• dr. tortoise

The 19th floor

Updated: Mar 2

The dirty matte couch enveloped me while I smoked a Japanese cigarette. A bottle of expensive whisky, that my friends friend left behind, almost completely full, rested on the table. She was on some Wolf Of Wall Street shit but a real estate version, apparently. We were on the 19th floor of some office-looking building where a karaoke booth hid in central Hong Kong, I think. I don’t remember I had been drinking too much, I guess, and living in a different time zone. I was here with my hostel that had turned into my foreign family. Our waiter let us know “no, the police won’t be stopping here tonight—they came last night… you can smoke here”, we laughed hysterically. I ran to the bathroom with a cigarette still lit in between my fingers. I was boozed up and amazed to have a ceiling above me. The smoke irritated the holes in my face hanging around with nowhere to go. I came back and realized the bottle seemed endless and hopelessly strong. The room blasted “smoke a lil weed on my couch in the backroom hideawayyy aye aye”. Nostalgia shivered down my back from years before; flashbacks of high school maybe. Tingling with happiness contrasted with sadness. Anyways, I fucking hate radio hits but it didn’t stop me from wailing and flinging my arms around with everyone else. The room was of a time you didn’t want to let go of. I was spinning… probably from last night’s hangover. We were leaving tomorrow morning, but it was a trade-off, I guess. looming over me like a rainy cloud, I ignored it. I had told myself I was done drinking. I pulled my phone out and the British guy I met sent “fancy finding some Ket with me tonight”. Or should I be mad he labeled me as a dealer “No, what the fuck, stop profiling me” I didn’t text back. We had to get up in a couple hours, pack our shit, and take public transportation to the airport. I slid my phone back into my pocket and asked my new best friend what I had missed. I hate goodbyes. Another member of the family rolls up after his date with a Hong Kongese woman he met the other day. We all met her. He didn’t want us to meet her, I guess, because he ignored us. He finds out we can smoke up here and is ecstatic. I light myself another regretfully because I had lost count. We chatted a little about where we were off to next; it was Singapore, San Francisco, and Home. The atmosphere was happily transient. Another modern classic and Im screaming out “fuck that… im screaming out fuck that… fuck that, fuck that, fuck that.” We jump around like its a concert with glass and furniture on the dancefloor. We sit back down, and I pour my heart out to my new friend on what I live for, why I came here, drunk rambles, probably. The early flight tomorrow was stuck in my head like a broken record. This week resembled the chaotic city streets riddled with footsteps, bright lights, and words I couldn’t read. Our hostel mate, a goofy con artist got us tickets to the gallery that saved us 350 HKD each. We didn’t sleep, we had siestas throughout the day. I glanced at my friend that came with me on the trip through the smoky air and I knew we were both thinking the same, “how the fuck did we get here?” Tomorrow well be on the other side of the world.


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