She let it out, she broke my fucking nose. I was half in shock. I fell to my knees on her kitchen floor, put my face in my hands, and sobbed out all the grief of christ knows how many years….”
by kurt eisenlohr
I went home with this girl, Racheal, skinny little sweet twenty something manic depressive nutbag. We were drunk. She was a bad drunk. I was a pro in freefall. She was all yes, no, stop, go–si, so I decided to leave –but she blocked the door.
“Stay,” she said. “Don’t go.”
I took off my coat.
“Leave,” she said. I started to. “Don’t go,” she said.
“You seem angry.”
“I’m not angry.”
“Punch me in the face.”
“Go ahead, let it out.”
She let it out, she broke my fucking nose. I was half in shock. I fell to my knees on her kitchen floor, put my face in my hands, and sobbed out all the grief of christ knows how many years.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!” she said. “Let me get you a towel.”
“Do you have a gun?” I asked her.
“I think I do.”
“Go get it. I want you to shoot me. Fuck this shit. I can’t live anymore. I hate it.”
She disappeared into the bedroom. I could hear her digging around in there. Her whole apartment was littered with boxes she’d never unpacked.
“I can’t find it,” she said. She handed me a wet towel to sop the blood. “I’ll look again later.” She was like me. She she she…
“What time is it?” I asked.
“Three-thirty. You should stay.”
“I have to work at seven-thirty.”
“It’s too late to catch a bus.”
“Let’s go to bed,” she said. “I owe you,” she said.
Kurt Eisenlohr is a painter, writer and bartender living in Portland, Oregon. In addition to illustrations contributed to all issues of Smokebox his poetry and fiction has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Asylum, Verbal Abuse, River Styx, Another Chicago Magazine, Cokefish, Decoy, Way Station, and STOVEPiPER. His chapbook, Under Hand and Over Bone was published by Alpha Beat Press in 1994. His art has been shown in many galleries and is featured on the Future Tense Books web site. More stories and art can be viewed in the Vault of Smoke.