Just Be a Person

Just pick yourself up out of the snow, plowed into a heap, next to the fallen nest in the street, waiting to get erased by a tire. Just wipe the frozen vomit from your shirt, coat halfway off, one shoe gone so when you walk you’ve become a Frankenstein. Just shield your eyes from the haze of the streetlamps, becoming two in your eyes, the sky a pepto pink behind it, buildings as knives to cut it open. Just end up at the back door of the halfway house by some cosmic luck, knocking loud enough so the cool guard can hear but not loud enough for the director to. Just end up with the one showerhead that halfway works, stepping in and out of the icy water till you can’t feel anything. Just tap a handful of sleeping pills into your mouth, the ones you snuck in, body still frozen, and try to figure if the whiskey will interfere. Just go to sleep anyway. Just wake in the morning, amazed, and shake Larry in the next bunk over till he wakes up, tell him it’s visiting hour even though it isn’t cause that’s the only way he’ll get out of bed. Just walk straight into the dining hall and don’t stumble, especially not in front of the director. Just fill out a crossword while your skull pulses into a thousand pieces, your head filled with against the odds stories of your sobriety, finished manuscript, Pulitzer in hand. Just go back to your room and do a hundred pushups, pray to god in the sunlight, dump the sleeping pills down the toilet. Just scream into your pillow, stab it with the blade you snuck in, hide the feathers on Larry’s bed. Just send her texts in between groups, insisting you’re clean, haven’t touched a drop since you got here a month ago, that you’ve got a stack of pages written, that you’ll see her in no time. Just swish mouthwash to get rid of the whiskeystink. Just down the mouthwash and wait for it to burn in your belly, to swim in your head. Just stuff paper towel down your throat, one after the other, till you can’t breathe, and try to hold it there, sliding down the wall, now lying on the floor, eyes on the bathroom’s flickering bulb, listening to yourself choke but it sounding like it’s coming from someone else. Just cough it all up and see spots in your eyes till you get up and clean yourself off. Just dream in scenes of a life you’ve never had, the one you’ve written about, keeping yourself from the edge of the bridge you’ve been eyeing since before you got in this place. Just realize that the only reason you haven’t finished writing is cause you can’t see your life past the story, a big black nothing after THE END. Just tell the director what he wants to hear in groups, bum cigs off Larry, convince the cool guard to hold the door for you while you “go for a walk,” stopping at the liquor store. Just pocket a couple plastic bottles, pants bulging, and head for the door like you’re on a lazy stroll. Just run when the alarm goes off. Just get stopped at the door by the cool guard, one of the bottles falling out, him asking you what in the fuck you think you’re doing. Just tell him you’re joking, only kidding, and throw a bottle in the snow, another against a tree, the rest into the street, bouncing off parked cars, bottlecaps cracking, splattering alcohol. Just walk past him as he shakes his head. Just delete the dealer’s number from your phone, then search all your texts, your call history to find it again. Just give up. Just wake in the night, shivering even though it’s warm in your room, sweating through your sheets, Larry snoring in his bed and a sickle moon letting light in. Just consider holding a pillow over Larry’s face but search through his dresser instead. Just find his mouthwash. Just pop off the cap. Just walk to the bathroom and look in the mirror. Just pour it all down the drain and apologize to Larry while he sleeps. Just pull out your notebook and open it, pages untouched. Just start writing, filling up pages, flipping, not stopping, not letting up. Just let Larry sleep in. Just take a cold shower. Just eat breakfast. Just watch the way the sun fills up the room. Just cry in the bathroom when you have to. Just be a person.



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