The Lucky Strike, second draft


Vice was fixing his jaw in front of the mirror. This time he could not take the high road. He really wanted to, but he could not. Instead, he punched the guy three times before the guy could fight back, which he surprisingly did. And now, Vice was feeling guilty for punching him at all. He was unluckily gifted with the gift of reflection.

Look, Di, I really didn’t mean to hurt him. But he was so rude to you…’

Drop it. He’s fine, you’re fine, I’m fine. Stop thinking about it already.’ I said, trying to console him. Vice was really one of the nicest guys I had ever known.

Where is Aaron? Did he show up at all?’ Vice asked me.


Are you still not talking to each other?

I nodded, looking down.

Come on, man. Pull yourself together and…’

The door got open. A guy, excessively worried, shaking and sobbing, showed up behind it. ‘Guys, you have to see this, come. Help!’

We stormed out of the bathroom and went to the living room. There was a girl on one of the couches collapsing, chocking on foam coming out of her mouth. People had gathered around her and a man was holding her head. Everyone was panicking. ‘Call an ambulance. Someone!’ people were screaming from each corner of the room.

Hold her, she’ll roll down, damn it.’ Vice went to the couch to support her, pushing the guy who was doing nothing on the side. There was nothing that could be done except for to wait. Soon the seizure stopped. But she was not gaining consciousness. ‘Damn it.’ Vice said. He started tapping her cheeks just so she could come to consciousness. It did not work. People started spreading around the house again and soon the music was on. Almost as if nothing had happened. This kind of people pissed me off. ‘What did she take?’ Vice asked her friend, who was sitting at the far-away edge of the couch the whole time. ‘I don’t know…a few lines…a guy gave it to her to try. He said he just got them for the first time and it was the bomb…’ the girl started crying.

There and then someone rang the doorbell. The music stopped again. I went to the door and looked through the peep hole. ‘It’s the ambulance and the police.’

Where is the stuff that she took?’ Vice asked her friend. ‘Di, don’t open the door. Everyone keep quiet.’ ‘Right there, on the table.’ Somebody said. He was trying to keep his voice low, while informing all the shitheads to stop doing anything illegal that they were doing. I was going around, taking joints from people and dusting off cocaine from tables.

Vice found the bag on the kitchen bar, not on the table. It was one of those plastic bags that they put vegetables in. The cocaine was making a vegetable out of the relapsed girl now. Uses reversed as it often happens.Vice took the stuff to the kitchen corner which was part of the living room and there was also a washing machine. He put the cocaine in the washing machine, right where washing powder is normally put with the bag. He didn’t want to waste it. You know, the problems of the drug addicts… ‘Ok. We are good.’ He said. I opened the door.

It was a dank night. After all had cleared up from medical care people, policeman and all the other types of people, Vice and I sat on the couch. We were having drinks, cheap whiskey, smoking high and I was thinking about life. Chest full of smoke, our thoughts were provoked. I was thinking about the animality of human species. All we want to do is to eat, fuck, and have a sleep. Not even necessarily in that order. We consume things, consumer food, consume products, consume technology, consume money, we consume hearts, souls, we want to have it all for ourselves. And when we feel like we can’t, we consume drugs, just to fool ourselves that we can. I wanted to go to space and spit on people from that high, and never come back, ever again. Nobody told me that I’d see days like these – when I’d ask myself if anything at all can be changed. Is there anything that can be done at all and is it worthy to devote your life to that change that may never come at all. The ones who do not want to fit in were sitting just like Vice and I, in some room, in another town, in a big city, or perhaps in the same town as us. And they were also thinking about life, or better said, thinking about how to escape life. How to escape that ‘nine-to-five’ dagger that slices you slowly day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year; That thing that bores you to death and you start taking it out on people, on your loved ones until one day every one leaves because they got tired of your shit. And the only problem was your inner dissatisfaction of the way you live. We were thinking of ways to escape the melodrama of the middle-aged, middle class, mediocre living being. We wanted sublimity. We wanted to fly high. We wanted that raw, unrefined touch of the core of the universe. These were the battles of our youth.

The bottle was running dry, we were finishing off our high, and nobody had spoken in an hour.

I’m gonna head home.’ Vice said.

Have a good night.’ I said.

Thanks. Call Aaron and stop being a bitch.’ He said with his back turned to me, while walking to the door.

Will try.’

Recently, I was feeling like I was lost in people. There were too many people on my road. I was not feeling like myself. I wanted to get to the true essence of my being again. That was why I did not want to see anyone, especially Aaron. But in my world one solves one’s problems alone. If I could not help myself, no one could help me. People mix up their characters when they spend too much time together. And this could be the best thing in the world. It could also be the worst thing in the world. You just take a chance, wait, and see. I had to figure out what was it for me. Too often loneliness was a good companion. It was better to have it at my side than as an enemy.

Luis Quiles2
by Luis Quiles




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