Martha-The Rewrite Chapter Twenty One
I expect to wake up on the sofa. I expect Gemma to be in my bed and Jimmy to have gone home. As I open an eye and look around, hear the snoring from my bedroom, I know my expectations have been fulfilled. I pull Sash’s duvet up around my neck and fold myself into a semi-foetal position.My stupid subconscious mind doesn’t yet know that I am still drunk but my rational mind does. They play hide and seek with each other until one of them gets the upper hand. The first hour, the subconscious wins. It’s a dumb mind but it’s powerful. It tells you good things, about the fun you had last night, how you are amazing and everyone loves you. It won’t let you think about anything bad at this point. It’ll sing you a fucking lullaby if it has to. Rational mind doesn’t fight fair though and simply reads a good book until the booze wears off a touch and then it pops up and tells you that you’re dehydrated, that your back hurts, that your head is exploding. But the subconscious mind doesn’t lie down and take this shit, it wants its piece of the action. It counters with high level stuff. It lets you know that you can’t remember everything clearly and therefore you did every terrible thing that is even possible and some that are not even credible. It wants you back, it claws away at you, lowering you into its shitty casket of half memories, forcing doubts down your throat, picking away at every scab. Once this unholy war begins, I need to be very alone.
“‘Gem!” The snoring is interrupted.
“Gem!” I hear a ruffle of duvet and Gem appears in the doorway.
“Yes babe, don’t worry, I’m off.” She knows the drill and I am sure she has her own battle to fight.
“Thank you darling, love you.” I say as she slips into one shoe and pirouettes about 600 degrees looking for the other one. She finds it under the table and scrambles along on all fours to retrieve it. She stands up tall and breathes out hard. She looks down at her chest and sees that one tit is hanging out of her top. She pops it back in, like the opposite of shelling peas.
“Text me when you’re ok babes.” She starts for the door and turns as she touches the handle.
“Oh fuck, also, love you too.” She disappears up the steps. I hear her stumble, swear, carry on. Her activity stays in the air for a while, as if she has disturbed the very fucking fabric of this particular corner of the galaxy. I feel a bit sick.
I want to sleep some more but the twin towers of my mind are still fighting it out. As I drift away for a moment, a monster bites down on me and rides my back until I fold further over until I am almost sucking my own toes. Just an hour you cunts, just let me sleep for an hour. Making bargains with my warring psyche is never going to work but my pleading is inevitable. I have to give them something. I get up and go to the kitchen. Here, rational mind, this is for you. I drink a pint of water. And here, subconscious mind, this is for you. I am the most horrendous cunt that has ever walked this dismal planet. Now, can I please get some fucking kip?
They let me sleep, almost two hours, such were my generous gifts to them. The factions in my nut have had a sleep too. Whilst they are both down, I go to the kitchen and put the coffee on. I go for a piss, oh so quietly, tip toeing in and out of the bathroom. I hold my breath as I reach into the cupboard and feel for the brandy bottle. I pull it out and gently unscrew the cap. The smell makes me retch for a moment. I put the bottle down and take a breath. I pour the coffee and pour in a good inch of brandy. I stand with hands on the worktop, looking out over what really isn’t a back garden like someone once told me it was. The brandy coffee fills the room. I take the cup and drink as much as I can in one hit. I convulse. Just once. Not bad. I take another long draw. I start to go back to the sofa but then turn back and pour another inch into the cup. I can hear a distant drilling. Someone making an early start on a Saturday morning. I bet they are all energetic and enthusiastic too. Then again, maybe they’re drastically hungover and drilling is their way to cope, though that actually would be insane. There is a break in the noise and there is actual silence for a few moments. I hold my breath and wonder what if this is my last breath ever? I let the air rush from my lungs as it is making my headache even worse. I drink the rest of the brandy coffee and my head feels still . The noise has subsided up there, there might be hope. It’s a beautiful truce.