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Horace was my imaginary playmate when I was a kid. He was a six-foot tall, giant white rabbit, and he was standing right next to me! At first I could only make out his outline when my eyes crossed, then he started buying me drinks. The more I drank the clearer he became. The more out of focus everything else became the more in focus he became.
"It's okay buddy, have another." It was the same voice I heard this morning. "You've had a rough day." He said, sliding me another drink. The odd thing is; the more I drank the more sense he made. He made me feel good about myself
"It isn't your fault Cassie ran outta gas, she's a grown woman! She should've checked the gas gauge when she got in the car," he consoled me, "she should've got the extra can out of the garage, or woke you up, or something."
"Yeah!" I shouted so loud I startled myself.
"An you had nothing to do with Joan not picking her up, you were home sleep!"
"Yeah!" I shouted again like an atheist at a revival.
"If anybody's to blame then it's Cassie's own fault."
"How's that?" I asked with a hand on my face to keep it from falling into my drink.
"It's her own fault because she should've been nicer to Joan before now! Maybe then she would've given her a ride." It made sense to me, and that's all that mattered.
"If anything," Horace said, "she owes you an apology!" The good thing about Horace is he always sounds drunker than me, so I always think I'm the sober one.
"How ya' figure?"
"She shrunk all your clothes, didn't she?"
"Well, ..., you didn't shrink anything of hers, did you?"
"Hey, you're right!" That almost made enough sense to sober me up, almost.
" ..., besides, if she had been 'fatter' more of her clothes would've fit, ..., and maybe you could've worn something else besides those god-awful lime-green sweatpants with argyle sox!"
"Amen to that!" I took a swig of tequila and chased it with warm beer, letting my head slide back into my drunken slouch. My head hit the bar, almost spilling my drink that I somehow managed to save.
"..., and don't get me started on that sleazy bitch Julia!" Horace rubbed my back and petted me up. As I slipped into unconsciousness I could here Horace say, "Don't worry buddy, I'll take good care of you."
Horace lived up to his word, time-and-time again. He would see me home night-after-night, after all-nighters and weekend benders. He'd show me ways of getting drinks when I was broke to break up week-long dry spells. This particular morning I awoke to find my head was pounding.
"Good morning, buddy O'l pal." I grabbed my head as Horace's voice rang in my ears.
"Aargh!" Stumbling to the bathroom with my hands holding my head together i quoted My favorite Charles Schultz line. I was half way through my morning evacuation when I saw the note from Cassie. She left it in the one place I'd be sure to see it ..., on the toilet.
It read: Ed, I'm tired of your shit! I'm going to my mother's, and I'm taking the boys with me. Call me when you get your shit together and stop being such an A-Hole!
"Damn!" I said as my piss ran down my leg.
"Don't worry buddy", Horace said, consoling me, "we don't need her anyway. We don't need anybody. We can do just fine all by ourselves! We'll show her, we'll show them all!"