Written by George Gad Economou
I ponder my return to Athens; how can I
live with my folks again? how to put
behind the boozing nights, the dawn hours of
cooking ice? how long will I
survive? I drink tonight, 43 days to
go; can I make it?
no way in Hell, the voice in my head
states honestly. will I find the means to
survive in my hometown?
NO! the answer comes from
above—more silent discussions with
my father in the kitchen “what do you want to
do with your life?” he’ll ask, I’ll have
no answer to give. after all, I cannot just
say “all I want is to drink, do drugs, and
write; it’s who I am, someone that sleeps on
park benches, that punches irritating buffoons, that sells
good homecooked glass to desperate vessels that lost
their soul.” how can I tell him that the
grandchild he so much covets was conceived back in
2010, and was aborted? that its mother died that same night from
junk overdose? I was tanked at
her funeral, can hardly remember where in the
graveyard she was
buried. I just remember hurling
poems written on yellow pages
in her grave; the rest is a blur, details made up
in my head as I desperately try to form a coherent
story from my dreams. wine and bourbon flow
freely, like wild rivers ravaging untamed lands; I’ll
move back, forced to embrace sobriety and proper living.
no way I’ll survive; without hooch, I cannot
fight the eternal midnight mist. there’s no
way out, I only crave the cabin in the middle
of a virgin forest. all I get is a tiny room
in an apartment wherein every step and word and breath
will be scrutinized. the needle on the coffee table is
more inviting than ever; could the evil spike that took
my Emily also reunite us? more tempted than
ever before, four years since the last true fix, do I
dare go back? yes, I fucking can, I slap my face.
no, wait a minute, a soft whisper in my head; it’s Emily.
I break down. write a few more pages, she insists,
don’t give up now. I gave up, look where it got me.
you were stronger, she rebukes. no, I wasn’t, I was weak, soft. I took
the easy way out, I stayed, mourned, missed. you’re with
our child, I can’t be there to hold you both.
don’t rush it, she persists. you went to the Bar, you came back; there’s
still time, our child’s still a baby. one day, we will be
a family, like the one we didn’t dare become. WAIT.
I stare at the clean, virgin spike; no injection. chasing
dragons in flowery meadows is simple, superlative. burning
junk in a bottlecap, breathing in the
sweet blue vapor. colors envelop me, I’m nowhere near Emily
and our child. I drink, I’m still alive, still thinking of the
atrocious streets of my childhood. it’s all over; looking for
the end of the world, stuck in the middle, nowhere to go,
not forth nor back. story of my
fucking life. I lurch forth, certain answers lie
somewhere ahead, in some dark corner of some back alley I
sell my ice in. nothing
this time; maybe, it’s in the next alley. push forth, one more try.
one more alley.
there’s always one more motherfucking night.
Text © George Gad Economou
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