Prologue

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(DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. It's important to remember this is all totally fabricated, embellished, and exaggerated for entertainment purposes.)


February 2017

Hollywood Hills

Last night was a movie. The party was full of huge names and familiar faces, all smiles and incessant laughter; all imbibing. But mostly it felt like I was on the outside looking in, watching everyone teem inside a snow globe like agitated insects, unaware of me entirely. I walked the block a few times before it began (trying to catch a bit of air) observing them as they arrived. All were herded into the outdoor café of the restaurant that had been reserved for the exclusive guestlist. I studied them like a zoologist who'd newly discovered a frightfully humanoid species of apes, but ultimately remained unimpressed with my findings. 

The private after party at the house the following afternoon had been even wilder. I drank too much and could barely see straight even as I lay here over 14 hours later. Brain fog was real, and it had only begun to dissipate after a short nap. As I awakened and gauged my surroundings, much of the haze remained. Tonight was quieter and more uneventful, which suited my present frame of mind. I was doing a lot of vacillating lately, unsure of everything. And I was troubled to find that I was alone when I awoke—top five worst feelings in the human condition. There was nothing like a warm body beside you to jumpstart the day. Someone to animate a room. Breathe life into the stillness. I was too still. I needed to shake things up. The room was uncomfortably dark and uncomfortably silent. Mute and colorless, like I was experiencing the very nadir of a bad dream. Still buzzing, I was in no condition to argue if this was reality or not. As I lay sleepless and gathered myself, I figured there was no real chance of slipping under again anytime soon.

The New Year had disturbed my sleeping habits, and as I was trying my hardest to abstain from medications to get me sorted again, I couldn't help wishing for a few drops of melatonin to ease the illness of consciousness every now and then. Some nights I petitioned whatever God there may be to tranquilize me (if only for a few hours) but he never really heeded my prayers. I think I was hungry too, which always made it difficult to stay asleep after I'd fallen.It was well after midnight, as the massive view from the master suite illustrated for me, and I felt the sudden urge to write, but couldn't gather my thoughts long enough to put pen to paper. 

I kept remembering the party, since it was the inaugural public outing in a long list of them to come for the new year. Lots of carpets. Lots of obligations. Lots of countries. I shuddered, slipping a hand under my shirt to rest on the warmth of my stomach beneath the sheet. It was the most self-comforting thing I could think to do. My other arm was flung over my face in a half-hearted resignation.Flashes of leering faces played across my mind like vintage home movies. The footage was grainy, despite being recorded mere days ago. Insects flickered around the lights in these faint recollections. The weather had been ok. Nice for a nighttime get-together. A bit chilly for LA, but it was winter after all. As I perused the best images of the night in this disturbing little mind movie, I couldn't help but conclude I didn't miss the company or their small talk or the ceaseless voices seeping from within the reel after I'd shut it off and my thoughts had gone black.

I looked over at my phone on the nightstand and it was all of 3AM. Why the fuck was I awake? I was parched from the alcohol, which refused to leave my system, so I convinced my body (completely leaden) to carry me downstairs for a bottle of water. He wasn't where he was supposed to be, so there was no coercing him to get up and grab it for me.

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