My Drunk Friend

by Stacie Adams

My drunk friend is built like a hastily packed trash bag; full of lumps and portending very dark things.

It's the booze that gave her this “abandon all hope ye who enter” figure. And genetics too. But mostly booze. She drinks bitters straight from the bottle. We tell her that this isn't the recognized way for consuming bitters, that most people mix it with something. She just shrugs and chugs.

Sometimes she calls me in the middle of the night. “I'm so lonely,” she tells me. She had to break up with her husband when she found cum on the dog. She did so, grudgingly. Since then she's been seeing a Latin lothario who boasts about his cadre of illegitimate children. Sometimes when she gets really blasted she purses her lips together in this peculiar way that fills me with rage. I try not to mention it, but like her nervous laughter, it puts me on edge.

I once watched her stumble around a restaurant looking for our table in vain. I derived sick joy from her feeble march, like watching a turtle struggling to right itself after falling on its shell. She wore these old-style platform shoes, halfway between Frankenstein and a disco queen. They made it hard to walk when she became too drunk.

I picture her in her apartment, black and bloated, not discovered for days. Unattended death, they call it. This should make me feel bad, make me feel something, but honestly I feel nothing at all.