“God damn it Sam, open your eyes will you!”
Jack shook the sleeping man, and then shook again, harder. Sam, still asleep, slumped forward in the drivers seat, his head banging on the steering wheel, the horn sounding a brief, muted honk in protest.
“Jesus H fucking Christ, Sam, will you wake the fuck up!” Jack shook the near comatose man even harder, then yanked on his arm. Sam slid sideways in the seat, and slithered flopped out of the car onto the gravel surface of the car park.
“Wha… gaa… wassup?” Sam tried to speak through numb lips and past a swollen, furry tongue. He peeled his eyes open, and the bright sunlight burnt straight through them, fusing his brain to the back of his skull.
“Ohh, gawd… sick…!” He rolled onto his side and gagged, but his tired body refused to cooperate and wouldn’t let him throw up. His head throbbed, expanding and contracting with every heartbeat, his eyes burned from the light even though they were now tightly closed against it. He raised a hand to his face, and it shook like a tree in a tempest.
“Think I’m dying, Jack” he said thickly.
Jack leant back against the car, arms folded across his chest, and sighed.
“Yes Sam, you are. Everybody is, fer Christs sakes. We’re all getting older man. But you’re the only one I know that wants to die a death every day for the rest of his natural. Look at you man! You’re a mess, a bloody disgrace.” Jack paused for breath, looking down at the rumpled, crumpled form laying before him. “And what the bloody hell are you doing sleeping in your car anyway?”
Sam groaned as he opened his eyes, trying to focus on the wiry old man who seemed intent on worsening his hangover by berating him like a small child. The sunlight was still too bright for his aching brain, so he flopped his forearm over them as a shield.
“You told me last night that I was too drunk to drive home” he muttered.
Jack shook his head, the movement making Sam feel even more nauseous just watching it.
“I meant for you to get a taxi, or at worst stagger home, you fool, not for you to sleep in your damn car!”
“Yeah… but… well… it seemed like a good idea at the time.” Sam made a feeble attempt to sit up, but the ground seemed to be swaying, upsetting his balance and his already delicate stomach. He lay down again, groaning.
The back door of the pub flew open with a crash, and the small whirlwind that was Jack’s wife came breezing out, all skin tight jeans, leopard print top, platinum bleached hair and cheap perfume.
“Whatcha still doing talking to that drunk, Jackie honey? We need to be leaving or we’ll be late. And,” she winked lasciviously at Jack, “I might be able to spare a few minutes for some more loving.”
She scowled down at Sam, tutted, and disappeared back through the door, the scent of her perfume lingering behind as a reminder of her brief appearance.
“As you can see Sam, I have to go. You know Stella aint one to be denied.” He stepped over Sam as he headed after his wife. “I’ll call a taxi to take you home. Get yourself sorted out. Believe it or not, some of your friends do still care, and it hurts us to see you this way. Imagine what Kate would say.”
He glanced back at the prone form of Sam, shook his head, hitched up his loose fitting trousers, and disappeared through the door, closing it quietly behind him.
The taxi pulled away from the curb, leaving Sam standing by the side of the road, swaying slightly. Imagine what Kate would say. Those words had hurt, forcing their way through his alcohol numb body to squeeze his heart. Imagine what Kate would say.