© 2019 by Keighley Bradford

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Drink Darling, Good Vibes Await Those Who Are Brave
© 2019

It just hit me like a tidal wave — fast and out of nowhere. It was like a lightbulb went off. You know, the one you always see in cartoons, lit up bright yellow, screaming for attention with its thick symbolic strokes flashing above your head? Or that ‘Clueless’ moment of “I love Josh!” which obviously speaks for itself.

            I was enlightened by an epiphany. For once, I knew exactly what I wanted — where I wanted to be, who I wanted to be. There were no limits, no fear – nothing holding back. I knew what I wanted, and this time, the world around would not dissolve into nothingness.

            Because, let’s be honest: a plain, repetitive routine becomes boring and predictable.

            You no longer anticipate life, but idle through it.

            And that’s exactly the opposite of what I wanted.

            I desired my days to be unpredictable. I needed to quench my thirst for adventure with new horizons. When I woke in the early hours of the morning, I wanted to watch the sunrise, completely hypnotised by its beauty as scattered light particles danced through the air, shuffling the colours of the sky.

            I needed to feel the rush of the Pacific Ocean’s cool touch upon my feet. Smell the clean, unpolluted air of the Great Dividing Range. See the glow worms shine in a cave nestled in the Blue Mountains. Listen to the music rage around me at ‘Splendour in the Grass’. Taste the sweet divine flavours of spirits at an ice bar in Queenstown.

            A mere vacation from reality wasn’t enough to satisfy my lustrous desires. These ambitions – these cravings – needed to be realised for what they were: an inclination for a better life.

            It was a need to feel alive, in a world becoming consumed with the end of time. Would I grow old, or die young? What did it matter? Our lives all had an unknown expiration date – we’d all turn sour before we even knew our little concoction was poisoned by a spoiled ingredient. We were like the makings of sweet, devious liquor. An ounce of this, a dash of that – and now, we mustn’t forget to sprinkle some garnish to finish us off – for presentation, of course. Thus, each and every one of us was a deadly potion created by the universe, with fate acting as the cocktail glass, and destiny as it’s stirrer. Tap, just right – and watch us fall apart without the pressure of the now shattered glass keeping us upright.

            When it was time for my glass to break, I wanted to know that I’d lived my life without wasting even the last luscious drop.

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            Pop, pop, pop.

            The sound of my life dripping away.

            Once white noise, now a ring in my ears.

 

            Tap, tap, tap.

            The sound of my footsteps whenever I’d walked away.

            Once as light as feathers, quickly became heavy thuds.

 

            Beep, beep, beep.

            The sound of my notifications dinging in the background.

            Just another reminder of a medial task I’d completed a thousand times over.

 

            Swish, swish, swish.

            Another drink? Don’t mind if I do.

            “Shaken, not stirred,” I add as a joke.

 

            Tick, tock, tick, tock.

            Time running out. A choice that has yet to be made.

            To taste the poison of an alluring apple, or to step away unscathed…

           

            I was playing with a cocktail umbrella, the one that’d come with my drink, when I’d overheard a stranger order the bartender to “Get the girl another drink. It looks like she could use one.”

            “Hmm. Why’s that?” I asked, curious about his philosophy.

            “Just drink, darling,” the stranger quipped. “Good vibes await those who are brave.”

            It just hit me like a tidal wave — fast and out of nowhere.

            It was like a lightbulb went off.

            Bright yellow.

            Screaming.