Dec 3, 2010

Short Story: Lisa & Herself

Word: Nose (inspired by Janet Fitch @

She needed some clarity in her life. She needed some fucking clarity.

Lisa opened up her pantry door and gazed at the empty contents that were spread out in front of her. She pushed back several empty containers of cereal, a box of half-stale Oreos and expired ramen noodles. She sighed. She rummaged more through the emptiness of her cupboard. Cheerios. But what good were Cheerios without milk? Her food stamps hadn't come in yet and wouldn't till the first, a week away, and she was left with a fridge full of her ex-boyfriend's booze and some Cheerios.

She took the box out of the cupboard and set it on the round glass dining table she and Herb had picked up at the thrift store down the block. It had cracks on the glass and the metal that held it was starting to rust but they didn't care, it would do for their little abode. She brought out a Kelly green plastic bowl and a baby sized spoon and poured out the cereal. The sound of the little O's hitting the bottom of the bowl filled the studio with an unaccustomed noise. A mini rumble. A mini earthquake from what she salvaged from the rubble.

She walked back to the fridge and took out her own drink of choice. A cheap, white bubbly champagne, five or six bucks at the liquor store. But Lisa liked to pretend it was vintage 1950's from Italy or France, imported, not from some vineyard over in Napa. She searched the metal dish rack for a bottle opener and with grateful pop poured herself a full glass. It didn't matter to her that the glass was just a regular water tumbler, or even the memories of Herb and her sharing frosted wine glasses full of the stuff, or even the little jolts of God knows what emotion when she recalled Herb coming home drunk and smashing their little frosted set to pieces. No, her imagination was enough and she was determined to have a nice damn meal. A nice damn meal.

She looked at herself in the mirror that hung on the dining room while while she sat at the table with her dry cereal and dry champagne. Her cropped brown hair was disheveled and zits were popping out of her normally pristine complexion. Bags were under her eyes and the bruise was still there from the night Herb left.

She shuddered.

"Get over it Lisa, get over it Lisa." She said to her reflection. Trying to deflect, trying to run away from what happened to her. She tried to imagine her meal being more substantial than what it was, that it wasn't just cheap alchy and Cheerios, that it was much more. So much more. But her mind couldn't take the reality of it and she sipped and sipped, hoping to get a happy bubbly drunk, the kind of drunk that lures guys in from bars, the kind of drunk that she was when she met him.

"No. Not him. Not ever." She said again as she grimaced looking into the mirror. She cupped her head in her hands feeling a little tipsy and walked back to the fridge where she pulled out some tequila, mescal, almost empty, with the worm waiting to be poured out. She emptied the bottle into her champagne and chugged it. Some of the liquor got on her white tank top but she didn't care, she hadn't changed or showered in days. She felt just as slimy as the worm she downed.

She was a wreck and she knew it.

She sniffled a little and wiped her runny nose with the back of her hand. She was a slob and she knew it and she didn't care. All she'd wanted was a good day, not even a perfect day but a good day, one single good day. Fuck. She had to stop thinking. She went into the fridge and brought out another bottle of tequila and chugged it straight out of the bottle. The hot burning drunk filled her body and replaced any sign of the giggles she had before. She stumbled wasted onto the red velvet couch in the living room and laid down. Her head was spinning but at least she didn't have to think about Herb, about her bruises, about how scared she was and about how much she still fucking missed him.

Lisa turned on the TV to a bunch of static. The cable hadn't been paid this month either. But static was more than emptiness, no matter how grey or meaningless, and she lay there, one leg over the other, arms sprawled, just staring staring at the patterns that emerged in her mind. She closed her eyes and felt the alcohol penetrate her, getting her more wasted, more out of tune with reality, more into the fantasy land she wanted to be in.

She heaved. Good thing there was the trashcan there last night for the same purpose. She knew how things went. She knew how to react when her body reminded her that she was alive, not in Plato's ideal world. But she didn't care. She was 5'1 and drank enough for her not to feel any less free. It was heaven right then, right there, with the static of the TV to lull her to sleep, where she didn't have to face her memories, face the pain, face herself.

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