Reaching The Summit

Entry by: Jim bob

24th April 2015

When Gay dismissed himself from the hospital,with crutches, and casts, he took a taxi over to a nearby Inn, sat down on a couch, outside where the breeze floated around him like an invisible memory, and, despite his doctors wishes, sipped on a bourbon. The bourbon burnt his throat, and stung against the healing injuries within his belly, but, it soothed his head. His heart raced; a reaction to alcohol on medication, but Gay didn't mind His heart had raced many times before, and in more threatening circumstances. What an irony it would be, he thought, if he was to die of a stroke right here and now from mixing booze and codeine! He laughed aloud at this ridiculous consideration. He was lucky to be alive, he thought, and then asked the waitress to get him another drink.
' Make it a large one' he added as she walked back towards the entrance, tray in hand. She returned moments later, and placed the drink in front of of him. Through his one un-patched eye he noticed how young she looked.
'Can you roll me a cigarette' he asked, and raised his injured palms up to her, indicating his difficulty.
' The tobacco is in the hold-all down there' he concluded, nodding in the direction of the Adidas bag on the ground.
Without speaking, the waitress picked up the pouch and the rolling components, sat down and began to roll.
'I'm not too good at this' she said, her Russian accent defined, yet soft.
' It'll be the first smoke I've had in weeks' he replied. 'Its going to taste great.'
He scratched his bandaged head with his marginally better hand in a hopeless attempt to quell the itching, which had begun to persist again as it had the previous night, and the night before that. Gay sighed in frustration at the futility of his action and drank the rest of the bourbon, a refreshment, of great reminder of his mountaineering days, when the weather was icy cold.
'Shall I light it for you'? asked the waitress showing him the completed, slightly out-of -shape cigarette,
'I think you better, don’t you? replied Gay, smiling, this expression though, un-exposed to her.
She lit the cigarette, inhaled, then aware of Gays handicaps, inserted the tip of it into the small gap where his mouth was. Gay drew heavily, exhaled, then drew again, and winked at her. When she motioned to remove it he signalled not to.
'Thank you, you roll a good smoke' he said through the cigarette, his voice even further restrained, because of it.
'I have to do chores' she said, getting up' I bring you back another drink' she concluded picking up his the empty glass.
'Thank you' said Gay.
The sun shone briefly through intermittent cloud coverage, and the October breeze continued, blowing over the small terrace where only Gay sat. A small cat, probably belonging to the establishment jumped on top of his lap, and began making itself comfortable. He had a shiny black coat, noticed Gay, and a large prominent scar that ran just below its left ear, and around to the corner of its mouth. He began purring.
' Been in the wars too, mate' said Gay, attempting to stroke it with his casted hand, impeding his sense of caress, of curves across the cats back. The cat mewed, seemingly with approval however, and settled in to Gays lap, curling himself up, and wrapping his tail, as cats do, neatly around the base of its back. Its purring quietened, as Gay watched him, and sensitive sleep took over it. The steady rise and fall of its body, and slight wheezy breathing, barely audible in the afternoon breeze, was all that remained of its motion. In a short space of time, Gay nodded off as well.

When the waitress returned, the cat and Gay stirred, She placed the drink down on the table and took a seat.
'Hello again' she said.' I see you met Hotspur.' Gay, having revived somewhat, raised his arm in gesture. He shifted himself, and in turn the cat leaped from his lap to the ground.
' How you feeling' she asked. Hotspur, now, turned its attention to her, smooching around her legs.
''Hotspur, funny name for a cat.' said Gay, reaching for his drink.
' I think so too.' she said. 'I ask the landlord why Hotspur, and he say from a comic book he read as a boy.'
'You look different,' said Gay ignoring her comments.
' Well', she said. 'I changed out of my work clothes, if that’s what you mean.'
'Ah, that’s it. New there was something different.'
She smiled and sipped from her Coca Cola through a straw. Dusk had started to settle in, and the breeze now had abated.
' How did it happen,' she asked.
' Roll me another smoke and I'll tell you,' replied Gay.
'Aren't you going to tell me your name' she said as she commenced rolling 'I'm Katya, and I am very pleased to meet you.'
'I'm please to meet you too, Katya. My name is Gay.'
'Thats an unusual name,' said Katya finishing the job, and popping the cigarette into her mouth, then lighting it. ' But not like Hotspur.'and she laughed.
'Nah, not quite Hotspur, 'he replied. 'Irish name, Irish parents and it kind of grew on me, the older I got.' he concluded.
Katya reached forward and again placed the smoke into Gays mouth.
'Tell me what happened to you, Gay' she said quietly, facing him. Gay drew several times on the cigarette, and exhaled a steady stream of smoke that, to Katya seemed to go on, and on, as she followed it with her eyes. Hotspur had made a look out for itself on the table, now, and started to mew for no apparent reason. Katya returned to her stool, adjusting her purple frock.
'You’re very attractive.' said Gay, allowing the dead cigarette to fall from his mouth.
'That may be so, Gay, and I'm sure you are too', she replied. 'But I'd like to know what happened,' she concluded, grinning whilst stroking Hotspur. Gay straightened himself to the best of his ability and took a sip of bourbon.
' Well' you may find out, when these bandages come off,' he said and coughed several times.
'Excuse me,' he said apologizing.' 'I've had a virus in the chest for sometime.' he concluded.
' Dont worry. Maybe give up cigarettes eh?' said Katya
'I'm not a good man, Katya' said Gay, disregarding her advice. 'In fact I'm not a good man at all.' He finished the rest of his drink, as she stared at him.
'What you mean, Gay' she said, as she began rolling another cigarette for him. Hotspur left his place on the table, possibly because the evening was turning colder, and darkness was filling up the daylight.
' I was a bad fella, Katya. Thats what I mean.'
She approached him and placed the lit smoke in his mouth.
'So somebody hurt you cos you were bad to them.' she asked.
'Sort of, yes,' he replied, puffing away for a moment, again exhaling a long flume of smoke.
'I'll get you another drink' she said.
'Thanks, Katya' he replied.
While she was gone he closed his eyes tried to remember the time when his brother, Marty, and him made a chocolate house for Easter. How big it eventually became as they'd added piece upon piece of construction to it. How Marty, kept eating pieces off the roof. How eventually, the chocolate house started to melt in the unusually hot weather, and the fun they'd had deciding to knock it down, because of this. How messy they'd both become, covered in chocolate. And how sick they were from eating mouthful after mouthful of the stuff in their chocolate eating competition.
'I shot a man in Mexico city, Katya', he said after Katya had returned 'I shot him dead.'
'My goodness,' she said putting her hand to her mouth, surprised
'I was a drug dealer, and this man owed me a lot of money' replied Gay. He owed me money from all the dealing I'd done for him. I used to fly all over South America scoring deals, purchasing heroin in so many quantities. But, Katya, I'll get to the point here.'
Katya had her head down, and she wiped a couple of tears that were welling in the ducts of her eyes.
'I'm sorry' he said, noticing her sadness
'We are strangers, Katya, and I'm just one of these strangers that appear now and again.'
'So what happened to you then' she shouted. 'How come you end in a mess like this?' she finished, pointing at his bandaged wounds in various places around his body.'
'Before I shot this bastard, I demanded he tell me where he'd hidden his stuff.'
Gay picked up his drink, consumed the rest of it, and flung the empty glass against the wall in front of him. Katya, jumped up and backed away several feet.
In the darkening night, she couldn’t make him out very clearly.
'What you mean, stuff' she finally asked, interested and frightened at the same time.
'Money, gold, drugs' he yelled. All at the top of that mountain,' he finished, pointing in the direction of the huge elevation, now invisible on the horizon. Katya slowly approached Gay, both hands against her mouth. Tears had formed again.
'So, y-y-y' she stuttered.
'I climbed it, Katya' he interrupted. 'Like the mad man I was, I climbed it, without ropes. I even climbed it without ropes. I even reached the Summit. You know what. There was no gold. I looked all over the summit, and there was nothing. I never climbed back down.'