It’s my party

It was a special day. A day to celebrate – nine months since  a myocardial infarction had destroyed half his heart AND it was his birthday. The drug was laid out before him on the coffee table. Lines of coke. Lines to  dopamine, the best feeling there is. He knew it wasn’t the best idea in the world, but it was just this once and hey! what was the point of staying alive if you can’t DO anything. His wife glared at him balefully. He caught her glance and got up heading for the fridge. Beer: can’t drink that any more. He heard a group of friends giggling outside, smoking: can’t do that any more. He looked back inside towards his wife and then he looked at the drug. His wife had been unsure if a party would be a good idea or not; she wanted to try and cheer him up but she hadn’t counted on  anyone being irresponsible enough to bring cocaine. Some friends. Eventually she’d had enough and went to bed. He wouldn’t come and was beyond reasoning.

She came down in the morning wrinkling her nose at the stench of stale tobacco and used alcohol. She looked around,  pleased that everyone seemed to have gone. No sirens in the night – he must have just fallen asleep … and then she saw him sprawled on the floor, face down, the table on its side. Christ! fucking idiot. She knelt down beside him, too confused to think. . Fucking idiot! – she felt his face. Wet – warm wet – drool! He must have taken some painkillers, tripped on the table and spilled the drug on the carpet.

He opened his eyes, saw her face and smiled – she smiled back … Jesus! I thought ..Hungry? Yes, kippers please. She went to the kitchen to warm the fish and she heard him picking himself up off the floor. He came through to the kitchen and sat at the table. About last night. Never mind – just eat. She  left him eating while she got out the vacuum cleaner to
hoover the carpet before the dog came in . She didn’t hear him choking on the fish bone that stuck in his throat and killed him.

(Tim Shreeve)

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