I lay on the carpet, my shirt clings to me as I stare at the ceiling, to make sense of the insensible. I hear Yumi’s quiet voice become shocked as a book plops onto the floor, landing crooked in a shoe too large for her. My nose hurts from the water. She runs over to my soaked body. I read the spine of the book, over and over, something by Herman Melville. My eyes burn too much to keep them open for any longer. She combs my wet hair with her nails. It feels like a dream, but I know I am awake, though I don’t believe it. I can change this. This didn’t happen, none of it, to change things that didn’t happen, all a dream or nightmare. If I could just wake-up. I open my eyes as I stand up to get to her liquor cabinet. Any moment now Raisin would be here, everything will be fine. I pour two drinks, one for him one for me. I sit on an arm chair. I sip on the gin as I wait.
I grow impatient, annoyed. Yumi, asks me over and over again, where Raisin is, why I’m soaked. I just sip and sip, until the glass is empty. I stand up, Yumi watches my every move as I switch my glass with the one with liquor in it. Raisins glass. I turn around to face her. “Did he say what time he would be here?” She asks. My anger boils, spilling out with a yell, a dark deep truth. “He’s dead ok, they’re all fucking dead!” I throw my glass to the corner of the wall. With blinders, my rage continues. “He was supposed to be a soldier, some fuck’en piece, can’t even do the simplest thing!” Sky wakes up from the shouting. She looks at me and I look at her. My anger settles momentarily. She cries and Yumi goes to comfort her. I take my device and head to my time.
I go straight for the bottles, grab something, and just drink, drink, and drink. My stomach’s fire meets the same heat as my chest. I break things, kick things, punch walls. I try to flip my desk but fall backwards into the pile of paper. I try to lift myself up, but the world spins. I lay my head back down on the bed of plans, I stare at the ceiling while I spastically curse at the shifting shadows above me.
I open my eyes, my head hurts. With scabbed knuckles, I pick myself up. I survey the damage of the room. Like a bull in a china shop, there wasn’t order to the destruction, just chaos. I look at the papers on the ground, the plans. I collapse onto my knees and look over them, I can find a way to fix this. If I could have showed up sooner. If we could have picked a different time. I go through the notes, the dismissed ideas. I search through the rumble when I find the letter Raisin left for me. I stand up, flip a chair back over, and sit down.
Picking up a bottle I drink to remove the morning’s shake. I undo the folded piece of paper. Scribbled writing it appears to be written in haste. Raisin will unfurl. “Hello, If you’re reading this, you’re either a wanking sneak, or I have perished. I have to say, sir, that it has been nothing but a pleasure to be in your acquaintance. To give me these last months with my daughter. It has been a true blessing.” A lump in my throat gathers, so I try to wash it down then continue reading. “I cannot say I didn’t know this was coming, as my health began to fade, I knew I had to seek you out to carry my wishes. I do not expect you to take care of Sky yourself. Listed below is the time and place to take her. I hope you get what you’re looking for.” His signature is a curly mess. I read the information at the bottom and let the letter go.
I feel an overbearing disgust with myself. After all of this, after all of this. I lay in my bed, I try to cover myself with the sheets, into the dark where a vile creature like me belonged. I smell her in my sheets, or I imagine I do. I throw them off me, a kicking, a pushing. This was all too much right now, all too much. I reach for my pistol under my pillow, but it isn’t there. I curl into the fetal position. I can’t even kill myself. I can’t even do that right.
Sisyphus was doomed to push a boulder up a hill, an every defeating effort. This is also what depression feels like. You struggle with this boulder, you peek over it and you see the happiness at the crest. So you push, push against your guilt, your anger, you push, alone. Some days you’re closer to your goal, but the boulder changes in size, your guilt grows, the confidence shrinks, and you’re overcome by the weight, to be sunk into the ground, just to have push it all up again. Every try seems useless, every step you’ve taken before. Beaten over and over. Every attempt seems more pointless than the one before, you want to ask for help, but embarrassment keeps you calling out to the bystanders, they cheer you on. But sometimes it takes an extra set of arms.
I roll on the floor, I still wear the suit Edna gave me, soiled by sweat, smoke, and spilt drinks. I stare at my device in my hand. I want to go, to have Yumi hold me, to tell me everything will be ok. I think of her arms, a shelter, of how many wrongs would it take for it to no longer be a safe haven. I think of her and the hardwood changes to carpet.
I hear laughter come from somewhere, I can’t remember the last time I heard laughter, or if I even knew how to laugh anymore. I pick myself up and walk into the kitchen where Yumi and Sky are making pancakes. There’s pancake mix over the floor and covering both of them. I lean against the door frame and just watch them. Yumi tries to flip the pancake, but it slides off of the pan to join the other two of the same fate. They laugh, I smile. Yumi turns to possibly check the clock next to the door when she sees me. “Geez!” She yells. I nod a hello. She clicks the pilot off and walks Sky over to the tiny table in the kitchen. She pulls out some syrup and Sky eats. She turns to me “Where have you been?” she ask as her arms wrap me. “Wow, you smell.” I smell myself now, and she’s right. “Go get cleaned up and…” I interrupt her. “We need to talk, I hav…” She, in turn, interrupts me. “You have some clothes in the dresser, get cleaned up then we’ll talk.” I begrudgingly turn around and walk to the bathroom.
The shower is hot, I try to press the screen to make it hotter, but there are safety protocols in place in which I don’t know the codes for. I use some of her hair removal gel and get rid of the mess on my face. Stepping out I feel clean. I sit on the toilet and light a cigarette when there’s a knock on the door. “Yeah?” My voice seemed raspy. “Can I come in?” Yumi asks, I clear my throat twice then answer. “Yeah.” She opens the door and the steam makes twirls as it interacts with the cool air. “I didn’t think you were coming back.” She says. I look at my cigarette. “I’m glad you did.” She spreads her legs and sits on top of me. With her fingers, she lifts my chin up to meet her gaze. “For every breath I take, I will make sure you have two.” she says. I throw the cigarette in the sink and embrace her. “Everything is fucked Yumi.” She squeezed me tight and with what could barely be a whisper she says “Everything is.” The steam wasn’t the only thing to evaporate.