Chapter 27: GET OUT OF TOWN

One Decadent Life: Part Two



David was packing he had to get out of town away from everything and everybody. The ‘phone kept ringing and the machine picked up but no-one was saying anything. That was Paula’s trick, to go on calling and making him crazy wondering who it was. But he didn’t care who it was, didn’t care anymore who might ever call. He was getting out and not telling anyone so no-one could talk him out of it.

The ‘phone started up again but now someone was whispering into the machine. He came out of the bathroom and heard Angelique’s voice, “… the exorcisms are done at his botanica in Union City.” Great that’s all he needed another crackpot doctor/shaman/healer to work him over and suck out his cash.

How many cures had he suffered already?

“I’ll be waiting for your call.” Well she was just going to have to wait. He was flying to Marilyn’s in St. Bart’s and with any luck the plane would evaporate over the Bermuda Triangle.

And what was making her think he needed an exorcism? The woman was mad. The ‘phone jangled and he cursed out loud. Now it was Rolfie, “… tea-party at Wanda’s.” As David pictured himself in the required submission his stomach knotted up. Tea-party with demons! He could not wait to get to the airport.

He had to get clean. He could barely get out of bed without it, much less pick up a paintbrush and realize his vaunted visionary status. He had enough to get through the flight, and then that would be that.

If I can’t get clean and this time stay clean I’m going to kill himself.

His show was supposed to open in February, and he couldn’t even get it together for Crasley’s shite-hole gallery. He hadn’t done even one sketch. He could not work for half an hour without having to go lie down, do more dope. He was a shell, animated by heroin, he knew he was pathetic and he was sick of it.

If he was ever going to work again, even copy himself, he had to get off junk. It was too disgusting to consider that he could grow old, as a junkie, suspend in that tar-pit of degradation. There were plenty of those folks in Manhattan: old ‘Beats’ from the fifties still dragging around, tarnished hippies looking seventy at forty. There was a regular society of has-beens and he would not be part of it.

This would be his eleventh, twelfth… whatever, it was going to be his last try. Still, a frenzy came up in him, to get high one last time, before he got on the plane. He had time to cop a little more…

I’ll call Tere see if she has any well of course she will, she’s dealing…

He felt a pang at the thought of Tere’s downfall. All the glamourous degradations. Like Caroline, rich and beautiful and a torrid junkie. But Tere… he was supposed to have taken care of her. But he couldn’t even take care of himself.

Why can’t I just get off my ass, take a cab to my studio and start painting? No matter how terrible I feel. Kick on canvas. Do I really need this fucking luxury pampering, out of town, with maid service and booze…?

Yes… no… yes… no.

He’d stopped packing. His Imp of the Perverse wanted him to stay. The Imp needed its host, David, to not try again. Aligned with the Demon of Entropy, the two entities were trying to keep the man’s soul for themselves. He was lying on his bed smoking a cigarette when he noticed one of his goldfish was dead. He couldn’t even get it up, to take it out and flush it. He realized he was bored… weirdly bored. Bored to death?

Why bother getting clean? Put in a stash, and kill yourself now. You know you’re not going to make it. It’s inevitable. Who are we kidding… Get high, really high, beyond high, one last time.

But the telephone shrilled again and Tere’s voice came shrieking over the line, “Daddy! Pick up! I know you’re there! I see your lights Daddy I just talked to Marilyn I’m coming with you! Daddy pick up I’m downstairs with my suitcase. I can’t believe you called her, JUST before I did! We’re on the same wavelength Daddy, please, I love you, we gotta get out of town, Daddy, come on pick up!”

And David did.







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