-I’m not alone in here.
-Of course you’re not, I’m here.
Says the blonde woman, flipping aimlessly through the hotel cable channels.
Ghosts follow me. Some I knew before, others seem to be along for the ride. Guilt? I don’t know. I only killed one of them. The others just seemed to have latched on.
-That’s not what I mean. I feel there is something…wrapped around my soul…driving these crazy desires inside me. Like Death has cut my hang man rope and I’m still hanging here, maybe falling slowly, with my foot still in the air…waiting for some dog to pull be back onto the cliff.
-You’re not making sense. Have any more cigarettes?
I toss her the pack. her slender fingers slide one out and she lights it with a coolness I could never achieve. One quick movement, a single flow.
-It’s like the stars are dying in my stomach. These bright hopes, dying, going black and sucking up everything. Stealing all the oxygen. It’s like I have this craving to destroy everything around me until I’ve destroyed the Earth from out of under my feet and I’m left free…floating, not falling.
-I like the way you destroyed me last night. Care for a follow up?
-That’s not what I meant.
She leans her head back, letting the smoke trail out of her mouth. It’s mesmerizing.
-We have any booze left?
-You drank it all.
– Oh yeah.
She giggles and stamps out her cigarette with a ferocity that betrays the classiness in which it was lit.
-I wish you could see them. Then maybe you’d understand. The looks in their eyes.
-You talking about your ghost friends again? You know I hate when you talk about them.
-They aren’t friends. I have no one else to talk about them with.
-Maybe you need new friends then.
She jumps up out of the chair and crawls onto the bed next to me.
-Or am I all you need? Your dead friends and me.
-We need more booze.
-When I touch you it’s like…what I imagine a corpse feels like. Are you sure you’re not dead?
-Maybe you’re the ghost and you’re following all of these living people.
-Don’t be stupid.
This angers her and she climbs off the bed, grabs the ice bucket and leaves the room.
The glow of the hotel TV set, like a church beacon, is the only light. Shadows from some infomercial dance on the wall and my stomach growls.
I look out the window, a couple is having sex in the pool. I feel a stirring inside me. Hatred. Lust. The whole gamut of emotions.
She comes back.
-We need more booze.
-Then go get some.
-Let’s get drunk and fuck.
-I want to destroy you. I want to watch you fall apart before me, I want to see you implode. Fold into nothing. Be ripped apart by a black hole.
-Give me another cigarette.
I take out two cigarettes, light them both, then pass one over to her. My soul squeezes and I kiss her, smoke escaping through our noses, my lungs on fire.
-How much longer are we going to be stuck here? They don’t get HBO.
-I’m going to get more booze.
The pool is empty.
-Keep the door locked. And don’t smoke any more of my cigarettes.
The pool is empty, The lights are low, green, dirty. I fall in. It’s warm, sickly feeling. Dragging me down. I’m floating, looking up at the window. She’s lighting another cigarette and flipping through the channels again.
I close my eyes, feeling water tickle the back of my throat. The bright stars above have gone black.
I open my eyes. The world is still standing. No fires, explosions, death or destruction.
She opens the window and yells down to me.
-Don’t forget the booze. And cigarettes.
I climb out of the pool. The ghosts are waiting for me. We walk towards the parking lot, a lone, wet man and his dead entourage.
I look up, the stars are still black. Not a single one shining in the sky.
You can feel it in the air. It tickles my skin.
Worlds are being destroyed with the blink of every eye.
I’ve left my car keys, my wallet, every thing at the bottom of the pool.
I walk. With my companions. I walk and greet the void of night, the moonless gaping hole down the highway.
I try and light a damp cigarette. Sparks, the only light for miles.
The cigarette catches. It burns bright orange.
Then it’s gone to black and there’s nothing left but smoke and emptiness.