Another sip of white lightning tears its way down my throat,

Settles hotly in my stomach.

The world takes longer to load into my brain like this;

I grasp at thoughts like the strings of escaping balloons,

But I’m not a very good jumper.

Another sip, this one a gulp, and the glass is empty now,

So is the bottle, but my head sure isn’t.

Stagger up, zigzag to the door, find the knob on my third try.

Bounce off the railing and the wall to the hot tub,

Where my friends are.

Warm greeting, ask me how I am.

Mind too slow to find the second answer, so the first comes out:

“I’ve thought about death 23 times today, and my brain is filled with pain.”

Shit. Silence. I killed the conversation.

“Hey bud, why don’t you come sit down over here, it’s cold as fuck out there.”

“Let’s talk about it, pal, we’re worried about you.”

They care. I know they care but my dark parts don’t.

There’s a lump in my throat.

“Can you do me a favor and schedule an appointment with a therapist?”

Mind reaches up and grabs that thought, considers it, tosses it away.

Mom will find out, she’ll be worried, she has enough to worry about.

“No…”

“Why not?”

Lump gets bigger, eyes feel swollen, hot pricking behind them.

Am I gonna cry?

Of course not. I never do. I never can.

“Because!” I begin, but choke on the word.

Eyes squeeze shut, I feel hot tears on my cheeks, breath catching in my chest.

Breathing is spasmodic now, words won’t come out clearly, the world is blurry.

Face is hot,

Is it the embarrassment, the tears, or the water?

I’m in love with this moment;

Something pierced the thick walls around my heart

And the trapped feelings are flowing out, painfully, cathartically.

I don’t care that the words won’t come out,

I don’t care that everyone can see me,

I’m in love with this moment;

This is better than sex.

I’ll regret it tomorrow, but here, now,

I’m in love with this moment.