke here, but I’ve decided that I need to cut that crap out. Got a little warning, and I’m smart enough to take it. No more smokes, no more lines, no more drinks, no more nothing. Just fruit and water and even the goddamn gym now and again. Even gonna donate, y’know, to charities, make the world a better place, square things with my Mom, try harder, be better, drop the goddamn cursing. So long as I get out of here, it’ll be alright.
Month whatever, week whatever. Crying all the goddamn time. Just always goddamn crying.
Five months and two days since the letter. So it’s got me, this nasty little disease/brutal little tumour that Dr Goldman was telling me about weeks ago. Mom says that they’re planning a diamond encrusted star studded gala to raise awareness or funds or something. Thanks guys, but I won’t be there. Say hi to the limo drivers for me; tell them I’m sorry for dirtying up their upholstery. On a clear day in this town you can see maybe twenty feet down the road. Turns out I’m not even quick enough to get that far.