I also posted this on my creative writing blog Writing for Ghosts, but I thought I’d include it here, too. The tension between sobriety and wanting to drink comes up in a lot of freewriting these days.
My heart’s on display in a weird museum, splayed out for kids, grandmother’s and zoned-out teens to see.
“It’s black,” a kid says, wrinkling his nose.
“It’s damn hideous is what it is,” notes a mustached father, big-bellied and daydreaming of a Latvian prostitute named Melody, but the saddest nurse you can imagine, her tattoos like brands, her voice thick with regret, icing on her burned fingers which he obediently licks like a dog.
The walk away from my heart and tour the rest of the Museum of the Lost, Damaged, and Fucked-Up (LDFU, and the board members grin like safe-crackers when they get together to take shots of blood (“Remember to always B positive!” howls Daniel McCracken, drunk on hemoglobin and starving for more platelets).
“You exaggerate everything,” says the girl from the Mid-West, the one I killed months ago but who stubbornly refuses to die.
“It’s my fatal flaw,” I saw from the kitchen, wishing like hell I was drunk. 95 days without booze or my heart. It’s too much for a man to take, isn’t it?
I read Pema Chödrön and hide in the Earth’s fissures and beg my Higher Power to send an earthquake that’ll destroy everything. I understand destruction, crave it as much as I crave breath.
I break into the museum late at night, silencing the alarms with a glare. I kneel before my heart that sits on a velvet cushion behind a Plexiglass cube.
I tap on the case, but my heart doesn’t respond. Not even one, weak beat.