This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

The train ride back to East Village was a blur. Unconsciously my feet were doing the guiding. I lit a smoke a few feet from the door to the building. Concentrating on my breath in between hits from the fumo. Fumbling around in my pocket for my keys. Zonked out going through motions. Aware of my being emotionally drained. Not even completely inside the door and my phone starts blowing up.

“Can’t this day end, I'm about to tap out.”

     I murmured under my breath. Backing out of the doorway. Onto the sidewalk looking at my phone. I bumped into Vera with her man. He shoved me abrasively.

“Watch were the fuck you’re going dick.”

      To which I laughed hysterically walking back to the avenue. If he only knew the truth about his fiancee. All the messages were from Addison. The series of texts emphasized that my presence at Blue Lou’s was imperative at four. Realizing it was 3:45 my exhaustion faded. Quickly I ran to her. I believed it was her existence. That could fill the void within me left by Stella. Seen as how Addison was the one that aided in my becoming whole. For she awakened my heart.

     It wasn’t long before I was sitting at the bar beside her. She hugged and kissed me. I asked what was so important. While ordering a beer, taking a sip. Without skipping a beat she said she was going to California.

“I had an opportunity to go into the film program at Berkeley. My transfer was accepted and I’m going.”

     During her explanation I finished my pint and motioned for a refill. Right when Addison began talking I knew what was going to happen. Little did I know I was only partially correct. She needed not say a damn thing. Voiced my inner monologue. I already knew where the conversation was going to go or so I thought. The bartender handed me my refill. I winked and nodded at her. Recognizing it was the bartender saved by Dimitrius. I had no tab to concern myself with. I took a good sip and turned to Addison.

“I’m proud of you, don’t think just go for it.”

     We sat there for several minutes in silence. This kind of scenario I’ve become all too comfortable with. I finished my drink without sulking in the negative surprisingly. I turned to her and kissed her cheek. Looked deep into her eyes. I spoke with conviction through one voice.

“What we have is something special. What I found in us was what I needed to move past the heartache. Allowing me to be in the present moment. For that I thank you and I’m not going to California with you. I’m positive that you didn’t expect me to. What we can have is a friendship. Though it would kill us. I genuinely don’t believe it’s what we want. I see now love is a vibration from God. Being sentient we make it material. Which manipulates it from its true form. Also I of all people know the importance of leaving where you’re from. In the search of self. While pursuing your dreams. Go and show them your brilliance. I just request you forget about me so I can walk away alive. Which would allow you to focus on your goal. Being the best version of yourself.”

    I layed down a twenty on the bar. Free beer calls for a high tip. Turning to leave Addison grabbed me crying. I kissed her with all the passion I had left to give. My exhaustion merged with my heavy heart. I held her close the final time and whispered again through one voice.

“Be brilliant like you are and hold nothing back. You’re amazing now, show everyone.” 

     I walked out before she could respond. I felt my emotions mixing with the burning sensation deep within me. My shadow began weeping being consoled by my anima and animus. Who returned to being as one. My consciousness must have lapsed. Being unaware how I was back in the apartment. I started wandering around the place in a daze. Starting coffee in the kitchen and going to shower.

     Finishing quickly and I changed into pajamas. I set out to binge drink the entire pot of coffee. I tried to calm down to where I could sleep. Acknowledging my exhaustion being emphatically tired. My ego chimed in with its unwanted opinion. While I drifted out of consciousness.

“What about your feelings? Don’t they like you, matter?  Get up, go to the cupboard and grab a glass. Take out the bottle of Trace and let’s unpack your feelings.”

     Unconscious of my physical state. As unaware of my response to my ego’s opinions. When I came out of theta becoming present. I was sitting on the couch. While Animal Crackers was playing on the television. Holding a glass half full of Buffalo Trace. On the coffee table in front of me. Stood stoically the half empty bottle of Buffalo Trace.

     I became overwhelmed with frustration at my unconscious movements. Shaking my head in disgust. Like most Italian- American men in this state. I erupted in an aggressive manner. It was so profound I called myself out. Voicing my distaste while holding my actions in contempt.


     Setting down the glass. Turning off the Tv so I could look myself in the eyes. My initial reaction was to turn away in shame. I would not allow it.

“LOOK AT ME ASSHOLE! THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?! You got closure from Stella. You told Addison the truth and how you felt. You’re at peace and you’re present. Yet you prance around like you’re a broken nancy boy. What the actual fuck?”

     I sat there in silence lighting the last fumo I took from Stella. After exhaling a deep drag. Having a moment of clarity. I became aware of one of my unconscious behaviors.

“I’ve become a functioning alcoholic. Socially drinking weekly from my angst throughout my twenties. Now 36 the heartache I endured was the catalyst. The success from my writing career cemented the behavior. HO-LY FUC-KING SHIT!”

     Finishing the smoke, dropping it into the glass of Trace. I leaned back into the couch. Calling out to God. Trying to think of my next move or what to do now. Suddenly a reign of applause echoed through the apartment. Unshaken by the now known unknown company. I was too indifferent to see who was applauding my awakening. The second one I had that day.

“I had uh feeling ya drinking was outta hand. I wasn’t gonna say nothing. I figured it woulda been the pot calling the kettle black sorta thing. That whole spiel though, paisan. Majrone assolutamente molto bella(Holy shit absolutely very beautiful). ”

     I sarcastically thanked Dimitrius for his approval. He asked about my receiving closure from Stella. Walking into the kitchen I mentioned she lived now in Bensonhurst. Putting away the bottle of Trace. I told him about the conversation with the cabbie last night. 

“There was no try, paisano. Just a vibe that I should go. Then like we randomly met the first time. It was de’javu, dude. Abanstanza unexpected, apparently in her dreams there was no miscarriage. She dreams our family, our sacred hoop didn’t die. Lei donna et la una bambina(Quite. She dreams it’s a baby girl).”

     Dimitrius’ mouth was open so wide it was on the bar. I also told him what transpired at Blue Lou’s merely hours ago. He stood up and hugged me with all the love he could muster. I could tell while returning the love back to him. The revealing of my day broke him. 

O Dio, both of those back to back, paisano. Then realizing you’re a functioning alcoholic. How the fuck are you standing? I can barely take the blows from hearing it. Sigh How can I help you through it? So you don’t do something crazy while you detox. If that’s what you’re gonna do(Oh God).”

“You’re helping me right now and I am gonna detox. Check on me over the next two days please. Today’s the 2nd, detoxing from booze. Maybe two days, but I’m also emotionally drained. So over the next three days. Per favore paisano check on me. The goal is to be sober and present for the book signing(Please friend).”

     I let go of Dimitrius walking towards my room.

“I'll be camping out on the couch, bambino(baby boy).”

     I threw my hands up in exclamation.

“I got this LET”S FUCKIN GO!”

     I closed the door, falling onto my bed. Instantly I was out. I woke up periodically due to cold sweats. Falling back to sleep. In theta or subconscious I faintly heard arguing in a distance. Then waking up naturally rolling over to my left reaching for my phone. A warm hand was placed on mine, grasping it tightly. It was Addison by my bedside. 

“HE’S AWAKE! Dino baby do you know what day it is?”

     Sitting up I noticed a bottle of water and pedialyte by my head. I downed the bottle of water. Then opened the pedialyte, sipping it calmly.

“It’s a shot in the dark. Is it the 5th?”

     Shaking her head no, citing it was 8am the 6th. I told her that what I said at Blue Lou’s was my truth. She evidently knew and mildly agreed. 

January 13, 2024 21:37

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