Bacardi 151 By David Hutt

May 12, 2014 Comments Off on Bacardi 151 By David Hutt

I was living in a room above a shop. There wasn’t much to it. A mattress on the floor; a table by the window; an armchair I found on the street. The wallpaper hung down like bandages. Nothing special, like I said. And eighty bottles of Bacardi 151. I counted them. Eighty. Exactly. A mate stole them from a bar that was closing. He gave them to me. We were living well together. I thought. At nights I’d open my mouth to a flame and lie in bed and read. I’d read long into the a.m. then close my mouth and sleep.

Seventy-nine bottles, excuse me.

That was what she pointed out.

I met her in a bar. I knew it wasn’t going to last because she gave me an empty shot glass and told me to neck it back. It burnt going down.

Then I took her back to my room. That was when she said seventy-nine. Then seventy-eight. We opened one. We led in bed and smoked rolled-up cigarettes and blew smoke out of the window.

“How do you live your life?” she asked.

“I’m still here,” I said.

Then she said something that went: “Well, I always think of my deathbed and about the things I will regret and the things I won’t regret. I won’t regret not working more or not moaning more or not sleeping more. So I don’t do those things.”

I looked at the Bacardi 151 from the bed and felt like a parent of an adopted child, without love, just filled with responsibilities.

Then she said: “And I think about the things I will regret, like not making love more or not smiling more or not lying naked under a highball sun more, so these are the things I do.”

These were the kind of things she said.

Each afternoon I came back from work and five or six bottles were missing, but she was sober and she gave me an empty shot glass.

Then we would lie in bed and rush over each other like diseases.

“Thirty-nine,” she said.

“Yes, my sweet,” I said.

Then another day, “Twelve.”

“Yes, yes. Twelve, darling,” I said.

One afternoon I came home from work and she was sat up in bed, dressed, with two shot glasses of Bacardi 151. It went down smoothly.

“None,” she said.

“Yes, none now,” I said.

She told me she was leaving. It was July. She wanted to go and lie naked under the highball sun. The sun was out. I could see it from the window. People walked up and down streets, like ants when you run your finger along their path.  When she left, she told me to remember deathbeds and regret, because to her, regret was stronger than love and hope and faith and Bacardi 151. As she shut the door she said, “No more.”

“Yes. No more, my sweet,” I said. “No more.”

© 2013 David Hutt

David Hutt is a British writer. Last year he lived in Nicaragua and Cuba, working as a journalist and contributing short-stories and poems to several literary magazines. He lives in Brighton, UK.

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