Mike woke to Lilly slamming the door sensing the pulsing angry energy wrap around him. Light from the window seared his eyes and pierced straight into his brain and he pulled the pillow over his head. The sheets clung to him, damp with sweat and sour with the bitter smell of perspired alcohol. Unable to fall back asleep, he rolled over and glanced at the perky orange pill bottle stamped with “Ambien” in thick black type neatly on the white label.
Like a wounded soldier, he shuffled to the kitchen. The scent of flat yeast wafted from the bin. He peered inside and was welcomed by a mountain of aluminum carcasses and an empty vodka bottle indiscreetly flaunting its red cap. His tongue stuck to the top of his mouth; sandpaper adhered to the palate thick with saliva.
Reaching for a pitcher of frosty ice water, he tried to avoid the candy colored cans that lined the bottom shelf. Just one would make me feel better. Just one to cut the hangover, he thought. An image of Lilly flashed through his mind. The last time she found him passed out on the couch she looked at him with soul crushing disdain. You were disgusted with your mother’s drinking problem and you can’t see you’re doing the same thing? Lilly’s words made his mouth twitch.
Mike neatly dusted these thoughts underneath his convenient internal carpet. It’s his day off. After a few hours of mindless scrolling, he wanders back to the fridge, grabs the yellow and red can and cracks it open. The sound lends him a sigh of relief, and that first cold fizzy sip, well, euphoria.