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The Aw Yeah! page is updated once a week and contains material that is far to experimental or unstable for the more normal confines of The Toilet Paper. This week's edition of Aw Yeah! is....

THE BOTTLE

He squinted his one open eye and, with a final force of exertion, brought the bottle into focus. He exhaled through his open mouth relieved. Achieving one stationary bottle had been a personal challenge and had taken several minutes of concentration.

He was sprawled out on the futon, lying on his stomach with his left cheek resting on the mattress. His left eye was pressed into the comforter and comfortably closed; it had been the right eye that had managed the monumental task. His left leg pointed directly behind him and his right leg was bent at the knee and pulled up beside him. With his arms splayed out ahead, he was aware of utter relaxation, his body in a state of supreme comfort. Again he sighed through the right half of his mouth, the part that wasn't covered by the soft mattress, and his breath seemed to warm the air about his face. He smiled faintly, still staring at the bottle so as not to loose his grip on it.

The world twirled softly. He’d had many drunken nights where the world whipped him about so violently he would clench his teeth and pray not to drown. In these instances it was always better not to close his eyes, which was his natural instinct, to squeeze them so tight he would see red spots appear in his eyes. It was his way of shutting out the world. Still, every time he did this he would wretch violently, often on himself. This time, however, the room moved about him in a soft rocking motion and he was as relaxed as an old man who has just emptied his bowels fully and for the first time in days.

His head tingled softly. He was aware of each point where his body pressed against the mattress. Somehow he had found the exact position in which every muscle fiber, every tendon, every joint and every little capillary was in a perfect equilibrium. His hands dangled limply in the air, just off of the futon. The tops of his feet were buoyed by the soothing mattress which massaged them lightly. His head was the most comfortable of all, feeling as weightless as a limp sock in a warm basket of laundry. His smile broadened at the thought.

In his relaxation he again permitted himself the luxury of closing his right eye. He breathed deeply, emitting a grunt of pleasure each time he exhaled. There was a moment of panic when he opened his eye and the single bottle had once again become three, but he fixed his concentration and it gradually came into focus. It was a bottle of Scotch, a good one, but he wasn’t sure just what kind. He could see the bottle clearly, but the light was too dim to read the label three feet in front of him.

He swallowed and worked his tongue around his mouth as he thought of the Scotch. Without deciding anything, he realized he was about to risk the supreme comfort he now felt in order to pour himself a drink. He understood, or at least he sensed that since the Scotch had entered his consciousness, he could no longer feel totally at peace. "That is what we must do," he thought. "Rid ourselves of every desire. Then we will be comfortable. I shall do that as soon as I have this drink," he reasoned as his hands slowly moved forward.

Stretching his body only very slightly, he managed to grasp the bottle with his right hand and pulled it toward himself, letting it drag on the floor. When he had it six inches from the edge of the futon, maybe a foot from his face, he let his hands fall again, to rest. He was breathing a little heavily from the effort. The bottle stood at the same level as his face, and he could just barely make out his own distorted head reflected in the glass and liquid. They lay there, the bottle and he, staring at each other, in mutual respect and appreciation.

He soon recovered, and, holding the bottle at the base with his right hand began unscrewing it with his left. His concentration was enormous in this effort, yet he knew the most difficult task was yet to come. He peered at the cap through his one open eye and then positioned it at the tips of his left fingers, hollow end directed upwards.

Very carefully he began to tip the almost empty bottle to the left. Soon it was horizontal to the floor. The brown liquid inside sloshed gently, almost like his head, he thought, amused with his own metaphor. And then a tiny stream was coming out of the opening. It fell less then an inch and settled into the bottom of the cap. He listened intently to the noise of the Scotch falling against itself, as he could not see the inside of the reservoir. But he misjudged the sound and soon the liquid was spilt on his hand and the floor.

He set the bottle down and tried to steady his left hand, which was shaking, almost imperceptibly, but enough to send a parade of drops to the carpet below. Ever so slowly he raised his head and moved the cap towards it. He was performing surgery now and proceeded with the most extreme caution. Several drops spilled and he stopped to let the liquid settle. He saw that it was brimming above the confines of the cap. After four deep, slow breaths, he resumed the journey of an arm’s length, slowly moving his hand in and at the same time stretching his head and neck out. The room around him spun just a tiny bit faster and he doubted the purpose of this final drink, but he had come too far to go back.

When the cap reached his lips, he sipped tenderly, carefully lowering the level of the liquid. It was cool but warm and burned his mouth in a manner just barely perceptible, as any good Scotch should. Or at least that was what he had learned. Then, vaguely tilting his head back, he poured the contents of the cap into his waiting mouth, pausing momentarily for the last drops to fall. He swirled it over and around his tongue for a moment, savoring the flavor, then swallowed. It cut a path of warmth down his throat and into his stomach and when he exhaled again, there was the familiar heat in his breath. He let his head fall and resumed his former position.

As his cheek hit the mattress and floated there, he grinned from ear to ear. Somehow he had managed to recover his old position, and, impossibly, was even more comfortable than before. Gradually he became aware of a faint rustling behind him and tilted his head to peer above his shoulder.

He saw the girl through his one open eye, dressed now in a silk kimono type garment that hung loosely open, exposing her small, soft breasts. He smiled as he watched her studying him. He hoped she would not ask him to move, but feared the worst as he saw her draw in a breath and open her mouth to speak.

"Are you proud of yourself?"

He smiled, nodded limply, and closed his right eye.

Thanks for reading.  Thoughts?  mailto:thoughts@thetp.com

1998 The Toilet paper

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