Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rapture Rupture

There's nothing that screams "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!" more than a small mirror striped with big fat rails of cocaine. Or, in my case, a cracked CD case piled with an ivory powder mountain. It isn't often that I get to hang out with my brother, seeing as he fucked off to Michigan a while back to lay hardwood floors and gamble away his meager earnings in cut-rate casinos.

We each gave Mom a kiss and lied our way out the door, claiming marijuana and beer. The truth was less wholesome but equally illegal. With poker chips in hand, we set off upon slush girdled streets on a southeasterly course.

After a brief visit with a merchant of casual self-destruction, I wheedled and cajoled. "Drink with me! Come on!" My brother rarely drinks, if ever. After growing up watching our father sleep naked on the back porch, muttering and scratching as insects feasted upon his hairy ass, he was not inclined to imbibe the spirits of garrulous shitfacery. He's a stoner, plain and simple, not a boozer. He declined.

I implied he had female genitals. "Why not just drink appletinis and take scissors to your manhood? Show me your strength, little brother. I demand you do shots with me. You want to share in my cocaine frenzy? Then you gotta down a few glasses of the see-through poison, too. Deal?"

We settled on vodka and 7-Up. I bought the cheapest fifth available, Fleischmann's, for $6.99. We got back to my apartment, cranked up some music (I'm still in a Wilco phase) and mixed a couple cocktails.

Two hours later, I was kicking his ass in Texas Hold-Em. I was on my fifth drink. He was half finished with his first. We were both jacked on generous helpings of Christmas snow.

Another two hours later, the bottle was empty and the pile was gone, snorted away in gleeful rushes. We were both mouthbreathing, and by now he was kicking my ass in poker. I was probably very drunk, but the opposing substances balanced each other, preventing me from stumbling, bumbling, or word jumbling. All I had was an overriding feeling of numbness. Eventually we ran out of energy and went to sleep. I slept poorly.

When I rose shortly after noon on the 26th, my stomach lining felt like it had melted and been sucked down into my intestines. I felt queasy and weak. I vomited twice before showering. I drank water and water again. We hopped in the car and made for Mom's place, from where my brother would depart back to Ypsilanti or Kalamazoo or wherever the fuck he stays in that barren winterbound state.

I only made it two blocks before I had to pull over and yark again. I did. Again and again and again. After the water, it was just dry chucks. Unpleasant. At the end, maybe the thirteenth or fourteenth heave, my tummy found something new to eject. Good old-fashioned crimson blood. This was a new experience for me. It swirled and spread atop the puddle of water and digestive acids I'd started with. It tasted of pennies.

I collapsed back into the car, digging through my pockets for candy canes and starlight mints. Anything to mask that thick ugly taste.

My brother spoke. "And you wanted me to drink that shit? Daaammmnnn. That was blood, right?"


"You okay?"


"Still wanna talk shit about me not drinking?"

"Not really."

When I drank beer a few days later, I threw up after three. I couldn't handle alcohol. Still can't. I think something is broken.
3:27 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


January 04, 2006 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, for being the most intellectual man I know - it blows my mind how common sense escapes you. Or maybe it hasn't, but the pain of childhood or whatever else has been to much for you, so you choose to ignore the better choices in life. I don't know. I don't know if I should be depressed reading this, but I am. I hope in the coming year happiness and true fulfillment and love find you. Maybe you won't have to choke anything red up anymore. Stick to the water. And only play in the real snow.
I realize that a lot of your readers love reading your tales of woe, it's what keeps em coming back - but I for one am looking forward to the one where you state you've just had the best day of your life. So I raise my glass of Diet Pepsi - to you Steve, and to your prosperous future.

January 05, 2006 6:20 AM, Anonymous red said...

So, your mom reads your blog? I will say, though...blood is bad. I've had a "perforated ulcer", and let me tell ya, ain't no pain like it. i.e. y'know those mideivel weapons that consist of a spiked metal ball on the end of a chained handle?? Take that ball, heat it up to about 500 degrees, swallow it, and let it rotate randomly in your fun, man.

January 05, 2006 8:13 AM, Blogger Anonysis said...

Not good at all. C'mon Steve. Even Dad is going to dry out starting Saturday. Get that checked out! You are scaring me!

January 05, 2006 9:50 AM, Blogger karen gsteiger said...

Damn you, anonymous, switching on my ex-Catholic guilt. Now I feel voyeuristic.

Actually, the reason I always come back is that your writing, Steve, is top-notch. You make me enjoy the visceral, and I'm not a terribly visceral person. But I don't want the real you throwing up blood and shit. As the inestimable Beavis once proclaimed, "I didn't ask for blood in it. That's beyond the limits of good taste."

So please don't corrode your intestines...they love you! And I do too. So take care of the bloody vomit for your Kate Moss/Pete Doherty fanfiction.

January 05, 2006 10:06 AM, Blogger Murph said...

It's good to know that someone else is dying from a Christmas binge. Just a heads up, I think you might die a few days before me because I didn't start throwing up blood until the 30th. Plus, I'm probably in a little bit better shape because most of my blood dried up in my throat and I washed it back down with week old keg beer. I wish I was joking.

January 05, 2006 12:41 PM, Anonymous sarcastrix said...

Sue the company that made the vodka.

January 05, 2006 12:44 PM, Anonymous sarcastrix said...

PS: Please get your stories published for real before you die in a gutter. Then, when you do, your work net worth will skyrocket and thousands of people who never knew you will mourn your loss.

January 05, 2006 1:07 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

Ooh, that's not good. Take care of yourself man. It might be time to take up a more casual past time like checkers or peeping in the windows of the young nuns over at the convent. I like you much better alive than dead...

January 05, 2006 9:03 PM, Blogger Bookfraud said...

there's nothing more homey than fleishman's vodka and blow. whatta x-mas, wish i weren't a jew for that day. don't listen to anyone else, keep on that self-destructive path and don't stop until your liver resembles paté and your stomach lining is stripped clean out. then you can go into rehab and write some crappy memoir of recovery, sell a billion books, and then publish the real stuff.

also, would love a pic of dad with the six-legged beasties eating his ass. come on!

January 06, 2006 3:08 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Man you're a good writer Steve.

(Brothers always leave. And we all bleed sooner or later.)

January 06, 2006 11:10 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Hey, I'm concerned too, folks. Thanks for the kind words.

Dad's gonna dry out? Yeah right.

February 09, 2006 10:31 AM, Blogger mag said...

Hope you're feeling better now. Tc


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