September 13, 2016
Heartbreak at the Discotheque
“I don’t get how I got this shit,” I say with my head laying on the kitchen, feeling as though my energy is being funneled out of my chest through a swizzle straw.
“I guess we all got the same virus,” my dad says as he’s drying a dish.
I raise my head up from the table in an investigatory nature. My hair is in a messy bun and my mouth tastes like the kale I threw up all night. I’m wearing a worn out t-shirt that has a hole in the breast area. My nipple’s poking out through it. I notice and though I don’t care, out of curiosity, I tuck it back in my shirt. It has no place in the outside world.
“You know, I probably got it from you. You were vomiting the day before, and then I went to poop,” I lift my head even higher from the table, “and the water probably shot back up and the bacteria went inside me and now, look.”
My dad looks at me in silence as he makes an unsettling look, “it’s not because of the toilet water.”
“Well, I have no other rational explanation for it,” I drop my head heavily back onto the table.
“Out of everyone, he ruined you the most, I think,” my friend says as we look out at the Danube River, sitting on a park bench.
“Yeah, I know,” I reply flatly.
“No one else invested that much time an–”
“I know, I know,” I say, cutting him off. “But, now, I feel so much better not seeing him, you know, it’s been a year since I’ve hung out with him.”
“Yeah, that’s the best for you.”
A few minutes pass. I look at the time, it’s 2 am.
“Okay, I’m off, I gotta go to sleep,” I announce as I yawn, getting up from the park bench.
“Alright, I’ll give you a shout in a couple of days, we’ll chill,” my friend says as he puts out his hand.
“Sounds good,” as I shake his hand.
I’m walking home, heading up to pass through the city park. The entrance of the park is laced with thick prickly hedges, as I place one foot into the park, my phone rings.
“Where are you?” Tijana says.
“I’m just walking through the park, going home, where are you?”
“I’m at the park, just wait, I’m coming to get you.”
“Who are you with?” I ask as I see Tijana walking around the corner towards me.
“You’ll see, just come, it’s a fun time,” she says into the phone as she waves to me.
I keep talking to her on the phone and end up standing in front of her with my phone still stuck to my cheek.
Tijana’s wearing a black and white psychedelic dress. The dress covers her chest, however, her tits somehow manage to look even bigger than usual. We walk back towards the group she’s hanging with, as I approach, my eyes set on one of the guys there – the hair on my arms immediately stands up.
“Cao, Natasha,” the guy says as he kisses me on the cheek, holding a half-empty bottle of Rakija in one hand.
I haven’t seen him in months. He looks thinner and sadder than I remember. His cheeks look concaved, yet there’s still a dim light in his eyes. He's also drunk. We stand for a moment, facing each other in silence.
“Guys, let’s gooooo!” Tijana says enthusiastically.
I quickly turn my head, “I’m gonna go hom–”
“No, no, you’re coming with us, just for a little bit,” as she takes my hand and pulls me towards her car.
I’m sitting in the back seat of her car with a breakdancer to my left who is listening to some annoying song on his portable speaker, a drunk skater boy seated in the front passenger seat, Tijana in the driver’s seat, and the guy to my right. Because of his height, the guy’s legs are pressed up next to mine, making the side of my thigh slippery with sweat.
“Cao Natasha,” the guy says to me.
“How are you?” I ask, shifting my thigh.
“Great,” he lethargically says while looking at his bottle.
“What have you been up to?”
“What have you been up to,” he says mockingly, “you’re so boring.”
In the background, everyone is laughing loudly, competing with the shitty music that’s playing even louder. I’m sitting in the middle of the back seat in silence. The guy’s arm moves my hand around his neck as he lowers his head onto my chest. I hug him with my other arm.
Tijana and the others continue their laughter as I stare straight ahead through the window, cradling him. He lifts his head up and kisses me on the cheek, I stroke his head as he places it back onto my chest. He lifts his head up again and kisses me on the cheek. His head falls back onto my chest as he falls asleep. My eyes are watery and I continue to stroke his head until we arrive at the club.
“Maybe we should leave him in the car to sleep,” I say.
“No, no, he’ll be fine, I’ll wake him up,” the breakdancer says.
The guy wakes up and stumbles out of the car, holding the bottle of rakija. He opens the bottle, takes a chug and tries to put the cap on. I take the bottle from him and tell him that I’ll hold onto it for him. I leave it in the car.
I push the bamboo door open and walk into the club. It’s an outdoor club that’s filled with blue strobe light and cigarette smoke. People are dancing on empty oil drums and wooden tables, while in the corner there’s a dance-off between some guy with a teardrop tattoo on his cheek and another guy with a man bun. Our group splits up.
Tijana and I begin dancing on a bench beside a white girl with cornrows - she doesn’t know any of the words to the song “California”. As I’m dancing on the bench, a small Nigerian man is standing below me, with large white eyes, trying to mimic my dance moves.
“You dance nice, girl.” he yells at me with a thick accent.
“Thank you,” I yell back.
“Come and dance with me, baby girl,” he says as he jerks his hips.
I smile back and shake my head.
I overlook the small Nigerian man and see the guy, falling asleep in the corner. I jump down from the bench and head to him.
“You have to wake up,” I say, shaking him.
There’s no reply. I pick up his wallet and house keys that are laying on the ground, next to his feet. I tuck them back into his jean pocket and try to wake him up.
“Why don’t you come over here–,” I say, with a hand on his shoulder.
“Fuck you,” he jerks himself away from me, resting his head on the club wall, continuing to sleep.
People are grinding next to me, dropping their beers on the concrete floor, making out with their saliva flying, splattering on each other’s cheeks and lips, all while the music is giving a steady rhythm. I stand in front of him and stare in silence.
I turn away and walk towards the exit.
“Where are you going?” Tijana says, just catching me before I leave.
“I can’t — I can’t do this, I’m going home,” I say, with watery eyes, “I’m not doing this again.”
“Okay okay, we’ll go, just let me say goodbye to some people,” she says, grabbing her purse.
I walk up to the stairs of my apartment, open the door, take off my shoes, pause for a moment and then run to the bathroom.
I quickly move my hair out of my face, holding onto it with one hand, while holding myself up with my other hand, vomiting into the toilet. I finish, sit beside the toilet, grab a piece of toilet paper and begin to wipe the dried dirt and beer from my legs. I go to my bed and stare at the ceiling until morning.
“Which towel is yours?” My mom yells from the bathroom.
“The green one,” I reply, as I lift my head from the table and wipe the drool creeping from the corner of my mouth.
“But that’s Alex’s towel,” she replies.
“No it’s min— why does he use my towel,” I yell back. “You know what, that’s probably why I got sick. His bacteria was on the towel and then I used it, wiped my face into it and now, look.”
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