So, here we go. It’s January 2018 and I’m still doing the same old shit. I’m not doing the job I know I should be doing, and I’m clearly not the type of person that I should be. The face in the stained bathroom mirror is not the one I’m used to seeing. My eyes are even more sunken and bloodshot and my teeth don’t even look like they belong in my mouth. I’ve let myself go a lot in the past twelve months. This time two years ago I was fresh-faced and athletic, but I lost sight of what I should be doing and became…this.
My head is still fuzzy and my legs feel like they’re asleep. I can’t tell if it’s the usual sea birds I’m hearing or if that’s just my ears ringing. Stumbling, I lean in to grab the sink before quickly realising it’s full of vomit. Whoever did this is probably still passed out face down in the front room after whatever happened last night. Recoiling, I try to gain balance by leaning back on the towel rail. I’ve forgotten what alcohol does to the body, especially when combined with a lack of food. I’ve really not been eating as much as I should be lately. The outlines of my ribs are beginning to rise out of my skin and I honestly can’t believe that I let myself get like this. I look like a bloody junkie and I’m weaker than a starving dog.
When I first came here I knew exactly what I wanted, and actually had a plan to get that. That plan didn’t involve finding a cheap place to live and spending most of my time stuck inside it, making connections with people who have no value in the long run. Nobody passed out in that front room right now is someone I need. They’re just in my way. All I’ve done here is dig myself into a rut trying to follow a sense of normalcy. I have failed myself in every way. Maybe my resolution for the New Year should be to just give up and accept this as my lot in life. Going back would lead only to ridicule at this point, I can’t let the others see me in this state. They probably already know too. It’s probably for the best that I stay here, going to work at the corner shop and coming home to hide. But what would even be the point of that? I’d just be trapped here forever and that would be the worst fate.
No. I can’t be giving up now, it’s been two years and I’ve gotten nowhere. It’s time to change that. I need to fix myself, a new year is a time for change isn’t it? I don’t have to be this person any more, I can do better, right? Go back to being fit and healthy, start setting achievable goals again. Get back on the horse, do what I came here for and prove that I’m not as lesser as everyone at home seems to think I am.
Ditch the miserable gaggle of stoner losers in the front room and make some proper connections, with powerful people even. A new look would be a good place to start for sure, starting again in a new place might also work too.
They’d all be laughing if they could see me now, looking across at my fragile frame and laughing at how I’m a pathetic creature on the outside too. Fuck it. Fuck them. That’s my plan for the New Year, I’m going to turn this around and show them how capable I actually am. When I return, I’ll be the one laughing at how pathetic they all are! Sure I’ll pay back that debt, with interest! I’ll bring back more followers than they could ever want for. Heck, I could even throw a world leader or two in that cult if I try! Nobody will ever doubt me again!
With shaking hands I push myself up off the rail and try to stand again. On my first step I almost collapse but manage to stay upright. It’s only one failing step, by this time next year I’ll be more powerful than I’ve ever been. But before I can get there I’ll need to do something about this body.
Ignoring the mess I grip the sides of the sink and take a good hard look at that hollow face staring back. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do this, so I hope I can still remember what to do. Biting my bottom lip hard I brace myself for the sting and let my talons break out from beneath these fingernails. That’s always the worst part! Blood mixes with the bile and I gag at the smell. Sucking my sore fingers I wait for the pain to calm down before continuing. Bracing myself again I slam my face into the mirror. The glass breaks but I don’t break any skin. My head hurts now, but I need to do this properly. Smashing my head a second time I break the flesh enough and begin to pull myself from under the surface. My vision fades and I can feel my real body being pushed out and rejected from the cells. The deadweight begins to subside and I can scrape together my form again. The fresh, cold feel of the mirror welcomes me and I drop back into it. Patrick Neer falls down face-first into the basin and I take my first breath of truly fresh air in a long time.
Ha! It feels so good to be myself again, and not trapped in that decaying shell. It’s almost like déjà vu to be looking at him through a glass screen. It’s been a shitty two years knowing you Patty, but damn I’ll remember them for eternity. Happy New Year old boy! Giving one last wave to my vomit-soaked former self I turn away from the mirror and walk into the black fog ahead. It’s a New Year, so it’s finally time to find a new me.