I can hate myself in the Morning

I will hate myself in the morning By Laura Kate Denning

The second the capsules washed down my throat, I felt a rush of anxiousness.

I took drugs.

There was something in my system with more power over me than I had over myself. Or at least, that’s how it felt after more than a decade of sobriety. I’ve always hated this weakness in me, but today, I chose to let myself love it. And MDMA? Well, it was never really my drug of choice. I was an oxy-and-booze girl, and eventually a heroin girl, and ultimately a ‘anything that’ll save me from being sober’ girl. I’m almost certain that’s the only reason I’d ever taken molly. Not that it wasn’t great. My old college boyfriend Jake and I popped it sometimes to make sex more exciting, and I definitely remember being on it the time that he and another friend had convinced me to fuck both of them at once in that so-called-friend’s trailer. Something with the influence to make me make those kinds of choices was now making its way into my system, floating down my esophagus, ready to be absorbed. I couldn’t care enough to let the panic take over though, truthfully, I was kind of excited. My psychologist back then had told me addicts had a tendency towards risky behaviors. I wonder what she’d tell me now. How much of a risk was it considered when you took drugs in your own house while your teenaged daughter was upstairs.
I cleaned up a few of the beers in the garage while I waited impatiently for my body to absorb the pill. I tossed them into the trash by the spare fridge, which I stared at for a few seconds, knowing it held Brett’s old Glenfiddich that I’d been drinking the past week in secret. It’d started with our wedding champagne on last Thursday night after Chyler had gone to bed. I’d been sleepless for a few weeks, and I thought a glass would put me right to bed. Wine had never been my fancy, champagne never a temptation in the slightest. Just a glass had done the trick, and I recorked the bottle the best I could and finally drifted off into a decent eight hours’ rest. Then that weekend I’d gotten a call that Chyler was drinking at a party, and when I showed up she was far from just drunk. She didn’t say one word to me the whole ride home, so I hadn’t had much to say to her either. I felt like I was failing her, so I came home and cheers-ed Brett to our sixteen-year marriage, then watched my sixteen years of sobriety spin down the toilet when I threw up more than half the bottle a few hours later. I didn’t get sober to go it alone. Without my husband, I wasn’t sure when the next time I’d see a day without a drink. In fact, the very next morning was when I’d found his scotch. The first time I’d free poured it into a plastic cup I’d mumbled to myself, “Doctor’s orders,” thinking that was hilarious since it would be exactly opposite my dead husband’s orders. Still, he had left it lying around the house, so I had called finders keepers. I secretly loved finding out that he’d had secrets from me. It leveled the playing field, even if he was now gone.

For the most part though, all drinking was doing was making me cry. I became more and more emotional with every glass, wanting to feel less by drinking more but never quite being able to achieve the results I remembered. I knew with almost absolute certainty that Chyler’s capsule wasn’t going to make me cry. I wish I could enjoy the rush somewhere besides home, but maybe laying down in bed would feel nice. Or a hot shower. I headed for the stairs.
As I walked inside and made my way up a flight of carpeted stairs to the landing, I could hear Chyler talking. She sounded a bit hushed, though not very, and her speech was a lot lighter and faster than usual. As I got closer to her door I walked on tip toe, willing her not to come out and see me. The drugs hadn’t hit yet, but I needed to be as far away from her as possible when they did. Suddenly though I realized I could hear more than just Chyler talking. There was a muffled, slightly staticy voice coming through the door as well. I very gently pressed my ear to the door trying to understand. I felt pretty sure it was coming from a phone.
“Waaaait, your mom does drugs? Do you think she has anymore?” the voice said excitedly, to which Chyler’s much more familiar voice replied,
“Uh, I’m not sure. But like, she took the molly. I thought she was gonna go crush it up or feed it to the dog or something”
We don’t have a dog. But I bet Chyler really did expect me to throw them away. I think that’s what I meant to do when I took them in the first place, but the temptation had been to great.
“And you’re sure she wasn’t taking something else?”
“No, dude! She asked me for the rest of the drugs, sent me to my room, and thirty seconds later, I looked over and she was taking them.”
“Did she see you?”
“I don’t know… maybe.” Chyler sounded hesitant. Well, fuck. I hadn’t seen her before but now I felt even more compelled to go hide in my room for the rest of the night in shame. I even wanted to go throw up anything that was in my system but I was sure it’d already been too long. I was starting to feel my body loosen, and my brain get fuzzy and darting from thought to thought like an incessant fly.
“You should see if she wants to buy some more. I bet she’d buy a bunch. E would be stoked. I think he owes for those ones anyway.”
“Uh..huh..” Chyler was mumbling. She didn’t sound very enthused. I worried, for a split second, but then I realized I had to get out of there.
I hurried down the hallway and into my room. I flipped on the TV almost instantly and let the voices of mindless home improvement television fill the room. I sat down on the bed, then got up. Walked around in a little circle from my bed to my dresser and back around, then sat down again. Then got up. I could tell it was starting to hit, and my stomach tightened with a bit of queasiness. It had been a long time since I’d felt anything like this, and I took a deep breath, fighting to enjoy it instead of panicking. When I closed my eyes, I felt good. It was like my brain had been taken over by a constant tingle that left me relaxed and excited at the same time. When I opened my eyes, I fixated on the TV. I lasted that way for a couple lines of dialog, then reached for the remote and clicked it off.

“I’m not watchin’ this,” I muttered, resuming my circles around the room. After a few I paused at my dresser and picked up a frame photo of Brett and I on our honeymoon. I stared at it, then opened up my top drawer and stuffed it in alongside bras, panties and other lingerie that I hadn’t touched in months.

“I’m sorry,” I told him, again speaking aloud. I wasn’t that sorry, but sorry enough to give the dead my respects. Oh, what I’d give to kiss him again. My strong and sturdy hero. The one man who could right so many wrongs. I didn’t want to think about him right now. It’d ruin it.

He’d be so angry with me.

I did a few more loops around the room trying to clear my head, then pulled back the comforter of my bed and climbed in. I lay on my side, then my stomach, outstretching my arms and reveling in the feeling of my skin brushing against the soft satin-y sheets. I reached up with one arm to pull the fluffy down comforter against me, which felt even better. I’d been starting to get cold. I pulled the blankets tightly around me and closed my eyes again.
Brett would be so pissed off.

“Stop trying to ruin this, would ya?” I said, my eyes popping open as I rolled onto my back and stared at the ceiling, as if that was where he was. Staring down at me from the ceiling fan. It spun around and mesmerized me for a bit until I remembered I should probably turn it off for fear of getting any colder.

After flipping the ceiling fan to off, I noticed my jaw gritting.

“Ah fuck,” I stretched it out, yawned, and then unconsciously resumed clenching. I needed something else to focus on. I wandered through the door to the bathroom, and my now bare feet on the tile gave me conformation of a great idea. The chill of the tiles felt great, despite how cold I’d felt moments ago. It crept up from my toes into my legs and before long I was laying once again, face down with my cheek pressed to the tile.

“Ahhh…” I let out an audible sigh. My mind crept to Chyler. I wondered how she was able to talk to her friends while on this drug. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to be alone and keep feeling like this. Without lifting my head, I let my eyes wander the room. The stark white felt brighter than ever, despite that the fading sun left the room a little darker than usual. I’d designed this bathroom. Everything in it was mine. That felt good. No reminders of Brett, unless I opened the third drawer down of the bottom right cabinet. But I wouldn’t.

Brett was the reason I ever became a parent. I’d had no interest in raising children. Even if I’d recovered from my heroin days, I never felt like another me, or half of me, was something this world needed. But Brett, oh, he needed a baby. He needed something to raise to do right. He probably needed a son, but he channeled all of that pride and joy into Chyler almost instantly. After two miscarriages, one before we’d been married and one after, he’d called her a “blessing”. He didn’t believe in God or anything, but that’s what she was to him. A blessing. I’d finally given him what he was due.

Maybe that was my problem, always feeling like I owed people something. I owed anyone who gave me drugs all the sex they wanted (I certainly didn’t have much money). I owed Brett a baby because I’d had an abortion that was making me miscarry. He had always insisted it wasn’t my fault. And he was a doctor, so I had to believe him, he often reminded me. I didn’t though. I always felt to blame, and it wasn’t until Chyler was born that I felt worthy of all of that man’s love. He had loved me before her. He had. He told me so in our wedding vows and all those nights of sweet nothings in between then and lying on his deathbed, but there were only a handful of times I’d believed it. The day she was born being one.

God, I need to think about something else.
I pushed myself off the group and sat criss-cross on the floor. The first thing I saw was the shower, and I nodded. Perfect. I stood and undressed, turned on the water and climbed in before it was warm. The sensation of the water against my skin caused an immediate involuntary sigh to slip from my lips, and as the water grew warm, then hot, I felt myself begin to sweat. That was fine. I started to hum to myself, lifting my hands to my head and massaging my scalp despite that I hadn’t bothered to pick up my shampoo. My fingers crawled across my head, leaving me so out of it I could have passed out right there and wouldn’t have felt it. My body finally felt relaxed. The noise of the shower grew muffled and I felt a surge of tingly ecstasy in my chest. I remembered it like an old friend, even though it hadn’t been mine. It felt like a mix between an orgasm and a panic attack. My hands stopped moving, and I leaned against the tile wall of the shower for a few seconds until it passed. That peak. It was what everyone who did this kind of thing was searching for, and I’d been missing out for 16 years.

I stayed in the shower until my fingers were pruny and the water was lukewarm at best. The passage of time was foreign to me at this point, it could have been a few minutes or an hour. I wasn’t ready to get out until the discomfort of the temperature threatened to disconnect me from the trip. Once I was out, instead of a towel I stooped down to the level of our sink cabinet drawers and yanked the third one open. I picked up Brett’s razors and shaving creams and a couple other toiletries and left them on the ground in favor of the large white fluffy robe I’d somehow been able to stuff underneath them. Once I had it I stood and shook it out. It looked huge. I slipped it around my own small frame and it felt ten sizes too big. It was perfect. Cozy. Home. I left the bathroom with all his shit still on the floor and crawled into bed.
I wasn’t quite coming down yet, but I was afraid for when I would be. Being high felt like coming home, even more so than snuggling up in Brett’s old bathrobe. I wanted it to last and I knew it wouldn’t, especially since I hadn’t the slightest idea where I’d find more drugs. Chyler’s friend had offered, but I didn’t think I could take drugs from a kid. No, I needed to find my own way, and I didn’t want MDMA. I wanted the really hard stuff. I wanted it so much it almost scared me, even in my haze.
I closed my eyes and pressed them shut almost as hard as my jaw was still clenched. I opened them again to grab the remote, unwilling to fall asleep to silence. Drugs would never bring him back, but I’d managed to think about him without crying tonight. I knew somewhere in the smallest pit of my knotted up stomach that this wasn’t the right way, or the only way, despite what the little voice inside my head had been whispering when I’d taken the drug hours ago. The idea that I may hate myself in the morning was enough to make me feel ragged and lost, laying in my big empty bed by myself. But I was still high, and eventually the white noise of some late night talk show eased me back to comfort. I fell asleep thinking 98% about how funny Conan O’Brien’s voice sounded and only 2% about how much I wished I was twenty-four again and Brett was singing Chyler and I a lullaby.

I can hate myself in the morning

By Laura Kate Denning

A Kaleidoscope Heart

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One comment

  1. I love it because I can relate on how she handle every situation. ? But the thing is drugs will never answers your unlimted questions or bring back people you’re dying to have.

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