X
Prose

Below the Belt

16 August 2018

I

You’ve had more whiskey today than you have water. You can’t bear to open the door. You stand in the courtyard. You stare up at the centre of Orion’s Belt. His whole body takes form and the rest of the night sky follows slowly: all skies slowly follow.

II

In the living room that guy is chatting shit again. Bragging about his latest conquests, the two-pint munter acts like a big man. He collapses before he gets the chance to propose one more game of beer pong. Behind you a girl is begging her friends to leave. Jono will be here soon and they simply cannot be in the same room. Your friends are arguing about which Star Wars movie is the best. 5-6-4-3-7-1-2 is the obvious choice. Eardrums shatter as the aux cord DJ fumbles for the plug.

III

In the garden some lads play Goon of Fortune. They laugh in their underpants as their mate drowns in vomit. Behind them a man performs push-ups to prove his worth. No one is watching. A couple makes out on the fence while the dart-rolling philosopher next to them recounts Trump’s latest faux pas. You’ve already heard this one tonight so you go to the kitchen and pick up someone’s best cheap wine…

IV

A seagull is trying to attack you. Is it hungry? Does it think you have chips? You did eat chips before. Are the senses of a seagull so finely tuned as to recognise a history of chips? Maybe it’s just a cunt. You take your seat at the stop. One of those lads who gets kicked out of the club puts his feet on the seat next to you. You look for a way out.

V

You need to piss. You get on the last tram to North Balwyn. You waited for a long time so you need to piss. You’ll have to wait until you’re home. You sit down. The couple across from you is making out. They look happy. You accidentally make eye contact with one of them. You look away. An old man across the aisle is glaring at you. Is it because you’re wearing a badge that says “Circle Jerks”? Does he know what a circle jerk is? Maybe you’re not giving him enough credit. Maybe he’s just more of a Black Flag man. You look away. Some lads just got on the tram. One of them has a rugby jumper draped over his shoulders. He’s bragging about the girl he hooked up with. You wonder if she’s doing the same with her friends. She isn’t. An old friend of yours steps in. She sits next to you. She was at a club and had too much to drink. She feels sick. She says this is a low point in her life. You say it’s ok. You say you think that a couple of times a week. She laughs. She doesn’t realise you mean that. You get off the tram and walk home.

VI

You haven’t slept in two days because you can’t be bothered going to bed. Walking home at 8am you see things you haven’t seen in a long time: people out for breakfast, old Greek women shuffling to church, parents walking their kids to school, a man in a kebab shop slowly readying a fresh tube of meat. It’s all happening.

VII

You can’t bear to open the door. You stand in the courtyard. You stare up at the centre of Orion’s belt. His whole body takes form and the rest of the night sky follows slowly: all skies slowly follow.

You pissed on your shoe.


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