Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My friend Michael (an episode)

It’s 4 a.m.. My eyes have opened. No need for alarm nowadays. I’m trying to remember or at least figure out what happened last night. No clue. Never mind. I drag myself out of the bed and go to the kitchen. I open the kitchen cabinet and half a bottle of rum is staring at me. Inviting. Should I or should I not? Oh , what the hell! I take a big gulp and it sails down my throat. There is a glow somewhere in my brain. I feel better. My new day has just begun. I carry the bottle with me to the bedroom. Suddenly my head starts spinning. I fall face down on the floor. But before I hit the floor, I get a sweet smell of rum and then the pain shoots thru my face. It’s blood. I have fallen on the bottle before hitting the floor.

It’s 6 a.m.. I’ve woken up after two hours. There is a throbbing pain. I put my hands on the face and they become sticky with blood. I look myself in the mirror and there is a big gash on my forehead. I go to the bathroom and try to wash my face. Suddenly, I realize that I’ve created enough noise but my family has not got up to check. I run to the living-room only to find it empty. I panic. I find a note lying on the table saying “good-bye!”. I sit on the floor holding my face and begin to cry.

I’m Michael. Age 38. employed (so far). Married to a lovely wife who has produced and even lovelier doll. I adore them. But now, I’m alone. It has been long 20 drinking years. There is enough alcohol in my blood. Most of my friends have deserted me. One or two (still having hopes on me) are with me. And now my family is gone.

I look around and take stock of things. I’m completely busted. I enter the kitchen and start taking out bottles, one by one, from the cabinet. There are eighteen. I bring them all to the bathroom and start smashing them. There is still great pain but I ignore it. I’m determined. After I’m done, I close the bathroom door leaving the broken bottles and the smell inside. I take out cotton from the first-aid box and apply to my face. I take out my wallet and shirt from the cupboard and walk out of the house. I hail a cab and ask the driver, who gives me a horrifying look, to take me to the hospital. I reach the hospital and go straight to the operating room, catch hold of the doctor and ask him to stitch my forehead. He takes a deep breath and tells me to wait for a few minutes for the anaesthetist. I say I can’t wait and plead him to stitch my forehead without anaesthesia. He is bewildered and comes closer to have a better look. I move back a little worrying he would smell alcohol. He starts stitching. I’m prepared to endure any pain now. If my family can endure it for ten years, why can’t I do it for ten minutes? After an agonizing ten minutes, the job is done. The doctor gives me few pain-killers which I put it in my pocket. I pay the doctor, thank him and head home.
It’s 8 a.m. now. There is a stink coming from the bathroom and it doesn’t bother me. I check my forehead and it is stitched as if a cobbler has fixed a shoe. Again there is a shooting pain. I need solitude. I need time to reflect. I walk out of the house and head to the beach.

The beach is hot but I feel nice. I stroll for about twenty minutes and then decide to lie down. There is still pain but nothing as compared to what my family has gone thru. I close my eyes and decide to rest. I see two pairs of watery and pleading eyes begging me to stop ruining my life. I feel sad and tired and soon fall asleep.

I get up with a start and realize that the sun is boring into my skin. There is sand all over my body. I must have slept for a long time but those two pairs of eyes had never left me. I get up and head back home. When I reach it’s 1 p.m.. I return to the carnage. I look at myself in the mirror. My face is full of sand and the forehead (or whatever it is called now) is swollen. I start the hot water in the tub and undress. When I’m naked, I check again in the mirror. But now there is different person staring at me. I smile and he smiles back. Is this a new Michael, I wonder? I can feel it but I can’t prove it. God, give me time to prove it to those two beautiful pairs of eyes! I want them back. Suddenly life has a new meaning. There is great urge inside me to clear things. I’m determined. I start picking up broken glass pieces and clear the floor. After getting rid of the stink and the bottles I get into the hot tub. it feels good. I lean back, smile and start cleaning myself up…..