She woke up not knowing where she was again. Upon a brief glance around the room, she remembered she had slept over and was in his bed. It was still dark out, they had fallen asleep in each other's arms, now they were sleeping with their backs to one another. He always had a distant feel to Jessie. He wasn't clingy, he was great in bed, and he had a calmness about his temperament. It made him not stressful to be around. Most of the time, he was able to soothe Jessie's anxious nature just by being around. But tonight it obviously hadn't worked. Jessie was wide awake, this was frustrating. She wanted to sleep but that was clearly not going to happen.

"Fuck it," Jessie said to herself. She threw the covers off of herself, he did not even stir. Trying not to take it personally, she quietly opened the door and exited the room.

The nice thing and the worst thing about where Jessie lived was there was always someone awake. She threw on a large lumpy sweater, grabbed her keys off the hook by the front door and marched across the parking lot.

There was a group of guests, travelers sitting out back around the bonfire pit. They were smoking, drinking and shooting the shit as only travelers can do.

I might as well sit there and hear what bullshits going on now. Jessie saw one of the tree stumps that was used as a stool was free. She sat down. It was cold unless you leaned right into that flame pit.

"What's up Jessie? You're never up this late." one of the guests said in his slurred voice.

It's because I don't want to talk to you, when do you ever say anything? Jessie thought to herself. Instead, she said vaguely, "I can't sleep Huck."

"Story of my fucking life," he responded.

That was the drawback to people, they always talked to you in an attempt to talk about themselves. It was hard to ignore that people were obsessed with themselves. Like fucking Narcissus.

Jessie barely cared about what she did anymore, she had become more of a simpleton. Do what feels good. That's it. Anything to keep the boredom at bay. Sleep was supposed to be the reprieve from that, but if it wasn't available tonight, she would have to think of some other way to keep herself amused.

"What's going on here?" Jessie said to the small gathering of night owls.

"We were just talking about the changes we've seen in this country. I can't put my finger on it, but it's changed." Huck mused.

Jessie could see the trouble in his face, the lines deeply etched. She watched him take a serious drag of his cigarette.

"It's the people," old Bill chimed in, he was nodding to the fire. "The people don't care about shit anymore," he swigged from his whiskey bottle.

"We got real problems in this country, worse than ever. How can they not give a shit, old Bill?" Huck seemed disbelieving.

"Drugs," Jessie added simply.

"Weeds legal and it's not a drug," Huck spoke defensively.

"No, that's not what I was talking about," dumb fuck, she thought to herself. "I meant the pharmaceutical drugs."

"Oh yeah, that makes more sense."

The things that people stand up for is all out of whack, that was the real problem with this country, Jessie thought to herself. They get all worked up about their "rights." What rights? From where Jessie sat, they were all just cute little pawns in a vast game. Here were all these people, lost and confused. They all sat together to feel some comfort from the loneliness of a world that had abandoned them. Jessie included. What was there to do in this world that was any kind of fulfilling. It all seemed like distractions. Fill the time up and then die.

"Drugs are a great distraction," Jessie said as she lit her cigarette.

"Too true cookie, a lot of my friends have lost their minds on that distraction," Huck saluted her with his beer glass before taking a swig. He was completely ignorant that he also belonged to that category. That they were all functioning drug addicts, that was the American way.

Jessie sat there in contemplation, aware that everyone had become silent around the fire. She wondered if they were all thinking about the same thing in this shared moment.

August 24, 2019 02:07

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