Bringing the shot glass down onto the table, it shatters and cuts my hand. There’s no pain, however, only mild annoyance. There is blood, but not much, and when I suck the wound, the red stuff disappears like tears in the rain. It vanishes like whisky down a throat that should know better. Some blonde keeps giving me the eye, but there’s nothing to her except for a mildly entertaining body, and if I wanted to be entertained, I’d read a book. Dabbing a napkin on the two-inch gash, she gives me mushy lips while drinking a vodka and spreading her legs. It’s a nice sight, but it speaks to me only of discarded caravans and the smiles of cancer patients waiting for the end. Closing my eyes as dead waves of music render the rest dumb, the waitress slips me another shot on the house. It’s a Sambuca, my favourite. Dabbing the napkin in the miracle sauce and pressing it against my hand, I silently scream until my fingernails pierce skin and sink in. It hurts. It hurts until there’s nothing left in my lungs but memories of eating an ex-lover alive on the hood of her parent’s car. They were away on holiday somewhere in Venice, and her dad fell off one of those boats they have and cracked his head before slipping beneath the water. He lived, but he lost control of his cock, and not even viagra could bring him back to life after that. Whenever we subsequently met, I could never look him in the eye, but I’m shy, and so it worked out just fine. Drunk and distorted, I’m an abstraction of what I once was, but it’s all part of the journey. The transformation into a writer is never pretty. It’s not like how a girl grows into a woman, or how a bud morphs into a flower. It’s a lot dirtier than that. It’s kinda like in the movie ‘American Werewolf in London’, where the guy undergoes his changing on the floor of his girlfriend’s apartment. That’s what it feels like when booze collides with fear and the desire of a woman’s body mixes with the thirst for solitude and isolation. You’re pulled apart and crunched together at the same time, over and over again. It’s not much fun, and yet it does have its charm, because what’s the other option? To become like the rest of them?