Mary Killian / High Wire Girl
I AM AWAKE.
Eyes open. And close. Twice.
I have several concerns. Eyes open again.
It is light out. Lighter than it should be if I woke up on time.
Look over at the clock. Just to see.
I will do that. I will.
Time is important right now. Time holds the key to what happens next.
Find out the time.
I need to move. A few parts of my body. My head and neck, a shoulder.
Find out the time.
Yes, I know.
Okay. Go. Lift.
The time is 9:10.
I cannot go to work today. It is impossible.
Things just got easier. I can feel better now.
I don't. But I am awake.
And all things hurt.
Head, mostly. Tender.
On the right side. Fuck.
I can barely separate my lips.
I do not understand this pain. It is incredible.
The tongue can help. Send it. To find out what's going on.
Okay. Give me a minute.
My tongue is dry and uncooperative.
I can almost hear it rip free from its location, beside my woolly teeth. It darts to the area and tries to lay flat against what feels like a large cut, with soft, wet bumps around the opening. I'm guessing they are blisters. What else could they be?
To my tongue, this tool that exaggerates all situations, the wound seems so big, my head could fall inside the hole.
My hand responds to this fear, and fingers assess the damage.
Yes, there is a slit. I remember it now.
I stared at the narrow gash in the mirror last night, before I tried to be asleep. I was impressed by how it bled, seeping slowly when I squeezed it. Then I did some crying.
I will lay here for just a bit. Try to make some of my mind right.
Get up. Get up off the mattress.
And there's the headache...
In the bathroom, I rinse my mouth at the sink.
Ignoring my reflection, I steal a quick glance at the slit. It is bad. A lesion, really. With a crown of bubbles filled with fluid. There is dried blood on my cheek and neck.
My face. My fucking face. Everything throbs.
Sit down. Just pee.
I empty my bladder, and my hangover roars into position.
I gotta knock this shit off. All of it.
It is a Tuesday morning. In an otherwise ordinary week. Except that I'm not going to work. Which means I can have something to drink. And smoke my drugs.
As soon as I get off this toilet.
About the Author
Mary is thirteen years clean. She says of her writing, "So many of the stories I'm ever gonna tell have already gone down. At this point, I'm just going through the trash and rinsing them off. I pray for the courage to write about things that make me uncomfortable, without attempting to adjust what happened so I look better. And without being mean."
Read more from Mary at her blog, High Wire Girl.