Fiction from Web Del Sol


Kim Addonizio

      My name is Trish and I'm not an alcoholic I'm not even twenty-one yet so I drink sometimes so what who doesn't, it's not like I've been drinking alone and I don't see any of those people here. Okay sometimes I do drink alone why not, who the fuck are you to judge you're not getting me to hold hands with a bunch of losers pumped up on coffee and cigarettes in this crummy New Jersey church basement and recite the Lord's prayer.
      That reminds me. I smoked a bunch of my friend Todd's Benson and Hedges 100s last night no wonder my throat is sore now I feel like shit with this hangover and all those stupid dreams I had about seeing my mother who's dead in a diner eating ice cream, only she turned into this disgusting half-naked drag queen with a belly button that poked out like a finger or baby penis and she had all this ghoul makeup on and then I kept driving up and down this hill with some asshole who said he was in love with me, it was like we were in that video game where you steer the car while everything whizzes by and you try to avoid the trucks and shit that appear out of nowhere and when you run into something like a tree the car flips over it's a red convertible and you and your friend sit on the grass dazed for a second then you get back in and go on.
      It was like that only we didn't hit anything even though we went faster and faster and I told him to stop giving me this macho showoff shit it wasn't going to make me fall in love with him, take me home I'm not going to fuck you which is just as well because if I did I'd hate you in the morning and this way we can still be friends and I can call you up and say Let's go to that Cuban restaurant in the East Village and eat ropa vieja or to the Cambodian one where the waitress is in love with Tab Hunter who she saw on a TV movie and thinks is a young contemporary movie star, she just got here from the farm in Thailand. Welcome to America I said, I didn't say anything about Tab Hunter, let her get the bad news from somebody else. I could call you up to go dancing and you could swing me around and we wouldn't look stupid like those geeks last night at the club where we talked about art and serial killers and about that shithead who wrote me a poison letter because I'd made some comment that was supposed to be supportive but he took it the wrong way the paranoid asshole now there's a real alcoholic for you that guy was pathetic.
      It's so hard to remember conversations when everything falls into the black hole of more drinks and twenty trips to the bathroom where the graffiti says "Every poem is a bank account accumulating interest in an existential mutual fund" and "Why am I reduced to this" and the weird woman who does handwriting analysis is in there by the mirror with her stack of raggedy papers and doesn't remember that she once accused my date of touching her ass as we walked by and then tried to get him thrown out what a laugh, who would want to touch her ass maybe the guy on 42nd St. screaming about Jesus with his Pignose amp and dirty suit but nobody else. Random words come dribbling out of the black hole the next day, Clinton Cher O.J. Simpson brothers fathers Zen AIDS clothes magazines Gauguin Long Island old boyfriends revolution Moon Zappa Bosnia M & Ms movies parties abortions salud, salud.
      Sometimes when I drink I act like a slut. Like the other night I was at this fancy Harper and Row party for somebody's wine guide that just came out not that I knew him or anything, my friend Sam took me but once we'd stuffed our faces with hors-d'ouevres--meat sliced to transparency wrapped around breadsticks and some salmon shit in flowerets on crackers--and drunk a few glasses of wine that a Central American refugee in a tuxedo kept filled, I noticed a guy staring at my blue nail polish and dumped Sam for him. I already explained about not fucking anybody because of the hatred factor but I still feel like a slut making out with guys in elevators and then going home and passing out and waking up in the middle of the night to take Advil and drink water and swear I won't do that again and wonder where my true love is and why my mother had to die on the New Jersey Turnpike two days before my eighteenth birthday which I had to spend at the fucking funeral home and talking to relatives I hate who tried to make me eat crap like potato salad and pot roast.
      Last night Todd and I were in this restaurant eating pepper steak and black beans and drinking Dos Equis still relatively sober when a fucked-up old woman came in, she smelled like the bathrooms in Penn Station and looked like all the junkies and losers who hang out there with their scabby hands extended and she had the nerve to ask for a fucking dollar, like why doesn't she pick on Yuppies or somebody with money. We gave her a quarter to get rid of her and then the Puerto Rican woman came by with her crummy roses she probably sells to support her seventeen children and grandchildren so Todd bought a rose and handed it to me and our fingers touched and I pulled them away and today I looked and couldn't find it, it's probably wilted already anyway. Maybe it's in the car wherever I parked it with the congealing remains of the steak that I took the rest of to go, or maybe it's in the street somewhere or being swept up from the floor of the club by the black bald one-armed janitor, anyway the Puerto Rican woman looked creepy like the flower seller in that movie "Streetcar Named Desire" who walks through saying Flores para los muertos, flowers for the dead which is what I'll be before joining AA I just came here to cruise anyway but you people are a drag maybe it's in the bathroom of the club on the back of the toilet I have a distinct image of that in my mind.