. 1 double vodka, 1 jagger bomb .
This is nice. Chest feels warm, but all fluttery. Like my heart is that cockatoo in that old bell jar painting by some guy I had to study in my compulsory high school art lessons. I wonder if when the teacher, a grumpy bitch if ever there was one, had taught us about that painting, if it had ever crossed her mind that her lesson on this subject would ever be one of her students’ first drunken thoughts some five or six years later.
I laugh. Ha. Ha ha ha. Cockatoo is such a funny little word. All polysyllabic and Latinate. And it sounds dirty.
“What’s that, girly?”
“Huh? What? Oh, nothing.” Deep Voice chuckles, and I giggle like a popped balloon. “Cockatoo. Cock. A. Too. Get it? Cock.”
. 1 double vodka, 3 jagger bombs .
My face feels like it’s melting, and all I can think about is those FAST stroke adverts on the telly, how the actors in those adverts have faces sliding down to the floor like sand trickling through God’s fingers. I reach out for Deep Voice.
“Help, help, I think I’m having a stroke.” I sound terrified, but Deep Voice laughs and I laugh too. He has a voice I can trust. Like his throat is full of gold and promise. “Mister, I think I’m having a stroke.”
“Girly, you’re eighteen years old.” Deep Voice shakes his head and puts his arm around me. He smells like that old Nirvana song and cigarettes and two-for-one shots. Teen Spirit. Here we are now. Entertain us. “You’re not having a stroke.”
“Promise?” I look up at him with Disney Princess, shooting-star eyes.
“I promise. Now, let me buy you a drink.”
. 1 double vodka, 3 jagger bombs, 1 double vodka and Redbull .
Things are starting to slow down, and my head feels like it’s full of grey candy floss. I don’t like it much, but it feels better than normal – it feels like nothing matters unless I want it to, like yeah, My Chemical Romance split up but that’s okay; I still have all their music. They still exist in a sense. Not like me. When I’m gone, when my cells and atoms split up like fireworks, I will cease to exist. There will be no reason, nobody to remember me. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
“Hey, girly, why you crying?” I’m about to say that I’m not, only I realise that I am. I don’t know why. I feel infinite and existential, like I could be a legend, but only for all the wrong reasons. “Aw, look, it’s okay. It’s alright. You’re okay.”
His arm is around me then and in the back of my head I think I should tell him that he stands no chance, that he’s a boy and I only kiss girls, but then I worry that he’ll leave me alone if he thinks he’s babysitting a drunk girl he can’t fuck. No matter what’s in my head, I know I am only a sum of what’s between my legs. I laugh again. All this alcohol is making the sad things seem funny. I laugh and it sounds like a sob, like smashing glass.
Deep Voice has a nice lap. I wriggle around in it, trying to get comfortable. His shoulder is the perfect petri dish for the microcosm of my head. His arms hold tight around me like safety bars on a rollercoaster ride. There are other boys around now too, Deep Voice’s friends. One of them has pretty soft blonde hair. I reach out and stroke it. I frown; it’s stiff and hard with gel. I wanted it to be baby-bunny soft. Bunny Boy laughs and kneels, letting me play with his cardboard hair.
“Dude,” Bunny Boy says to Deep Voice, and something about his tone makes me stop stroking his hair. Bunny Boy has the voice of a wolf. “She is wasted. You could fuck her right now and she wouldn’t even know.”
“Leave her alone.” Deep Voice’s voice is decidedly deeper, and he holds me closer. Bunny Boy reaches out to play with my chest in the same way that I played with his hair, and I squeal. His hands feel like fire. Deep Voice pulls me away. “Leave her the fuck alone. She’s just a kid.”
Bunny Boy goes away, and Deep Voice is fawning over me, saying pretty words that sound like diamonds. I like his attention, even if I don’t desire it.
“Are you gonna take advantage of me?” My speech is slurred. “Are you?”
“No.” He says after a while, looking like those people trying to pick the right answer on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. “Not tonight. Not you.”
. 1 double vodka, 3 jagger bombs, 1 double vodka and Redbull, 1 double Jack Daniels and coke, 1 lager .
“Hey. Hey! I wanna, I wanna try a cigarette.”
Deep Voice gives me one. I put it in my mouth the wrong way round and beam proudly. Boys laugh and then someone who isn’t Deep Voice or Bunny Boy turns it around for me, lights it. I choke on the smoke. It tastes like a maybe promise of death. Cancer fills my lungs.
“Every cigarette you smoke takes five minutes off your life.” I say like a teacher, remembering those stupid health lessons they gave us in primary school.
“Why are you smoking then, girly?”
“Because I wanna see how many I can smoke, before I run out of five minutes’.”
Deep Voice looks at me sadly, and I laugh. I will be a legend for all the wrong reasons, like the girl who slit her wrists in the college toilets and wasn’t found until the next day. I giggle and the sound gets lost in the smoke. It feels like a good metaphor.