Numb Courage

Jaylin Paschal

It was a bad night for both of us. The bartender cut us off and some asshole (pickpocket, opportunist, whatever you may call him) stole my wallet out of my purse while I was trying to convince you that broken could still be beautiful.

We stumbled out of the bar smelling like liquor and pipe dreams. Even the moon had this haunting look of disappointment pressed into it. Cab drivers were already too tired to pull up to the curb beneath our swollen feet. Eventually one man, too desperate to pass up the fare, drove us back to your apartment.

Once there, we found a strange comfort on your balcony. We dangled on the edge a bit to flirt with Danger; to let Gravity know that drunk girls don’t fear falling.

We woke up late the next day covered with bruises and scrapes without matching explanations. We found that broken heels had scratched your hardwood and turned our noses up at the smell of our own vomit. We cleaned to the best of our abilities and tended to each other’s shameful injuries. Band-Aids and Neosporin were ineffective in a desperate attempt to fix ourselves or to erase the past twelve hours.

When we were done cleaning, and the hangovers had dwindled to mild headaches, we shared a cigarette out on the balcony, still toying with the idea of brokenness and beauty sharing spaces. We stood against the door this time, though.

Sober girls know that Gravity would make a mess of them.

about the author
Jaylin Paschal is a journalism and political science student. She publishes her sociopolitical rants on her blog, Creative Liberation.