story teller: the pondering angel

blue bubble calamity clean

The Pondering Angel

drinking. alcoholism. guilt. childhood’s consequence.

Touch the music and let it lift me to the air. The sun shines its last ray for the day and kisses me with a gentle fire, as the moon winks my way. The affair commences for the night and I gulp a mouthful of whiskey but I need something stronger. Something more toxic.

Maybe methanol or peroxide will melt my lungs because it’s how she makes me feel. Intoxicated and breathless. But, she’s gone now. She left me on this wretched bar stool shouting her last words, “It’s over!” as I sat filled with mud and a hung voice, quivering in my plea. Take another drink, the unidentified voice promises to drown my sorrows. The half-full glass bends my uncompromising mind, the pilot to my life, as Nadine breaks my heart for the last time, the engine that pumps my boozed blood.

“Take a break, buddy,” the bar-keep suggests but I ignore his solace and blast at the top of my lungs, “I love her, man!” and stumble off the stool bumping to the grizzly bear growling his offense, “watch it,” shoving me away from his lady friend. The glass slips from me, spilling its contents to the ground and I hold my puke deep inside my throat.

When did the world start spinning with betrayal? Someone lifts my arm over his shoulder, lifting my kneeled body, and pulls me through the crowd and its stares. The ride with the devil ends with a shovel, the song teases with another line of truth, or maybe the words are my manifestation. After all, the uninvited and unidentified voice keeps on hanging around, promising and cruising through verses of some incohesive wisdom. The crusade before the lawman snatches the freedom from under my boots; and the vomit comes up just as eagerly handcuffing me to the toilet. I collapse at the sink, splashing cold water on my face; but, I have no recollection of the bruise swelling under my lip. Did I once again bite the gravel, tossed from the scene of contempt and eruption?

I have been the pitied man many times before and it always leaves a taste of sour milk. ‘Chuck a penny to the fountain of fortune but drown in the wishing-well,’ my mother used to dispense. The only uttered words that made sense and no sense at all; but, the melody of the tune spilling from the speaker above lifts my head from the sink. Touch the music and let it lift me to the air, exchanging my mood from vulgar vigor to anatomy of guilt and shame. The poster of the pondering angel hanging on the toilet door doesn’t help. Its wings unscathed by the battering slurs smudged on all quarters of the metal framing.

Who would post such an ad in the middle of everything that’s disgraceful and corrupt? Maybe it’s a reminder for every goon to do something righteous for once; but, I can feel the cherub’s stare puncturing through my skull. The reasonable sense of remorse and I fold my hands together for a brief prayer. “Forgive me father,” I whimper and as a poor man hanging his defense, I can only subscribe to begging. “Forgive me father,” and tears roll down my cheeks. I have been a fool unable to tame my thirst.

Nadine’s absence suddenly becomes real, the consequence of my drunken ways and the uncalled-for fights. My jealousy ravaged what little was left of my self worth as the pondering angel judges me unmercifully. I have become my mother’s son, but, don’t you cry for me. It is all my wrongdoing.

© Jacob Greb — 2020

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