The Dance of Jack Daniels – Finale

When Allen came to, he was underneath a topless Heather Meadows.

“We should stop,” she was breathing into his ear. “They’ll be home soon.”

“Who?” Allen wondered aloud. He wanted to follow with a “What? When? Where? Sometimes why?” but Heather interrupted his confusion.

“My parents, genius.” She smiled, pressing her chocolate lips to his cheek. “Not that I blame you for being distracted.”

Allen looked down, then looked away. His cheeks were flushed and he was mentally spouting the names of every religious figure he could name.

“Buck up, mate,” said Heather, sliding off of him and picking her bra up off the floor. Her nipples were the dark brown colour of her lips. Then they were covered. She had to lean her head far backwards to clasp the bra so her curly hair wouldn’t get caught.

Once again, Allen was wearing a plaid button-up, this time red (and spread open), with an off-white undershirt beneath (pulled up above his belly) and trendy distressed blue jeans. This time, though, he recognized the clothes. They were his brother’s.

“You okay?” Heather asked, throwing a sky blue t-shirt over her head, then fixing her glasses on her nose. “You got that deer in headlights look. And I just put my headlights away.”

Out of the billions of questions floating around in Allen’s brain, somehow the one that rose to the top was, “Have you seen my phone?”

She hadn’t. Allen was buttoning up his (not his) shirt, hastily and confusedly, and in the wrong order. Heather tutted and unbuttoned the shirt again and back up, smiling at him. He smiled back as best he could. Was this rape? he wondered. Did she rape me?

“I should go,” he said.

“Surprised you’re in a hurry.”

She leaned in.

He said, “Well, hey, your dad is like a crocodile hunter or something right? I better get out of boomerang range.”

She leaned back. “Yes, all Australians are boomerang-throwing crocodile hunters, wiseguy.”

“So yeah.”

He managed to leave without another kiss. She frowned after him.

Back to Tyler’s:

“What the fuck did you give me?”

“Buddy, shush, my mom’s in the other–”

“Those pills. What were they?”

“What? The Aspirin?”

“What’s in them?”

“Uh, I don’t know, man. Aspirin… stuff?”

“I blacked out again. Just like when I was on the Jack Da–”

“Outside, man, outside.”

They went outside.

“You blacked out?”

Yes. I woke up in Heather’s place.”

Inside Heather’s place? Jesus, what did you–”

“We were like… Second base or something.”

“Fuckin what? Nice!”

“Except I don’t remember shit all. Did you drug me, man?”

“What? I mean, yeah, Aspirin is a drug, but like, a good drug or whatever. Maybe you’re allergic? That was like, six hours ago.”

Allen buried his face in his hands. “I don’t know what happened. I’m wearing my brother’s clothes, and I’m getting lucky–”

“The same brother whose room you woke up in?”

“Yeah, Jackie’s.”

“Jackie is a boy’s name?”

“Jackie boy. At least that’s what the family calls him ’cause he’s the baby. I call him Jackass, but yeah.”

“This is your stepdad’s kid, yeah?”

“No, he’s… Look, have you seen my phone?”

“Yeah, buddy, I gave it to you. After the Aspirin I guess…”

“Shit.”

“Maybe it’s in your Jackass’s room? From when you, like … changed into his clothes? Buddy, you should maybe see a, uh.”

“I gotta go.”

Back at home:

“Are you back for supper this time or are you just changing your clothes again?” his stepdad asked.

“Still looking for my phone,” said Allen. “Did Jackie come by?”

“Don’t think so?”

“It was Ethan who came by,” said his Mom. “I told him you didn’t have your phone.”

Allen rushed to Jackie’s room and rummaged through his discarded clothes for the phone. At last, he found it, but the battery was dead. He shoved a charger into it and waited, thinking that he was right to avoid drugs his whole life, no matter how common or innocent.

When his phone was charged, it had 38 new texts, seven voice messages, and 118 Facebook messages. He had also installed Snapchat at some point, of which he had a number of messages too.

Before looking at any of them, he called Ethan.

“You’re a son of a bitch,” was Ethan’s hello.

“Hey–what?”

“Fuck off. I saw you and Nell in the other room last night.”

“What?”

“You’re an asshole. I thought we were friends.”

“What happened with Nell?”

They did the whole “You don’t remember?” song and dance. Apparently Allen was making out with Nell Chambers in a small office room of Tyler’s house last night. Nell was once dating Ethan, a little too recently, even though they broke up.

“Yeah, you came back in different clothes and acted way out of character. It seemed like a good change at first, but…”

“The same thing just happened to me–another black out. I didn’t drink anything though–I just took some Aspirin.”

“Dude. That’s…”

“I know. I changed clothes again and everything.”

“Whose clothes are they, anyway? They don’t look like something you’d wear.”

“They’re Jackie’s. Sorry, Jack’s.”

“Who’s Jack?”

Allen frowned at his phone. “My brother. Jesus.”

“Thought you were gonna say ‘Jack Daniels.'”

“No … You know my brother.”

“Like, your stepdad’s kid?”

No. His name is Bobby, and he doesn’t live with us. I’ve never even met him.”

“Well who’s Jack then?”

“My–he’s my brother. My brotherJack. Jackie. Jackass–”

Then something came to him.

“Buddy, unless you’ve been keeping a really good secret for the eleven years we’ve known each other, you don’t have a brother. You’re an only child.”

Allen hung up. He sat on the bed of the guest room. There were no posters on the wall. There were no cans or bottles on the table. This wasn’t Jackie’s room. This was Jackass’s room. The room of Jack Daniels and Aspirin. Jackass.

He left the guest room. Went to his own. Lay down. Turned his phone off. He thought about the madhouse. They would give him medication. They’d drug him up and he’d become a different person.

No. Jackass was his secret. He’d never touch alcohol or pills again, not even to save his life.

 

 

 

 

Day 270’s three random writing prompt categories were, “The surreal life of Allen Kaminski,” “A pack of high-schoolers,” and, “Duck face.”

I have an irrational fear of anything that alters my brain chemistry. Alcohol, medicine, drugs. The difference between Allen Kaminski and I is that my anxieties are internal. Allen’s manifest externally. He’s mine to torture.

Don’t do drugs, kids.

– H.

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