Walking Straight


What am I doing here?
Once more a stranger bumps into me, with enough drunken force behind it this time to almost send me sprawling to the ground.

Where was she? She’s supposed to be back by now. Going to the toilet, my foot! Who took an hour powdering her nose, anyway? You’d think the loos were in another county instead of just twenty feet away. She had probably gone outside to smoke, a revolting little habit she’d recently picked up.
I want to go home. I feel hot and dirty,and not in a good way. I can hardly see past my hand, it is so dark in here. The crush of bodies in this place is stifling,to say the least. Who knew so many people liked this band so much? I can feel my claustrophobic urges acting up and they want out NOW.
The stench of beer, cigarette smoke and sweat- do these people never bathe?- is revolting. As I feel the bile start to rise up in my throat, I strain once more and try to locate her, my sister. Maybe you can’t see her because someone slit her throat and she’s even now bleeding out on the sidewalk, my overactive imagination taunts me. That can’t really happen in real life, can it? I pick up my Smirnoff ice and take a healthy swig from it. Clearly, I’m not drunk enough if I’m still noticing all these details.
How did I end up here? There was a time I thought coming to this concert was a great idea. I mean, who didn’t like Karma, the band? Certainly not me. Sure some said their music was a little risqué and a lot offensive, but that was just part of the appeal. They had carved out a niche for themselves.
When I first heard they were going to perform at my local club, I think I screamed for ten minutes straight. It was a lucky thing I was alone in the house, or I would have caused ear damage. It wasn’t a question of whether I would go, it was a question of what I was going to wear.
I was a little taken aback when my sister insisted on accompanying me to the concert. Our tastes in music were radically different and I did not see the point of her coming with me. She gave me some story about how she wanted to broaden her horizons and blah blah blah…. Personally, I thought she had no plans for the night and she was feeling out of sorts. The night of the concert,I could barely contain my excitement. I felt like the energizer bunny on speed.I was ready and raring to go hours before the event.
I got there to find that many others had decided to get there early as well. There was quite a substantial number of people. Who knew Karma had so many fans?

I had a plan for the night. Get in,enjoy the concert,and get out before I started to feel closed in and other people got drunk and stupid. In about five hours, tops,I could be back at home, warm and dry in my own bed.

What can I say about the concert? Fun,amazing, stupendous, a once-in-a-lifetime experience…. Words have not been invented yet that can fully describe it.

I ran into my first hiccup of the evening on my way out of the door. We saw some of my sister’s friends seated at a table near the door. When I would have walked right on by, already seeing my bed in my mind’s eye, she stopped to say hi and so did I by default. A simple ‘How do you do?’ somehow translated into us sitting down and getting a drink in front of us.

So that is how I find myself here,cold and very irritated, moving steadily towards anger. When my sister gets here, if she’s not lying dead on a pavement somewhere, I’ll have to kill her. It’s just the principle of the thing.

I look at her friends across the table, talking at the top of their voices about some inane thing or other. It is clear that they have long gone past merely tipsy to full on drunk. At first, they tried to include me in their discussion, but they soon gave up when I gave them one death stare too many. I know it’s not their fault that I’d rather be anywhere else than be here, but do they have to be so loud and grating on the nerves?

I hear a laugh somewhere to my left. It sounds familiar, so I look and see my sister with a strange man. The stranger has his arms around her waist, while hers are holding onto his arms. What they are doing can be loosely described as dancing, though they are mostly whispering in each other’s ear and laughing. It is clear to me that my sister has forgotten about me and everything and everyone else. I may be a soft touch, but I don’t appreciate being made a fool of. With righteous indignation, I pick up my stuff and prepare to leave. I’m tired, cold and sleepy,so I’m going home. She can take care of herself.

Did I just get up too fast, or is the floor tilting because I’m drunk?There’s a pleasant fuzzy feeling at the edges of my mind and everyone I see seems to be enveloped in a haze. Oh no, I’m seeing double double! I look at the veins in my hand, the way they stand out starkly against my glassy skin, a surefire way for me to know I’m super drunk.

With the slow shuffling walk of the really old or sick, I make my way outside. The 3am breeze helps a little in removing the cotton wool from the space inside my head. Home is just a five minute walk, along a relatively straight road. I can do this, I think in an attempt to bolster myself. I start walking slowly towards home,in that exaggerated straight line walk of drunkards. I am very careful to watch where I step lest I fall. Honestly, how embarrassing would that be?

Wait. what’s that bright light? Have I reached the end of my tunnel already? I squint and barely make out a car moving in my direction in the distance. The urge to laugh maniacally at my weird thoughts is almost overwhelming, I quell it just in time. A mad woman I am not.

I step out of the road, all the way out. Even though I think that the car is far, accidents happen. I will not tempt fate.

I walk for about ten minutes before it hits me that I’ve walked much farther than is warranted. I immediately turn around and start going back, a bit more vigilant this time. It is so dark tonight, I think. The streetlights must be busted again. Or were they stolen again? It is difficult for me to keep a straight thought in my head.

I catch the watchman at the gate to our estate closing the gate after someone else. I slip inside with a minimum of fuss, and since he’s the chatty sort,he strikes up a conversation.
Him: Habari, madam. Umechelewa sana leo.
Me: (knowing what he expects to hear) Mzuri sana. Ni kazi imekuwa mingi leo. I just want to go to sleep.
Him: Okay, madam. Uwe na usiku njema.
Me: Sawa sawa. Pia wewe.

I move away, trying not to lurch or stagger, with only one thing on my mind- a queen-size bed with a brass headboard, a floaty mattress topped with a grey and red swirls duvet, and a mountain of pillows.

EA Friday Feature September Prompt #4

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