Jaxson sat on his usual bar stool as he ended another day of existence on the miserable planet Earth in his usual way. Drinking himself to oblivion.
“It’s a good thing you live a couple blocks from here, and walk home every night.” Lexi was his bartender, at least he thought of her that way.
“Another one, Lexi. I can still remember what I did at work today.” Work had sucked, but it always sucked.
“Another fat white dude scream at you?”
Lexi laughed, shrugged, “White people. I tell you.”
Two years earlier was when the last of the three kids went to college, and he’d kissed another $60,000 bye-bye, and watched the day he could retire drift further toward the horizon.
A week after his baby girl started classes on the far side of the state his wife of 25 years told him, “Get out.” She’d had enough. The romance was long dead, the love too. She’d waited for the youngest to get out of the house, and then filed for divorce.
She got the house, of course. And the car, cats, and furniture.
He was too old to fight with her, so he moved out, and wound up in a single wide trailer in a park filled with Latinos on the edge of town. With plastic dishes, a pint-sized fridge, one TV (but no cable), a sofa, which served as his bed, and a tiny bathroom that consisted of a shower, a sink, and a toilet, all of which surrounded a 2 square foot slab of vinyl flooring.
Way he figured it, he was a quarter million in debt, and would have to work until he was 243 to pay it off.
Lexi’s was a gift from the universe, and he knew it. A bar a couple of blocks from the trailer park. She’d told him she opened it for the Latinos. “They got no place of their own.”
“You’re a good one, Lexi.”
She set another glass on the bar, “You keep telling me that.” She propped on her elbows, “You gonna listen to them? Get help somewhere? Dry out?”
Jaxson chugged half the glass, savored the burn in his throat, “Nope. Not going. Not getting help.”
“You that set on dying?”
“Yeah.” He would have smiled, but didn’t remember how, “Gonna drink myself to oblivion. Then let them bastards collect on that debt!”
“You’re a sick bastard, Jaxson, you know that.”
It was 0100 hours when he staggered to the toilet in his trailer and puked. Puking didn’t bother him so much. The blood he coughed up every morning, that bothered him.
“Not going to rehab. Going to drink myself to death.” He stretched out on his sofa, still wearing his clothes. “Then let them bastards collect that debt!” He passed out.
That night, he had the same dream he always had. The one where he wondered why he was still alive, and why the universe wouldn’t let him die.
And so goes year 3, week 5 (Week 3.05) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.