By Mariam Sharia

There were a few months there when we were not sleeping we were partying or thinking about partying while we were working so that afterwards we could go party.

This particular night was stormy and cold and I knew nobody would want to venture out to the bars. Eloise made a broccoli casserole when she got home but Matilda was already home and drunk and made pork chops just plain and so no one ate them or wanted to even remotely. There were multitudes of stomachaches during this time. The casserole was in some parts charred and in others undercooked so that the broccoli was cold and hard. Matilda poured around shots of whatever bottle of hooch was atop the fridge and we would chase each one with a smile and a bite of shitty casserole.

Then all the sudden Jen would appear perched on the gray suede sofa with her doppelganger dog Jack and disapprovingly ‘tsk’ at us and not take bites or shots. The others didn’t seem to mind her but I always felt as though she was cursing us in her brain and why did she even bother coming with that attitude but it seems to me now she had nowhere else to go.

The boys would show up always at some point with their drugs and 5-panel-hats and their long greasy hair and torn skateboarding sneakers. Walking on the balls of their feet so that their heels never touched the ground and it seemed as though they were floating over the floor wherever they went like wayward balloons that didn’t have the initiative to float away but were not quite ready to die a deflated death.

Everyone would smoke cigarettes and slow dance whether there was music playing or not. The apartment had high ceilings thank God but there was still a perpetual smoky fog lingering about as though it was curious and wanted to hang around to see what would happen next.

The bands from New York would come and play their sets at the bars around town and they would stay at our house because we were cool and let things happen. Trash always lined the streets and in the summer time would give of a stench so strong you’d swear you could see the wavy stink lines coming off of it like in Looney Tunes cartoons and in the winter time it was all wet and became one gritty dirty entity with the hard snow and dirt so that you’d try not to look down when you walked home from the subway because it was really just depressing and I had read this Buddhist book that told me to avoid things that made me sadder than I needed to be.

From New York there was Charlie, Sequoia the drunk, Johnny the pervert, Erik, Erik 2, Rosebud, the two girls Lacey and Miff. Charlie had really bad acne but you’d hardly notice because he was funny and all the girls thought so and liked the way he dressed and made them feel. He would drink so much he would dangerously stumble but he never fell.

Sequoia the drunk would fall and whenever we’d take him to a bar he would sulk quietly, which doesn’t seem so bad but he would always end up jumping on the bar and taking his shirt off or stealing bread from the food truck in the back patio and throwing it at the bartenders and swinging punches when they’d tell him to stop so that he’d get carried out and thrown headfirst into the sidewalk. Sequoia the drunk was perpetually blood-drenched and I never understood how his clothes managed to stay so nice every time we saw him since none of us had much money back in those days, although we always found a way to coke and cigs and shitty booze.

Johnny was older than the rest of us and sort of quiet and a pervert. Johnny the pervert would usually leave to buy Mexican food from the taco truck 3 blocks away and would come back hours later. Nobody cared to ask him where he’d been or what he was doing for hours out there in the cold.

Erik was handsome and the best adjusted to life in general we all thought. His mom was a nice Jewish white lady and his dad was a big black man so he had those Morgan Freeman freckles and light brown skin and an afro, and would wear thin plaid button downs and was a polite guy. Rosebud had greasy long blonde hair but we found out wore a baseball cat to cover the fact that his scalp was actually not just balding but really quite bald. He strictly wore unbuttoned Hawaiian shirts and board shorts and slip on Vans. His claim to fame was his supposed giant Member, which I’d never seen but Eloise had felt it through his pants and Matilda had felt it not through his pants (neither knew about the other) and it was the confirmed biggest one they’d ever touched they said.

Lacey worked at a restaurant and wore underwear as shorts and high heels that laced up. She had big red lips she would compulsively smear with crimson lipstick and long black witch hair and big teeth. She laughed loudly at everything but it was a nice laugh. Miff was a beautiful skinny Australian model. She looked like Audrey Hepburn. She made art and was going to “make it big” and carried around prerolled joints in the breast pocket of her black leather fringe jacket. She would tug at our arms while we sat or danced and plead us to go for a walk with her which sometimes her gorgeous boyfriend Erik 2 would take her up on. Erik 2 was also a model but he had humility we always said and always remained sober even though he drank and snorted blow almost more than anyone else. 

I had just married Kevin but I didn’t have a clue as to why and I doubt he did either. In reality I lusted Charlie, but he had remained in New York this time around and I was sort of bummed about that. We were bored and that night I was watching Sequoia the drunk make cocaine beards and mustaches on Jennifer Lawrence’s face on the cover of Vogue and blacking out her teeth and eyes with a Sharpie marker and I went over to Kevin who was picking off the burnt crust of the broccoli casserole and slapped him in the face as hard as I could. He just sort of blinked at me and went back to picking at the crust so I walked over to Rosebud and grabbed his penis through his board shorts. Matilda and Eloise were lying on the couch braiding each other’s hair and both sat up with shining eyes and foaming mouths.

Jen and Jack approached me and started barking and I slapped Jen too and when I did that Jack ran and slid under the couch. Rosebud got hard so I grabbed the kitchen knife off the counter and I cut off his Member. He began to cry and bleed everywhere and the barking and excess of liquid made me anxious so I turned around and dug the knife into Jen’s forehead. She dropped like a sack of potatoes and I turned my gaze to the girls on the couch. Lacey was cowering behind Eloise and Matilda who had bared their teeth at me and I couldn’t stand looking at their white teeth so I slit their throats and blacked in their teeth with the Sharpie. At this point Lacey was shaking and blubbering, snot dripping down her cleavage, so I dug the Sharpie into one of her eyes and kicked in her head with my boot until she stopped making noise.

I’m sorry I killed them but I was so bored and had already read that month’s issue of Vogue and there was nothing on TV.

I turned around and Kevin was still picking at the casserole. I took a shot of Jameson whiskey because my anxiety was through the roof and when I had swallowed it I couldn’t stop staring at his crooked fingers digging into the cheese like a fracking drill so I slapped him again and grabbed his hand to cut off his index finger. When he didn’t protest I cut off the rest of his fingers on that hand and then the other and he slowly slouched into the corner next to the cabinets and passed out.

I’m sorry I murdered my husband, but I really don’t think it was meant to be and I’d just spent so much money that month on bills that a divorce was financially out of the question.

I walked over to Sequoia the drunk who had remained very calm and took the $50 bill from him and snorted a line of cocaine that was Jennifer Lawrence’s eyebrow. Then I snorted her other eyebrow. Then all the sudden Sequoia the drunk’s state of ultimate Zen really began to irk me so I grabbed the bloody cheesy casserole dish and hit him over the head with it until his skull caved in and he quietly slid out of his chair and slumped atop Rosebud’s sad wilted member.

I’m sorry I killed him, but I was feeling on edge and the whiskey wasn’t working and I really just needed to decompress a bit.

The beautiful Eriks had been outside reparking the van and when they walked in I got nervous they would be angry with me so I grabbed a spatula in one hand and a potato masher in the other and broke their teeth in shoving them down their throats. They both choked and shat themselves and turned blue.

I’m sorry they were murdered, but they were more talented than me and being around people that make me feel inferior is something any normal person could handle for only so long.

Just then, Miff walked in reeking of pot with Johnny the pervert and his bean burrito in tow. I didn’t know where I’d left the knife and pulling the kitchen utensils out of the Eriks would have been so gross so in one suave movement I grabbed the lighter fluid and big matches we used for the grill and doused them in it while I locked the front door and set them both on fire. Johnny the pervert threw his bean burrito at me and I was feeling hungry so I began to eat it while they screamed and rolled around on the floor. The pork chops were just too plain. I kept pouring lighter fluid on them because I was worried they would put themselves out. When they stopped screaming I took the fire extinguisher from the corner of the room and put them out. I thought about how lucky I was that nothing else had caught on fire. Maybe the couch was flame retardant?

I’m sorry I killed them but Miff was just so beautiful and insecurity makes you do some unreasonable things sometimes.

I’m sorry I arsoned him, but Johnny the pervert was a pervert after all and if you think about it I was really doing the community a favor.

Sorry I murdered everyone at the party, but I am an introvert and being around large crowds of people gives me anxiety. I pulled Jack the dog out from under the couch and put him under my arm as I unlocked the front door and walked down the street. I guess I was always more of a dog person than a people person. It wasn’t raining anymore. It was a beautiful night after all.