Thursday, August 29, 2013

Some Are Sicker Than Others by Andrew Seaward (Excerpt)

Chapter 4 - Coach Dave

DAVE was awakened by the sound of dishes clanging against the steel of the kitchen sink. He opened his right eye first, painfully and slowly, peering around the room like a one-eyed snake. It was only partially light out—the sun was just rising, trickling through the windows and creeping across the lower half of the house. It took him a few moments to recognize his surroundings. It seemed he was downstairs on the living room couch. What was he doing down here? Did Cheryl kick him out of the bedroom last night?

He took a deep breath and turned himself over, peeling his face from the sticky leather of the couch. With his elbows on his knees and his shoulders hunched slightly forward, he started rubbing his face as if he was trying to rub it off. Jesus Christ, he felt fucking horrible. His neck was throbbing…his head was splitting…it felt like he’d been in a head-on collision.

As he uncovered his face, he looked down the line of his body and noticed that he still had on his clothes from yesterday—a pair of pepperoni-encrusted khakis, his green and gold Catholic High Crusaders warm-up jacket, and his yellow and black bumblebee running shoes. What the hell? Didn’t he even take a shower? Or did he just come home last night and pass out?

He shook off the sleep and pressed his palms into the cushions, then straightened his legs and slowly stood up. But, the walls of the living room started to spin around him like the Tilt-a-Whirl ride at an amusement park. He swayed for a few minutes, like an inflatable doll outside of a used car lot, then leveled his vision and straightened himself out. With his eyes on the floor and his hands out in front of him, he staggered across the living room towards the stairs.

When he got upstairs, he went straight for the bathroom, flipped on the light switch, and locked the door. He leaned inside the shower and cranked on the water, turning the knob up as hot as it would go. Sitting on the toilet cover, he untied his shoelaces, kicked off his shoes, and pulled off his pants. As he unzipped his jacket, he felt something bulgy in the pit of his side pocket. He reached inside and pulled it out. It was his pipe, lighter, and a red, plastic pill bottle, like little chess pieces, all in a row. He unscrewed the cap and turned the bottle over, but nothing came out except for some white, chalky residue. Damn. He must’ve polished off the entire bottle. It looked like he was gonna have to make another trip down to Aurora. He couldn’t start the week without any motivation. He’d never make it, especially not in this condition.

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Genre – Literary Fiction

Rating – R

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