“A Bottle of Jack”

Last night, I submitted this short story to The New Yorker. I never planned to share it on here, but with a little encouragement I figured I had nothing to lose. 

Preface:

“A girl struggles to make it through the day after her best friend’s passing with just a bottle of whiskey as her companion. She is desperate for someone to rescue her, but who is it going to be?”

 

Reagan curled her fingers around the lid of the toilet in her tiny bathroom. They were trembling and even more pale than usual. She prayed that she was done.  There was nothing else left in her. Clutching the porcelain toilet she tried to lift herself off the floor, but to no avail. Her fingers slipped and she fell back down.

She buried her face on the cool, hard floor wondering if anyone was going to come home. The only sounds in that house were her screaming and crying and “Whiskey Lullaby.”

The song played, “She finally drank her pain away a little at a time- But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind.”

Was that her future? She sobbed and screamed out in pain begging God to bring Jack back and have this just be another bad dream. She clinched her eyes shut as tight as she could but when she opened them he wasn’t in front of her- just the bottle of Jack she had been nursing since the night before. Poetic. She tilted it to her mouth.

Her tears fell into her mouth and mixed in with the whiskey. Reagan threw the bottle down and looked around. Stupid house, stupid school, stupid life. All she needed was to be three hours away from that chair. The chair she felt glued to when she found out. She was frozen and all she could do was mouth the words “he’s gone” over and over again.

Reagan scoffed and rubbed her eyes. He’s gone? Jack can’t be gone. It wasn’t supposed to work out this way. He was supposed to be the light at the end of the really dark tunnel that she had been in. Who would the light be now?

She brought herself up to a seated position with her back pressed against the cast iron tub. Reagan felt around the floor for the picture. She clung to it for dear life, trying to find something to believe in again, anything to get her off of that bathroom floor. Why did that damn song keep playing? Maybe she was losing her mind.

She took another swig. Reagan knew it was not going to help anything, but how was it going to hurt? Nothing could be worse than the pain that had been ripping through her insides since 6:07 the night before when she got that phone call that would change the entire course of her life.

Where was everyone? All Reagan wanted last night was to be alone and now that she finally was she wished desperately that someone would walk through the door. Being alone meant that she couldn’t ignore her feelings. The whiskey and music couldn’t even drown them out. God knows she’s been trying all day.

Her phone buzzed…again. She picked it up and threw it as hard she could at the wall. Everyone kept calling and texting, but the one person that could help her couldn’t call. He was never going to call again.

She fell back to the floor and brought her knees to her chin. Rocking back and forth she wondered how she was going to get through this one. She squeezed that picture close to her damp face and prayed until she fell asleep.

Warm arms closed around her. She knew they weren’t his, but she thought that maybe as long as she kept her eyes closed, she could pretend they were.

 She whimpered, and then felt a cold cloth running over her face.

“Oh Reagan. Shh, it’s going to be okay. We’re going to get you through this,” the sweet voice whispered.

Reagan kept her eyes closed, and she could almost see Jack sitting there over her. A faint smile crossed her lips, and she savored the moment knowing she wouldn’t smile like that again for a long time. 

Shut Your Mouth and Listen

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LOL remember when I said in one of my first posts that it would be the one that would run people off from reading my blog? Well I lied. This is the one that will do that so I guess whoops. 

Can you think of a time in your life when someone didn’t love you? For the majority of my friends reading this your answer will be no, and I’m so thankful for that. I am also thankful that my answer is no as well. Some people aren’t that lucky though. Some people do not know love- at least in the flesh and blood sense of it. They don’t know, because sometimes as Christians we do not show it.

The last time I checked Jesus commanded us to love everyone. Some of y’all think it’s okay to just love the people whose beliefs line up exactly like yours. I’m truly sorry to break up your perfect world, but Jesus wants you to love every single person. That includes the people who do things a little differently than you.

I come across intolerant people daily, some of whom I know of their intolerance and others I do not know about it. People are good at hiding things, and they are especially good at hiding hatred. There are so many things people are hateful about from homosexuals to people of different races to people who believe a different religion.

These were all around in Jesus’s day. He didn’t love them any less.

I’m no math major, but if Jesus + homosexuals + anyone else who society deems a problem still equals love, then why do some people have such a hard time TRYING to love like Jesus? 

Do you think that you are better than Jesus? You would probably say no, but if you can’t step down off of your high horse to love someone that He has no trouble loving then it sounds a lot like you do think you are better.

I get upset when people say that Christians are bad, because true Christians are not bad at all. Christians often forget that they should strive to be Christ-like instead of like other Christians. Quit trying to fit in with other Christians and instead focus on the traits that made Jesus special- his unending love being one of them. 

I have an openly gay friend named Matthew that I love so much. He would give the shirt off of his back to anyone who needed it, whether he knew that person or not. He loves everyone, and it breaks my heart to think that people treat him differently because of who he is. He deserves every bit of happiness in the world, because he brings so much to this world. He has expressed his frustration with Christianity, and it all boils down to the fact that many of the Christians he interacts with do not share the same values as Jesus and it shows. I hope that I have done everything in my power to show him that not all Christians are hateful against homosexuals or anyone else “different” for that matter. 

The God I love and serve loves everyone. He does not discriminate. He loves me the same amount that He loves Matthew. He created every single person on this Earth, and if you think He loves one less because of their choices or preferences then you are sorely mistaken. Quote Bible scripture all you want to me about the topic of homosexuality; my response will always be that my job as a Christian is not to judge someone but to love them. That’s all. 

This post is not directed towards homosexuality or anything else in specific. I just want to live in a world of tolerance in all aspects, and where people stop all of the judgement. Open your eyes and ears and shut your mouth. 

I’m tired of my faith being given a bad name, because of a few bad seeds. Either stop with the hateful attitudes, or stop identifying yourself as a follower of Christ, because He never once hated a single human being on this Earth. 

1 John 4:7

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

Blessings

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”Image

 

Preach on Audrey, preach on. 

I don’t have a lot to say. I just wanted to share one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite icons. She was beautiful, and I think she made herself happy. She didn’t rely on the opinions of others to make or break her. 

I like people like that- people who make their own happiness, because they know that if they rely on others then they will constantly be disappointed. I sat at a red light yesterday and watched the sweetest looking old man strutting down the sidewalk whistling. He looked so content, and it made my entire day.

 There are so many depressing things to read on the internet, and we often forget about all of the good there still is left in this world. Every day people do wonderful things for other people, but it gets lost between all of the negativity in today’s society. We live in such a painful society, that it takes special people to push against that. 

Life is about joy and love and peace within yourself. Once you find out how to make yourself happy, you are able to make other people happy. There is no bigger blessing than to be a blessing to someone else.

Try to be a blessing to everyone you meet. You never know what they might be going through, and just by having a warm smile you may turn their whole day around.  

 

 

Girl Lost

She ran her fingers across the keyboard, picking at the dust in between the g and h key. She should probably get it cleaned. She waited. It seemed like she was always waiting on something. Mac was her best friend now…(Yes, Mac as in her computer). She laughed to herself as she clicked on the cat video she had already watched three times. Talk about a funk.

She had never felt like this before. Each morning was the same. She would wake up and feed her cat and then run to the nearby coffee shop for a $4 coffee. She could only focus once she had that. Then she would go back to her fourth floor apartment with its two curtain-less windows and just sit there. She spent the majority of her time staring at Mac. She had her Microsoft Word open constantly just in case an idea struck her, but for the most part she listened to her music and read funny articles all day. Even Facebook had become a boring, repetitive part of her day. After scrolling through her timeline fifty times already in the last two days, it seemed pointless to keep doing it.

Those are all of her friends back home in Alabama though. She didn’t have one friend in New York…unless you count her doorman Jerry. Right now she did count him. 

She could make friends, but she didn’t know where to start. She didn’t know anything about the city, and she had spent all of the money her grandparents had left her on the next two year’s rent. So how does a broke, Southern girl make friends in a city she had never even visited before moving there? People looked at her like she was stupid when she opened her mouth to order food or say something. She felt like she was never going to fit in here.

She smirked thinking about the strings she had to pull to live in NYC. Her parents were against it from the start, as were her friends and boyfriend (ex). No one understood it; no one understood her. She finally cut a deal with her parents- give her two years in NYC. Two years to write and see if she could make it. If she failed she would move home and admit defeat.

So here she sat. She had not typed a single word in seven days. She wondered if it was a good idea, or if it was going to blow up in her face. Seriously seven days?! She knew everyone was secretly rooting for her to fail. She shook her head. It wasn’t a bad idea. She had to believe that. 

She looked around her bare apartment. The bed, the dresser, the lounge chair. That was it. She had left her house in ‘bama full of nice things to move to a run-down apartment on the Lower East Side that charged way too much. A bowl of Ramen again for the twelfth meal in a row, and she still doesn’t regret the move. She knows it’s what she had to do. 

She was going crazy though. She stood up and went to her closet. In the weeks since her move, she had forgotten about how much she loved running. If she was being completely honest she was afraid to run in the middle of the city. She was worried she would get lost. Whatever- enough is enough. She laced the shoes up and grabbed her headphones and key. 

She turned her headphones up all the way and took off out of the door of her building. Time to get to know this city.

Social Media…Root of All Evil…Blah Blah Blah

*Blogging from the comfort of Tess’s bed as she cleans her room*

Sometimes I like to sit and listen to my friends who are in relationships or may be about to get into one, because I don’t have anything else to do hehe. The biggest running topic I’ve heard from everyone is what the significant other is doing on some social media site. 

“She’s in his top 3 on Snapchat. Ugh.”-says a friend I love dearly. 

“He liked her picture on Instagram.”-says another friend as she cuts her eyes. 

Not that I haven’t done my fair share of creeping, because if I tried to say I haven’t I would get struck by lightening. My question is WHY do we as millennials let the world of social media control and consequently destroy our relationships? I’ve said a million times that I would be much better off if I had grown up in a world without the ability to know everyone’s every move. Social media takes the fun of getting to know people out, because information is right there at one click.

I have watched so many relationships fail as a result of something someone saw on Facebook. It’s unacceptable that we have let this become a normal thing for our generation. More relationships fail than are successful anymore, and that is so sad. It discourages single people from even wanting to get in a relationship. Shouldn’t we want to change the future of relationships, even if it means being a little less narcissistic and cooling it with posts and statuses? A relationship should be, and needs to be, more important to someone than the number of likes they might get on their Instagram post. 

I feel a little like the pot calling the kettle black with this post, because i’ve done my fair share of creeping and freaking out. If it comes down to my relationship being in jeopardy though, even I feel like I could get off of social media and focus on what’s important. 

I hope our generation turns around the fate of our future relationships, and treats social media like it was intended- a way to stay in touch with friends. Stop trying to be a detective and let your relationships develop naturally. 

 

 

I Don’t Even Know What to Title This

They say how you start your New Year is how you will live for the rest of the year. As for me? I’ll be surrounded by people who love me since that is how I spent my night and day. That’s not too shabby.

Oscar Wilde once said, “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Since he died in 1900, it is safe to say that he and I don’t know any of the same people. It seems that in the 114 years since his death though, that his opinion has just continued to become even more true. No one my age values much anymore. 

Are you a trustworthy, reliable person? If a friend asks you to help him/her with someone, will you forget and then make an excuse? If you tell someone that you will feed their cat while they are away on vacation, are you the type of person to actually feed it, or are you the type who forgets and accidentally kills it? I hope you had the right answer for those questions, because it can’t feel good to be the cat-killer type or the type to leave a friend wondering/worrying about where you are.

I may not have many resolutions about what to be in the New Year, but I have a few things on my list of what I do NOT want to be. I think that’s the more attainable way to reach your goals. I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I was tired of the “New Year, New Me” statuses about three days before December 31st when they first started.

 I never want to be the person that can’t be counted on to be there when I’m needed, and I’m happy that unreliable isn’t a character trait most of my friends would say I possess. I may have a lot of flaws, but that is something that I pride myself on. I don’t take kindly to people who are disrespectful and take others’ time for granted.

People my age are selfish, I think that mostly has to do with the fact that we don’t have kids. I don’t have anyone to worry about; technically my only responsibility is myself. That makes it hard to care about other people and what they need, but single and childless or not, I have plenty of people in my life who need me to put them first sometimes. It’s never a bad thing to help other people before you help yourself. So my hope for this year is that I will be selfless.

I’m not Taylor Swift, so i don’t want to make this post into a “Here’s what I hate and why, so change it or I will ruin your life” song. This isn’t about anyone in particular; it is just one of those general blog posts that a lot of people can probably relate to. If the shoe fits and you find yourself in the category of “unreliable,” then feel free to put that shoe on and wear it around.