I know what it feels like to love myself, and I know what it feels like to hate myself. I just wish I knew what it felt like to just like myself. That normal feeling of contentment that the rest of the world seems to have. For me it's either one extreme or the other. And no matter which side of the sword I wake up on, I always try and balance my brain the same way: by drowning it with booze. Today is no different.
I dig through the rummage in the living room in search of a clean cup to make my concoction. The table is covered in cigarette butts, microwaveable pizzas and empty beer cans. It may look like a scene of out some cheesy Animal House rip off where everyone gets laid and everyone is happy, but I assure you it's not. I may get laid every now and then, but that sure as shit doesn't lead to happiness. Instead of just thinking I'm a worthless sack of shit, I now think some girl is a worthless sack of shit for letting someone as foul as me weasel my way into her panties. With every girl I penetrate, I lose more and more faith in the female population. If I'm smart enough to know they should have nothing to do with me, why aren't they? Oh boy is the self loathing strong in me today.
I eventually give up looking for a glass and just pour the straight vodka into a half gallon of OJ. Yesterday's juice and today's vodka will only lead to tomorrow’s hangover, but at least it'll get me through the night. It taste like shit and burns going down, but considering the gas has been shut off for weeks, this provides a much needed warmth. The warmth it provides is temporary and artificial, much like the joy of the rapidly approaching booze buzz. Every self loathing word my fingers type only makes me hate myself more for being such a douche bag. Does everyone hate me this much, or just me?
The TV doesn't work and I've already read all the books I have, so I must seek other entertainment to accompany my intoxication. I try to just lie down and fall asleep but the bed bugs are gnawing at my skin. I think that the bed bugs may not be the only thing eating at me from the inside. I hate myself even more for thinking a thought so pretentious. There clearly is no win for me tonight. My mind has waged civil war.
Maybe I'll call a girl. She may not come over, but even just the conversation makes me feel less like I'm all alone and drinking myself to death. But considering the whores I associate with, she might be down for a fuck. Some days it's a hell of a lot easier to get someone to sleep with me than it is to get to sleep with myself. But then again, if she sees me in this state, feeling sorry for myself, she might not want anything to do with me ever again. My girls like me on the ups, feeling way too good about myself and treating them like shit. This clearly isn't one of those days.
I decide on a shower instead. I take a cold one so I can wallow in my own misery a little more. This proves to be even worse than I thought, as the harsh beady water only serves to irritate the sores and bumps from the bed bugs that have made my epidermis their home. I turn the water off and decide to give myself a good look in the mirror. As I stare, I find myself more and more repulsed. I haven’t shaved in weeks in a failed attempt to cover up the hideous red blotches all over my face. I can almost feel the bugs crawling around, pissed off at me for trying to drown them in the shower. I've always wanted to be Charles Bukowski, but I was hoping I'd get his talent, not his ugliness and skin condition. I guess I should have been more specific with my aspirations.
The dried skin and bags under my eyes are getting worse. Those were there long before the bugs moved in. How did I manage to go from being an awkward looking boy to an ugly old man in less than a year? I thought I would eventually grow into myself and be a good looking man. Instead my boyish features became crusty and infected. I stare harder into the mirror to try to look past my ugliness.
I look inside myself and only find more ugliness. A bitter man filled with a hatred for everyone and everything. I wouldn't say I'm a misanthrope. Misanthropes hate everyone else in the world, I just hate the me that I see in them. The pretentiousness, the contradictions, the emotional vulnerability I try to reject always seems to find its way out.
The OJ jug is nearly empty and I'm starting to feel its effects. Especially considering the three Vicodins I choked down with it. Afraid of the bugs that have over run my room, I curl up in a ball on the damp bathroom rug. The bugs inside me will eventually breed on the rug too, but at least for tonight I've found a safe haven. The last wave of my juice hits me pretty hard and my eyelids close. I have found peace. Substance induced peace, but peace none the less.
Mike Gamms is a 24-year-old unemployed writer living in Los Angeles. Originally from Upstate New York, he occasionally writes awful things at www.mikegamms.blogspot.com.