One And Lonely

“Manson! Manson!”
“What?” I flung open the door to my hotel room, towel around my waist, hair dripping, a scowl on my face.
“We need you to come quick. Something’s wrong with Twiggy.”
I pushed my wet hair out of my eyes. “Yeah, hold on,” I grumbled at John. I was in no hurry to come to the rescue. It was probably nothing, like it always was. My best friend had a way of constantly seeming to be in trouble when it was just small drug induced freak outs.
“Please,” John said softly, pleading with his eyes as I closed the door in his face.
I toweled off my hair, tugged on my leather pants, tossed on a t-shirt, and corralled up my boots. At least I hadn’t gone to bed yet. That was a plus over how this type of thing usually went.
Well, good old John hadn’t told me where to go, but I figured that Pogo’s room was as good of a place to look as anywhere else. I tromped down the hall, and banged on the door.
Ginger let me in. “Pogo, he’s here!”
I stalked past the drummer, and followed the sound of Pogo’s response. He was sitting on the bathroom floor, holding a bloody towel.
“I…I think it’s bad,” John told me, from his position on his knees, trying to sop up blood that was seeping into the cracks of the dirty white bathroom floor tiles.
“What happened?” I asked dumbly as Pogo moved to allow me into the small room.
“I don’t know,” Pogo said quietly, taking a fresh towel from Ginger and handing it to me. I kneeled down, using the towel to apply pressure to the gash in Twiggy’s head.
“We were watching a movie,” John said a bit uncomfortably. “He got up and went into the bathroom. We just thought he came in here to…you know…”
A smirk worked its way across my face. I couldn’t help myself.
“There was all of this noise. Like he was moving things around. I thought maybe he was gonna take a shower or something,” Pogo continued.
“The movie ended, and he was still in there, so I knocked to make sure that he was okay,” Ginger went on.
“And the door wasn’t locked. I opened the door, and I found him like this,” Pogo told me.
I lifted the bloody towel. My mother was a nurse, so I knew about cuts and stitches from her. The wound wasn’t all that deep, it was just bleeding a lot.
I watched his chest for a moment to make sure that he was breathing, and tested his wrist for a pulse. It was strong and steady. Gently, I opened his eye to make sure that he looked alright.
“He won’t wake up,” John slightly whimpered.
“He’s breathing,” I consoled the guitarist. “See? His chest is slightly rising and falling. He’s probably just unconscious from hitting his head on the tile.”
“Should I call an ambulance?” Ginger asked.
I shook my head. “He’ll be okay. There’s no sign of a brain injury. He’s just gonna have a bump. He won’t even need stitches.”
Ginger and Pogo cleared out, taking a still frightened John along with them.
“Twiggs? Hey, can you wake up for me?” I lightly tickled his side. I knew that he hated it, but if there was a chance that he was going to wake up now, that would do it.
His thin body slightly jerked at my touch.
“Twiggy, come on. Open your eyes.”
Very slowly, one dark eye opened to a squint.
With him conscious, I knew that it was okay to move him. I sat cross-legged on the floor, and lifted him a bit so that his head rested in my lap. I was still applying pressure to the gash, but it was hardly bleeding anymore.
I looked down at him. Both eyes were now open, but they were dark and clouded. Like he was on a bad trip. “What’d you do, dummy?”
He groaned softly. I imagined that the back of his head probably hurt quite a bit.
“Can you sit up on your own? I want to wash the blood out of your hair and put some wound cleanser on your injury.”
“Okay,” he said in a slightly breathy voice. It didn’t sound like him. His voice was always several octaves deeper.
I helped him to sit up, cleaning the floor up a little more. Luckily, he was already out of his boots and tights. That meant that I only had to negotiate getting his dress and maybe underwear off to put him in the shower. I unzipped the back of his dress. At least it wasn’t one of his favorites, because the bloodstains probably wouldn’t come out.
“My head hurts,” he whined.
“I’m sure it does. How did you fall?”
“I…don’t know. I was standing, and then, I wasn’t.”
“What were you doing?”
He looked at me with vacant eyes.
“Twiggy? What were you doing?”
“I…” he put his head down, like he was about to cower. This wasn’t typical behavior for him. He usually told me everything.
“Alright. You don’t have to tell me. Let’s just get you cleaned up. Put your arms up for me.”
I easily slid the dress from his thin frame, tossing it onto the top of the toilet tank. He wasn’t wearing underwear, so I backed him into the shower. I turned on the water, right over him, soaking him with ice cold streams.
He slightly hopped away, turning his back to me as he huddled against the wall.
“What’s with you, hm? You’re not usually shy with me.”
“Just go, okay? I’ll take a shower.”
I looked at his back. There was a little bit of dried blood. I dampened my hand, and washed it away. I felt him flinch at my touch. I knew that something was wrong. He was never afraid of me.
“Please leave,” he said in that high, breathy voice.
“Twiggy, do we need to talk? You’re acting weird. For you.”
“No. I just want to be alone, okay? I can take my own damn shower. I’m fine.”
“At least let me wash your hair for you. It’s so ratty that you’ll never get the blood out on your own.”
He turned only his face toward me. “Why won’t you just leave?”
“Alright, you. I’m out of patience. Come out of the corner and let me take care of you.”
“I’m not an invalid!”
I grabbed his shoulders, probably a bit too roughly, and pushed him under the warm water. I was getting a shower myself at this point, but I was too frustrated and concerned about my friend to worry about it. I took the shampoo, dumped a pile of it onto his head, and started working it into a lather.
Twiggy tried to curl into the wall, and it took all of my strength to hold him still and to try to wash his hair. I was probably getting soap in his eyes, but that was because he wouldn’t hold still.
“What is wrong with you? Did you take something? Your eyes looked okay when I checked them while you were unconscious, but you’re acting paranoid and afraid. Did Pogo give you drugs again? Something you’re having a bad reaction to?”
I knew my best friend well enough to know that he was lying. I shut the water off, and took the cleanest towel I could find to give him to dry off with.
“Okay, will you go now?”
“No. Dry off, and I’ll take you to bed. The thing is, I don’t have any clothes for you. We’ll have to put you in my shirt until we get back to the room.”
“I want my dress. Give it to me.”
“No. It’s all bloody. Don’t be stubborn.” I pulled on his arm hard enough that he spun around, and though he tried his best to keep me from seeing, I understood why he’d suddenly become modest.
Scars and bruises adorned his upper legs. Those had to be self inflicted, the way I had similar scars on my chest.
“Oh, Twiggs,” I said softly, disappointment radiating in my deep voice. I wasn’t disappointed in him, I was disappointed in myself for not knowing that this had been going on.
“I…I…” he quickly covered up with a towel, but he knew that I already knew.
He hung his head. “I feel so alone.”
“I don’t understand.”
He was drying off now, and I slipped my shirt off, putting it over his head.
“You’re not alone, okay? I’m always here for you.”
Slowly, he shook his head no. “You have a girlfriend. You don’t spend time with me like you used to. Ginger and John are so close, and Pogo has his hookers. I’m always alone.”
I didn’t want to, but I felt guilty. He was right. I’d begun spending so much time either with or thinking about Rose that I hadn’t realized that I’d started to shut him out.
“That’s what happened to me. How I got hurt, I mean. I was going to get this, and I tripped and fell.” He picked up a little razorblade, turning it over in his palm.
I took the blade from him, and pulled him into my arms. “Promise me that you won’t hurt yourself again.”
He looked up at me with dull eyes.
“I promise that I’ll spend more time with you. I’m not going to abandon Rose, but I’ll be a much better friend to you. Maybe there are some things that the three of us could do together.”
He smiled, and finally put his bony arms around me to return the hug.
♠ ♠ ♠
Friendship conquers all. <3