The Parade- 2

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" Allen, you've got to get it together " Clay says from close to the stove, sending a meantal image of him shaking his overly full head. So you can't be nice to me for once, even with oranges spewing past my uvula? " Stop upping your fix, Al "

My stomach twists up tightly like a valve, either finally shutting off or about to surprise me with an overwhelming gush.

" Really Clay? "

" Yes " He answers, forcing his attitude through my patience. I look up at him, like many times before, with hate and a sickening taste clawing my tongue.

" I'm quitting again! You know this- I told you yesterday! " I attempt to push my weak body from the mess on the floor, burrying my hands and pooling around my knees.

" That's what you said in August, then here comes the end of October and look who decided to come back and shoot? " The only thing that kept my mouth from dropping open was that it already was. Seriously!? -because, I'd really like to verbally snatch your head out of your ass.

" Clayton, I was clean for over 60 days! "

" But you screwed that up too, didn't you? You walked around here for over 60 days, nose in the air to what you in the end crawled back to. What are those two months supposed to mean now, Allen? "

" I'm surprised you know how many days are in a month- " My voice hollers coarsely as usual. I hope that stings as bad as it does in my chest. I hope you taste exactly how acidic, like I do. I attempt to keep my head closer to held up regardless of the unseen ton of bricks stacking on my skull. I hope you don't realize my desperate mouth is at a loss for words as well as everything that isn't vomit.

" I'm surprised you don't get that you're a lost cause case. "

...What?

cringe; hold; CRINGE;

My fingers attempt to slide back from in the now, not so warm pile of half digested citrus. I'd question if the loss of heat is a good thing or not, but I'm too disgusted to know my honest answer. My eyes scroll down to the stomach contents beneath me.

gag; stifle; strain;

An unwelcome whinge escapes me, like everything else I try to hold. Tasting more awful as I attempted to swallow it down. At least the oranges weren't bitter each way, at least the oranges didn't tattle my vulnerability. My weak arms notion collapsing under me, mimicking the trembling of my stinging lip. The lip I'd almost bitten through two weeks ago, from quitting the xanax cold. I hate it-

" Up-sy daisy. " Clayton forces his arms under mine, lifting me from the floor. Only a sigh comes forth to answer, once again realizing someone's had to come to my rescue. Between the bars and the H, more often than not withdrawal has me wishing I actually would die. I hate it how I drag and dangle in his hands, I hate it how familiar it all is. I wish you'd stop lifting me like I'm not a man, I wish you'd just stop for once. My head bows even more if that is possible, praying to anything I can't believe in for maintaining dry eyes.

shame; resentment; guilt; pity;

My skin seems to stiffen and flinch away from the cold fiberglass as he drops me in the tub. He yanks my knee soaked pants from me, shoving them into the sink, all I manage is a slurred disapproval. Clay shoves my calves over the edge of the tub, making my toes hit against the stopper.

" Clayton- " The shower pelts down on me, shocking my heart into a beatless second. Too late. " Clay! " I yell, not even getting louder than the water. I spit the water from my mouth and shake my head to the side, slinging water from my eyes and hair. Clay's hands press my head downwards, away from the wall. " Clay! " My heart beats into my chin, eyes on the tub's rippling water.

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