The State Department regrets to inform you that Mr. David Vargas has become a parody of himself. Like rape, it's worse than death; but there are no made-for-TV movies about this crippled fate. He'll, you'll, however the Royal We shall choose to address Itself this time--will only fade into oblivion, another silent casualty of apathy; though in your case, Dave, the sinking isn't silent. You're a writer, or so you think since you wave your arms and throw words at the shore. There will be a record for whatever fouls you commit. There has been for a decade, and it's cost you friends and family. It's cost you love. It's sentenced you to lust, to the search for a gourmet meal in the soup kitchens of Skid Row. And still you let it choke you.
That's what you're supposed to do. This laying in bed until four is expected. While others are returning from work you are still basking in the self-pity of your sex-stained sheets, a mouth unwashed and hair uncommitted to any compass points. Your back is so sore from laying on your weight that the rolling and switching of postures does nothing. You swallow anti-inflammatories, careful not to call them painkillers, and medicate the sore reminder of your syndrome. It's not the first time you've gone that route, though no one's around who remembers such an old yarn.
But this is how they did it, right? You are the quintessential. Congratulations on your complimentary toaster oven. The Network regrets that you've missed the Grand Prize, fallen barely short of its omnipresent glory. The image fades to a laugh in your bathroom. There is no Network, no network, but there certainly is an audience: schools of sharks swarming since your first release of blood. It came as unintentional then. It felt right to allow that slice. When it was over your smile was less crooked. You read it three times in your hovel of a bedroom, foolishly proud of what any sap could accomplish. And so began the cycle that has hounded you ever since: the creative recounting of fallacies, the abhorrent rehashing of crimes, a revisionist history so drenched in self-pity that even the meek must cringe in disgust. You claim it's all cathartic, but you don't learn from the lessons. You type them out and ship them out and now sometimes they're published. Here we are in the wide world that credits a fool for his folly. There's no money in the lines they print, though once in awhile some fresh thighs spread for you. Nothing you have entered in these last years has been sacred. No one's felt the overwhelming urge to stay, yourself included in that spiny accusation. You are the man you loathe inside, and lately it's been easier for the sharks to see straight through. The taste of copper rides high in whichever seas you navigate.
Once you tried to cook with a pot you had just washed. The water had to boil for the process to commence. Something didn't seem right minutes later on your couch. You could smell the looming danger. The moisture on the pot had extinguished the stove's flame. Another twenty minutes and the whole place would be poison. It would have been a headline. They would've all assumed. You ordered out instead, newly grateful for the menu.
You're unsure of what you're doing. That's no secret, friend or foe. The women you've made tender did it more to spare the world. "In a scrape", they used to call it, though it hurts much more than that. Karmic justice triumphs in your recent lack of life. There was once a line of women who would save you at your door. Now the line's retreating, pouring shots for bullets dodged.
Instead of seeing sunlight, calling day a chance, you pull the blinds tighter before covering your head with a blanket that's only smelled of yourself for far too long.
You'll be skipping Happy Hour. There isn't room for acting. The only wings you want adorn some angel out of reach.
"The Hunt for Red October" by Tom Clancy.