A Milk Pillow Lake

quiting

When I get drunk, the distance between my hand and face increases. I reach up to scratch my nose, it takes forever.

I miss.

“How did you manage to poke yourself in the eye?” N asks.

One-eyed, I manage to light a cigarette. I hold the pack out to N. He shakes his head; he’s trying to quit.

“Complicated women,” I groan.

N frowns. “Cigarette women made you poke yourself in the eye?”

“No, no,” I shake my head, reminding myself to cut my nails later. “I always seem to fall for complicated women.”

N stares longingly at my cigarette. He snaps out of it. “So, you poked yourself in the eye?”

I nod. “I guess so.”

“Did it help?”

“Not really.”

N sighs, “I know the feeling, I can’t help it neither.”

“Poking yourself in the eye?”

N scratches one finger with another, hard. “No, falling for complicated women, I mean.”

“Why do we do this to ourselves, then?” I ask the bottle of vodka between us.

He sighs at the cigarette between my fingers. “Some people jump out of airplanes,” he reminds me.

“Yes, but they have parachutes!”

N thinks about it. “Well some people jump out of airplanes with no parachute.”

“And what do they do?”

“Hope they land in a lake, I suppose,” he says, moving closer to my cigarette, breathing it in.

I snuff it out.

“No, that would still kill them, for sure.”

“Well, not if it’s a milk lake.”

“A milk lake?”

“Yeah, a milk lake, and pillows, a milk pillow lake.”

I open my damaged eye, blink a few times and smile.

“Yeah, a milk pillow lake. That’s what I need.”

N nods gloomily at the smoldering ash tray.

“Me too,” he decides.

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