The Cure Wrote A Song About This
I opened my eyes, closed them again quickly. I tried opening them again, but the bookcases spun too quickly, so I settled on the slowly moving darkness behind my lids. The Current warbled in my stereo speakers and I could just make out the faint strains of “Inmates” by The Good Life. I groped for a glass of water on my end stand, but didn’t find one. I rolled to my left and bumped into someone. Her hair smelled distinctly like jasmine. I put my right arm over her and pulled her closer. “Mmm…Chris”
She rolled over to face me and propped herself up on one elbow. “Who’s Chris?”
I forced my eyes open. She looked back at me with her narrow green eyes. The comforter came up to the top of her pert breasts, but she did nothing to hide them. Short red hair framed that face. Who’s face…I squeezed my eyes shut for a second. “Wendy…” I trailed off.
“I guess I’ll give it to you on the second try.” She smiled and pulled closer to me under the covers. I realized I was naked then; so was she. She purred and rubbed her chin against my stubble, giggling slightly. I laid there for a bit caught up in her ministrations.
“Wendy.” Her hands roamed underneath the covers. Louder, I spoke her name once more. The bile in the back of my throat built as I pushed her away. I tried to sit up, but I only made it over to my right side before I started vomiting off the edge of my bed. Last night’s Zombies and Soho Pizza spilled all over the floor while I coughed and retched. I felt Wendy recoil in the bed, but she kept her left hand on my shoulder, rubbing it periodically while I emptied my guts onto the bedroom floor. We stayed in that position for five minutes until my coughing subsided. Jiha Lee and Tim Kasher sang on the speakers while she stroked my hair.
“Do you need anything?”
I shook my head, almost started vomiting again. My mouth didn’t work for several seconds. I needed a glass of water. “What are you doing here?”
She stopped with her left hand. “What did you say?”
I spoke slowly and with a greater emphasis on each syllable. “What are you doing here?” The covers moved as she pulled them up around her body. She hit me hard with her right hand on the shoulder as she moved across the bed. The covers flew over my body down onto the floor over the vomit.
“You are such an asshole.”
“What?” I rolled over to face her, but she faced the opposite wall of my bedroom. She pulled on her panties while continuing to look into my closet. “What did I do?” She bent over to pick up her bra and slipped it on, turning back towards me as she clasped it behind her.
“I can’t believe how much of an asshole you are.” Wendy shook her head, squatted down and picked up her pink sweater. “I just can’t believe you’re such an asshole.”
The bile tried to force its way up again. I clamped my mouth shut until it worked its way back into my stomach. “I don’t even know what I did.” She laughed as she pulled the sweater down over her head.
“You don’t even know what you did? You called me, you asshole.” I watched her bend over to pick up her skirt and boots. I fumbled around on the end stand and found my cell phone. Scrolling down the list, sure enough, there was a 515 number in the outgoing list. I flipped it closed, laid it back on the table while lying down, and sighed while Wendy dressed silently. The bed shook as she sat down to put on her boots. I opened my mouth, closed it, instead watching her zip up her boots.
“I can’t believe it. You don’t even remember last night, do you?” She grabbed a pillow and threw it at me. I caught it with some effort. “You called, you said you wanted me here, and you don’t even remember!” She stood and flared her nostrils. Her hair switched back and forth while she shook her head. I clutched the pillow.
Her boots clicked on the hardwood as she walked towards the door. I watched her. In the doorway, she turned back to me. “I don’t even know why I answer when you call.”
“Jesus, just let me explain.” I shifted the pillow around my body to prop myself up. Wendy stopped once more in the doorway and swung. Her hair whipped around as she put a hand on one of my bookshelves.
“You are such a fucking asshole. Goodbye.” She picked up my Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary and threw it across the room. The red book hit the wall next to me as I pulled my knees up and covered my head with my hands. I heard the door slam, but didn’t uncover my head to look.
“Goddamnit.” I heard some voices in the kitchen, obscured by my now closed bedroom door, but instead of finding out what was going on, I just sat on my bed. Rubbing my eyes with my right hand, I picked up the remnants of my dictionary with my left. Pages scattered and fell on the floor as I lifted up and inspected the broken spine. More pages fell on my bed and the floor. The room spun once again, slowly now, and the stench of vomit filled the air. I sat up on the other side of the bed where Wendy had just been, fished around for a pair of boxers, and slipped them on. I pulled The Head On The Door off of my cd shelf and rolled back over to my stereo. I buried my head in the pillow face down and hit play.
During “Close To Me”, someone knocked on my door. I mumbled into my pillow, and then rolled over so I could say it again. “Go away,” I yelled to the door.
“Not an option.” Mark opened the door with his left hand and carried a steaming mug in his right. He walked over to the bed as I pulled myself up to a sitting position. “I thought you could use this. At least that’s the impression I got from Wendy.” He chuckled and handed me the mug.
“Fuck you too,” I hid my face in my left hand and took hold of the proffered mug in my right. Mark retreated to the papasan and sat in it observing me. The coffee was strong and black and burned my tongue. Mark watched from the chair, eventually folding his legs under him and sitting Indian style. He smirked at me, occasionally nodding slightly, but said nothing while I sucked down the coffee. After I finished the coffee, I set the mug next to me on my bed. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” Mark looked at the floor by my end stand. “Your room smells like shit.”
“Good, I see your sense of humor is intact.”
“Why’d you let me call Wendy?”
Mark shrugged from the wicker chair. “I tried to stop you. You almost broke my watch when you tackled me in the living room.” He pointed to a butterfly bandage on his forehead. “Luckily, it’s only a scratch, but I figured I shouldn’t take your phone after that. To your credit, you didn’t call Wendy until after we got back from the Dragon.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and rubbed my left hand along my face. “We went to the Dragon?”
“Yeah…you were in rare form. Did you and Christine have an argument?”
I shook my head. “Something like that.”
“What’s the last thing you remember?”
“Doing those shots of Jack.”
“Shit man,” Mark stood up. “That was at 8:30 last night.” I looked over at the clock. 12:41. “You don’t remember anything after that? Not the beer bong at that house part on 26th or the shots of Jag?”
“Ugh,” I moaned and looked at my bed. “My God, if Christine finds out that I slept with my ex-girlfriend, she’ll kill me.”
Mark shook his head. “Rightly so.”
“Listen, you can’t tell Chris about this, alright?”
Mark looked back at me as he walked towards the door. “Why would I?”
“Just don’t, alright.”
“Alright, alright,” he shrugged. “It’s not like I was going to anyway.”“What the hell am I going to do?”
Mark stopped once more on the other side of the doorway. “I’d clean up that vomit first, man. It smells like shit.” I picked up the phone and scrolled through the list until I got to Christine. Mark popped his head back in the room. “And I’d lay off the liquor. You know, at least until tomorrow.” I grunted and hit talk.