October 21st 2011: I had way too much to drink
No Fly Zone
, by Nathan Pettigrew

I shoot the silver bullet, firing away and remembering why I shouldn’t have upon hearing their laugher. The liquid is just too fast for me. It changes me almost as fast as Rose changes the only friend I have with red pleather that dies high on her thighs. With her pale slenders in heels, she spreads my only friend apart, separating the friend I know from the one cracking jokes and trying to impress her.

Watching them boils the blood pumping a desperate need to drown out their voices, but the liquid dumps my emotions on my sleeves, while their laughter fills me with anger. Can’t let them see. Can’t stand the fact that they will.

Anger is the bird that doesn’t fly. Not with girls. Not with friends. Once they see your anger, it’s thanks but no thanks.

You become that guy to stay away from.

And who wants to be that guy?

That guy wakes up alone, every time, relearning the one lesson that loves him as a favorite student: he consumes his friendships like shots, and he doesn’t stop.

He won’t stop unless I stop. But I just don’t know if I’ve reached that place where I can go no lower, no lonelier, and no longer. A place for all that’s left of me to land.

A bottom.

I need to be there, not dead, but buried on dry land. Only on dry land will this storm cease, because with nothing left to destroy, there’s only myself to take down.

Do that, and then for once in my life, I might be able to look at myself and say something other than I had way too much to drink. Though some things do end, so do they begin. A road to recovery that takes years to travel…

But one step at a time. One day at a time. There’s inventory to take as far as the damage I’ve caused, and sobriety left to salvage, these thoughts, these realizations that actually make sense. I may be a shadow of my former self right now, but a shadow survives death, grows where there’s light, and damn, here’s the light.

Admittance. Acceptance.

This eye, this calm, it can last. The storm could pass, and what it leaves behind is up to me…

But then what happens tonight when this calm gets restless, or when the bitter winds become too strong? Will I fold, and fade to self-destruction? Or will I weaken this storm on dry land, once and for all?

Hey. It’s questions I’ve never cared to ask myself before.

And it’s a start.


Nathan Pettigrew was born and raised near New Orleans, Louisiana, and lives with his wife in the Tampa area of Florida where they like to kick back and enjoy Breaking Bad when they’re not on their balcony arguing. Nathan’s stories have appeared in print and online through We Are Vespertine, Six Minute Magazine, Solarcide -A Writer’s Hideout, and SNM Horror Magazine. You can find Nathan on Twitter @ NathanBorn2010.

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