It’s the day after a night out with the guys. I wake up feeling the sun shine through the window, gleaming directly at my face. The sun is so bright I can barely open my eyes. It’s so bright, it’s giving me a migraine and making my hangover worse. I get up to shut the blinds. I stand and feel light-headed and my legs feel like rubber… I can barely walk. I can barely see where I’m going with my eyes half-opened. I eventually get to the blinds and see the blinds were already shut but the sunshine is being a nuisance as it’s still going though. I go back to bed and try to sleep it off but the damn glare and its warmth is just too uncomfortable. Fuck it! The sun’s against me today and apparently doesn’t want me to go back to sleep.
What is there to do today? Nothing really. Until recently, I’ve become unemployed but I don’t think I’ll be going out to apply for jobs today – I just wanna recover from this hangover. I’ve got a bit of cotton-mouth right now… I feel thirsty. I might as well just grab something at 7-11 – I’m up now anyway. I’m still dressed from last night. I see that I was so wasted that I didn’t even bother to change when I went to bed – I’m even still wearing my shoes.
Walking down the street, the store’s only a block away but it feels like a mile. I feel like shit. That was one hell of a night! That’s the last time I mix so much alcohol with drugs. What the hell did I take? There was beer, gin and marijuana and I believe there was tequila and ecstasy. I vaguely recall some girl I took in the toilet was snorting coke but did I take some of that too? Shit, I don’t remember. Come to think of it, I don’t remember the girl either. I think I’ll take a break from going out with the guys for a while… my body just doesn’t react to these parties the way it used to anymore. Jesus, 7-11 seems so fucking far. A guy suddenly bumps into me.
“Watch where you’re going, asshole!” I say.
He just turns back for a second and walks away. Yeah, he better keep walking. I feel too much like crap right now to be fucked with – I’m the one who’s intoxicated and supposed to be bumping into people.
I’m at 7-11… finally. Sign at the entrance reads: Closed for Inventory – just my luck. I look through the window and see Khan – the Pakistani cashier who occasionally supplies me with weed – walking around the aisle jotting down on his chart.
“Hey Khan, lemme in man! I just want some aspirin and a Pepsi!”
He can’t hear me from inside – what the hell am I thinking, yelling from out here? I wave my arms around like an idiot, trying to get his attention – which obviously isn’t working as he just continues to walk around, counting away items on the racks. Fuck him then! I think about heading to the other mini-mart down the street, until I realize I left my wallet back home. God, I’m really thirsty; but I’m too lazy to go back to my apartment for my wallet. Forget it, I just need some fresh air so I think I’ll go take a breather at the park. It’s 3 blocks away but whatever – I got no money for bus fare anyway.
I pass the first block and feel tired again – the park probably wasn’t a good idea. Fuck it, I’m already halfway there. A pretty girl wearing black, jogging shorts and a pink tank top is jogging while her Golden Retriever runs along with her – and she’s coming towards me. If she looks my way, I think I’ll smile and compliment her dog. The dog suddenly barks madly at me pulling Ms. Pretty Jogger forward. Considering my hangover, the dog’s bark echoed painfully in my head.
“Jeez, terrorize the whole neighborhood with that thing, why don’cha?!” I say.
She ignores me. Well, she wasn’t that pretty anyway.
“C’mere Jedi! Bad dog!” she says while pulling him away from me and jogging off.
I take a seat at the park bench. I relax and breathe the park air. A lady and a child – whom I assume is her son – suddenly sit beside me on the bench. The boy is seated so close to me but I’m just in too tired a mood to make a big deal out of it. I notice from the corner of my eye that the boy is looking up and staring at me. I look back at him. He’s a cute kid so I smile at him and say, “Hello. What’s your name?”
“Nathan. What’s yours?” and smiles back.
The lady suddenly notices Nathan talking to me and says, “Nathan, no!”
“It’s all right ma’am, we were just …” and before I could finish my sentence, she carries him and leaves. Nathan looks back at me and waves. I wave back. The lady notices him waving, holds his hand down and continues walking away. That woman was taking the saying ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ way too seriously… bitch.
I go back home. It’s a good thing I didn’t lock the door ‘coz I apparently forgot my keys as well. Jeez, I am so wasted that I can’t even remember stepping out – let alone, stepping out without my keys and wallet. I’m so tired. I’ll just take a nap on the couch until my flatmate Chris comes home. He’s a manager at Taco Bell and always brings back a couple of munchies from work. I know I’m gonna be hungry when I wake up. I close my eyes.
“SLAM!” was the sound that boomed in my head and woke me up – Chris was home.
“Fuck man, could you’ve slammed that any harder?”
“The door was unlocked, Joey. You wanna get this place robbed?” He says while laying his stuff on the table.
“Yeah, sorry. Was just really tired from last night.”
“Are you up yet?”
“I’m talking to you, aren’t I?”
“You shoulda seen yourself last night! You were so smashed, we had to carry your ass all the way home. It was fucking hilarious!” He says, rather loudly if I might add.
“I got some burritos!”
“I can see that. What the hell are you shouting for?”
He enters my room and I sit up.
“What’re you looking for?” I ask.
“Hey, Joey! Joey!”
“What do you want!?”
“Oh, shit!” He suddenly yells.
“What the fuck is it?!” I stand up annoyed and ask.
And just as I was about to enter my room, Chris runs out.
Suddenly, I feel a familiar yet, unfamiliar feeling – It was more of a series of feelings rolled into one big sensation. I feel a chilly breeze pass through me like that of a winter gust; I feel my stomach curl like when on a rollercoaster; I feel like I’m floating on water; and for a split second, I get light-headed and my vision blurs. I realize I feel all these feelings at once when Chris walked right through me. I stand shocked and watch while Chris runs to the phone.
“Chris? What the fuck’s going on!?” I frantically ask.
I try to grab Chris’ shoulder but my hand goes through him. It felt like touching cobwebs when my hand went through him. He couldn’t hear nor see me while he dialed for help. I enter my room and see myself lying on my bed with my skin colored pale and my eyes open, staring aimlessly at the window.
“Hello! I need an ambulance! My friend… he’s not breathing… I don’t know for how long… I just got home and found him this way! Please hurry!” I hear Chris say distraught over the phone.
I come to the conclusion that my death began with the blinding light and my dreadful hangover. The sight of my own corpse makes me want to vomit but apparently you can’t do things like that anymore when you’re a ghost.
Copyright © 2009 by FV Nicolas