Showroom of Perfection VIENNA Chapter 1

15 03 2011

In Vienna


One hour before the plane lands in Wien/Schwechat, I lock myself into the bathroom and arrange my paraphernalia on the toilet seat. After 10 hours of flight, the stench is so bad, my eyes tear – but it’s just the stink of people who are forced to share a way too small space.

I cook up my last bit of tar-heroin with a few cottons I’ve saved and shoot up. Not much happens. At this point, my habit is up to a greedy 200$ a day and this little bit just makes it possible for me to face my little brother who has volunteered to pick me up.

My shameful return to my Mother-City, even though my mother has not even lived there since I was 15. I guess, it’s my Father-city. The night before I left for LA, two years ago, I had a huge party in our loft, hundreds of people were there to wish me luck and the success I’d surely have.

“Monah Goes to Hollywood” was the theme of he party and yes, I sue did go to Hollywood. I lived in the Hollywood Hills at first, partied every night, and had the coolest boyfriend, a club-and gallery owner who lived at the penthouse on top of the Alexandria Hotel. I had two other boyfriends on the side, man fighting it out over me and I was in such demand, that first my sister, then my girlfriend moved out and angrily decide that since I always got the attention wherever we went, I was impossible to hang out with.

No big deal, fuck them – I had so many friends and girlfriends, I hardly noticed them gone. I was weirdly irresistible. I was kind of beautiful – exotic. The accent added to the mystery. I had money, a promising career and charm. But in reality, I shot speed all the time and when I didn’t, I felt like a machine in dire need of gasoline.

After just two months, my money ran out and I started to work at Lady velvet’s dominion. I got arrested twice. The second time, I spent a night in jail and this is why I’m now back in Vienna.

My brother cannot hide his shock when he sees me. I’m an 85-pound ghost in a long red skirt, platform boots and half my head is shaved. Of course, I think I look hot. My brother has to look away and deal with his disgust and horror in private. When he finally turns back to me, his voice is hoarse: “Wait outside while I get your luggage,” he croaks.

“That’s ok, I need a cigarette anyway” I singsong, as if he was my chauffeur picking me up to deliver me to a sun filled party beach in Italy.

In the car, I lean back; I feel the sickness crawling up my legs. I’m cold. I’m hot. I’m tired. So tired.

“I’m taking you to Kalksburg, they have a bed for you”, he states.

“To Kalksburg? I was supposed to meet Christian and Dad and go to that detox place tomorrow”

“No, you’re going now. It was difficult enough to get this bed, so that’s how it’s gonna be”

“That’s bullshit. I’m fine. Let me out at Christian’s place. He’ll take me there in the morning”, I whine.

“Listen, Christian does not want to see you like this and neither does anybody else. Have you looked in the mirror lately?”

As a matter of fact, I have. I spend hours in front of the mirror. Mostly, to make sure, I’m still there. I’m a ghost, a hungry ghost. I’m thin and beautiful, but of course, my chubby little square brother can’t see this. Women have to be hefty for him to like them, like my grandmother was. Of course he’s married to an overweight housefrau who lets him be boss.

“Well then, Mr. Republican, let me out and I’ll take a cab. Thanks for the ride” I say, while I put another layer of lipstick on and rim my sunken eyes with Khol.

“Do you have money?” he asks with contempt.

“No” I say.

“Well then, I doubt that a cab would take you. You look like you have aids. So you might as well forget what you have in mind. The scabs all over your body are not too attractive either, by the way.”

How dare he? He hasn’t seen me in two, maybe three years and a little bit politeness wouldn’t be so much to ask, would it?

But of course, he is right. My Edie Sedgewidge look doesn’t fly in the age of Aids. Even my last few clients at Lady Velvet have requested other girls lately. They see my ribs and bones and the scabs on my face and my thighs. The track marks on my arms, poorly covered with “Dermablend” don’t make me look like a healthy fun companion either.

He drops me off at the detox hospital “Kalksburg” and my dad is already there, pacing the polished hardwood floor in the lobby. This place is definitely nice, probably pricey and smooth. I’ve been in worst detoxes before.

His face is another mirror, another one so different than the ones I’ve been looking in. He looks horrified. I’ve never seen him so afraid, even when we found the two murdered women in our house. Then, he knew what to do – now he is out of his element. But behind his stone-faced and obviously scared self-preservation, I sense his full determination to save me again – one last time.

He sits in when the doctor takes my history and he flinches when I brag about my 400$ a day heroin- and meth habit. He starts to realize how serious my addiction is and that this is, for once, not one of my mother’s hysterical and accusatory exaggerations.

Finally, when I’m about to collapse, they lead me to my sterile hospital bed. I barely notice my roommate, a mom-next-door who doesn’t look like a drug addict at all. Then I pass out.

I sleep all day and the next two days and when they bring my trays of food, I send everything back. I can’t eat. I don’t wannna eat. I will show them and myself that I’ll stay skinny without drugs.

And by the way, I’m not sure I want to be without drugs. If I could just do them on the weekend? And not be so out of control the way I’ve been. But, first of all, I need a certificate that I’ve been in an in-house treatment before the US will let me get back.

During the – is the 4th or 5th night? I can’t tell, I’m too out of it – I wake up. Hungry maybe? No way to identify what I feel, I’m like an animal without the ability to think it through. I sneak out of my room, shaky and unsteady and bang into my roommate’s nightstand. She is too drugged to notice. Somehow, I find my way into the kitchen. It is dark, but surprisingly, I am able to find my way around – somewhat. Excitement, a sexual and criminal surge chases the tranquilizers they keep me on out of me. This is what a burglar must feel like during a B&E. I open cabinets, refrigerators, drawers – I don’t know what I’m looking for. But id feels so good to snoop around and to do something I’m not supposed to do.

Inside one of the cabinets with a lock – ha! A lousy little lock. I spread it apart and break it with a butter knife in about two seconds – I spot a box of cereal, clearly not mine.

I sit down and stuff the whole content of the box down. My naked feet step on crumbs as I move around, looking for something else. All I know is that I have to find something else to eat before this box is empty. I find a box with stale milk and gulp it down. It’s so damn dark in here and I don’t dare to turn the light on. I stuff a banana down my throat, then a few slices of white bread. All I can find next, is a box with kids-vitamins on the windowsill. They taste nasty, but somewhat sweet, good enough to down the whole bottle.

I find another box of Corn Flakes and eat that too. Then I stuff the empty boxes, the banana peel and empty bags inside my pajama pants and attempt to clean myself up a bit. All around me are cereal crumbs and I wipe them under the fridge.

I feel like a pregnant elephant, pregnant with twins. I sneak back under my covers and fall into a flat and tormented sleep, interrupted by bouts of gas and stomach pain.

“That’s why I needed drugs, dooh” I plan to tell the next therapist or doctor who asks me why I fucked up my life so badly. That’s why.



One response

20 03 2011
Rene Diedrich

i like this a lot. let’s use it, dump huf post and new dehli. both have potential but you are quickly growing into your writing and I admire the candor in this and Suck Me. it fits thematically too. i think suck me/show room is one of the best in book, and i am especially proud of the edits i did with on it and domop story. keep writing monah. i will get some names to you for journals and other publications.

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