Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On top of the world

I've probably called a hundred times. And then Sean has probably called another hundred times. It's been four days since Abby was supposed to come home, and we haven't heard a thing. All I have is this note, and I keep reading it over and over again like it's going to tell me something:

Mattilda, I couldn't sleep, so I got up and did a bunch of coke and now I feel much better. I was going to bring this on the plane with me, but that's probably not a good idea, right? I don't want it to go bad, so I'm leaving this rat poison for you in my absence. Just snort a little, and think of my pretty face. Have some coke and a smile! Love, Abby.

P.S. There's a lot more where that came from, now that I'm a professional hooker with a daddy who pays me in poison so don't worry, I'll be all right when I get back. See you soon, and don't miss me too much.

Let me tell you about willpower: I made a promise that I won't do any of that pure white pure white until Sean and I figure out what's going on. But, that doesn't mean I can't open the vial again to take a look. Oh, wait – wait, someone's answering. Someone's answering the phone!


Oh, hi, is this Christina?

Who's calling?

Christina, it's Mattilda, Abby's roommate.

Excuse me?

Mattilda, Matt, Abe’s roommate. How are you doing?

Oh, hi.

Is Abe there?

Why do you ask?

Christina, listen, Abe was supposed to come back four days ago, and I haven't heard anything. Is he still there?

You don't need to worry, he's okay, everything will be okay.

What do you mean? When is he coming back?

I have to go.

That's all we get — from then on, the phone rings busy. I call Sean, and she thinks we should drive down there. To Bel Air, Maryland? We don't even know the address. Should we just look it up in the phone book under Christian fundamentalist cults?

It's on the US government watch list.

Oh, great – do you have that list?

Mattilda, I'm just saying.

I know — I know it's on the US government watch list. I can't believe this, I can't believe she's stuck there. How long is this going to go on?

Mattilda, I don't know. I'm just as worried as you are.

I know, I know — what are we supposed to do about it?

Should we get cocktails?

I don't want cocktails – I want Abby to come back.

Not drinking isn't going to bring her back.

Whatever— okay fine, fine, let's get cocktails. Do you want to bring Avery?

I thought you didn't like Avery.

I don't – I mean I didn't.

I told him you were a whore, and now he's embarrassed.

Oh, great – did you tell them that you're a whore too?

Mattilda, it's different.

What's the difference?

Everybody knows about you. It's not a secret.

Did you tell him you got arrested?

Mattilda, I didn't get arrested. They just took me in for questioning.

Oh, that's interesting — because when you called Abby, you said you needed bail. And I'm the one who went down there to rescue your fucking ass.

I was confused.

That's an understatement. I didn't even know you had a thing for Avery.

Gross — he's fat.

I cannot believe you just said that — are you kidding?

Mattilda, I don't do Asian.

Sean, that is disgusting.

I'm just being honest.

That's not honest, it's racist bullshit. He's not even Asian. He's from fucking Tunisia. Tunisia is in Africa, you idiot.

Okay, Africa. Let's just get cocktails.

I am not getting cocktails until you tell me why you were so fucking jealous about Avery.

I don't even know why you care.

I care because Boston is fucking tired. How am I supposed to have sex with anyone unless they're paying me or in the fucking Fens. I have no idea how to make it happen. I know we were drugged out of our minds, but still it was fun, we had fun, I liked his body, it was kind of romantic.

You were on X.

So what — you’re coked out 95% of the time.

It wouldn't have worked out. I was doing you a favor.

Oh, great – you were doing me a favor — well, thank you so much for the fucking favor. I wonder what happens when we’re fighting.

We are fighting.

We are not fighting — I'm just telling you that you're a fucking tired bitch.

Okay, I'm a fucking tired bitch. Let's get cocktails.

I need to eat something first.

I'm not hungry.

Fuck you – I need to get something to eat before cocktails. Let's meet at Thai Dish.

I don't like Thai food.

Oh, right — you don't do Asian.

I wasn't talking about food.

I wish you were. Why the hell are we friends anyway?

Do I have to answer that?

It’s always the same with cocktails — number one: Yes, this is just what I needed. Number two: Oh, perfect.

Number three: The next one's on me.

And then I'm in the bathroom — scratch what I said earlier about guys only wanting to have sex with me in the Fens or on ecstasy or when they call my ad — because I forgot to mention the bathroom, right? How did this guy get hard so quickly, I mean he came in after me, right? He grabs my dick and we look at each other — he's the type with overly plucked eyebrows and too much cologne, but I kind of want to kiss him anyway but then someone else comes in and he hurriedly pushes his dick into his pants.

What's the rush — isn't this a gay bar? And then the next guy is actually hotter, I don't even pretend that I'm not jerking off and soon enough he's doing it with me, but then he says sorry, I've got  to go, my boyfriend’s waiting.

And then I'm back upstairs and Sean’s saying what took you so long?

Fourth cocktail: Coke, yes, we really need some coke, where can we get coke?

And then I remember oh, the coke Abby left for me, and then the fourth cocktail is done and we’re out of this bourgie hellhole, I don't know how Sean convinced me to go to Club Café but at least now I know I can have some fun in the bathroom, which is downstairs by the gym, do the bar and the gym share the bathroom when the gym is open?

Sean wants to know how much coke — honey, I don't know how much. When we get home, she looks it over like she’s a professional and says oh, this is at least a gram — no, more. I should take it home to weigh it.

Are you kidding?

No, I got a scale.

Where did you get a scale?

Michael’s source.

Oh, the anonymous Michael’s source.

It's not someone you know.

Well, you better start figuring out how that scale works, with all the work your nose does.

I know. That's the point.



The first line is always the best. There should be a stop sign on that first line, right? Stop, savor it, feel the rush, take it all in, wait just a few minutes. But then there's the next one, can't do one nostril without the other.

Okay, the second one is pretty good too, this is the best coke I've ever done, except that time when Abby and I did the government coke study, and everyone knows the government has the best coke, right? You had to sit there for an hour or no, more like two hours with electrodes attached to your head filling out a multiple-choice questionnaire that said things like A. I feel on top of the world. B. I'm feeling pretty good right now. C. I'm starting to feel depressed. D. Nothing’s going well in my life. E. I'm feeling suicidal.

And then, just when you got to the suicidal part, that's when it was over so they gave you orange juice and made you sit in the lobby until the coke was out of your bloodstream or whatever. At least I got the coke, and not the placebo, which is what Abby got. I never knew coke could feel so good, like bounding joy rising through all of your pores at once, almost like ecstasy, I mean for at least 15 minutes or so I really thought they had given us ecstasy. Maybe a half hour. It was not good.

Anyway, this coke is good too, not as good as the government coke, but good enough for me to think about it. I'm ready to dance but Sean wants to look through Abby's stuff to see if we can find any clues, what do you mean clues?

Sean’s already in Abby's bedroom, opening up the drawers of the desk — girl, what do you think you're going to find?

The first thing she finds is more coke. A lot more. Six more vials, filled to the top. Wow.

Where did she get all this, Sean keeps asking. Where did she get all this?

I've already told her that Abby has a trick who pays her with coke, and now Sean says: I should be a chick with a dick.

You are a chick with a dick.

But then I decide I better take that coke out of the room, just so it doesn't end up in Sean's nostrils, but where should I put it? Maybe in my camera case? Too obvious. Under the bed? It might get lost. No, not the bathroom cabinet. Oh, I know, in the freezer. Or will the glass crack? Oh – with my multivitamins, perfect, I always need more vitamins.

When I go back in Abby's room, Sean's got Abby’s black bob on and she’s staring in the mirror, studying her eyes.

Oh, yes, bring it on.

Let's get dressed up.

Be my guest.

I want to put on makeup.

Go ahead.

Should we do another line?

Of course.

The funny thing is that even though Sean doesn't know how to do makeup, she already looks like someone's messy ‘80s teenage daughter, I mean she could totally pass and then the music’s on, why wasn't the music on before? Oh, this song, I love this song —where did you find this?


james said...

Mattilda - I like these stories; I need to read them more carefully; I only have half an hour at the crowded Hagerstown MD Library, I spend most of the time looking for contracts to bid on. Luckilly, I mail in a paper bid and do not have to use the computer for that...--james

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thanks, James -- these are building towards my next novel, Sketchtasy. And, good luck with your bids!


james said...

Mattilda - I have two contract jobs this summer so far, one in Colville National Forest in N.E. Washington; and another accross the state line in Idaho north of Coeur D Alene... I have not worked in Washington or visited Seattle since 2008...

james said...

Mattilda - I have two contract jobs this summer so far, one in Colville National Forest in N.E. Washington; and another accross the state line in Idaho north of Coeur D Alene... I have not worked in Washington or visited Seattle since 2008...

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...