Sunday, February 7, 2010

Writing Exercise: Sorrow, Vodka, Helplessness, Hope

He was gone. Jim would never be back. She picked up his sweatshirt and inhaled deeply. His scent was still there. Audrey hugged the navy blue hoodie tightly and started to cry. Oh how she longed to feel his arms around her again, feel his warm body pressed against hers. Taste his kiss again... but that could never be. The cancer had taken him away, taken him away at twenty-nine years old. Jim had been the love of her life, the one she wanted to spend forever with.

Audrey sank into the couch, feeling the cold leather seep through her silk robe. She shivered, and turned longingly toward the bottle at her side.

"Drink me," it called, "let me drown your sorrow." Audrey hesitatingly traced her fingers along its grey goose neck.

"Two years sober," she thought, "but tonight I need you."

She opened the bottle slowly, her heart pounding. She closed her eyes, and could see Jimmy clearly. He was whole again- warm, smiling, and happy. He was not a cold rotting corpse in the ground. Audrey shivered again and blinked back tears as she pressed the bottle to her lips. She felt the liquid slip down her throat, and savored the burn.

"Jimmy, I can't live without you," she whispered in the dark. She took another drink. The vodka warmed her body and for the first time in days she saw clearly. Tonight she would be with Jim again.

As Audrey leaned forward, the alcohol rushed to her head, making her dizzy. Her fingers fumbled around underneath the couch until they touched cold metal. Audrey pulled the revolver from its hiding place, and rested it against her head. Shaking, Audrey squeezed her eyes shut, and pulled the trigger.

The light from the moon watched over the apartment in silence until warm, orange rays filtered through the windows, signifying the start of a new day. Birds chirped outside, welcoming the morning. Inside, the daybreak was greeted by silence.

Lori pounded her fist on the door of apartment thirty-two.

"Aud, it's me! Let me in!"

No answer. Lori felt her heart begin to pound. Something was wrong. Lori extracted her spare key from her purse and turned it inside the lock. Lori felt the lock loosen, and opened the door.

"Oh my God! Oh my GOD!" Lori shouted, as she surveyed the scene. Lori ran over to Audrey's still body and shook her. With relief, Lori let out a huge sigh as Audrey mumbled "go away" and tried to twist out of Lori's arms.

"Audrey! What the fuck? A gun? What are you doing with a gun? Oh my God Audrey! This is not good." Lori spotted the nearly empty bottle vodka that had fallen to the floor.

"Oh Audrey! What would Jim have thought? You've been sober for so long!" Lori exclaimed.

"I don't know, I can't, I just can't do it without him," Audrey stammered. "I can't live without him!" Audrey's tears flowed freely, though she didn't know she had any reservoirs left to cry. Her eyes burned and felt raw. Would she ever feel normal again?

Lori wrapped her arms around her sister, letting her cry.

"We'll get you some help. I knew I should have stayed with you last night. You'll get through this," Lori comforted her.

"Okay," Audrey replied. "Ohhh,"she added a moment later when Lori tried to help her off the couch. A tidal wave of nausea overwhelmed her and a cold sweat covered her skin. "I think, I think I'm gonna be..." Audrey fell forward and covered the carpet in clear vomit. The smell was horrific and burned Lori's nostrils.

"I see you haven't been eating," Lori judged. "C'mon sis, let's get you to the shower.

Lori lifted her sister by the arms and half carried her to the bathroom.

The hot water in the tiny bathtub soothed Audrey's aching body and the steam helped clear her muddied thoughts.

"I'm sorry," Audrey's voice shook.

"It's okay. We'll get you help. You can do this. Do it for him," Lori said.

Audrey closed her eyes again and imagined Jim's arms around her.

"I love you baby," Jim whispered in her ear. "I am always here with you. You can fight this."

Audrey knew Jim was with her in spirit and for the first time in a week, felt a twinge of hope.


Sooo I'm thinking about taking a short story writing class that starts in less than two weeks. It's 8 Saturday mornings in a row at Rice University (40 ish minutes away.) The only thing holding me back is the cost and wondering if it's really worth it. I love to write but don't know if this is the right move. Lots to think about! In the meantime I'll continue reading and doing random writing exercises like this and see what I can come up with! Okay, it's now 2:21am... I should probably get to bed!! Why is it that it's always late at night/early morning when I am hit with inspiration!? :)


  1. Hey - if cost is the main issue, I'm pretty sure that as an Active Duty spouse you're eligible for Tuition Assistance. You may want to ask Chris to look into it. I could be wrong, but it's worth a shot!

  2. That's a great idea Tiff! We'll look into that! Maybe it'll work out for a fun class this summer! :) How are you? I'm so thrilled for you and Greg and your sailing adventures! How exciting!!!