Headed in odd directions, all of them therapeutic. Very sloppy.
I stood slowly. The haze of smoke clouded me inside and out. The warmth of the alcohol was slipping away from me now, and the high was becoming uncomforable. I needed to get out, and fast. One foot in front of the other, shakily, slowly. The floor was a bit sticky, someone had spilled a drink earlier. There was a tangle of bodies on the floor, some out and some stirring with my disruptance. Gingerly, I wound my way through the mess.
I walked by Gary, who was mostly passed out on the floor. He raised a hand slowly as I passed, and I saw something sort of like a light in his red eyes. "Jason," he whispered, not reacting to my behavior but rather just recognizing the face. I ignored him and kept moving. His hand fell and his eyes drooped, too high to stay with consciousness.
I reached the balcony window and pressed my forehead to the cool glass. It felt wonderful, like a drink of water. I lay like that for a few seconds, savoring the feeling of cold comforting my throbbing brain. I blinked hard, and I could see again. The window latch was not complex, but it took my fingers a few times to undo it, brain working overtime to fight the drugs. And then it was open, and a breath of fresh, fantastic air rushed over me. It soaked into me, bringing me back into the aware world every second.
Someone moaned on the floor of the apartment, driven to complaining at a animal level by the cold. I ignored them, and climbed out, still being over careful to compensate for the shakiness of the world. The metal of the fire escape was freezing under my bare feet, but I could take it. I shut the window softly, as not to wake anyone. And then I looked out over the city.
Soft lights and hard rain go together in a perfect sort of way, and there was nothing else that I liked to look at while I was thinking. I had a lot to think about. The last five years had gone in the blink of an eye, and that scared me so bad. I just tapped out, and let my life wash over me like it was nothing. I didn't know that could even happen.
It started as an itch in the back of my head. Something noticable but not quite definable, because it was so small. It grew though, the more I started noticing patterns. That was the main evidence. Everything I and the people around me followed a rather strict routines. Which was ironic, in a silly sort of way. We thought we were such rebels, going against the curve as hard as possible but we still got stuck the way the man wanted us too.
I was working part time for a software company in Paris, making way more money that I should have been having not finished college. It was a really good job, and could have led to something really comfortable for me if I cared about it. But I neglected it. I negotiated down to a part time job because I wanted to party with my friends, sort of a microcosm to where my priorities sit in life. I'd been working the job for five years, without so much as a raise. Which was okay with me. If I had enough money to buy cheap wine, pot, and the occasional variety of psychedelics then I was happy. Part of the overlooming problem.
Back in my bedroom, behind me, a naked girl was napping on top of the sheets. Two mintues ago I was stroking her cheek. I'm standing on the fire escape now, in the rain, thinking about how much I hate my life. I don't hate her, not exactly. It's more that she's inconsequential to the whole thing. Her name's Jess, and I met her four months ago. She will wake soon, and sleepily look for me, wanting to fuck. Nothing has ever sounded more unappealing.
She flashed her tits in Gary's newest short film, one that he promises everyone will finally be the one that makes it out of the editing room. I thought they were nice, and I told her so. She liked me, which was to be expected. Just the nature of the kind of boy I am and the kind of girl she is. I'm relatively attractive, a white party boy who likes tits. She's also attractive, a white party girl who agreed to flash her tits in some dumb short film by a shitty no name director. Two peas in a pod.
That was four months ago, and I started to wake up about two weeks ago. What began to break the daze was predominantly repetition of sound. We drank almost every night, and the sound that came from that was the clinking of drinks together. I can hear it when I close my eyes. Every night, the clink of the glasses together. Ringing out and in my ears forever. The next thing was the fucking throught the wall. Even though the apartment was nice, the walls were thin. On any given night, you could hear someone fucking through the wall. It wasn't loud, and didn't last forever, but it stuck in my head. I knew I made that noise when I fucked Jess. I knew other people lay awake hearing me fuck through the wall.
That was really the thick of it too, the part that bugged me the most. That because of the repetition I wasn't the only one walking my path. My thoughts didn't mean anything if they were everyone's thoughts. I wasn't a rebel if everyone was walking the same path.
Noise began to become irrelevant to me, drowned out. It seemed that sometimes all I could hear was the two sounds. The clink, and the fuck, again and again and again. It surrounded me, plagued my mind, wouldn't go away. It got so bad that I started to party harder, to dive deeper, just to drive it away. Which didn't work. The noises only got louder, blaring in my brain.
I was going to go to a therapist until today. We were all hanging out, like we always did, laughing and joking and having a great time. Someone brought out the wine, someone brought out the pot, and dove and flew. Jess and I eventually excused ourselves to the bedroom where we had warm and giggly sex. It didn't last long, but she didn't really mind. I was laying there, her head on my chest, when she said it. It was a soft whisper, but louder than a yell. She told me that she loved me, and it felt as though my eardrums had split. This was the new noise, and the noises were not going to stop.
I waited till she fell asleep, then I slipped out. The sounds went around in my head. The clink of glasses. The fucking through the wall. And now, the soft whisper. I love you. Absolutely fucking deafining. I'm here now, and for the first time in a long time the noises are quite. All I can hear is the rain. I know what needs to be done.
I look back into the apartment, at the bodies strewn across the floor. All the same as me, just grey fuckpeople spat out from the machine all the same. It's not me anymore. I step out of my body and out of my life, away from the clink of the drinks and the fucking through the wall and the whispered I love you's into the cold and welcoming storm.
The fire escape is slick but it's not a bad climb. I drop five feet down onto the dirty concrete, landing a little haphazardly but not badly enough to falll. I look up, one last time, at the window to the apartment and life that was mine. And I find, fittingly enough, I can't tell it apart from any other window on the building. It doesn't matter which one I came from. I'm leaving it all behind.