I could taste metal on the tip of my tongue. The taste was exaggerated as any sense of smell I once had seemed to have vanished. It felt as though my nostrils were filled with sand; I couldn’t smell, couldn’t breathe, and if I tried it felt like microscopic shards of glass clinging to the inside of my nose. My eyes watered as if they were trying to wash the sand away. I opened my mouth to rest my nose so I could breathe in and the metal taste grew stronger as it dripped onto my lip.
I took out my keys and stabbed around the lock. As my eyebrows arched I stared down the hallway, wanting to explain to someone how this had never happened before, and how I’ve had the ability to open my own door hundreds of times in the past, but at the same time I wanted to check there was no one around as I had committed such an atrocity. As the key eventually slid into the lock, due to a stroke of luck and not of skill (despite me fully believing otherwise) I turned it past the satisfying thud of metal and threw the door wide open. Despite the door coming back at me and colliding with my shoulder, my demeanour suggested that this was what I expected as I continued to strut, head held high, into my apartment.
I just stood for a while as if on pause, hovering on the spot, wanting every feeling I had to stop and for the room to stop moving about me. The shoes I was holding I threw in a pile on the floor. A mere five hours ago they were a different pair of shoes; the satin black sheer glinting with pride, the playful bow firmly grounded in its place, and the pristine condition of the slight grooves on the sole. Sadly now they were changed. Instead an unattractive cake of mud had quickly dried to more than just the sole of the shoe, the concaves made by a footprint gave them a soggy and dishevelled appearance, and one of the bows seemed to be hanging on by a thread. Upon closer inspection I would have been gobsmacked but it wasn’t the time for that, I could barely move let alone inspect.
I had gotten used to the metal taste, had broken free from my statue-like stance, and tried to balance the see-saw effect of wanting the room to stop spinning at the same time as stopping myself from throwing up. This proving to be a difficult task, and as I couldn’t even make it to the bed, I slid into a comfortable spot on the floor. Now came the compulsive ritual I had developed of checking everything was in my bag. For some reason, once I had an item in my hand I tossed it aside, knowing it was somewhere in the room was good enough for me at this point. Lipstick, check, throw. Cash card, check, throw. Camera, check, throw. Mobile, check... For some reason my mobile reminded me of Jay. Granted they look nothing alike, but looking at it all I could think was Jay, Jay, Jay. Then it dawned on me that after I’d seen him on his lunch break I hadn’t even asked him how his sandwich was, so not being one for rudeness I’d ask him now. Maybe even mention I didn’t lose my camera tonight and that I like the taste of metal now, just to put his mind at ease and let him know what’s new with me.
With all of the excitement, I hadn’t even noticed that I could breathe through my nose again, and as red appeared streaked up my arm I found I hadn’t been dribbling like I thought but instead my face was bleeding. Just before I began to sob, I stopped myself to tell Jay the news, as a follow up to my prior text. Throwing the phone to the side I began crawling across the bathroom floor and clambered up the worktop in order to face myself in the mirror. Doors had not been my friend tonight and least of all the one that said ‘pull’ in tiny little letters. Splashing my face with water was meant to wash away the stains of the night, but instead it just smeared what make-up was left on my face and I couldn’t look at myself anymore. Thus the long journey to the bedroom began. This was a lot more problematic than expected, as was everything. Stumbling towards my bed, the ultimate prize, it was like returning to the scene of a crime. It strained my eyes to focus, but when I did I became aware of the obstacles I had to overcome. Strewn across the table were pots of make-up, powder everywhere, colours colliding, but now wasn’t the time to worry about this. The dresses that probably took up half a year’s salary to buy were in a trail from the mirror to the bed, but so long as I did my best not to stand on them I could sort it later. Covering my bed was a mound of jackets, mixed in with tights and earrings I’d tried on, one could only imagine the tangled web these had become, but I wasn’t even prepared to imagine it, they’d still be like that in the morning. Even the dusty looking wineglass that was half full and I’d left on my bedside table I couldn’t deal with, the sight and smell of it made me feel sick so I merely avoided the sight of it.
Lying on a small space of bed, next to the mound of crap and far enough away from the evil chalice, I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. Once the feeling of sickness subsided a little I was left feeling light; not even light-headed, just light. My body tingled slightly and I was in a trance of euphoric calmness. I can only explain it to be like when in a dream; everything seems real but it is as if you have no feeling, no nerve sensors and you’re indestructible because of it. I couldn’t move from the awkward position I lay in, and didn’t want to anyway as I was so comfortable and scared of losing this feeling. I was so happy in my world as I drifted off to sleep that I didn’t even contemplate that in the morning I would have it all to look forward to, when I would feel everything at once.