Darmian tried to picture himself leaving the room, but he was so strung-out he could not even lift himself off the bed. It all began with a day out with acquaintances he made while boxing in a gym close to home; the day out was meant to be a visit to a boxing ring downtown.

In his mind he had convinced himself that he was done drinking, but in the background of his mind the little devil creeped up to him only to show him how much of a lying bastard he was to himself and others. He had gone for weeks without drinking, particularly because he knew that if he didn’t prove to himself that he could stop self-destructing, then he was on a one way street to becoming his father, something which he dreaded since he was a kid.

He struck-out after the third tequila shot, however, in a bar a minute away from the boxing ring. He only saw half an hour of the fight. (Darmian and his friends decided it was best to run off to the bar, hit some drinks and return to the ring, which made sense at the time because their boxing professor, a skinny, small man with knuckles of steel, was scheduled to fight, and to Darmian’s mind seeing his professor would be a kind of enlightening experience; but why the hell would one not have a drink in hand while under the sun!?)

The fight never came to a conclusion, but the drinks did after taking a cab to a different bar, only to have Darmian’s friends score coke with a female dealer (“she’s the girlfriend of one of the most notorious coke dealers in the city”). His friends, two Australian men in their twenties working for a bank, earned exaggerated amounts of money; this gave them too much power to do fuck-all, they bragged about whores in Columbia and coke binges in the deepest shit-holes of the world, which rubbed Darmian’s gut in the wrong kind of way; these men were not what they appeared to be, except scumbags with a desire for the worst in humanity. But was he not a scumbag, too? He seemed to enjoy the same pleasures they did.

“Only once in a while,” he said to himself in his mind, but deep down he knew how much of a piece of shit he was, too. The pendular movement from self-destruction to peace of mind, and then back again, was always there.

(Interestingly enough, one of the Australians, a guy by the name of Adam, had a rather deep conversation with Darmian on the topic of women, he seemed like a guy with a head on his shoulders; but how do appearances deceive, the whole facade slipped away only to reveal a man in confusion… but who was Darmian to judge, he was there drunk to the point of blackening out himself, however self-righteous he thought himself to be, superior, in some strange way, for being able to see who they were only by the evidence in front of him, albeit the evidence waved a guilty finger at him, too.)

This scared him, being side-to-side to men capable of self-destruction and violence only described in noir fiction or depicted in movies where debauchery is portrayed as a one-off stint. But that is not true about drug or alcohol binges, they end with a puddle of piss and vomit, and a lot of dread and fear and broken spirits.

But the experience also empowered him, made him feel like he was a man. When did he learn that being a man meant turning your insides into a pile of shit, and your mind into a delirious sweating dog? Around three tequila shots, four beers, and some undisclosed drink deep into the night, he blacked out.

Such a fucking fool for believing he was unlike the Australian.




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