Summer Bachelor

Columns | Gregory Borodavkin | July / August 2011

What started as a week of debauchery has bled into what can only be described as a two-month jaunt towards self-ruin. My deteriorating short-term memory prevents me from retaining the details of many of the nights past, but the thing that remains constant is waking up to the sharp and immediate desire to feel the barrel of a gun in my mouth. It disappears as soon as I open my eyes, leaving a rancid aftertaste that can be easily washed away by two to three cups of coffee.

I slip on my wayfarers and enter the street bathes in unforgiving sunlight, beads of sweat outline my forehead as I shuffle towards a grocery store to purchase some kind of nourishment – pre cooked, wrapped in plastic, artificial – whatever. Tastes like the real thing. No hangover, just a mewing feeling of deep-rooted exhaustion.

Work has become refuge, a second home, a place to switch off and dissolve in a process. My battered brain snoozes inconspicuously, allowing me to coordinate where I will meet my drinking buddies soon as I get off, while I simulate activity, nodding and smiling and laughing along to jokes the butt of which I’m not sure I aren’t.

I leave the office feeling parched. My friend is already waiting for me at a bar down the street. I hope he had half a mind to order a cold one for me too.

Several hours later, when I’ve already accidentally on purpose missed my last U-Bahn, I’m sitting at a table in another anonymous bar on MQ, on Schwedenplatz, on the Gürtel.

My nicotine stained fingers feel natural clutching to the perspiring glass of legal morphine, as guffaws rise and subside and tastes are being argued over. Stumbling into the toilet stall I avoid my reflection in the mirror in very much the same manor I refuse to acknowledge my card balance at the ATM.

Hammered, trashed, wasted, plastered, numb, I dance under bloody red lamps and revolving disco balls, and it feels like the hands that pat me on the back are pushing me further down this alcohol-soaked rabbit hole.

Weaving down to the NiteLine stop I see solitary people with the same restlessness lining the benches. Their bodies are prostrate but it’s the eyes that give them away.

I struggle with the door until I eventually force it open, scattering clothes, brushing my teeth with Coke and a good night cigarette before slumping to the bed. My abused heart and lungs wheeze like a broken accordion. God, I wish she were here.

Other articles from this issue

  • A Meeting in Benghazi

    Poland’s Foreign Minister urges today’s Arab reformers to draw Central Europe’s experience – and avoid their mistakes
    News | Radoslaw Sikorski
  • Festival Time Again

    Nights at the Opera: July / August 2011
    Columns | Oliver Macdonald
  • En Voyage

    Taking off in an old Peugeot to discover France in Summer: le camping et les callanques
    On The Town | Stefanie Wolff
  • Fire at the Ringtheater

    How the burning of a theatre led to a change in the way the doors of Vienna are opened
    On The Town | Duncan J D Smith
  • All articles from this issue

    the vienna review July / August 2011