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Part One (cont.)

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I've given up the idea of ever having a full nights sleep. Monday night I gave it the good fight — Chamomile tea, warm milk, hot shower, my favorite fuzzy socks. I spent most of the night watching infomercials about cosmetic surgery and anti-acne skin cream, how did they know all the ugly people would be awake?

Tuesday night I cleaned my closet, polished my pumps, and re-read all of last seasons Cosmo's.

Wednesday night I re-arranged the furniture in my apartment and decided I was ready to add color to the walls. For the rest of the night I contemplated what color would be more neutral, khaki or beige? And then spent more time wondering why they even call it a color if it's meant to be ignored?

Thursday night I devoted the entire night to painting the walls of my apartment. I worked straight through the night, showered and then got ready for work.

Friday night  I lounged around in a bar until it closed. Came home and watched re-runs of Cheers. Considered hanging myself, but didn't due to lack of rope, and closet space.

Inner dialog: “This can not go on. I do not recognize my face, or my apartment. I have not slept more than 4 hours in the past five days. What's wrong with me? I feel like I'm going crazy. Maybe I'm asleep right now. Maybe this is all a bad dream. This must be a deep sleep.

It's always hard to wake from a deep sleep. Someone shake me. I live alone. I'm alone. I don't even have a cat. Jesus, even when I'm sleeping the truth always finds me.”

By Saturday — and even though I told myself I wouldn't —I threw on my
lowest cut top, which still didn't take much attention away from my
sleepless face. No matter how much make up you put on, you just can't
hide the obvious.

What can I say, I’m a desperate woman.

I hailed a cab to see if maybe seeing Tony would give me some rest.

Entering the club, I felt the music vibrating through my bones, pulsating in and around my ear drums. These are the same shitty songs they play on the radio, but now even shittier. The smell of sweat drifted through the air and I could hear the sounds of drunk laughter and regrets commencing in the VIP room. I searched for the DJ booth in hopes that I had not come too late.

It was 2:30 a.m. already. For me it's early. For anyone else, the bars are closing and it's time to go home alone or with your next greatest mistake.

“I didn't think you would actually come.” Tony says leaning around the corner of the darkly lit bathroom hall way.

I turned to notice him standing with a peculiar grin on his face,

“Neither did I.” I said.

“I just ended a set. This place is closing soon.” He said.

“I came to meet your friend.” I said.

Tony rolled his eyes, “Eden...”

“You said he could help me.” I said hoping he could hear the desperation in my voice.

He waited with pursed lips, almost speechless. I hoped I was being obvious. He grabbed my hand and we left quickly through the back exit which lead to the downtown parking slab.

“Hey, what the fuck Tony? I just paid twenty bucks to get into that shit hole.” I said.

“Eden, would you just shut the fuck up, and get in?” He said as he opened the door to his car.

I hesitated as we stood in front of the open car door. I contemplated how badly this could end. How Tony might not be the most trustworthy guy in the whole city. I thought about the fact that I was about to get in a car with a guy I had only met two months ago, who had a reputation that could easily be mistaken for that of a Mexican street whore, and whose last name I didn't even know. And then I remembered the bucket of Hawaiian breeze colored pain that was waiting for me in the bathroom. Drink it or paint it?

“What's your last name?” I asked.

“Emmerson.” he answered.

“Fine.” I said as I sat down in the car.

“You don't trust me?” he asked.

“I don't trust anyone.” I answered, and I closed the car door as he started the engine and we drove out of the city.

Lots of things crossed my mind as I rode along side Tony in his tiny cheap sports car.

Pretending to listen to his talk about the company, and how “in the shitter” the financing department is, I caught myself looking him up and down out of the corner of my eye. I wondered if the rumors were indeed true?

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