"Don't come back to this house until you get my Newports!!!" she calls.
The door slams.
My friend bolts from the porch "Let's get the fuck out of here."
I can hear the dogs barking inside. All thirteen of them. In the driveway is a broken down Cadillac. This house is very similar to this car. You could tell at one time it was top of the line. Upstairs, there are bedrooms with crushed red velvet wallpaper. Inside the rooms there is a custom made two piece round bed. It was plush and fascinating to me. I could only imagine what it looked like in it's prime. Now it was covered in burn holes from someone sleeping in bed. There were awkward Louis the XVI looking furniture covered in dog hair. The dogs had to be released in shifts as some of them did not get along. There was a fat old cat with a ripped ear. He only came around occasionally. He gave you a sideways stare as if to say you know these people are crazy right?
My friend could not wait to get out of the house. The living room was populated with familial strife. The geriatric father had his position on one part of the couch. He still was half owner of the house despite the fact that he and the mother had long since separated. She was seated in her chair surrounded by her three dogs and empty 40s of Milwaukee's Best. She had kept up the trappings of a previous generation with her teased blonde hair and her cigarette case. She was thirty years his junior. He must have plucked her up as a wide eyed young girl and turned her into a bitter old maid. She held court from her chair at the bottom of the stairs. He sat next to her dutifully. She was completely dependant on his government checks. He was completely dependant on her hostile companionship.
She had a new man now- a young one. So young in fact, he used to date her daughter. The boyfriend was a young parolee full of rage. He was the type to wear tinted glasses so you could not see what he was really thinking in those darting eyes. He has a handful of large silver and turquoise rings, the type that cut a lady's face when he hit her in the mouth. The Cadillac was left immobile after his last domestic dispute with the mother. He had put his fist through the windshield to hit her in the face for daring to go to the store without his permission. The old car had once been a shiny gift from her husband. Now it was a relic of good love gone bad.
My friend never wanted me to go inside. This place was so different from my house. My house was filled with dysfunctional silence and suppressed emotions. In this place, everything was out in the open. We were going off to smoke weed. I am not sure why we bothered to go to the park across the street. We could have easily done the same thing in the house, although we might have had to share with the boyfriend.
We were both so young. I had just moved out of my parents house at 17. I had told my mother essentially if I did not get out of there, I could not be held responsible for what might happen. My anger towards my father was boiling over to the point I fantasized daily about causing his death. His drinking was unbearable to me. My years of embarrassment had turned to rage. My friend was 13 or 14 but he seemed like a grown up person to me. He seemed so sophisticated compared to me. I was a country bumpkin who had never been anywhere or done anything. Yet we had so many things in common, especially our utter inability to function in the world.
We sat in the park that day. We made promises to each other that we never kept. We met up many years later. I had become like his mother, in some ways like my own mother. I had just left my own abuser. My ex had told me I was fat. I was stupid. I was lazy. I was never going to do shit. I was never going to be shit without him. He got my name tattooed on his neck. He loved me and he left me. What does a person do when everyone they love betrays them? They no longer trust themselves or their decisions. I was about to make my own choices, they may be some poor ones but at least I knew they were my own
"Are you sure you want to do this?" my friend asked.
I was determined "of course I want to do it!"
No one was home except for the dogs. We sat in the kitchen and he prepped the shot. His using had advanced to the next level of using drugs I also needed to step up my game. I needed to catch up. It felt so strange to be back in the same place. I had tried to stop and be a good girl friend. I have even gone six months without drinking. But that got me nothing but alone.
He was putting together some pills. Vicodin? Percs? Yes. We were bored and stupid. We also shared the same needle which had been shared with at least five other people before us. And so I had him shoot me up in the kitchen with drugs I barely felt because I did not have the courage to do it myself. I wanted to feel something and nothing at the same time.
I was back in the same place yet something about me was different. Life had made me harder. But some things never changed like this place. The people had changed, a little. The boyfriend no longer walked the Earth. His obituary was right above the mother's head. As she sipped her beer she drowned the memory of the fact that her son had killed him in this very place. A lot of things went on while I was gone.
We were all searching for something in life. It would not be long until my childhood friend and I found it in the bottom of the spoon.