Graham in Wonderland

At thirty, my life seems like a pile of shit. I'm not exaggerating. It is. Somehow, I've expected more of this life. I wanted more than waking up, having coffee (See? I don't even drink it anymore. I just have it) for breakfast, going on recording, interviewing, whatever, coming back home late at night, having the usual boring sex with my current girlfriend and then falling asleep, expecting nothing more from tomorrow.

It makes me depressed, and I hate being depressed. Whenever I get the slightest feeling I'm gonna be experiencing a bad mood, I turn my back on it and start acting as silly as possible. I know it's stupid. I know it's not helping me. Well, I can't help it either.

I woke up today just to find out I don't even know the girl who was lying next to me. No, I'm not gonna give you the "don't have sex with people you don't know" bullshit. Point is, I don't even remember meeting her, needless to say shagging her or whatever we did.

She was pretty anyhow, and since I've had nothing better to do, I've asked her to come along to the studio, an offer she eagerly agreed to. On the way I've learned her name is Alice ("Like in Wonderland", she said), she's a something student somewhere, she's 20 and something, and she really likes me.

I was getting way more depressed on the way, while listening to her chatter. She may be pretty, but she ain't smart. Probably modeling student. Whatever.

"Damon, are you listening?"

"Fuck, yeah. Look, I'm trying to drive here. You don't feel like dying today, do you?"

She rolled her eyes at me. I hate girls who roll their eyes.

"You're so tensed, honey. You've got to relax."

Wrong again. She was a meditation student. I can bet my life on it.

"Yeah, well." I tried to think of something to say, failed, and then just decided to say nothing.

We've reached the studio at 9:30. That's half an hour late. She kept talking in that amazed voice of hers, while telling me "How pretty everything is!". Guess she hasn't been out much.

"Look, Ali." I said.

"That's Alice."


"I don't mind you calling me Ali."

"Sure. Look, Can you do something for me?"

"Everything you want."

"Can you please shut your bloody mouth?"

I think she was quite offended, but I've already warned you how dumb I am when it comes to avoiding depression.

"Yeah…" She mumbled.

I've continued walking, not even looking behind my shoulders to see if she's following. I had no need to. I knew she would.

Last time Alex and I met, I almost lost my mind. I felt like knocking him down, then kicking the living shit out of him. There's something about him which I don't know how to put in words. He's not healthy. No, no. That's wrong. He's the healthiest person I know. But he makes everybody else sick. He's not disgusting, that's not what I mean. He's just so… Well, I don't know. He's just so Alex.

When Alice and I entered the room, he came by. First he looked at Alice, then at her breasts, and then at me, as if saying: "Is that the best you could get?"

"Hi," He smiled at her, "I'm Alex."

"I know" she smiled back, shyly.

"You must be… hmmm… Sharon?"


"So no wonder you look much better than her. Seems like Dames is improving his taste in girls."

I was at the edge of saying "fuck you", but it's no good with Alex. He'd just smile and say "Gladly". Instead, I just walked away.

She followed. "What's the matter?"

"Nothin'. " I said. "Alex's doing his best at pissing me off."

"Don't tell me that pisses you off."

"Forget it. You wouldn't understand."

She looked at me with big blue concerned eyes. I was looking elsewhere. Graham was eyeing me from his corner. Graham's corner, it's called. Usually he spends every free minute he's got there. Tuning his guitar, writing those songs he never shows anyone, painting those strange pictures of his. Graham's so productive.

It hurts me when I look at him, cause we used to be such a good friends, and now we hardly speak. Sometimes he's looking at me so strangely, like he does now, and I can't help wondering what he's seeing.

At the noon break Alice is telling me about her going home and something about some meditation needed to be done. I say it's fine, and I'll always remember our night together. See, I can be a good soul when I want to.

After she goes, unhealthy thoughts of leaving the studio without anyone noticing are starting to conquer my mind. They're about to win the war when a hand is pressed on my shoulder.
I jump.

"Gee, sorry, Damon. Didn't mean to scare you". It's Graham. He has actually left his corner. Talking about accomplishments.
"I'm not scared. I'm just jumpy."

"You always are."

That's about it. We don't get any farther. We sound friendly, sure. It's not like we hate each other. We just… We just don't go where we know we shouldn't.

"Say, would you like to see my new cat?" He suddenly suggests.

"You have a new cat?"

"Yeah. I've named him after the legendary Bastard."

I laugh. Graham's beloved (Hmm) cat, Bastard, ran away a couple of years ago, not before leaving his nails mark on Graham's face. You can't blame me. I've told him it's a bad idea to name a cat with swear words.

"Yeah, I'd love to see him." I smiled, trying to look calm. No reason to be tensed. After all, It's only the first time this year Graham wants my company at his own free will.

"Than after the recording? Is it a date?"

The hidden irony unsettles me. It's so unlike Graham. "Date, I guess. Shall I bring any flowers?". I'll play his game, if he wants. I won't let him get me nervous. Maybe I'll understand someday what this game is all about.

"Just bring yourself. It's more than enough." He smiles his sweetest grin, and walks away.

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