One Foot in the Grave-1)

He pushed his drink away and slouched back onto his barstool.

Slouching, always slouching. Rare was the day he held his head high. His life had always felt unglued. Direction wasn’t an option. Always surrounded by  loved ones, yet never more alone. Dead for as long as he could remember.

Jayce Reynolds stumbled out of the bar and headed down the back alley. He fumbled with his pocket, then withdrew a little vial. Clumsily, he tapped too much of the white powder onto the side of his hand. With a deep and fast sniff, the substance entered his blood stream. Jayce let out a victorious holler and he rounded the building before stepping foot back into the pub.

Immediately the bartender yelled out, “You’re cut off, get outta here!”. Jayce raised both fists and extended his middle fingers, with a ‘screw you’ expression tattooed on his face. As he turned and pushed the doors open, a woman grabbed her coat and followed him outside to the curb.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Doesn’t matter” slurred Jayce.

“Well then. I live around the corner.”

“So what are we waiting for?!”

After commenting that Jayce was glad she lived on the first floor of the seedy apartment, he collapsed onto the couch. The coffee table was littered with empty beer bottles and drug paraphernalia. She sat beside him and lit up a crack pipe.

As she inhaled, he put up his hands and said, “Whoa whoa, I’ve never done this before. But…I’ve always wanted to.” He laughed at his own joke as she passed him the pipe. Immediately after they took their hits, she fired up a joint.

The room was ripe with fumes, thick and heady. They sat amongst this euphoric cloud, until he felt her unbuttoning his pants. Before he had any kind of thought, she had overtaken him and he was in no frame of mind to say no.

Next thing Jayce knew, he woke face down on the floor, half clothed. He reached for his phone. 6:35 am.

He picked up his clothes and went into the bathroom. Needles were all over the back of the sink. The toilet looked like it hadn’t been cleaned, ever. Where was he?

After freshening himself up best he could, he got himself out of there and into his car parked out front of the bar. The fifteen minute drive home was in silence, minus the screaming thoughts and voices inside his head.

Pulling into the driveway, he put the vehicle in park and looked at himself in the rear view.  A second or two was too long, how he hated what he saw.

With a deep breath, Jayce opened the front door. His wife and two kids were sitting around the kitchen table, eating breakfast…

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