All-Time Low

The room is spinning. The music mesmerizing. I feel drugged--I may be drugged--I am drugged--as if everything I see is through unfocused eyes and layers of swirling fog. The beat pulses through the floor and up my legs and into my soul, and it's all I can hear. Through the haze I think I recognize the song from the rasping vocals, and I think it reminds me of my childhood.

But, I don't know. Anymore, that's just it. I don't know.

The room, the rhythms, the voices and the people and the everything seems to be chanting. It reminds me of church, even though I know it shouldn't.

Regardless, I recognize the feeling of screaming hymns I'll never understand, prayers I've never been apart of.

But that doesn't matter.

This house is made of music that hypnotizes, that tranquilizes. The walls are swaying and the world is tinged purple, and even your image is twisted in my bloodshot eyes.

Your image of perfect deceit.

You look like a monster though my drug-vision. Your smile distorting with the music, your strands of hair writhing and twisting like they have minds of their own, and it's the most human-looking I've seen you in a while.

I hear my heartbeat, and it sounds like millions of nails on chalkboards, harmonizing and singing to me. It sways with my vision, the lights flashing too-bright in the total darkness. It makes my head ache, and even the floor is glowing sporadically.

Your mouth moves, but it might just be me, because right now your everything is moving, so I smile blankly.

My face hurts, like my bones are grating against the tender skin every time I move. I can’t breathe, not really, though I still inhale and exhale. Every minute of self-hate I’d ever experienced comes back to me in periods throughout the time span of a millisecond, my head pulsing as the world spins circles, and you smiled back, reaching out to touch my arm. Your fingertips like fire, and I want to scream but I can’t because the world is twisted, not just in my eyes but everywhere, and I can’t breathe, and your mouth moves again but I don’t notice, I don’t.

I smile again, and you run your fingers up my arm, I feel the blisters forming and busting and my skin peeling, but when I look down and it looks like my arm is still fish belly white and unscathed, so I guess I’m seeing things. The smile begins to ache again, and I know the skin on my face is peeling off in chunks, revealing the skeleton shell that I’ve been for months, but I know you don’t care.

Because there you are, swaying with the walls, eyes searching mine, hair lunging to it’s own accord. Your smile seems feral, but that’s okay. I know you’re looking at my wallet, full of credit cards and paper that hasn’t ever mattered to me, and I consider giving it to you so that maybe you’ll go away.

I’m happy here with you, after all.

I’m happy not having to think about the all of the cigarette smoke I’m sucking in, about how the floor is sinking, like it’s made of elastic, I don’t have to think about how there are so many people, elbow-to-elbow, laughing and dancing, and staring with their lifeless eyes, just like I am.

But, my skin is melting, and I feel too cold to be near these people and their boiling blood. My eyes are unfocused and this isn’t a high, this is a low. I’m sinking lower, and lower through the elastic floors and I’m no longer there. It’s not me there, in the floor and going into a drug-induced coma while the music plays on and the walls remain still, and no one notices, because that person is just another overdosed junkie like the rest of the party, and the rest of the nation, and the rest of the world.

The music doesn’t care. The music plays songs I’ve loved my whole life, songs I can recognize now, with no swaying walls or purple tinge, just through the fire that has enveloped me.

I can’t sing along because I’m dead, and I think that reminds me of my childhood. too.

But, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter.