The Long Road | Teen Ink

The Long Road

March 15, 2015
By vamika_s PLATINUM, Gaborone, Other
vamika_s PLATINUM, Gaborone, Other
39 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Colour my life with the chaos of trouble"

There is a sea of beer and pills and heroin needles on the table. Alan blinks. Flames snake through his veins, conceived from a pinprick of ecstasy in the crook of his elbow. Yes. This is good. This is very, very good. He feels at home, in this place where bookcases have secrets like wine coolers and potted plants hide little white packets, waiting, undisclosed. He can’t stop, he can’t stop, he can’t stop.

It is morning and the sun is pouring him a warm drink on his pillow. Alan had been dreaming - something grotesque; the sharp knife of a memory that had been buried away for too long. ‘How far have I come?’ Alan’s mind moans. The dream has thrown him overboard, back to the start of this still-winding road. Back to when the officers came and grasped his father’s arms so tightly that his taut veins choked with blue agony. Back to when the sternly-dressed monsters ransacked the drawers and the taped-up packages in the lining of his blanket, hurling out frightfully coloured pills and murderous, powdery packets. Alan remembered the loneliness of losing his father to the silver traps on his wrists and the kick-in-the-face of law and authority. And how even missing a man reduced to a husk from his parties and drugs made Alan pick up a loaded needle. Still, despite everything. Because the loneliness needed to stop, didn’t it? The loneliness needed to stop.

Now, Time’s vehicle has brought Alan to a bland, brown sofa, where he sits to talk to his therapist. Conversations that probe like scary, metal instruments; this is his ‘rehabilitation’. ‘Everything has taken on the colour of runny egg yolk’ he thinks. Alan…seems to be happier. And healthier, when he glances in the mirror. The good moments, at least, are always punctuated with rock music, the kind that was always rotating on his mother’s record player when the world was actually normal. But he knows that he misses what he misses. Alan sighs. The therapist asks him another question. Life is just a comfortable cog in the machine of the universe.

Ed Slater is throwing a party again, seven Saturdays on from the previous. Finally, a test. Alan’s therapist hands him kindly motivating flashcards that yelp words like ‘resilience’. He thanks her with his eyes blank, already unsettled. Hours later, the star-struck evening spreads itself out like a temptation. A Beatles song enters his head: ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun.’ ‘Why did that have to happen?’ he thinks, and a keg stand blooms up in the corner. His hands sweat. And his blood remembers. It remembers the hollow intoxication of transcending mind and reality. Alan shudders.

He has been given a needle, casually spitting with intention. Alan is helpless. He finds it sinking into his forlorn veins, again and again. Cruel laughter and applause clogs his ears, clogs everything. Everything but his blood, which fizzes with heroin. The world wordlessly slips into a hopeless black. Elsewhere, screams, screeches and sirens start to strike up a symphony of panic. Yet Alan is silent; he is no longer there.

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