The Weather at The Bottom, Part 1

Posted: April 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

Say what you want about the weather at the bottom, it’s predictable. Bad is always bad. Shit rains in torrents and mud slips up to your ankle everywhere you step. It’s cold where skin’s showing, and muggy like an outhouse where it’s not. Your toes wrinkle up like blood filled prunes, and even in the summer you worry about getting trench foot. Shit whips up in funnels and fine lines string across the asphalt and ripple along the landscape. The shit draws out mean bugs, they move into the holes in the walls of your apartment. They watch old movies loudly in the summer, in the winter they sit around and play guitar. The wind smells like bad breath. All of the roads are crooked. The electrical wires make your teeth hurt, a current racks across your gums.

I moved into the bottom when I was 26 years old. I got drunk and wrecked my car and had to move in with two people who were my parents. They were nice and rent was cheap, but they were crazy, and the place was painted like every failure in my life. I got a job third shift at a junk mail factory. The old man would drive me to and from work because he was bored and lonely and loved me for no reason. I thought about getting a bicycle, but I didn’t want to admit I’d never learned how to ride a bicycle, and I didn’t want to get a moped, because I didn’t want everybody to think I was a drunk.

I took caffeine pills and worked too many hours. My teeth got loose from the current, and the bugs’ old movies kept me up most afternoons.

I sobered up or dried up or withered on the vine. I quit doing drugs and peed into cups on Saturdays. I read books and smoked cigarettes and ignored the shit that either came with me or was there the whole time. There are worse parts of The Bottom, but that was the part I was in, and that’s what it was like there.

It was the worst time of my life, and sometimes I miss it. The very worst time.

About nine months into my stay at The Bottom my birthday came around. A band I liked was near me, and I wanted to do something. I couldn’t smoke pot because of the cups full of pee, and I didn’t want to drink because I was still mad at it. I still had issues with chemicals, and feeling good and hating myself was hard to put together. The three quarters of a year I’d spent in shit was miserable, and having it smeared under my windshield all the time had stained my worldview. I couldn’t justify having any fun, unless I was going to have all of it. So I bought a great deal of cocaine.

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