About halfway through my second bottle, I declare to myself that champagne is, from this point on, my poison of choice. I start drinking shortly after I get out of bed which sounds bad, but it is three in the afternoon so it’s really quite reasonable. I drink because life bores me, or maybe because I am terribly, utterly sad. In any case, I cannot think of anything else as fun that requires so little effort; so I get the bottles with big, fat corks which are impossible to put back in once removed, making it necessary to finish the whole bottle before it goes flat.  It’s economics, really.

Pleased with my revelation, I treat myself to another bottle. Dave calls and says he is picking me up in five minutes. I don’t usually like to hang out with people from my command, but Tom was out of town this weekend, and when he calls later I want to be able to make him jealous by telling him I was hanging out with other guys. It serves him right. I down the rest of the bottle and go outside to smoke a cigarette and wait.

I suppose Dave picks me up because the next thing I know I am naked in a hot tub. All I can feel is the grittiness of the cement on my bare bottom. To me it is nails on a chalkboard, which might explain why I get so irritated at the girl sitting across from me when she asks if I am all right. Of course I am not all right, but in my mind, this is none of her business. Besides, she is fat and the sight of her naked body is making me nauseous. I tell her to fuck off. She must take offense to this because the next thing I know the water level in the hot tub gets lower as she lifts her fat ass out of it and stomps into the house.

I forget all about Fat Girl until her friend, the girl whose hot tub I am sitting in, I think her name is Leah, comes out to ask why Fat Girl left crying. Don explains what happened and then Leah, apparently oblivious to the fact that I am slightly unstable, starts to scold me.

This Leah chick says maybe five words to me before I am out of the hot tub and on my way to her deathbed. The way I see it, this Leah chick needs to be knocked down a notch. Who the fuck does she think she is? She epitomizes all that is wrong in the world. I know that if I kick and bite and wriggle hard enough, the people holding me back will give up, enabling me to satisfy my blood lust. If I can just get one hand on her, I know she will not walk away without a chunk of flesh missing – all I want is to break her open.

My small body feels enormous with power. I kick her feet out from under her so that she falls sideways – dumb – then I grab her hair and pull her head up and *pound, pound*!!, push it back down again and again. After this became tedious, I stand up and start stomping on her skull with my bare feet, water still dripping off my naked body. Maybe I will stomp on her throat next. I imagine the texture of her larynx crunching under the arch of my foot – I can taste the iron in the blood that will gush onto her taste buds.

I stand there, panting, while everyone looks on in horror. A siren wails in the distance, the chlorine dries on my skin, smells sweet, and the camera fades to black. Of course, none of this actually happened and the ending is a lot less satisfying: I wake up alone at home with my head in my toilet, my hair floating on top of the water in the vomit filled bowl. There are five missed calls from Tom on my phone.

 

05/13/2017

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Ms PTSD

(Ms Pissed)

Trish Graves is a creative nonfiction writer and a US Navy veteran who lives on a grass fed cattle ranch with her husband and daughter, and dreams of becoming the salty Martha Stewart of the ranching world. She writes about her ranch and more on her blog, thelazy8ranch.com. She is currently working on a memoir which provides perspective on military sexual assault, living with post-traumatic stress disorder, dealing with the Veterans Administration, and the impact these experiences have on every aspect of her life.