23 May 2024

08 – Insomnia

I turn over once more in my bed. That fucking heat never stops, despite air conditioning. I’ve been trying to fall asleep for hours in vain.

It’s not the violence I’ve displayed during the day, not the smell of dried blood still present on my knuckles despite many cleanings and a long shower, not the screams of the man I tortured that haunt me.

No, it is much worse. What occupies my thoughts is him. This young man who stood up to me despite his position as a prisoner and his fateful future. What a jerk. Why did I accept his proposal ? I’ve always had a knack for getting myself into difficult situations. In the end, I always come out on top. But still. I’m not in the United States this time. Here, anything can happen. People have even less morals than I do, which seemed improbable to me a short time ago.

But I want to believe. I want to believe that helping this man will give me the thrill that my life is missing. It’s so bold of me that it’s exciting. Yet, God knows I’m already burning the candle at both ends in Atlanta. Whatever I want, I get. Money, women, drugs, alcohol… the world is mine.

Despite this, my life seems bleak. In fact, it’s boring as hell. I’ve always said yes to everything. So what ? What more have I got ? Money, parties, sex, I don’t enjoy them anymore. It’s not enough to entertain me anymore.

The regular scraping of the poorly adjusted fan drives me crazy. I don’t know if it’s this or the rest that keeps me awake. As the sweat beads on my temples, I think back to Ramiréz’s comment during the evening meal. As I was serving wine to his president, he approached me with a laugh.

— Amigo, I don’t know how you do it. Despite the heat, you always wear a crisp shirt. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you even roll up a sleeve.

The comment made everyone laugh. Except for me. Of course, I pretended to. I always do. Unconsciously, my fingers caress the torn skin of my forearms. Although the scars are swollen, it hasn’t been painful for years. Physically, at least. It’s a part of me – one more – that I don’t allow anyone to look at or touch. Damn. Fuck it.

I get up in a rush and head for the minibar. It has everything I was hoping for. Whisky, rum, vodka, beer. Enough to forget about the thoughts torturing me for a few hours, even if it’s to spend a shitty night.

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