You are more correct than you know when you say that people have fault lines - that faint, small cracks run along the latitudes and longitudes of everyone in your life. Sometimes those cracks aren't so faint and sometimes they aren't so small. Sometimes you can see them, and sometimes you can see them happening.

I had spent another night with her, my mouth rekissed with believable lies. I made an admirable attempt at not kidding myself but you know what they say - wine comes in at the mouth, and love comes in at the eye, and which is closer to your brain? I think I don't have to tell you the answer, or which set of sense-pots was more able (and hungry) to take over control.

They tell you your whole life that you'll do things now that you won't recognize them until later for what they really are, and that's true, by and by. Or at least this kid has found it to be true. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation and you can't really remember how you got there - you can't remember how you got to this party where you're surrounded by people from your line that are hiding from life just as much as you, you can't remember how you got in this bathroom with the guy who has the coke, you can't remember how you ended up across the tracks, and you certainly can't remember how you ended up with Blair looking in your window and asking if you want a date.

Maybe you don't remember the drive down Harry Hines Blvd. (S) or the stop you intentionally made too early and too slow and too far away from your wife, but you remember your wife, don't you? The girl you married in between screaming matches, and now look, you have a toaster and some flatware and your day as a prince was an in-betweener and not much more.

So now you're with the hooker and while this is happening you don't think. You don't think about the hotel room or the dirty bed that smells like must and old, dead bugs, you don't think about the carpet that smells like must and old, dead leaves, you don't think about the light fixture with only a 2/4 bulb working ratio that will eventually give you a headache and you certainly don't think about how when Blair is quiet, or when whatever-her-name-is is quiet you can hear the bugs in the walls man, you can fuckin' hear 'em.

More than anything though, you don't think about the why. Because thinking about the why always leads to more questions, more tests, more experiments about how many secrets you can keep and in-betweeners you can stand.

You almost burn your hand on the radiator in the hotel room as you get dressed and your pants were laying on it and now they're too hot to put on (ha ha) and you stand there among the dull-red, stupid heat and the smell of dead leaves/bugs and decaying things and you realize that YOU are decaying, that you have been for at least a couple of years now. Yeah, you quit smoking but not the coke and you certainly didn't stop decaying and man. Now you can not only hear the fuckin' bugs in the walls, but now, see, now you can hear yourself decaying, flaking and breaking apart on the inside.

I say that this was a better in-betweener than most. Blair looks at me blankly and holds her hand out. I have one of those shrill, insane, gibbering moments where I think about killing her. I used to joke with my friends in high school about how we all have those crazy thoughts about fucking sticking a steak knife in a baby's head when we're at Luby's or whatever, and we thought it was a total fucking bender that it was always the quiet babies we imagined stabbing, and not the crying ones. A TOTAL bender.

So then a few years later you figure out what your Night Of Ill Repute really was, and it was more than a bender or a baby-stabbing episode, more than another night hiding from life or even an untaken opportunity to kill a hooker and in some sick way think to yourself that you'd done the world a favor and deleted a scumbag and never thinking that you yourself are the scumbag, but no, it isn't even something as shiny as that. Its a weapon you get to use when you find out your wife has had her own in-betweeners, boy howdy, let me tell you or I'll know the reason why. The best part is, it becomes a weapon that you use on yourself.

See, you crucify someone for things you've already done and you keep your own transgressions secret, maybe locked up in some mental box marked


or the like, and man, that's fucking BETTER than coke, you know? It’s like a high that lasts for years, or a cut on the roof of your mouth that you can't stop tonguing, but a really good version of that? Right?

And then you remember about the fault lines that people have, running along the hemispheres of their minds, their systems of logic, their lives, and you wonder. You wonder how bad off you are in that department, since you can always see someone else fall to pieces and you can hear your own shit cracking and breaking apart, sometimes, but you can never see it like you can in other folks.

And then she cries and you put on the act where you feel bad for making her feel bad about what she done, boss, and then you fucking nail her to it anyways and either you run away or she does or maybe even better, you stay together and then you've got the fucking nukes forever, provided she never finds out. But she probably won't because she doesn't look for your cracks or your faults, she just looks at what a good for-giving package you are.

You end up in bathrooms less and less because you don't need the coke anymore, you dig? You've got your own drug, your own high, your own fucking continent to lord over with an iron fist of fear and forgivingness, and just like coke, its killing you. It started on the inside and it hasn't made it to the outside yet, but its killing you, all the same.

story == fiction