I had the intention of sharing every detail of Sandy’s first visit in the previous entry, but the last few pages in that journal entry are missing. Since I do not have a clear recollection of what happened, this entry will pick up where entry four ended.
November 27th, 2012
I struggled to pull myself up from the floor. Sandy was facing the back window, staring at me while I gained my footing. I ignored him. The past night left me sore and nauseous, so I went to the kitchen to take a few pain killers before I did anything else.
When I passed out, everything in my kitchen was sitting in a pool of blood where Newt’s body was once laid. Now, in the daylight, my walls were the same pristine white they had been before Newt’s visit. My black counter-top was not even stained. I could see an unblemished reflection in the bottom of my shiny, chrome sink. The only sign of blood that was left were the few drops that had hit my couch. As upsetting as they may be, a few drops would be easier to explain than the gargantuan stains that should’ve been left by the rutilant pools that had disappeared from my floor.
I heard Sandy’s voice calling from across the window pane, asking me to join him. I was enraged that he was alive. He, knowing my darkest emotions, wanted to rub last night’s failure in my face.
We stood on the porch in silence for a while. The skin on his face was wrinkled in the simulacra of disappointment. He was acting; making fun of me, I thought. I began to feel like I was losing my balance, but quickly, uncomfortably gained my footing. Sandy hung on every second of tension, inhaling the repugnant aroma of my fear; enjoying it as we stood in the still, icy morning.
“You broke my heart, Miles.” He said, putting on an heir of agonizing depression in his voice. Then, reiterated his favorite, most virulent saying.
“Everything I do is for your good.” He said.
My saliva tasted bitter. My seething hatred for him convulsed in my chest, bounced off my ribcage and shot up my esophagus as he spoke. As the words dripped from his lips like a poison, I felt overcome with dizziness. In an instant, the whole world began spinning around under me. The color in my vision faded. Sandy’s speech remained uninterrupted, but was unintelligible; deadened by the distraction of my blurred sight and nausea.
I had a violent flashback to the feeling of death I had the night before. I was eaten up with the sensation of boiling life billowing down my seared throat. While Sandy ineffectively prattled on, I leaned against a pillar for stability and threw up. I struggled to breathe for a few minutes and threw up again. I ran inside to clean off my mouth. Sandy followed me inside.
“Where’s Breathless?” I asked.
“Why, you know, I haven’t the faintest, M boy.”
He walked back outside, and I went upstairs to clean up. I was still reeling from the night before. Shaving reminded me of my throat being cut, so I skipped it. I dressed in a rush and went to The Drunken Redhead, scruffy and disheveled.
The clerk was a Blonde woman in her forties. She seemed very put off that I was there. I asked her if there had been any progress made in Ed’s murder case.
“That was ruled a suicide.” she said in a cold, barely passive-aggressive voice.
“Oh,” I said. “I haven’t been keeping up.”
She said something short to end the conversation. I paid her and left.
I made it home with 2 bottles of Scotch. The house was empty. It was mid-afternoon. The bottle would be empty in an hour.
I was lying on my couch, reading “The Raven”, when someone came to my door. It was Fenton Garfield. I invited him in.
Fenton’s behavior was generic and unimpressive. If he had any talents, he never showed them. Though he was generally taciturn, his demeanor was never impolite or insincere. His speech was not unique. He was usually very calm and monotonous, except for the rare occasion that he made an alacritous affirmative to an idea that he liked. Overall, Fenton was a genuinely enjoyable person; although, I hate to admit it, it took me a while to get over the extremely off-putting tattoo he had on his neck.
We sat on my living room sofa and smoked a joint. He told me about a movie he had seen recently.
“There’s a bunch of animated blue people in it.” He said.
“Was it Avatar?”
“No, no, it wasn’t Avatar. This was %100 less awesome.”
“Less awesome than Avatar?” I asked.
I don’t remember what movie he was actually watching, but he said it was “awesome”, which probably means it was terrible. Our conversation was dry, but relieving. We rambled for a while about movies that we hadn’t seen. Fenton had unimpressive taste—that is to say that he gravitated towards the predictable, most safe forms of entertainment—which usually made all our conversations in that vein very bland. Today, though, I found his predictable, plain interests to be a much needed mental rest.
“So, how’ve you been, man?” he asked.
I didn’t bother engaging him in any of the pressing conversations that were speeding through my prefrontal cortex. Instead, when he asked me how I was doing, I lied.
“Great.” I said. “What about you?”
“Fine.” He said.
There seems, in my observation, to be a number of proxy conversations you have to go through with a person before you can talk about anything of importance. For Fenton, those proxies never ran out, so we never talked about anything really earth-shattering or intriguing. I never bothered to question whether he was ignorant, selfish or nihilistic; I just sat, listened to him talk about his innocuous interests and drew my own conclusion about his life’s philosophy.
Hours of luke-warm, non-stimulating conversation went by before Fenton said he needed to leave.
“I have a delivery across town. Did you need anything from me, Miles?”
I bought a few pain killers from him to dull my aching muscles, bones and lungs.
“They’re generic, so they’re cheaper, but they’ll still kill you if you take too many. Don’t go crazy.” He said it through a charming, friendly smile, but he was deadly serious.
After he left, I turned on the Carpenters’ greatest hits. I sat back on my couch, staring at the small plastic cup he had given me. I picked up my book and continued reading.
“While I nodded gently napping…”
A quiet knock at my door distracted me. Moving towards the door made me feel an increasing shortness of breath with each step. My red door swung open with ferocity as soon as I turned the knob. There in the doorframe, Breathless stood; his stone-like face had a calm fury etched into it. He pushed the door open and was coming after me with force. I was incredibly drunk, so I could not retaliate; I could only stumble. I retreated around the couch, but tripped, with most of my body weight landing on the side of my cheap coffee table. The two legs broke under me and a partially finished bottle of scotch emptied. The nauseatingly aromatic liquid permeated every thread of fabric in my clothes; it coolly tingled and stung my skin. The pain killers were spilled from the small cup across the scotch soaked carpet. They sat, dissolving in the ochre liquid while Breathless stood over me. Scotch continued to drip down the table onto my skin and clothes. Flakes of dust, kicked up by the spinning fan blades fell, fell, slowly, to the ground.
Breathless began a teasing suffocation, choking me for a few seconds, allowing me to breathe for a few, and never averting his eyes from my body’s agonizing convulsions. He stopped and stared down at me, his arms firmly by his side. He said nothing before he walked upstairs to his room and went to sleep.
My eyes were heavy. The radio was still playing—the track was “We’ve Only Just Begun”. I watched the fan-blades in my living room spin until Karen Carpenter’s voice faded out, and so did I.