States of Loneliness

CW: drug use


Level 1 – Preparation

            “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is always the song with which to begin. At least, he believes that. He lets Part I rev up as he pulls the baggie from his back pocket. Every time, without fail, it shimmers like a tiny Christmas snowfall. He scoops it up into his hand and makes a line on his bedside table, taking care not to leave out one stray miniscule bead. Reaching for his wallet, he pulls out a crisp five dollar bill and rolls it up, watching Abe Lincoln disappear as he readies the bill both in his nostril and at the end of the line of powder. He sniffs fast, deliberately, and wipes his nose when he is done. He wonders what it would be like to snort it off of someone’s body, and he tremors at the thought. Setting down the dollar bill, he jumps back onto his bed and listens as Part I leads into Part II without pause. They should be coming soon. His body ignites in antici—WAIT FOR IT—pation, and he wonders if maybe he should play a song from that movie instead of a Pink Floyd one, but it doesn’t really matter. Snap out of it. He forces himself to smile.


Level 2 – Trip

            They aren’t here, but he is just lying on the bed, staring at the bumps on the ceiling with a big grin full of teeth. He clunks his teeth together and laughs. They wouldn’t bow out on him again, would they? No, of course not. They’re his friends. They like doing drugs on the weekends, and he always has plenty to go around for all of them. Part IX. The fourth, fifth, or sixth time he’s heard the song in its entirety tonight. He just keeps replaying it because his friends deserve to walk in to an epic song, a song that draws itself out like the Oscar’s red carpet. He laughs and runs a hand down his chest, over his stomach, and up under his t-shirt, skin meeting skin, fingertips not brushing but sliding over his skin. Even though they’re not here, this surge in his stomach makes him higher and higher and above them, above the world, watching over all of the unhappy people. Watching over even himself. His breath hitches—yes, this is all right, even by himself. Yes, he can enjoy himself too. At least until they show up.


Level 3 – Crash

            Still on his bed. Still seeing the little beads on the ceiling, but then he sees them sprinkle down and jolt in the air before they come and settle on his unmoving face. His hand is near his crotch, fingers resting over the zipper, yet he can’t bring himself to do it because it’s just too pathetic, and nothing is enough to keep him happy. He wonders what happiness really is. If it is synthetically created. If it is even tangible. Lately, he wasn’t so sure, and he certainly isn’t now. He closes his eyes and lets the dust fall on his face as his record scratches itself, playing no melodies, over and over. If he lets it keep up, he’ll need to buy a new one. That’s what happened last time too.

Published by Alyssa C.

Writer & theatre artist from Iowa. Currently quarantining in the Pacific Northwest. MA in Intercultural Communication Studies from Shanghai Theatre Academy (expected 2021).

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