I Lied

Once again, I lied. I said, that’s the last cigarette, that’s the last drink, that’s . . . whatever. I lied. Five minutes later I lit the next cigarette and poured myself another one. Because I felt like it. Not because I needed it, not because my will was too weak, no . . . simply because I felt like it. Just because fuck it.
I am fascinated by the human ability to lie, especially to themselves.
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Listening to Eine Sirba from 17 Hippies. Enjoying it. Two in the morning, drumming on the table, drinking my third ouzo (the one I said to myself I wouldn’t drink) after a bottle of wine, halfheartedly hoping I am not disturbing my neighbors. It’s not the music, I have headphones on, but the drumming. Or maybe the whistling. I have a horrible tendency to whistle to the music I am hearing, and when I have headphones on I can’t hear myself whistling, so it is in all likelihood completely out of tune (got a good ear, always in tune if I am listening), which would, presumably, make the disturbance worse. Sometimes I wonder if all the women who left me did it because of the whistling, out of tune or not.
Probably they can’t hear me, I think to myself. The neighbors, that is. Another little lie, maybe. I never hear them, except when the new neighbor next door taps her toothbrush in the morning. She’s a cute young blonde who always looks sad. Her bathroom, that is to say her bathroom sink, apparently, is attached to the wall where my head rests on my pillow in bed on the other side. Every morning she taps her toothbrush against the sink in a certain way: tap-tap, tapetetap-tap (took me a while to figure out what sound that was). Jesus. Like a damned alarm clock. I know then that it is 6:45 am. Way too early for me. I don’t hear a thing otherwise, she probably showers and all, but it’s just the tapping I hear. It’s really bizarre actually, and I have to grin every morning when I hear it. Then I fall asleep again, in the comfortable knowledge that she has at least derived some sort of satisfaction from tapping her toothbrush against the sink the way she always does.
But I digress. Lies. Well, I say to myself, don’t take them too seriously, those lies. And don’t worry about the whistling. If I can put up with toothbrush-tapping at 6:45 am, they can put up with whistling at all hours. Ahem.
Can’t seem to stop digressing today. Now listening to Chest Fever from The Band. I don’t know why, but I just love the organ melody in that song. That’s no lie. More ouzo… another cigarette. And now Demon Kitty Rag from Katzenjammer. Yep.
So, I’m on a roll now. Gotta work tomorrow, and that’s the reason I lied to myself that I would not drink anything after that bottle of wine. I just know that no bus will come and knock me on my ass on the way to work, so I’ll have to deal with the hangover all by myself. Oh w4ll . . . Dammitz . . . hard to type with a cigarette between your fingers. Never could stand having the thing hanging in my mouth for more than two seconds. Lithium from Nirvana. Yeah. Yea-yeaaa-yeah. Not gonna crack, and so on. Turn it up.
Oh. Mekons. Dancing in Your Head. One of my favorites. A song that literally forces me to drum on the top of my desk. And whistle to the guitar riff . . . sorry, neighbors. Not. Another lie.
Ah, hell. I’m going to bed. Hah, I lied! But I will, soon, just one more . . .
Mr. Hellstrøm whistles to Down By the River from Milky Chance.

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Bitter

So you’re in love and she isn’t anymore, and you lie alone in bed, trying not to think. She’s the best thing you ever had. Even as the thought occurs to you, you know how cliché that sounds… but there it is. She is creative, intelligent, passionate, capable of deep feeling, and honest. She doesn’t want to hurt you, she just can’t love you anymore, and is being honest. But you can’t help being hurt. You feel like a dog that’s just had it’s leg torn off, and stands there, utterly bewildered, blinking stupidly at the stump. Not yet even remotely comprehending how, or why. In a state of shock.
Unfortunately, you are not a dog. If you were, you might think: fucking bitch… she smells so good… oh well. You would go on with your life without worrying. But you are cursed with the ability to think, being a big-brained ape with nothing better to do. So you think of the promise you made. You never actually said „I promise“, but the promise was there, in your heart, clear and sweet like the air after a thunderstorm. She knew that, she saw it in your eyes, she felt it in your hands. She heard it and read it in the beautiful words you unfolded before her in a calm stream of love and certainty. That’s why she waited so long. Longer than she actually could… she counted on you, and you failed her. Circumstances prevented you, you say to yourself, and it’s true enough, but nevertheless you wonder what you could have done, what desperate measures might have led to salvation in spite of it all. You were already on the verge of doing something insane when she pulled the ripcord. You felt in your bones that things were getting ticklish. Circumstances! The word threatens to split your head.
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It’s bitter. So damned bitter. You’d rather kill yourself than taste that taste; but it would be tantamount to cowardice not to face the facts. She’d pity you then, and hate you for betraying her belief that you are a good person, strong, a man worth loving… no matter whether she loves you anymore or not. That would be worse than anything you can think of, for even now you still want to please her. It is better, in that case, to drink some more wine. But even drink doesn’t help in the least, much to your chagrin. You drink more, and more, and even then… what’s the point in drinking, when it doesn’t stop the pain?
So, what recourse do you have? Face up to the horrid truth: you’ve lost her. The one that got away, like some damned fisherman’s tale.
She never did you wrong. If she had, you could at least indulge your mind in thoughts of morbid revenge, or in the belief that she isn’t good enough for you. Not even this avenue of emotional escape is open to you, and you begin to wonder if you can ever even stop loving her. You’d cry if you had any tears left. You contemplate the stump. Blinking. Stupid.
Listening to Don’t Bother Me from the Beatles.

What the Psychologist Really Thought About

Goddamn, he’s at it again. Ranting on about something or other… every time he gets started I can tune out for at least ten minutes. Though sometimes it’s pretty funny, actually. He has a dark sense of humor that appeals to me on occasion. What’s he on about now? Honest what? Hypocrites? Ahh, Jesus… what was Margaret planning for dinner tonight? Oh, yes, those little pork-medallions on toast with gorgonzola and spring onions and chilies and… yum, that’s something to think about. I must make sure I get the right kind of gorgonzola on the way home. Dear me, how did he get off on that tangent? The sound of silence? Well, I can chalk up another ten minutes of wasted time. I am well paid for that wasted time. Damned if I care, don’t feel the least bit shabby for it, it’s hardly enough for enduring his incessant bitching. Oh, Salad! I dare not forget the salad. What would be a good salad with those pork-medallions? Radicchio? Oh my God, wine… better make a list. Margaret would kill me if I forgot her wine. Oh, he’s asking something…
„Watcha writing down, crazy as a loon?“
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No, no, Mr. Hellstrøm, harmless notes, I assure you. Well, that seems to have satisfied him. He’s a bit awry, I don’t doubt I could convince him that my shopping notes were some sort of shorthand code for notes on his mental health, wouldn’t that be amusing? What would the psychological equivalent of radicchio be? Hehe. It would be a complete violation of the trust implicit in our relationship as patient and psychologist, of course. Ah, well, another time perhaps. The hour is nearing its end, thank God. Amazing how the time flies, when you think of food. What did he just say? A letter to his editor? What? Now he’s going on about lemmings…
Pardon me for interrupting, Mr. Hellstrøm, but you lost me there for just a moment, between editors and lemmings, and unfortunately todays session is also at an end. Perhaps we can delve in to the subject again next week?

Reminiscence

Two strawberries lie on a wood cutting board, one has been bitten in to. The man who has just bitten in to the strawberry wipes at the drops of juice that have fallen on the piece of paper he is writing on. He drinks a bit of wine, thinking that the wine has real character. He stops and wonders if he should think about his life, but decides it isn’t necessary. Another drop of wine. The strawberries are quite delicious. He lights a pipe of hashish, inhaling deeply and holding the smoke in his lungs. Recently he’s been told he may have cancer, but he doesn’t really believe it. Even if he really had it, it wouldn’t  phase him. Cancer is mostly curable, so he thinks. His chances are good. And he always has been lucky with important things. He eats the rest of the strawberry, there’s just one left.
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Wine. Smoke. The fact is, he doesn’t have cancer, but he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t care, even if it turns out he will have to die… because he has children. Beautiful children that make everything whole. He knows, without thinking of it, that he can leave them and they will survive. Even if he dies he has given them power for life, strength to keep on. He is sure of it. He bites in to the last strawberry; it’s amazingly tasty for this time of year. He decides to save half for later and takes a smoke. It’s not like I want to die, he reflects. Fuck no, I want to live, and enjoy it as long as I can. Might be five weeks, might be 50 years. He grabs the bottle and pours another glass. He doesn’t know what to write anymore, so he goes and takes a piss. The children are snug in bed. He flushes the toilet by mistake, but no one wakes up. He goes and drinks some more wine, and smokes some more hashish. Half a strawberry is looking up at him from the cutting board. First more wine. Should he get some bread and cheese? No, somehow, the remaining half a strawberry will have to do. Wonderful. He eats it and takes a mouthful of wine afterwards, letting the taste mingle in his mouth. Heady.

Borrowed Time

I am so drunk I’ve spilled my wine. I have heard that a true alcoholic is never so drunk that he spills his drink, which is a consolation to me: I spill my drink ever so often (God help my carpet). It follows that I can’t possibly be an alcoholic. Alcohol, you son-of-a-bitch. In my youth I would have nothing to do with alcohol. I drank my first drop at the ripe age of 20 years. I was afraid of it, because I had seen what it could do to a man. I knew a true alcoholic, bless his soul. He beat the alcohol, but he’s dead now, a victim of cancer… and who’s to know if his cancer wasn’t a result of his drinking? Liver cancer.
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This was a man I loved and respected. He was a mentor to me. Later he told stories of his drunkenness, though he drank no more. He told all kinds of stories. He wrote too, though he couldn’t believed anyone would ever appreciate what he wrote. He burned most of it. He was a beautiful person. I can remember stroking his hair, as a child, as he lay with his head in my lap. Well. We’re all living on borrowed time.
Bunkhouse Theme from Bob Dylan.

What We Should

Why do we not do what we should? Well, maybe you do; do you do your duty? Do you do what is required?
I will give you an example, because I’m in an example sort of mood: you know you have to work tomorrow; you know you’ll work better if you do not drink too much wine (let us define too much wine, for the purpose of argument, as more than one bottle: of course this is variable, based on usage and body volume…); you have drunk said bottle and you’re just getting in the mood to drink more, wondering whether to put on some music, open another bottle, spontaneously invite all your friends, order five pizzas…
Why don’t you stop? Okay, you argue with yourself… all my friends are probably asleep, but I could listen to music, and… even if I don’t order five pizzas, I could dig out a chunk of that good manchego cheese, with some crackers… that would taste so wonderful with some more wine…
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If you are like me, you’ll say: hell, I may get run over by a bus tomorrow. Drink the wine now, while the drinking’s good, enjoy your fucking cheese, because tomorrow you may be dead, and the cheese will rot in your fridge until someone realizes you have bitten the grass and turns the fridge off and throws the cheese in the fucking garbage.
The result of this attitude is that I will come to work tomorrow, having –once again– not been run over by a bus. Relatively frowsy and not quite up to my duty in the purest sense. I won’t suck at what I have to do, no, I am too professional for that, but my inner man knows I could do it better if I had not drunk that extra half a bottle of wine (understatement pure)… but I don’t give a damn. Just now I’m thinking: too bad I don’t have a bottle of rum lying around as well, for that last killer shot with lime juice; or raki, ouzo, anything…
Well, well.
Listening to The Battle March Medley from the Pogues, by the way. Drinking beer now, because the wine is all gone, all gone, alas, and no schnapps in sight, God damn it all. A sailor has to do with what is there, after all. I can only reproach myself for not having made proper provisions. I did not do what I should have in that respect. I failed utterly in my duty to provide for hard liquor.

Another Glass of Wine…

to Give Succor to My Ailing Existence from Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars. My song of the day. The day went well, the evening was swell. But then a woman dashed it all to pieces with just a few words. Damn you women. I love you, but you’ll kill me yet. Or, more likely, you’ll just reduce me to a weeping lump in the corner.
To conclude: Princess of the Streets from The Stranglers.
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