Mark had never taken drugs before, so he did not know how to behave. He decided to sit in the armchair and wait for the worst part to be over. He was afraid.
Somehow, in twelve hours he got from his well-lit apartment in Manhattan, a job, and a fiancee, to a dark little hotel in Maine. An ugly prostitute was moaning on the bed as a man in a dog mask was pleasuring her with his mouth. A pregnant girl was drinking whiskey in the corner. A broad-shouldered middle-aged man in a big leather coat was conducting an invisible orchestra to the music flowing from the speakers. And Mark was getting really paranoid about all this.
“This sin’t real,” he said. But nobody paid attention. He turned to the pregnant girl. “Marsha, what are we doing here? Marsha!”
She looked at him in disgust. “Shut up, Mark. You brought me here.”
“I brought you here,” Mark repeated mechanically, “I thought I was doing you a favor.”
“Oh yeah? I told you not to do it. I told you I do not need your help. I told you I was good where I was.”
Mark felt dizzy all of a sudden. He fell to the side, taking the chair with him, and crawled on the floor like a cockroach. He was trying to crawl out of his own drug-induced paranoia. The man in the coat turned around, angry. He got closer, stepped on Mark’s face. The sole of the shoe smelled like dog shit.
“You’re spoiling the mood,” the man growled. “Do you need to be punished for being a bad boy?”
“Please, Dave,” Mark started weeping, “You don’t need to do this.”
“Stop crying,” Marsha screamed across the room. Mark imagined the torture these people could inflict on him.
So he stopped crying. The seemed to put the man off, he left Mark alone and stepped away to conduct some more. Mark got up.
The dog-man was now cuddling with the prostitute, her weary eyes fixed on the ceiling. Marsha was pouring herself another glass. Mark picked up a lamp and raised it over the man’s head. He looked at Marsha for a glimpse just to meet her approving stare, and then brought the lamp down. The man collapsed. Mark had to decide what to do next. It took him only three seconds. He lifted the stereo from the shelf, and dropped it on the man’s face. The music stopped.
The dog man’s low humming could be heard. He was continuing the tune. The other man’s head, was a bloody mess. Mark looked at Marsha. “Your father won’t be hurting you anymore,” he said.
“Where are you gonna take me now?” she asked defiantly.
“Fuck you,” said Mark and walked out of the room, into the safety of the night.