I was sitting at home watching CatDog reruns when he called me.
“Oi cunt, I’m going picking tonight you in?”
“Nah man, I’ve got some shit to sort out with Sarah.”
“Fuck that man, what? She gonna die tonight or some shit? Just come – Rhys pulled out on me.”
“It’s bucketing dude I’m not leaving.”
“Come, I got me dad’s 40 caliber we can shoot some roos if they’re close enough – let out the frustration – I now Sarah don’t put out.”
“Shut the fuck up cunt.”
“I’ll be there at eight.”
“Oi you got smokes?”
“See you then… hey?”
“What animal do you think Winslow is?”
“What are you on man.”
“Nevermind, see you at eight.”
A few hours pass and Mitch arrives at 10:07pm. He honks a few times, never leaves enough space between honks to actually see if I’m making my way to his shitty first generation Ford Focus.
“Maaate,” he says, obviously very proud of himself – “look what I got for ya.”
He holds up a bottle of amyl.
We sit on the edge of the national park and take turns sniffing, it almost feels like an episode of Skins. Sniff sniff pass, sniff sniff pass, sniff sniff pass – the world spins, reality sins, and ego all but dwindles under the microscope of hyper perception – or rather lack thereof.
Mitch sells mushrooms. He sells ‘em by the gram and he sells ‘em by the kg – and everything in between. Mitch has never been good at much in his life but he can sort the poisonous shrooms from the trippy ones no problem. Light or dark, rain hail or shine.
Tonight it was dark. Dark, and rainy. We parked his dad’s Ford at the edge of the national park and smoked a J in the car. I was actually trying to quit weed but I wasn’t about to say no to free green. I fucked Spiderman’s girl every night since I was 16 and now, at 22, shit was starting to catch up with me. My short term memory was gone, and so too were any sort of positive emotions. You wanna know the truth? I fucking hate my life. I hate it. I think of ending at least twice a day. I would’ve already gone if it wasn’t for my little brother – he’s the captain of the school rugby team and he loves coco pops. I buy him two packs a week. He wants to be a nurse for fucks sake, he doesn’t give a shit. Male nurse and proud. I’d give both my lungs for the little cunt.
“Oi, mate, that’s at least three puffs. Where’s the give?”
“Oh… right. Here,” I say, passing the spliff to his slimy hands.
“Yeah, good-o. you’re not gonna bitch out tonight are ya?”
“Nah man, hey… let me see the gun.”
He pulls it out of his bag and holds it like a freshly caught King Salmon at low tide.
“Nice, can I hold it?” I ask.
He passes it to me. I’ve never held a gun, my hands kind of tremble, but I act as if it’s as normal as holding a burger from Bank Street fish n chips.
I imagine holding it to my temple.
He’s looking at me, half amused, half concerned. We’re outside. I don’t remember us getting out of the car.
“Yeah, you hold on to it, my aim’s shit I don’t wanna hit a cat or something.”
“A cat? Dude – nothing but wombats and roos out here. You’ll much sooner hit me before you hit a cat.”
I don’t know why the moon caught his face like it did at the moment those words left his lips. I felt like he could read my mind; but not like read it play by play, but a deeper reading – a complete understanding of my every motive and underlying desires, some still so obscure to ego of my own self… how… I did not even fathom. Yet he. He knew. I had to turn away. We walked for a while and arrived at a clearing. The rain had calmed a bit but drizzle still fell, like light sprinklers stationed around music festivals. I followed his lead; followed his Neanderthal steps with my iPhone torch through the long wet grass until we arrived at a muddy path near where cows from a local farmer grazed.
Alright this is perfect, he said as he leant down and started picking. Five minutes later he was feeding mouthfuls into my face – these’re fucking primo man, see the little blue dots at the head – these are safe as fuck. Eat; feast cunt. And it’s all free.
So I did.
I don’t know how long has passed. Maybe hours. It feels like hours. I can’t read the numbers on my phone. I can see them just fine but they make no sense, they are just squiggles. Meaningless glowing worms.
I’m holding the gun. How did I get the gun? I check the time – where is my phone – where are the glowing worms. Why am I here it’s so wet. It’s so dark. My vision is tunneling. I gotta puke… I gotta… I…. have to.. sit….
Stars are what I see. The gun. It’s gone. I need it where is it I stumble where is it I stumble to I stumble to I… I… him… oi….. OI!
He looks up at me. Mouth full of psychedelic fungi, alarmed yet sedated. Look at his fucking nose shoot me you sedated pathetic ant eater.
“SHOOT ME,” I yelled.
But he wouldn’t do it.
“DO IT,” I’m standing right up in his face now. Our eyes separated by two 20 cent coins. I thrust the gun into his hands but he won’t take it.
“I fucked Maddison,” I say. I fucking smile to the cunt’s face as I do it too. I savor it like the first sip of coffee on a winter morning.
“What?” quoth the anteater.
“I fucked her.”
The sop doesn’t get it.
“The whole week you were on the Gold Coast with your family. I was fucking her.”
“Fuck off you did.”
“I did. You called her at 2am, you were drunk at SinCity, you called her from the smokers telling her how that knob mate of yours Kieron spilt his drink all over this bird he was chatting up then threw up right there on the dance floor. You told her how fucking embarrassed you were ‘cause you always said Keiron was a top bloke and you brought him along to a party with your mates from high school and you were saying how he fucking ruined your rep but we both know that’s bullshit. Ripping billys behind the portables and emotionally abusing science teachers ain’t a fucking rep mate people didn’t like you they were just scared of you because you weren’t fucking stable and you knew the difference between a bench press and a fucking seated row and did those almost as much as you smoked those damn billys you keep claiming don’t affect you but when was the last time you went to your tired fucking trade job sober? Huh? When’s the last time you were able to be in a social setting without smoking a bit of green just to get you going?”
Rain falls. He stands in silence. Lifeless, pathetic scarecrow would scare no crow but invoke pity from the murder.
“Anyway where was I. that’s right. Your pathetic anteater ass is on the phone with Maddison and now you’re telling her how you think some of his spew ended up on your new shirt which you probably racked from Cotton On you low life. You were telling her that you missed her. You loved her… You still love her don’t you?”
“How do I know all this? She still hadn’t washed my cum out of her mouth when she took that call mate, she curled my hair around her finger the whole time, even when she said I love you too without no hesitation. You know how great that feels? How much fucking power, I think that’s what attracted me to your sweet Maddison – why I wanted to put my dick up in your girl so bad she’s ice cold just like me – and also because I fucking could. I could shoot your ass and fuck her tonight before she’s grieving at your funeral next Wednesday. And you… you piece of work, you picked her up from the airport a few days after that call didn’t you? You couldn’t fucking take it and you bought her a cheap Jetstar $79 one way to good old Goldy ay. You piece of shit I fucked your girl at the beach all night and even drove that bitch to the airport.”
“NOW FUCKING SHOOT ME.”
I thrust the gun into his shaking hands and am met with no resistance this time. I guide his fingers and make him clasp it and he does. He clasps the shit out of that 40 and I bring his hands right up to my face until the tip of the barrel is pressing firmly dead on center of my forehead, it doesn’t slip despite the rain.
“RIGHT FUCKING HERE. DO IT.”
Fuck this prick.
He doesn’t budge, but looks into my eyes, trying to fathom the unfathomable.
“Remember in year seven?” I say. “You fucking were crushing hard on Samantha and you told me one time when we wagged history and went to hang out under the railroad underpass. I told you your secret was safe with me. And it was. but I never told you that the moment you confessed how much you liked her was the exact same moment I realized I wanted to fuck her brains out. Remember when you were away for a few days ‘cause of your shoulder? I took her to our spot and fingered her. You told me you had noticed she had been quiet for the last few days, and that’s what I said to her to get her to come with me – acted all concerned and shit – smooth as fuck… are you ok?”
I place my hand on his shoulder. I smile.
“That’s what I said to her… are you ok? I’m here for you - The whole nine yards. The next night we went to the park and I gave her her first cigarette and even paid for her fish and chips and she still wouldn’t fuck. I never spoke to her again and she was too embarrassed to tell anyone and all the while I listened to you bitch about how badly you wanted to hold her hand. You’re fucking pathetic.”
“NOW SHOOT ME YOU BITCH. DO IT.”
But he was too high off mushrooms by this point, still conscious though and having the worst trip of his life, I’ve never seen that look not on human nor animal, a look of a broken man, a cheap chandelier falling from a ten story building – his face, the finished product of a shattered self view once so solid.
I grab the gun from his hands, it slips out easily. I put it up to his forehead. He just looks at me, into my eyes… past my eyes. I look back into his… past his.
And I shoot the cunt.
I expected to hear a bang, I expected his head to explode like a watermelon hitting hard concrete, but there was none of that. Just silence, a ringing in my ear like that scene in Saving Private Ryan. And he just fell back, as if he was punched real hard.
The rain washed all the blood into the dirt.
I look up into the sky, I’m laughing and crying.
I look at his body and see him at ten years old… I see. I see, light. Light around his body, blackness battling light.
How did I become this. How. Did I become.
I raise the steel to my temple, I’m trembling. I lower it. Look at it, then bring it to my mouth but second guess myself.
I lower it to my stomach and cock it. No pain. Why?
I’m on the floor.
Still I grip.
Once more, temple. Trembling, one more do it bitch.
The last thing I see is Mitch’s mother, placing her index finger on my lips.
The last thing I see…
The demons now they whisper…
Come with me.