I am bad at break ups. I have a short list of ex-girlfriends but a long list of troubles associated with them. So this time I decided to do it right. I drank heavily, sent angry text messages, cried, let it all out, spent all my money on drugs and drinks. Tried exercising, talking to people, wrote, got on with my life. At the end of one week I was still as miserable as I had ever been. So I decided to break up with reality and reality, in turn, broke up with me.
On the Monday the week after the break-up I tried levitating. I walked about five kilometres to the highest point in Ipswich. I sat beneath a tree, rolled a cigarette. I noticed that somebody had carved my ex’s name in the tree so I moved to another one, promising to only date girls with names like Mergatroid or Skalathrax. Then I sat down, cross legged, and moved things around until nothing was touching me. I closed my eyes and focused. The wind blew under my body. I lifted up and pictured getting higher, trying to catch the feeling of vertigo. I watched the city get smaller and then the clouds beneath me. I heard a roaring noise in my head which was probably an aeroplane but I couldn’t see it because my eyes were closed. I stayed like that until the noise went away. When I opened my eyes again there was a teenager on a bike about fifteen metres away, looking at me. He called out but I couldn’t hear him over the wind. He called again. He told me that he liked my outfit. Then he rode off. I got a call from my oldest friend. He said, “You weren’t thinking of having another sober night were you?” and then he came to my place.
On Tuesday he came around an hour after I woke up. He rolled three perfect fluted joints and we broke open my brother’s homebrew beer that had somehow turned from vile chemical sludge into the perfect way to drown our respective sorrows. We talked a lot, mainly about sex. He had also been through a big break up recently and had reverted back into his sex addiction. He spoke a lot about technique and told me that a lot of the girls he had been with liked to be choked. After the three joints he looked at me with big, red, watery eyes and said that if his ex-girlfriend ever approached me, or tried to text me or call me, or tried to contact me over Facebook that I should think about the benefit of all parties involved and have sex with her. Then he mentioned that she liked to be choked and I told him no, I was not going to choke his ex-girlfriend. We walked to McDonald’s and I swallowed down the first proper meal I had had in a week, not looking up while my friend tried to get three women to have sex with him.
When he came around on Wednesday he found me smoking a pipe and wearing a wizard costume, drinking beer out of the most magical glass I could find. I told him that it was Wednesday and I was lonely and that I couldn’t remember what it was like to not be drunk or high and that I was done pretending to everyone that I wasn’t a wizard. He told me that was totally cool and I grabbed him the second most magical glass in the house.
We started playing two-handed table tennis on Thursday. After about an hour what we thought was ridiculously difficult at first became natural to us. We started playing left-handed, then swapping between both after every shot. Then we added in multiple hit combinations, combinations involving the roof and walls. We started playing with a bat in each hand and mastered it. Then two bats in one hand. We decided at the end of the night to buy another set of bats so we could start playing with four each.
I woke in the morning to a buzzing sound. I walked outside and there were insects everywhere. Normal flies, fruit flies, mosquitoes and moths. The back table was covered with empty bottles and cigarette butts. I started rinsing out the bottles and putting them away. Then I cleaned the rubbish away and wiped the table down. When he came around again we drove around Ipswich for a while and visited some of his family. I was barefoot the entire time. We got back to my house and he bought a carton of beer. He told me that he had finally gotten a job, which was good but it meant he couldn’t hang out with me as much. I told him that was okay because I would be right here and that somewhere in this rock bottom there was buried treasure to be found.