How to cheat death in a nightclub bathroom
by Jordan Hamel
Stumble past the bouncer, find the door marked royalty, find an empty throne, straddle the toilet backwards like a mechanical bull, draw a confused lipstick face on the cistern, study the graffiti on gloss tiles, fuck cops, punch nazis, call Charlie for a good time xoxo, consider calling, watch the dividers sway like palm trees in a hurricane, hear your stall neighbour crying or vomiting or saying I love you, think about how you need to do all three, think about that Kim Addonizio poem about a stall neighbour crying, how you always imagined yourself the speaker, never the subject, spot the gum stuck misshapen to the mirror, like a lost seahorse, watch the porcelain grin yellow, drain clogging like a popular gloryhole, blow the runoff out your nose, find that breath mint you were saving, drown yourself in eyedrops, wait for your mates, most-glamorous search party of tight fabrics, milk-carton angels under strip lighting, take selfies with them, ask them if they’ve ever considered an orgy, tell them you’re joking, tell them they are your new home, drag yourself to your old home, wait a week, remind yourself dopamine can exist in abundance in one part of the brain and be scarce in another, think about the scientists who trained cocaine-addicted rats to associate happiness with a lever, which, releases loud noises and pulsing lights, start again, drink more water, less gin, no shots, some shots, curse the shoddy movement sensor refusing your hand, tongue the faucet like an asshole, savour the drip, look for last week’s breath mint, lipstick, eyedrops, stall-neighbour, friends, everything a thing disappeared, think about last week, no, this is the last week, remember next week, walk out into the snow, thank the bouncer for no reason, look up at the moonless sky, see satellites harvesting your stupor, say I love you, wait for joy to come. Keep waiting.
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