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Four Weddings and a Fuckwad

The last paragraph of my last blog was erased. I deleted it for a couple reasons. One, I thought it belonged to a new period of time. Two, it bothers me to think that Huck, the boy who hurt me, might allow his ego to feel any form of pleasure from this portion of my life. Though his association of me is not “strong” by his definition, I don’t want him to take credit for the darkness that came. Recently, however, a friend reminded me that I need to include the pain, all of it.

So, let me put those words back in to start off this blog: “For three days I lay on my bed, with my lips chapped, my stomach growling, and I barely moved. I was officially depressed.”

It pains me to think of how Huck will package this as “She was so in love with me . . . “ I have to be true to the blog and tell you my story, even if he inevitably pockets this and recycles it to his girlfriend or his friends as a tale of unrequited love. It is, in part. In total, this is a story of finding out to whom you belong.

There were times I tried to talk to my parents, but they would turn on the television in mid-sentence. My mother would grumble an acknowledgement before walking away or changing the channel. I was totally alienated.

On top of feeling small by them, I was beating myself up over the text messages and my behavior with Huck. I am not sure men know how much women blame themselves. Biologically, we are pre-dispositioned to take responsibility for any family unit, any intimate affair, any friendship or infidelity. It is part of our design. And when you pull away, things change, affection sours, we inevitably hate ourselves for letting it happen. It spins around and around, and no matter how many sandbags of logic you pile on the opposite end of the see saw, there is a feeling of failure.

You feel not good enough.

And that’s how I felt. Not good enough for my parents, not good enough for Abe (who broke off his proposal to move in with me and withdrew my invitation to join his family at his cousin’s wedding in April) and not good enough for Huck. There is plenty of argument here. From where I sit now, I don’t think any of these people are good enough for me. That doesn’t change the time and the place, laying on the bed, watching the sun rise and forcing myself out of bed only to use the toilet.

Already, I was wondering about the heroin houses I had heard about in Skamania County. It was appealing to wonder about going out with the angels. I could leave my dogs with my parents since they were all so happy together, and just fade out. You have these fleeting thoughts. It was just a thought. It was a plan. It was the only way I knew how to extinguish this feeling of being a totally hopeless fuck-up. The longer I was with my parents, the more it felt like kryptonite in my week old pajamas. Every drop of energy was leaving me and I was just there, left to review all the mistakes I made over and over. It was a personal hell.

Unfortunately, after Huck texted me that the “bond was dead”, I had three days off of work. Three days stuck with my parents. Three days of crippling depression until I could return to the Hotel and work, move, laugh, talk with anyone.

My friend Frank and I connected, though I can’t remember who initiated it. He was putting all his things in storage before giving up his lease and going back to New York for awhile. He still had a few of my things including this hideous dress one of the managers at Doggie Daycare bought for me and he wanted to know what to do with it. I called and left some rambling message about keeping my stuff and life sucks, blah blah blah.

He left a voicemail in return (it is really hard to get reception where I am) and he mentioned that it made a difference hearing my meandering voicemail as opposed to my typical text message. He said he loved hearing my voice.

Finally, we got through to one another for a real, actual phone call. He asked how I was doing, and I broke down in tears. I wept, “I hate them! I hate them! I hate living here! I hate being related to them! I just want to fucking disappear . . . “

He grew quiet and concerned, “Awww, I’m sorry,” he said.

Our second conversation, which was the next day, I told him about Huck. Walking the dogs, I had my phone hooked up to my ears and I rambled about everything, “I hate what I did and how I acted. I want to drop out of school. I don’t want to go back and see all those students whispering about how desperate I was. I can’t stand the idea of seeing him again.”

“No, no, no! Don’t do that. Come on! Don’t worry about it. This is just a blip on the screen. So you got your heart broken over the summer, big deal. It happens to the best of us. And you- you are this beautiful, amazing, funny, quirky, fascinating writer chick who . . . fucked France! I mean, COME ON, you fucked France, for Christ’s Sake!! Who else DOES that?” I laughed.


He continued, “And him? I mean, you are pining over a guy who has a horn tattooed on his knee. I mean, really, that is just bad.” I was sniffling and smiling, rubbing my nose with the bottom of my sweatshirt cuff like a little girl. “Thank you for making me laugh. This is the first time I have laughed in days,” I said.

“Totally unrelated, well not totally,” he said, “I was talking to my neighbor, she and her girlfriend broke up again. She had some extra zannies and said, ‘Xanax is a must for break-ups.”

I cackled, “God, even pot would help me through this better. Xanax would be divine. I am drinking so much, Frank, it’s bad. I have never drank this much before, but I don’t know what else to do. I have to numb this out. Of course, I know if I was in Los Angeles right now I would be doing tons of blow.” Frank was quiet, with a soft giggle. He would be the one to get it for me too. “I was thinking about just ending it all, you know? Maybe France was my high point and maybe this is it for me,” I said.

“Don’t think about suicide first thing in the morning, come on, it’s more of a night time thing.” I laughed again. “God, I am killing it with you this morning,” he said, like a comic who hit a roll with an audience.

We spoke some more, and later I told him I was thinking about jumping off a nearby bridge. “Can 140 ft. break my back before I drown? I have a bridge picked out, but I promised myself if I ever tried to kill myself again, I would have to go through with it.”

“ . . . 130-140 ft. should do it,” he said softly.

“Its called The Bridge of the Gods. I thought that might be a poetic way to go,” I said.


“Are we still in the joking phase of suicide, I hope? Come on, don’t kill yourself,” he said.

“Yeah . . . I probably won’t. Knowing my luck, my car will be fixed the day after I jump.”

***

I am going to take a moment to appeal to my audience here. The last thing I need to hear from anyone is that no guy is worth killing yourself over. It wasn’t about one guy. It was a conglomerate. In my mind my family and my intimates, collectively, had me feeling like a giant disappointment. One feeling that is intolerable is that of disappointing someone you care about. If you even know what 20 seconds of that feels like, imagine a month of it. Thirty days. It was crippling.

I would wake up and feel fine for the first two seconds of consciousness, then I remembered where I was and what just happened. I was sickened by it, laying there in bed, I was just sickened.

Also, none of this was Huck’s real responsibility. He knew me for a week. It wasn’t his job to know how deeply he hurt me, or how stressful or demeaning living with my parents would be. This darkness closing in on me was not his fault- it was mine.

***

That conversation with Frank carried me through until my next day of work. I was still miserable, but at least I was moving, folding napkins, bussing tables, filling water glasses. There were a couple moments I remember quite clearly in those first couple days.

I remember going inside the Employee Smoke Shack to suck down a few cigarettes by myself, while everyone gathered around the picnic table outside to chat. And I remember Terry, the woman in her late 50s with freckles and missing teeth. She was grouchy with me on a shift the week before. I was new, so I would fuck up every so often, and when it got busy, the other waitresses would be short with me. I sat in the dark corner, inside the Smoke Shack, bent over my cigarette thinking. That’s all I would do all the time. Think about what I did. Who I am. What will happen to me next month, or next year if I keep giving my heart away to men who lie to me, who make false promises, who . . . don’t really care as much as they say they do.


Terry saw me and she moved inside to sit next to me as I smoked. I smiled. She asked how I was, and we chatted a little. I told her I was heartbroken and “I should just try not to care so much.”

“Its hard to be a human and not care,” she said, melting her eyebrows. That made me feel better. It still does. Also, it meant a lot that she moved inside the smoking shack to sit next to me on a hot day, with no ventilation. She sat inside to be by me.

Inside the Hotel, I was doing a set with Martin. A “set” is when we put all the tables, chairs and silverware in place for an event the next shift, so the next crew has minimal prep work. Martin is the 58-yr-old guy who is a Banquet Service Nazi, strong phobia of food borne disease and has little to no tolerance for laziness on the job. I flirt with him just because its fun, he is the complete opposite of a womanizer, so every reaction is a by-product of total innocence and blunder. “You are bending down all the way for that ice,” he said.

“Just the way you like it, Martin,” I said. There is always a high pitched laugh and then he stumbles through a few words in an incomplete thought before walking away.

“Why do you keep looking at me like that?” he asked this particular afternoon.

“How am I looking at you?” I responded.

“Like you want to smash my face in,” he chuckled.

“Oh, I am just thinking about someone else,” I said.

“Good,” he laughed again, “I would hate it if that look was meant for me.”

“No, this stupid boy broke my heart.”

“I am sorry to hear that. What happened?”

“It’s my fault. I texted the shit out of it,” I said. That was always my response, and everyone always laughed at it- no matter how pale I was, or how serious, or how sad. Everyone thought the way I said it was hilarious. I guess it was.

Martin closed all the doors in the banquet room, “There is something I have to tell you,” he said.

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked.

“No, no, no,” he came to sit next to me. “I want you to know you have friends that care about you. I know this guy hurt you, and I am sorry, but you don’t need him. You don’t need any guy. You have people around you that really care. You can always talk to me if you need someone, ok?”

My eyes burned. Jesus, as I write about this I feel . . . just good. I looked up at him and said, “You don’t know how much that means to me. Thank you.”

“Well, its true,” he said, slapping his hand down on the table. He got up, “I can’t be your lover, for that you will have to go somewhere else,” high-pitched chuckling, “but I will always be your friend.”

The job, you see, did become my salvation. Martin’s words made me realize the people around me didn’t hate me. They actually kind of liked me.

That weekend after Huck and the 3-Day Emotional Coma, I stopped making jokes. The word “immature” pressed against the inside of my head hard. I thought about all the employers who didn’t appreciate my humor. I thought about how I acted like a kid all the time. I stopped smiling. I stopped wisecracking. I never laughed.


*

I was pissy and depressed, not to mention we had four weddings on this particular weekend. Walking into a room we set for a wedding reception, the tables were covered in hearts, and rose petals and glitter and girly, calligraphy bullshit. The teenage girl I was working with kept mooning over all of it, “Oh, this is so cute. This is how I want my wedding.”

“Stop,” I said, “Don’t waste your money.”

“So, when you say you had a lover, what does that mean exactly?” she asked. All the other co-workers must have gotten together to discuss this word, because it kept surfacing in conversations.

“That means it was someone who I wasn’t in a relationship with but was still intimate.”

“But lover, like . . . what is that?” she asked.

“What do you mean?”

“I just never heard that before. Lover,” she said again, slowly, fondling the rose petals on the tablecloth.

“Its just a word for someone I had sex with,” I said. “Ok, we have water glasses, champagne flutes, tables are set . . . I hate myself. Great. Next room.”

*

One wedding brunch ended with the groom introducing his wife to a guest with Alzheimer’s. Mind you, this couple was half doctor half entrepreneur- so this was no Disney film.

“This is my wife,” he said slowly, in a patronizing voice. Walking away with a dirty plate or two, I mumbled, “Congratulations, Fuckwads.”

*

As I hung the lemonade urn over the sink and washed it out, spilling soapy foam all over my uniform shirt, “Oh good, splash on me some more. Great. Thanks. Yup, spill more water all over me. I love that. Thank you,” I grumbled. I looked over my shoulder and saw Chad, the resident stoner, watching me, shaking his head and laughing. “You are hilarious,” he said.

*

We use carts to load up with plates, appetizers, glasses, whatever we need to move from room to room. When I was pushing my cart through the Back Hall, my depth perception failed me and I rammed into my manager. “Sorry!” I said. 10 feet later, I rammed into a wall. Everyone laughed and chuckled my name sweetly, even the teenage girls.  God, it felt so good.

Even when I wasn’t trying to be funny, somehow I was funny. I already set the tone with my flat sarcasm and my clumsy antics. I am glad. I needed to see the people around me, who were really around me, actually liked me. Not some boy 2,000 miles away. And not my parents, even further away somehow. They didn’t matter. They weren’t my judge of character. Only the people who really spent time with me, who shared a smoke with me at dusk, or worked with me to build a whole wedding out of table tops and linens, or ate leftovers with me in the closet or shared a cup of coffee with me before sunrise on the first shift, those are the people who saw me. Those are the people who know me.

And not just them, my friends. My real friends who, for some reason, I never really tried to talk to as long as I thought I had Huck.

***

Trent: “Write . . . then write . . . but still write.”

***

George: “We are all broken birds when it comes to love”

***

K: Suggesting that the two of you get married next semester and dropping you within a week after should tell you everything you need to know. You may have found somebody less stable than you!
😉

Me: Why did he have to go and hurt me?

K: Because he’s a dick.
Listen:
You are a very vibrant, exciting, smart and sexy gal. All you have to do is Be [StarFire] and things will turn out right.

StarFire

***

Me: I just felt bad about those messages. I sound insane.

Jerry: You sound like a girl 😉

Me: I don’t want to see him again. I want to drop out.

Jerry: FUCK THAT. Don’t you dare do that. If he goes back to the program and begins telling people about you and what you guys did, then he is a gigantic asshole and everyone will think less of him but don’t you dare think about dropping out. You need to build your self confidence.
Just move on, it’s done, focus on something to do for the next few weeks. Be a bit embarrassed, but not ashamed.

Me: and its not about wanting him
its about the rejection

Jerry: yeah, but that’s all you at this point
he’s already rejected you
and you keep revisiting it
every time you reach out, you relive the rejection
he doesn’t have to do anything else
you keep doing it do yourself
. . .
and you need to learn to have casual sex
which is what this was
fuck for the fun of it, and move on

Jerry’s last note there still turns my stomach a bit, but it was important I hear from the men in my life (even if half of them are gay).

In all of this, moving home, and my adventures in France and in writing school, starting a new job and living someplace completely new every 4 weeks . . I thought I would remember who I was, but I forgot. My mind had to go backwards, and I had to drag my fingers across those familiar stones.

It wasn’t my intimates who have been there for me, it has been my friends:

When, Murray (my 2nd cat) died. Abe left.
Em (my friend) stayed.

When my roommate hung himself and died. Alan (my boyfriend of 3 months) left.
Trent, Frank, Sascha and Taylor (my friends) stayed.

When I ran out of money and had to move somewhere, anywhere, Abe left again.
Frank, Jeph, Jerry, Lana, Sascha, Trent . . . all my friends, they all stayed.

Yeah, I have terrible taste in men, but I have great fucking taste in friends. Even now, and you will find out where I am now in the coming chapters, my counsel, my heart and my trust will now and forever belong only to my friends.

***
My Gmail buzzed with a new email. “Huck would like to start a ‘Words with Friends’ game with you” First word on the board: “Happy”

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Getting the Fuck Out of Sylmar

The Monday after my birthday weekend, I made plans to have dinner with my dear friend Jeph, who I don’t see often. There are several reasons; he doesn’t own a car, he lives on the opposite side of Los Angeles, and I work too God damn much.

I told Dora I couldn’t drive her home the morning of that shift, then reminded her on our dinner break and then again as I left.

In one of our exchanges she said, “But can you just wait for me for an hour?”

I said, “I already won’t get out there until after 10, if I wait it won’t be until after 11 and we will both be so exhausted.”

She said, “Then do it tomorrow night.”

I said, “No, he works every night til Friday. Its for my birthday, Dora.”

And in a nasally, high-pitched drawl, she said, “But its not your birthday anymore.”

I remembered something all of a sudden, being 12 years-old on the basketball team. Something happened and I was talking to my coach, I must have been doing the same thing because he shoved his hands over his ears and said, “Stop whining! I hate whining.”

I did. For good.  I should have said the same thing to Dora, but I am too God damn polite.

When I asked Baye to let her know I was leaving work, she turned to me with attitude, while still talking to Baye and said, “I know, I am taking the bus.”

I remembered what my therapist said, “She can get a ride by herself, she doesn’t need your help.”

So I said, “Ok” and left.

Then I heard her shout off the doggie playground, “She can’t wait for me like my mother and sister did when she didn’t have a car!!!!”

I stopped, then continued out the door.

I couldn’t wait. I need to think what is best for me and not run myself ragged for a little bitch who never gave me one cent towards gas, nor a “please” or “thank you.” I found my own rides when it wasn’t convenient for her.

I remember one time in particular she just told me flat out she was going out after work and couldn’t drive me home. I should offer her the same courtesy, but I was taught manners.

This seems petty in mentioning now, but its significant. Dora decided to give me the silent treatment for 10 days because I didn’t do what she wanted me to do, when she wanted me to.  Brat bullshit, yes, but my motivation to book work and get the FUCK out of her life was building like never before.

There was a slew of model auditions happening because the Long Beach Hair Show was coming up. What sucked was you had to drive down to Long Beach for the auditions, which can easily take over an hour each way in Los Angeles traffic.

The week before, I was turned down from a mass casting at Sebastian Bach in Woodland Hills, where I have always gotten my model gigs before. (Gigs = 2 jobs).

The first audition in Long Beach, I walked on in, sat down and an older gentleman approached us and said, “I am just going to ask the people to leave who I don’t think would work for our product.”

He started behind me, “You . . . you . .. thank you. And . . . (looking at me) you.”

I had just sat down, kind of looked around and said, “Ok.”

He faced me with a tight smile, I got up and walked all the way back to my car in heels wondering if it was my age, my hair, the fact that I have terrible posture . . . what.

The next audition was an hour later just around the corner, so I waited in my car.

This would be a good moment to bring up someone who caught my fancy. I worked audience the week before and I found one of the audience fluffers to be rather funny. His gimmicks were different and I thought, when I walked in, I caught his eye.

That show in particular was odd because the majority of the audience was from some kind of inner city Church rehab group, so everyone seemed to be at poverty level (missing teeth and all) while a few of the black folks exhibited extraordinary talent. Why don’t whites falling on hard times have great talent too? All we really have is John Cougar Mellencamp. The blues performances I heard were some of the best I have seen in person, in concert or anywhere for that matter.

The rest of us sat around whining about food.

Anyway, the fluffer/comedian we will call Max, was good. Great actually. He worked hard, had original jokes and was just on top of it all night. So I made a mental note and added him on Facebook.

When offering candy for little trivia games to keep the audience entertained while the set rearranged and took breaks, one older Hispanic woman volunteered, walked up to play, took the candy and walked away.

I have never seen that happen.

She sat down right next to me and I laughed my ass off.

She shrugged her shoulders, “Free candy is free candy.”

Later, when Max was offering another prize, she walked back down and just stood next to him, staring at him.

He said, “Uhhhh, this is awkward. Um.” He turned away from her. “Is this a David Lynch movie?”

On Facebook, we had a brief flirtation before making arrangements to go out on a date.

In the meantime, I had to go in and sell myself as a model. I have to get the hell out of Sylmar.

I smoked a bowl and then walked into the Hyatt.

This casting call was bigger.

They took my picture and gave me a badge, so when casting they could easily reference my availability, height and look.

After the Polaroid found my face and filled in color and shadow, I thought, “Damn it, I look stoned.”

I walked in and was immediately approached about how much leverage I would give them with my hair. I asked them to keep my length but was totally open to dye.

There were so many castings, I couldn’t keep track of what client paid how much. Some of the gigs paid up to $1,000 and others only $200.

I sat down, when a short, kinda buff dude with a 90s jett black hairdo and a gotee came in. I could tell already, he was getting his rocks off judging pretty girls. He didn’t like me, for whatever reason, but my height qualified me for the catwalk, so he pointed at me and said, “You are kinda tall, come over and stand with the others over here.”

I joined all the other tall models in the corner for catwalk consideration. My face crumpled, “Kinda tall? Um, I am taller than two thirds of the models here.” Maybe I was slouching- hard to do in heels, man, you slouch you tip over.

I stood there in heels for 2 hours, as every other model in that corner was given a call time and information. I stood there and read my book.

The dude, who I will call 1991, passed over me and started casting the shorter models for other slots.

I stood and I read.

A girl asked who got me the audition.

I said, “All Around Talent . . . of which I don’t have really.”

She offered a polite smile.

1991 flirted with some models, chatted with others, my ankles started burning and I began to feel dizzy. I realized I hadn’t eaten. Whether its subconscious or not, you don’t eat when working in the model world.

The last thing you want to feel is bloated, especially if I had to pass in a size 4. That said, I could feel the flush in my cheeks, similar to how I felt both times I collapsed last year.

I stood and I read.

The audition was at 6:30, which I thought would give me plenty of time to go up and meet Helen for a concert her brother bought her tickets for. It was now past 7:30 and I was concerned.

1991 came over and said, “We are now at eye level, that must be from standing in heels for an hour and a half. Go ahead and sit down.”

I did. 25 minutes later, I got a call time.

The guy assigning spots said, “What are you reading?”

I said, “James Baldwin?”

He shook his head.

I continued, “Gritty 60s New York literature.”

He politely smiled and returned to the complicated layouts in front of him.

Then I booked it out of the hotel and ran to my car, called Helen and told her I was going to be late.

I could tell I was causing her some degree of stress. She needed to go to bed early since she had a contortionist job in the morning. She kept apologizing that we had to cut out of the concert early but I said, “We are in our 30s, we need our beauty sleep. We can’t bounce out of bed like we used to, our face will fall. Its important, I understand.”

She said, “Its true. When I was younger it didn’t matter, but now it shows.”

She was feeling low, she is fresh of her second break-up in one year’s time. She liked him. Now, she was getting skinnier. As a survivor of anorexia, she has to stay on top of her weight. Her head hung down like a heavy blossom teetering on the end of a delicate stem.

I haven’t been feeling particularly entertaining lately, since there has been so much resentment tossed around from Alan and Dora. I was so focused on saving myself, that my wit was dulled. I just grabbed her arm and told her she was going to be ok. She collapsed on my shoulder and hugged me. People really do need people.

We got inside of the Exchange, which was a cool little club downtown, but everyone around us looked to be early to mid-twenties. They were dressed like sluts with their vodka sodas, laughing too hard, sticking their asses out too far, and just being obnoxious in general.

On the main floor, the kids were better behaved. Its just a different vibe. Though Helen was cast as a high school student last year because she looks so young, and I could pass for 26 most days, there was no reason to feel out of sorts- but we did. We were both tired and distracted. Neither of us wanted to drink. We were getting old.

The act came on and this adorable skinny boy came out to DJ. He was so passionate, it stole my attention and I thought, “Now, I want to have sex with him.” Last weekend I had sex with Abe, and wanted to have sex with Alan . . . now I wanted to have sex with this guy. I must have been ovulating.

We danced for a bit, looking up I saw a sea of cell phone camera screens and thought of Alan’s speech about the human experience now existing only through a lens. Then we left so Helen could get her beauty rest. We later found out we missed the main act entirely, that was the opening act Zedd. He was . . . ahmazing.

As she got out of my car to slip into her apartment building, I said, “Have a good day contorting.”

She said, “Story of my life.”

I said, “That’s a Helen-ism.”

The next night, I had a date with Max. Now, initially, he asked me out for pie- which I thought was sweet.

Then he FB pinged me, “I’m a super private person though ok?”

I wrote: “I see, so not FB posts tagging you, illustrations of our night together”

Max: “Ill explain later”

Me: “Do you have a girlfriend?

Silence.

Me: “ . . . grand.”

Max: “Exactly, lets get coffee and talk later. No pressure.”

Me: “eugh”

Me: “Can’t go out with you but we can chat over coffee. I am not that kind of girl, the side order. I prefer to be the entree.”

I really don’t understand what about me tips men off that I am dying to be their poor, under-privileged mistress. Why would I want to fuck someone and make them happy so they can provide for some other chick who doesn’t have three dogs? I deserve it all, you know? I do.

Max: “only in movies is timing perfect, and then, in most movies, timing is off as well. it’s just life”

Oh . . . he’s good. He has done this before.

I did my laundry and he texted me that he wanted to meet, so I figured there would be no harm if he met me at the laundromat.

There, I learned that Abe wasn’t going to see me that week, when he had asked so tenderly a few days before. He needed a day to “take care of [his] shit” and then he had a 3 day bachelor party in Vegas with his cousin. I was done. I rarely texted him and didn’t bother to call.

I did text Alan a picture I found on Facebook.

He texted back: “No this is the best picture ever.”

(That’s my ass) ( . . . not bad, huh?)

Max showed up and didn’t like the lighting in the laundromat. He didn’t feel like it was flattering, so we sat in his car. Yeah, people in Los Angeles are that neurotic.

So we sat there and spoke for a little while.

Turns out he is married.

Of course.

And then he pitched me the usual sob story about how he wanted to make it work but (fill in the blank). I have really heard it all. They are either a) insane – which seems to be a personal favorite among men b) selfish and cheating on them c) in an open relationship where we have to be discreet anyway or d) dumb.

Max selected d.

He kept saying, “Don’t get all Sisterhood on the Traveling Pants with it, like you have to feel bad for her. She’s fine. Don’t worry about her.”

I said, “I am not worried about her, I am worried about me. I don’t want to get involved and I won’t get what I want.”

He was getting touchy feely at this point, and kept reiterating that he would probably end the marriage, but he deserved a little bit of fun.

Can I take a moment to scream, “WHAT ABOUT WHAT I DESERVE!!!??”

WHAT ABOUT ME?

Guess what Married Man, FUCKING YOU ISN’T ANY KIND OF INCENTIVE FOR ME!

GET IT!?

Like, really let it sink in for a second. I don’t want to fuck you.

I don’t desire to have sex with some mildly bloated, aging, balding guy who only intends on sticking his dick on me while giving his wife flowers and children, not to mention all the emotional and financial support. Now, why would I say, “Oh, a home, a relationship . . . nahhhh, I just want dick.”

That is not me. That is not women. That’s men, and that’s why I am so often fucking disgusted with the dishonesty, the selfishness and the flat out disregard for everyone else not connected to their balls.

I have sex with single men because they have the capacity to love me. And even if they don’t long after orgasm, the possibility is there, and that, my friends, is worth everything.

He spoke about how this was all “new” to him. Bullshit.

And said he “never thought about anything like this before.” Bullshit.

I told him about my ex-husband, and my divorce and about the Prophet. I said, “Its hard no matter who you are in the scenario, its not a road I need to go down again.”

We spoke about drugs, not sure how we got on the topic.

He said, “Back in the 90s, in Los Angeles, coke was popular on the comic scene. Its not like it is now, where everyone acts like its taboo. A bunch of comics lived in this building and we all had our own stash. I remember I had just finished mine, and I was so congested, it was a bloody, snotty mess. I was having trouble breathing. Then, I went down to my buddy’s place and he was cutting his lines and offered me one. I will never forget it, my nostril just popped open. Like (then he used his hand to slowly open up as he made a sound similar to a car tire popping and slowly deflating). Its funny how close the body and mind are, my nose opened up for that line.”

I said, “So did you take the line?”

He said, “Hell yeah, I took it. I can’t do that anymore, the come down is too rough.”

I said, “That’s why there is xanax.”

He raised his eyebrow and said, “Maybe its worth another try.”

I leaned back now that his story was over, “No, its not.”

He said, “I wouldn’t know where to get it though.”

I was quiet.

He said, “You do.”

I said, “Yeah, but I am done with that.”

He stroked my face. I crumpled my brow and sat back.

I said, “I am not comfortable getting physical. I prefer getting to know someone first.”

He said, “We did get to know each other. I opened up about my marriage, you identified with some of what I am going through. We talked about drugs and your roommate.”

I said, “That was 30 minutes. I don’t know you.”

I then told him I was no longer comfortable hanging out in his car with him in a parking lot.

He asked, “Why not?”

I said, “I am just not comfortable with it.”

He said, “Can I buy you a drink?”

I said, “That’s exactly what I need right now.”

So we went to a place in North Hollywood called the Tiki No. And though everything was telling me to cut short the evening, I was curious.

We ordered some exotic drinks, the place itself was cool though there was some kind of hula hoop contest happening with the female patrons, and the men all crowded around and stared at their hips and asses like it was a gang bang.

I got a text, it was from Abe: “I want u”

I smiled. No response.

Meanwhile, Max crawled closer to me and asked me if I did leg modeling.

A man in a wheelchair rolled by.

I said, “No, but he does.”

He laughed.

Max, “Do you not believe in deodorant?”

I melted and shoved my nose as close to my armpit as possible, “Why!? Do I smell?”

He said, “Just a little like sweat.”

I said, “Oh, no I wear deodorant. Its just been a busy day.”

He said, “Well I didn’t know if you were into the crystal or some shit like that.”

I said, “Why, because I am a vegan? I must not believe in deodorant. Geez.”

Then he put my hand on his cock and said, “Say you are going to go fuck someone else. Say, ‘I am gonna fuck someone else, loser!”

I said, “I don’t want to say that.”

He said, “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt my feelings. Its just fantasy.”

I removed my hand and said, “I don’t want to say it.”

He really wasn’t hearing it: I as in ME DID NOT WANT TO DIRTY TALK TO A COMPLETE STRANGER WITH MY HAND ON HIS COCK.

Have I reached my all caps limit?

We closed out the tab and he drove me back to my car.

I thought he was funny, but there was really nothing in him for me. I know you all must be wondering, why I didn’t cut out early? Why did I stay there and endure his sleazy yet awkward advances? Really, all I can say was curiosity. It may not be a good excuse, but I like spending a little time with random people. It feels good for the soul, in this case, I felt dirty.

I said goodnight and drove home. At least my laundry was done.

The next day, I had another Long Beach model audition. I thought about not going, I already booked a gig with 1991 but it only paid $200. To do more would either require walking the catwalk or getting a major hairstyle change.

After taking a poll on Facebook, I decided it was better to get a complete hair change and cash in so I could just . . . get the fuck out of Sylmar.

I was late for the first audition, so I sat and waited at the second one with my Baldwin book. Girls collected, they all seemed to know each other and none of them knew me.

A short, gray haired English gentleman walked in, followed by two very young male assistants with large, square glasses.

He said, “Is this the casting?”

He walked down the aisle and a girl up front gave him the page her agent passed on to her.

He said, “No this is wrong. WRONG!”

She apologized and he said, “Its not your fault. Its your agent.”

Then he asked for someone else’s casting call, and a girl gave him her cell phone.

He walked off with it, conferred with his assistants and then made an announcement, “I don’t like wasting other people’s time and I loathe people that waste mine. Now, what this comes down to is two things, length and money, right? Nobody cares about dye, because dye can be easily restored. We care about length, yes?

Now, the catwalk models will be getting $800 if they don’t have an agent and the demo models $400, again with no agent. If you do have an agent, that trims it significantly. Demo is $333 and Catwalk is like the devil . . . $666. Now, the food they serve here is inedible, so in addition to your fee for the day, we will be offering you a $40 per diem to buy yourself some decent food. The food here is not something you would eat, its something you would poke.

Alright, I need everyone who is willing for a major change on this side of the room and everyone who isn’t up for a complete change on the other.”

I thought about it and went to the “not a complete change” side of the room. The reasoning was, if they spoke to me about it, I could find out how much of a change and for how much money.

He went through and immediately plucked a tall, skinny red head with pixie short hair and absolutely no waist line.

Then he spoke to two fresh faced brunettes and asked them about their limitations.

Then he pointed at me, “What about you?”

I put my hand to my chest, “Me?” My God, someone wants me.

He said, “Yes, you. What are you willing to do?”

I said, “I just want to keep some of my length if I can, but I am up for anything.”

He said, “Good, you go over there with them.”

I stood in the corner with a handful of other models.

One girl said, “I want her shoes. I want everyone’s shoes here. Well . . . not everyone’s.”

The girl next to her turned to me and said, “Not yours. Just kidding.”

Cunt.

I said, “I got these at Ross.”

I liked my shoes, and who the fuck cares? I mean, am I really going to believe that these girls could afford that much more than me? We were at the same audition.

The Englishman walked down and picked his catwalk girls, then asked us all to catwalk.

My heart started beating. I could feel the vein in my neck throb until it ached. I only catwalk when I am drunk and reenacting America’s Next Top Model for a small group of people.

Luckily, a friend found a video for me on how to catwalk the night before. A) Walk slowly and in a straight line, some models lift their knees high B) Keep your arms still by your side C) End with attitude

I did, and I kept staring at the Englishman and smiling because . . . gosh I liked him.

As soon as I finished and went to the corner, an Asian girl frantically nagged me, “How was I? Was I ok? Did it look alright?”

I didn’t see.

I said, “You were great.”

She said, “Really?”

I nodded. “Don’t worry about it.”

The Englishman stopped to speak to a model who brought her baby in. She apologized and said, “I am so sorry, my husband had a meeting at the same time and that never happens.”

He smiled and said, “Thats ok. I have two of my own.”

Blast. He was married.

The baby kept trying to shove Mommy’s cell phone down her revealing neckline.

Englishman, “Naughty naughty.”

Sex . . . appeal. Why can’t that married guy hit on me?

Oh right, cause he has class.

Long story short, the girl who “joked” about my shoes was excused. The Asian girl with the self conscious catwalk was excused. And I remained with about 10 other models.

He put his hands through my hair and said, “Looks like you already have some natural wave, can you take more?”

I said, “Totally can.” Maybe if I talk like a 25 year-old, I can pass for a 25 year-old.

I was thrust into the demo main stage group with three other girls, my hair would be done on stage.

The assistants told me that I would be hearing from them regarding prep on Sunday and the show on Monday.

Saturday came and went with no call time.

Sunday it was the morning, and there was still no call time.

Now, since I switched to Virgin Mobile, I get absolutely no reception in (fucking) Sylmar. So, when I walked my dogs, I tucked my phone into my bra in case I picked something up.

I did pick up a bunch of texts from Abe.

“Wanting!”

“Want U!!!”

“U Just U”

No call though.

So I emailed my agent who gave me a number, meanwhile, my touch screen stopped working.

I had one voicemail and no way to check it.

On GChat, my friend Jerry, tried to key into my voicemail a couple times, and found that it was from my agent. He had a number for me to call about my call time.

Jerry then called the client for me and left a message asking to give him the details so he could forward on to me.

THEN, Jerry (Hearts, by the way) told me to take apart my phone and put a hair dryer on it but with a cool dry.

I did. My phone still didn’t work.

Somehow, my body heat had ruined the touch screen.

I had to be patient and not freak out! So I took a shower and came back.

My phone still didn’t work. And there was no word about my call.

I tried again and put the hair dryer on cool.

This time it worked. I thanked Jerry and headed off to get my $12 pedicure in Pasadena. I have to look spectacular for this show.

Around 3:15pm, I finally got a call, “Can you be here by 4?”

I said, “I can try.” What I didn’t say was, but you bitches are gonna have to wait for my toes to dry.

To be continued . . .

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New Graves, Old Love and 711

The few days after Danny’s death were fairly horrific. There was Dora’s receding mental state and having to still go to work and cover both our shifts. There was also the fact that my unemployment benefits had fallen even further behind becoming almost 2 months late on any compensation. In addition to that, I had not received paperwork to even claim my benefits anymore.

I changed my address with the post office and unemployment, but nothing had come in 3 weeks.

I knew that we couldn’t afford the rent on our own, and frankly my first thought was Dora would move in with her family and I was going to have move ASAP.

I called unemployment for the sixth or seventh time and spoke to a new person who identified a new reason for the problem, as was standard at this point. I told them I was on the verge of being homeless, that I couldn’t survive like this and they were killing me.

Unemployment, “Your address is updated. You are approved for another cycle. Everything is in order. Check with your post office master.”

Me, “I did. He said I should check with you.”

Unemployment, “Well, I don’t know what to say- everything seems to be in order here.”

Me, “I need that money. You don’t understand. I am desperate here.”

Unemployment, “Everything is going to be ok.”

Me, “NO IT’S NOT!! YOU KEEP SAYING THAT BUT NO IT IS NOT GOING TO BE OK! My roommate killed himself, ok? I don’t know how we are going to make rent. Now STOP SAYING everything is going to be ok, when its not.”

Yeah, I pulled that card.

Unemployment, “Calm down, please.”

Me, “How can I calm down when you people keep saying the same thing over and over again. I mean, this would make anyone insane!!”

Unemployment, “Ok, hold on please.”

2 minutes pass . . .

Unemployment, “Ok, I spoke to my manager and we are going to make an exception this one time due to your circumstances. We are going to fax the paperwork to the nearest unemployment office. Can you be there in 30 minutes?”

Me, “YES! Thank you.”

I went there and waited an hour to fill out the paperwork correctly. The nice people behind the desk made sure everything was correct and faxed it back for me.

The woman from unemployment called me back and said, “Ok, we are processing this right now, you should get the next form immediately. Just keep sending them in and we will get you caught up.”

Me, “I can’t thank you enough.”

Unemployment, “No problem. Just take care of yourself, ok? Things will get better. God bless you.”

I came home and Dora was frantic, “Is Brad ok?”

Brad is my little terrier mix.

I said, “Yeah, of course. Why?”

She said, “I heard him screaming last night. I thought the coyotes got him or something.”

I said, “No, he was asleep with me last night. Everything is ok.”

Dora, “Was I dreaming?”

She was getting better since she started sleeping.

I still called Frank on occasion, he was my confidant, even though I hadn’t seen him in a few days.

I would call, cry and vent. He would respond with, “Yeah, you are beyond encouragement.”

He was done with me, I was no greater than a used kleenex.

Abe said he was going to come up Saturday.

I gave him the address to Doggie Daycare and waited for him.

I got a clean uniform shirt to put on at the end of my shift so I wouldn’t smell like BO, dogs and trifectant.

My shift ended, I stepped outside and looked around. No one. I texted him . . . no response.

My eyes filled with warmth.

The overnight kennel attendant came in and asked if I was ok.

I said, “My ex-boyfriend was supposed to come and see me tonight and he totally ditched me. I am totally worthless, they just want to fuck me and disappear.”

She said, “You aren’t worthless! Don’t say that! Who said that?”

I stifled my crying, wiped my tears and shook my head as if to shake off my own words.

The male kennel attendant just hung his head and drifted away. That’s what men do; they think they are giving you privacy, but they just make everything seem further away.

I drove home and was hoping I would see him on the road outside my apartment. There was no car.

I cried a little more, fed my dogs, loaded up my computer and then got a text that he was en route.

He was lost and needed directions, but refused to pull over, meet me or really listen to my directions.

As soon as I got in my car to go out there and find him on the canyon road, he pulled up. We hadn’t seen each other since before we broke up, so when we pulled up next to each other, both in our driver’s seats facing opposite directions, we smiled.

He said, “Hey, country woman!”

That voice . . . God, how I missed that voice. I was going to be mad at him but my face kept stretching into this dopey smile.

We got out of our respective cars and hugged each other. I remembered that sweatshirt. We had only been apart for 6 months, so everything was still deliciously familiar. The coarse material on the outside of his hoodie with the warm fleece on the inside. The smell of tobacco and Old Spice.

I said, “Hi. So, next time, could you call me and let me know where you are going and what time to expect you? Cause, I was waiting at Doggie Daycare, looked outside, saw you weren’t there and cried. Then I came home, looked to see if you were here, saw that you weren’t . . . and then cried again. “

He smiled and hung his head heavy over on one side, “Sorry. I know. I’m sorry. You know I am not very good with . . . communication.”

Me, “I know, but I want you to absorb the stress you put me through.”

He said, “Do you want to take the dogs for a walk?”

I agreed and off we went with my two pit bulls. My deaf one, Esther, was particularly excited to see him. In fact, I had never seen her so excited to see anyone. She was impossible to calm down.

Brad, was of course, weary and defensive but warmed up to him faster than most men. Maggie, my eldest, just doesn’t really give a fuck about anything anymore . .  . except food.

So we walked and talked. I hadn’t done blow in a week or so, but was talking a mile a minute. I told him everything about running out of money, moving in, Danny hanging himself, the coke, the dogs, the everything. It was hard to breathe and talk.

We walked deep into the canyon, stopped at a local dive bar and hung out in the parking lot smoking cigarettes.

I put my head on his shoulder and said, “Thank God you are here. Just thank God.”

He said softly, “Its good to see you. So . . . this guy you were seeing . . . who was he?”

I dismissively spit out, “Jaq’s ex. He was an asshole.”

He said, “Wait, which ex? The white trash guy?”

Me, “No . . . no, the one in Irvine.”

Him, “Wait, the assfucker?”

I said, “Yeah.”

Later I realized, he meant another assfucker. Jaq had an assortment.

He said, “Why would you date him?”

I said, “Because he told me everything I wanted to hear. And I believed him like an idiot.”

He said, “What does he do?”

I said, “He is in law school.”

Pause.

He said, “How old is he?”

I said, “30. Do you really want to know all of this?”

He said, “I don’t know. Yeah.”

I said, “Well, it doesn’t matter. He is a fuckhead.”

He said, “I wonder what my nickname was after we broke up.”

I said, “Probably something similar, if not also fuckhead.”

He laughed.

Then he said, “Hey . . . um, you are looking really skinny. It looks like you’ve lost a lot of weight.”

I manically said, “Well, yeah. I have been living off of El Pollo Loco bean and rice burritos and the peanut butter sandwiches at work.”

Abe said, “Wait . . . you have been eating bean and rice burritos . .. at El Pollo Loco . . . and peanut butter sandwiches . . . and . . . that’s it?”

I nodded.

He said, “Yeah, (softly) you look really skinny. Can I take you to 711 and get you something to eat?”

I agreed. We walked the dogs back, and Esther was still jumping all over the place after a 90 minute walk.

It was after midnight and we drove to the 711 for bananas, corn nuts and coffee. He bought two of everything. And we sat outside on the curb and talked some more.

I could feel myself leaning into him. I just wanted to touch him. Fall into someone’s arms. Go back in time to when I had my Pasadena place with all our extra time, early mornings, foggy windows, and Abe making tea in my kitchen .  . . before everything fell to shit.

Abe was trying very hard to make me comfortable. He set up the passenger side car seat for me so I could sit, eat and be warm as he sat on the curb outside.

I leaned in, hoping my arm would brush his knee.

He had his usual Abe-isms, “Sorry, I know you just said that, my short-term memory is really short.”

And . . . “What we need to invent is a levitating surface, just a floating plane.”

I said, “What for?”

He laughed, “For everything.”

I laughed. It was his turn to talk a mile a minute, about the guy who hired him to put together a website, stopped paying him and is now holding his computer hostage.

He complained about there being no respect for the value of his time or the hard work put into the project.

I said, “Welcome to the working world. That’s how the rest of us feel.”

He asked me to eat his banana and finish his coffee for him. I did.

It was hard concentrating on everything he was saying. He talks fast and about complicated things.

Many people will claim he is less intelligent than me, I assume because he makes random remarks and lives like a stoner. The truth is, he is highly intelligent but in a totally different way that anyone I have ever met.

He said, “You know I was thinking about the symbol for health  . . . the Caduceus. It’s that rod with wings on it and two serpents wrapped around it.”

I nodded my head.

He continued, “I was just thinking how similar that is to the cross, you know, Jesus’ cross. And before that, there was the Ankh. They are all the same basic symbol, one after another. I believe, they are all the same symbol.”

I smiled and nodded. He is right. And he will just say these things at random and throw my mind into a totally different universe of thought. That’s why I fell in love with him.

Albert Einstein said, ““Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

He had a lot to talk about; lots of thoughts he was carrying around with him that he had no one to share them with. My mind kept going back to Danny, to moving, to breaking up with Abe and now Alan. Everything happens so fast. I can barely keep my mind straight before the next thing happens.

We went back to my place and I invited him in.

I said, “You can give me a massage if you want.”

He smiled and climbed on the bed, “Alright.”

I just wanted to be touched, by someone nice.

He rubbed my back and I buried my head in my pillow.

He said, “Did Alan give you back rubs?”

I said, “Oh . . . my . . . God . . . do you really want to know the answers to all these questions?”

He offered a low chuckle and then said, “I guess not.”

I just kept saying, “Thank God you are here.”

His hands were warm and he smelled good. I could feel that tingle, like my body was coming back to life after all the circulation was cut off; the prickling tingle of blood returning to your limbs, breasts and body.

The sun was coming up now and he was laying down close to me. He kept kissing my hair and as he got closer to my mouth, I said, “Kissing me comes with the promise that you will return my text messages in a timely fashion.”

He laughed and said, “I know I am not the best with communication. I just don’t get the whole phone thing.”

I said, “I am not asking for an immediate response. Just something within a couple hours.”

He said, “I promise.”

His lips fell over my mouth, with the warmth, a curl and a tickle. My stomach felt that dull flicker along the inside of my skin. What is that?

I curled up into him. “Thank God you are here.”

Abe, “Awww. The sun is coming up. I have to go to my parents’ today.” Of course.

Me, “Ok.” I buried myself into his arm. I love that detergent he uses.

Abe, “Whose blanket is this?”

Me, “Its Alan’s.”

Abe, “Where is the one I gave you?”

I said, “In the dogs’ crate.”

Abe, “Great.”

Me, “Well, I hated you. I didn’t want to masturbate on YOUR blanket.”

Abe, “Well, Alan gave you a shitty blanket.”

We kind of dozed and floated for a while until he had to leave.

My mind was racing. I was just with Alan a couple weeks ago. I kept seeing him in my mind and feeling like nothing was synching up right. The smells and the thoughts were trying to fall in place, but I was moving to fast for them to land softly or in order.

***

A couple days later, we went to Danny’s funeral.

Dora was not invited since the family, in all their infinite wisdom, blamed her for his suicide and told her to stay away.

I woke up early and met Sasha and Taylor, both blonde, beautiful and tatted up managers at Doggie Daycare, and we took Dora to the funeral home.

When we tried to enter, we were blocked by a large man who was a friend of the family, and, apparently, an ex-cop.

I said, “This isn’t right. You are RUINING this poor girl.”

He said, “I know its not right, but its a private funeral and there is nothing we can do about it. Everyone is hurting right now.”

Dora was determined to see his body. She was weeping and whining, “Please!!! Please, I can’t go on with seeing him like he was. I need to see him in a different way so I can forget what it looked like.”

He said, “You don’t want to see him in that casket.”

She said, “Yesss!! Yes, I do.”

She is still very much a little girl. The way she talks and holds herself. Maybe that’s why we were so protective of her.

She said, “It wasn’t my fault. It was the drugs.”

The man said, “I know. Danny always had problems, since he was 14. Even then there were drugs and another girl.”

Sasha and I argued the case a little longer but there was no getting around this big mother fucker.

Friends of Dora and Danny passed through. Dora said, “That is Danny’s ex-girlfriend of 3 months who cheated on him. She gets to go in but I can’t?”

And, in passing to another girl, “Great, say goodbye to my boyfriend for me.”

Dora asked me to go inside and take a picture with her cell phone. I tried but was blocked at the entrance.

Now I was getting pissed.

The funeral hostess said, “None of you are allowed in. I am so sorry.”

I said, “I was his roommate.”

She said, “I am sorry.”

I was kind of relieved. I didn’t want to take a picture of a dead body with a cell phone. But WHO THE FUCK ARE THEY to think they can prevent me from MY closure. Jesus, how the fuck am I supposed to cope with leaving for a couple hours and finding out my roommate died while I was gone?  I just never heard of such a thing as blocking people from funerals.

I sincerely thought after everything was said and done, they would come to their senses.

They didn’t and we left.

Not before I spit on their Mercedes SUV.

Sasha doubled back to spit on their windshield, too.

Then we went home and went back to sleep. It rained.

***

The place had this web of despair over it. Neighbors didn’t come out. Otis, the little, old pug, kept escaping and running up the side of the hill.  He would sit down halfway up an old, wood staircase, shaking and waiting. I got so used to tracking him down, I would just head over to his spot and talk him down.

I said, “Hey Otis. Danny isn’t coming back.”

He has this Ewok underbite, and bulging eyes. With his skinny legs shaking, he just looked up at me as if to ask, “What the hell is going on?”

I shrugged my shoulders and picked him up. He surrendered all of his weight in my arms. I felt bad I had to take him back to our apartment, which was now cold and empty.

Dora would have a temper tantrum every once in a while, bouts of crying and then silence. Sometimes I heard furniture thrown around.

My poor fucking cat was stuck up there with her. All those animals.

Shit.

I got sick for a while, but kept working. And time went by.

Abe came to see us more often, showing up with bags of groceries; bread, dark chocolate, begging me to eat up.

My unemployment finally started showing up at the new address. I still can’t wrap my brain around why I got nothing for so long, and then after my intense sob story to unemployment, everything smoothed out . . . like my name is flagged for pity with this whole story in their database.

***

The next week, we went to visit Danny’s grave, just me and Dora.

There was no tombstone yet. Just a pile of flowers.

We had to scatter ourselves across a section of lawn until we found the plot number.

I asked if she wanted to be left alone. She said no.

So I laid down on my back, in my heart-shaped sunglasses, as another funeral started right next to us. That was awkward.

Dora played their song on her cell phone and knelt down next to the flowers.

She started talking to him.

“Hi Danny . . . I hope you found peace now and aren’t suffering anymore. We are doing ok.”

I rolled my eyes. I am pissed at that motherfucker for killing himself. AND for having such a shitty family. AND leaving me to clean up his mess when I barely knew him.

She kept going, “Otis misses you. He keeps running away and looking for you. I just don’t know how I am going to make it without you. Remember, we said we were going to do everything together. We were going to break out of this and have a life of our own. We were going to do everything. We were going to get married.”

She was crying. I didn’t touch her.

There were other things . . . I tried not to listen since it wasn’t my conversation.

She ended it with, “Me and (me, Starfire) need you to watch over us now, ok.”

I jumped in with a deep, “Yeah.”

She continued,  “So help us get through this.”

She whimpered a high pitched goodbye, grabbed a flower off his grave and we left to go to work.

That was the last of Danny I will ever see.

He was just one person, but he destroyed everything around him. The ricochet of misery he created just kept bleeding out. He is the one who got out easy.

I couldn’t help myself, I had to fall in love again.

I know this sounds pathetic, and its fairly obvious I have a problem with men. Rather, an addiction. But I needed something beautiful.

Now people can keep saying, work on yourself, work on yourself . . . but WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? HOW DO I DO THAT?

I got a therapist and I went back to work.

I took care of my dogs and I got sober.

There was something more I needed, just that little pink from a blossom to bring me hope that beauty could still be found somewhere around me.

I was living on a gravesite. God help me, I needed a man to warm my bed, to make me laugh, to make me feel like I had a chance.

I allowed Abe back in my life under the contingency that we do not have sex. He pushed it, but stopped when I broke down crying after an orgasm.

He asked why.

I said, “I am just feeling too vulnerable for this . . . I’m sorry. We have to stop.”

He did. He wiped the tears off my face and let me fall asleep in his arms.

Dora, alone, upstairs had to endure all of it. And for that, I am deeply sorry. Perhaps it was cruel of me, but as long as I was discreet I believed I could fill myself up with magic again and find the energy to keep taking care of her. Maybe that was naive.

When Abe and Dora were alone together, smoking outside, Dora said, “If you plan on disappearing again, let me know. She has been through a lot and doesn’t deserve to go through anything else.”

Abe quietly nodded and blew out smoke.

Later he told me about the exchange and admitted, “She is right.”

I nodded. If he disappeared on me again, I would cut him off without question, forever. But, for right now at least . . .

Abe was back.

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The Wake, My Men . . . and Losing Your Shit

The first few days after Danny died, Dora seemed ok. She was coherent, sober, collected . . . she just missed him. They were together for 2 full years prior to his suicide. He was her first adult relationship; the kind where you talk about raising a family together and wedding plans without worrying about divorce or paternity suits.

She decided Thursday would be the day to have his candlelight vigil at our home.

I was picking up all her shifts at Doggie Daycare. I was still in a bit of a daze, but totally focused on her. I knew if I were her, I would lose my shit. I also knew she was still in shock.

I asked my parents if I could stay in their home in Washington. They were on their third week touring Italy . . . again, but I just needed a destination to collect myself. One of our neighbors left town the night Danny hung himself, and another moved out completely.

My parents emailed me back there was no spare key and I would have to wait two more weeks before coming home. Then, they would be there for me.

Thursday morning, I called Alan. I was walking the dogs and started weeping into his voicemail.

I said, “Things are really bad here. I think about the last time things were ok and it was with you. Can you let me stay at your place . . . for a couple nights . . . please? I really need someone.”

Around this time, the nightmares started.  Dreams of rats eating through my walls, gun shots, blood, images and emotions that barely pieced together a narrative. I just woke up with my heart racing throughout the night. It was hell.

After work that night, I came home. Frank was there, loyal as always with a fresh baggie of cocaine for me. I may have asked for it, maybe not. I don’t remember now.

The sun set and I saw that Alan emailed me. I opened it:

“This is probably the last time you’ll hear from me for awhile.  I feel
like every time I respond it just prolongs the pain.

I am so sorry.  I am so terrible for ignoring you now, but I know that
there’s just nothing I can do but make things worse.  You can get
through this.  And you don’t need me like you think you do.

I can’t be there for you.  I really can’t.  I am barely holding my
life together and trying to hold yours together too will break me.
It’s selfish but it’s the truth.  Hate me and be disappointed if you
want.  I deserve it.  But it isn’t going to change things at all.

Some day we will both be able to hold our own, and then we can try to
be friends again.  But right now we’re two helpless people and it’s
just dangerous for us to try to be together.

You’ll be ok.”

 

Frank was sitting on a folding chair by my computer. I was standing up as I breezed through those words, and I collapsed crying for the first time.

Frank held me, like I was a doll with a heavy glass head and only cloth arms to break my fall.

I cried, hard.

I remember saying, “I want my mom.”

He tried to comfort me and I heard Dora through my door say, “Don’t cry, then I will cry.”

When I pulled myself together, one of Danny’s friends, who had smoked all his living brain cells away, showed up to make dull comments like, “I remember the last time I saw him was at that party. He said, ‘See ya next time, man.’ Next time . . . he was a good guy.”

The manager who lives at Doggie Daycare and the very dry, sarcastic Filipino woman who handles Human Resources both showed up together with a candle each.

Dora was inside, setting up food or on her phone.

The Manager asked, “Did you notice they were fighting a lot? I mean, was it that bad?”

I said, “They are 22, how bad could it be? What, the assets? The house payment? The kids? I mean . . . they are too young to have real problems.”

They nodded, processing. We were all processing.

They only stayed for a bit. When they left, Dora fell apart.

I heard her crying inside, and I walked into her dark, now bare bedroom. I sat next to her while she kicked and screamed and punched her pillows, “WHY!? WHY!? WHY DID I HAVE TO FIND HIM? TELL ME!!”

I put my hand on her back and let her scream it out.

I said, “That is the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Now its over. Now you know you can survive it.”

She kept throwing her body around like a rag doll. I held my phone in my hand.

I thought about being there, alone with Dora. The men left us, and now we had to deal with it on our own.

As Dora crushed her face into the linen, I texted Alan:

“Can’t be there for me. Well now I have to take care of 9 animals instead of my 4 and a grieving fucking girl who has no one. And take all her shifts. But I want to be the type of person that is there when it matters. I don’t ever want to be you.”

People will ask me what happened to him, and I will explain he couldn’t be there for me. Sometimes, someone will say, “Sometimes we can’t be there for other people.”

I would then say, “He said he loved me. He was a liar.”

I remember this moment really well, sitting there in the dark, with my hand on Dora’s back, keeping a straight face. It was a moment when I realized that I am who I want to be. It was a defining moment.

There was bullshit all year with friends and men and drugs and financial hardship … just bullshit.

This moment I was ok being alone. Just the fact that I had to stand alone proved something to myself, that I was strong and decent.

This part of the evening would be my high point, since I sipped off of Frank’s bottle of whiskey for the rest of the night.

I  would fetch Dora cigarettes and mumble something a few times. Frank kept asking, “What?”

I then snapped, “SHE NEEDS HER CIGARETTES!”

Frank, all things considered, was very patient. He was there for us, no matter the motives.

He always used to say he had some relationship with death, often he is invited to or present for grievances, mourning, ceremonies surrounding death.

When Dora stopped crying, I allowed myself to get sloppy.

I drunk texted Abe, my ex ex boyfriend, “I wish you were my boyfriend tonight.”

Abe texted back, “Ill come by if you’d like. I do have to work in the morning though.”

I wrote back, “Its far.” and then gave the address.

He wrote back, “Wow, if I leave now I could be there at 9.”

I went outside and asked that idiot friend of Danny’s to watch one of Dora’s elderly pugs, Otis. When I came back outside after comforting Dora and setting her up with a fresh cigarette, Otis was gone.

I freaked out a little, there are coyotes and bobcats very nearby. I complained loudly about how useless the kid was and eventually we found Otis sitting on a wood staircase at the end of the street. He was shaken up. He was the dog closest to Danny.

The moron didn’t even help us find him.

I went to cool down with my own cigarette on another staircase parallel to our apartment. I was saying, “I have to do fucking everything! Fucking useless!”

I texted Abe, “I can’t take this”

Him, “U can do it. Wish I could help tonight.”

Me, “Not coming? I was counting on you again.”

Yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy with my epiphany at Dora’s bedside and my disappointment of Abe not following through. Just because you find yourself, doesn’t mean you still want to be alone.

Him, “Its already evening. Id have to leave after hour. I have to go into down town early Friday.”

Me, “Forget it. Thanks for not being there again. Fuck, why did I ever call you?”

Him, “Jeez. U live like 70 miles into hills. Don’t find extra things to madden you please. I told U id like to see U on Saturday.”

Me, “Forget it! FORGET IT!!! I am stuck here taking care of this girl while everyone bails on her because I am the only one with balls to do the right thing.”

Him, “Ok. Chill. U r her roommate, coworker and friend, be nice and U shall feel better.”

Me, “Yeah thanks for the advice. I will take care of everything alone as usual.”

Him: “Good Job”

One after another, my co-workers from Doggie Daycare showed up. They brought candles, food and wine.

They brought me back to the doorstep where all our candles burned bright around Danny’s picture. When ever I think of his face, I think of this slightly overweight Hispanic kid with a lazy eye. He was so nice. I mean . . . even tempered, kind, just . ..  so nice. What the fuck?

The picture of him in a beanie hugging a bunch of dogs showcased in the center of all our candles.

I took my time lighting them as I explained to a few people the Dr. Drew show I just worked audience on. This woman said she was attracted to hard criminals, corresponded with them and invited them back to her home where she was raising two teenage daughters.

I said, “Then Dr. Drew asked her if she was attracted to Charles Manson, and she said, ‘Yes. I would probably date him.” I gave my dry head roll to those quietly listening to me.

Ocean stepped up the stairs and was suddenly standing over me, she looked down and smiled. She is so beautiful. I stopped talking, grabbed her pant leg and started crying into it. Her smile didn’t fade, she bent down and held me as I cried into her.

It was a relief. I don’t know why her, it just was her.

She walked inside, and Mississippi (the Southern kid we torture at Doggie Daycare) stepped in her place and wiped my face clean with the corner of his t-shirt.

I said, “I will never forget that you did that.”

He smiled.

The vigil went on, you know, what do people do?  I don’t remember. I floated from room to room.

We took 20 minutes to sit around and share memories about Danny.

Dora’s mom started.

My memory was, “I remember I couldn’t get my internet working the first few days I was here. I bought a device I needed installed and it was really early in the morning, like 8am. I came up in my pajamas and asked Danny to fix it right away. He said, ‘Can it wait til after work?’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry, I really can’t live with out internet, can you do it now?’ And he did. He laughed, he came down in his slippers and he fixed my internet. He was nice.”

Others had obscure stories too, about how he helped with a car, or how nice he was. He was so fucking kind, I didn’t see the darkness on him.

After we shared memories, I was faded.

I stumbled outside looking for Frank, and he was holding the bottle of whiskey and laughing heartily with the neighbor.  His laugh echoed in the hills.

I crawled into Dora’s bedroom and cried on the knees of a girl who no longer works at Doggie Daycare, but did at one time. I cried. She put her hand on the back of my head and said, “I know. Its a bad thing what happened.”

Dora walked in the room and I sloppily wiped my nose. I could tell my withering emotional state was disappointing her.

People left. Towards the end, I remember screaming at Mississippi that he was good looking.

I remember taking my plate of new coke up to the dining room and snorting it with Trent.

Then I remember throwing up into a trash can and all over Taylor.

Taylor kept saying, “We’re even, right? We’re even.” He was so embarrassed by his birthday party, and here I was, barely able to walk.

I somehow ended up outside the front door step, Trent and Taylor sitting with me as I cried.

Trent said, “You can’t do this alone. You already have too much going on with yourself you need to take care of. This is going to tear you apart. You have to take care of yourself!”

I felt my head and body start vibrating. My teeth were chattering like I was a child fresh out of a bubble bath. I could feel my whole body start convulsing.

Taylor was saying, “Calm down. You aren’t alone.”

And I said, “I am alone. I have to take care of her. I have to!”

Trent tried to calm me down, “No!”

He was getting emotional. My twin flame. Shit. No matter what happens, I will always remember Trent in that moment, being there the best way a human being can be there.

Sasha came out, “We have to get her to bed. WHERE IS FRANK?”

Trent said, “He is on her bed.”

Sasha stomped down into my apartment and flung open the door. Taylor and Trent escorted me into my room. Frank was passed out on my bed, pot belly hanging out with an empty whiskey bottle nearby.

Sasha said, “Come on! Time to go! (My name) needs her bed! UP! LET’S GO!”

Frank opened his eyes, “Whaaaa?”

He was high on Xanax.

He got up and I laid down on my bed, rolled up in some kind of fetal position. I mean, I am a tall, grown woman .  . . but I felt like I was disappearing.

My light was on and I saw Sasha and Trent standing at my door telling Frank to leave. Frank was resisting.

Trent said, “You just keep feeding her drugs so you can fuck her. That’s the only reason you’re here. Just go home!”

I was high, and my resentment towards Frank hadn’t quite taken root yet, but I remember feeling so happy someone stood up for me, even though I should have stood up for myself a long time ago.

What I was told later remain two different stories:

Frank claims that he woke up in a daze, that he was accused of trying to feed me drugs, he calmly exited my residence and offered a handshake out by their cars. Sasha barked, “Don’t shake his hand!” And everyone walked away leaving poor Frank to drive home drunk.

Sasha and Trent claim that Frank was belligerent and resisted leaving the residence, spitting as he spoke. Sasha asked him not to spit on her. Frank then took a finger full of coke and snorted it- this was the last I ever saw of that coke (which I am eternally grateful for). There was no handshake. There was just a chubby, rude drunk bitter that he was pushed off a bed and thrown into the cold night to fend for himself.

I slipped off into darkness, maybe Danny would be there.

The next morning, I woke up to Dora screaming.

I walked outside and saw her pop her head out of the hallway window and yell down to me, “STOP! STOP FIGHTING WITH MY MOM! It took me years to get things back to where we were, don’t you understand??”

I said, “What? What are you talking about?” Good Morning.

Dora said, “You are down there in the canyon fighting with my mother, stop!”

I thought, “Did I fight with her mom at all? Fuck, what did I say last night?”

I said, “Last night?”

Dora said, “No, this morning.”

I said, “Hey babe, I just woke up. I don’t know what you are talking about.”

She said, “Where is Frank?”

I said, “Frank!? He went home last night.”

She said, “He isn’t on top of that mountain, screaming at me.”

I looked up at the mountain across from our apartment. No. No one was there.

I said, “Hold on!”

I put on a sweatshirt and walked into her unit.

I said, “What is going on?”

She said, “I swear I just ran all the way up from the canyon where you were fighting with my mom.”

I widened my eyes. My hair wasn’t brushed.

I said, “What canyon?”

She said, “Kagel canyon. WHAT is going on?”

Dora ran out of her apartment and stood in front of the mountain.

She said, “Frank was just there. There he is! He is in your car with my Mom, see!!”

I looked in my car. It was empty.

I said, “Dora, no one is in my car. What the fuck? You need to sleep. You are hallucinating.”

Dora threw her hands up and down then huffed. She said, “You swear you didn’t fight with my mom?”

I said, “Dora, I woke up to you yelling at me. I have no idea what is going on. Why don’t I call your mom?”

She walked away back into her unit.

Now this was new and fun, a psychotic break. GRAND!

I didn’t know what to do, so I texted Frank.

I checked my phone and saw he texted me:

3:51am

“I am home safe now. It should go without saying that I touched nothing that belonged to you, nothing. I crawled into the bed in which you’ve made me feel so at home many nights. And the funny truth is, with whatever just happened, more even than holding u on a night where I think u needed it, I’ll miss most of all waking up tomorrow morning and taking Maggie (my dog) and the gang for a walk in the park, and talking and laughing with you in the quiet morning hours in the countryside. Its important to have your friends watch your back, but they were way off base tonight. I was fast asleep and have truly no idea why they decided I should go. But I know you love them. I will not interfere with that. There are good hearts in this world, (My Name). They’re closer than u think. I promise. Many hugs and kisses-”

YADA YADA YADA:

I texted back, “Frank, Dora is hallucinating and I don’t know what to do.”

I think I called him and he showed up, only after Dora’s mother came over. As her mother climbed the steps, I said, “She needs to see a therapist immediately.”

Her mother said, “I can’t make her do anything she doesn’t want to do. (beat) Its not healthy to have people around encouraging her to dwell on this.”

DWELL ON IT!? He killed himself 2 days ago. And why am I the last person she sees before going to bed and the first person she sees in the morning? Family should either be spending the night or taking her home with them.

I was sure once she spoke to Dora, she would change her mind.

Nothing changed.

Dora stayed there and argued with her mother.

I think Frank showed up anyway, and wanted to push the martyr routine about the night before. He could have died drunk driving, blah blah blah.

I responded and will always respond, “Its hard to feel sorry for anyone but Dora right now.”

Frank was there though. His presence was a weird comfort, though it served no functional purpose.

I confided in him, “I had a dream last night Abe killed himself.”

Frank said, “Ugh, that’s awful.”

I said, “Yeah, why couldn’t it have been Alan- it wouldn’t have been a nightmare.”

Frank said, “People were acting like it was a party last night, when they should have recognized it was a wake.”

Silence.

Frank was the one acting like it was a party, laughing heartily, chugging whiskey and making himself at home. It was those friends at Doggie Daycare that were there by our side, holding our hands and letting us collapse on their shoulders. He was asleep on my bed, waiting for the mourners to leave, and waiting for me to be alone again.

He helped me grab cigarettes and made some comment that Dora remembered, “I don’t want to buy you cigarettes. I want to help you, not kill you.” Ironic, seeing as he was feeding me cocaine and xanax in the hopes of fucking me. He knew it, I knew it and Dora knew it.

There was a distance there now, he still feels I need to apologize for siding with my Doggie Daycare friends and I think he needs to shove it up his ass.

I was hoping to reconnect with someone I already had an intimate relationship with. Someone who knew me. Frank was an easy choice because he is unemployed and readily available to be there- but he wasn’t the right choice spiritually or emotionally.

I texted Abe, “I dreamt all night that you killed yourself. I feel like I have been crying for days. You are alive. Thank God.”

Then I texted, “Abe, can you come to me tonight?”

He wrote back, “Don’t dream about me dead! Come on.”

I wrote, “Now she is hallucinating. I love you Abe, I always loved you.”

Him: “R u trying to play with my emotions? Being emotional inhibits rational thought.”

Me: “You always were romantic. I don’t play with emotions. I am here when someone I lived with died. It makes your mind spin.”

I went to work, and for three days, came home to Dora hallucinating. I was convinced her sleeplessness was causing hallucination.

She would ask me what was real and what wasn’t, and I would tell her. I also told her she needed help and that all of this was beyond my ability.

Dora would say, “Its ok! You don’t have to deal with it. I am fine!”

You don’t rationalize with an irrational person. So I stayed there. I listened to her footsteps over head when I laid in bed. I would go to the bathroom and always check to see if her bedroom door was open, if I could hear sheets rustling, if she was eating . . . if she was still alive.

The neighbor asked if I knew if she was “partying”.  I said, “I don’t think so.”  He said, “When you aren’t here, she is roaming the streets, talking to people who aren’t there.”

On the third day, I woke up to fire engine lights outside my window.

Already, between the coke, the birth control, the smoking and the stress, I was having chest pains over my left breast and in my left arm.

When I woke up from my nap to red lights and that constant, loud hum of the fire engine- my heart stopped. I choked. I got up and ran out to her, I was sure she killed herself.

I asked the police officer standing at her door if she is alright. He said, “Yeah, she just needs some help.”

I said, “Who called?”

He shrugged his shoulders, “They don’t tell us.”

I asked to speak with her, he nodded and I snuck in. I saw her sitting at the kitchen table, tapping her foot on the floor. She refused to look at me.

I got on my knees, put my hand on her leg and said, “Are you ok?”

She pulled away and said, “I hope you are happy.”

I said, “I didn’t call them, but I am glad someone did.”

She turned her whole body away from me and said, “You didn’t call them, so who did? Whatever, just leave me alone.”

So I did. I smoked more cigarettes. I couldn’t catch my breathe, I just kept smoking and breathing and trying to slow down my heart rate.

I am well aware smoking cigarettes doesn’t slow down your heart rate, but it controlled my breathing and I didn’t know what to do.

I eventually made it to work again. Everyone was so understanding there. I was an hour and a half late, but no one cared. They all worked by my side in silence.

Dora texted: “I am not even getting admitted just getting prescription meds.”

I wrote: “Ok good. And someone is talking to you about counseling?”

She wrote, “You’re amazing. I am so sorry you had to go through everything u went through. I seriously love you.”

I wrote back: “I am trying to do everything right.”

When I came home that night, a handwritten sign was on Dora’s door that said, “I am sleeping.”

That made me happy.

I went to the bathroom, went back downstairs, and cuddled with my dogs alone. My family wasn’t there and there really was no one else I am so close to they could help bring my head back.

Except for Abe.

Abe texted me: “Ok. Saturday.”


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Blood on My Walls

I was hiking with my new roommate Dora one morning after hearing that I had to vacate my new residence because a neighbor said my dogs were “threatening.”

I said, “I will have to save up, give up acting totally and focus on saving myself, and my animals.”

Dora said, “You can always come back to acting.”

I said, “Yeah, Hollywood loves old actresses.”

There are some exceptions. Melissa Leo, who people say waited tables to the bitter end until her break-through role in 21 Grams and her Oscar nod in Frozen River.

Later, Dora and Danny decided that if they cashed in Danny’s trust fund and bought a house now, I could take over the lease with someone who had no dogs. Frank came to mind.

I told them, “Don’t rush into buying a house. That’s a big decision.”

Dora said, “I know. We have been fighting.”

I didn’t mind the idea though, and told Frank about it. He has been surviving off of his poker wins and would pay a lot less in rent.

Frank said, “I will think about. I will think about it seriously because I really love that space. Though, know, if I move out to the middle of nowhere, you will become my entire world.”

Sylmar is kind of the middle of nowhere. I scratched Frank off the list.

The weekend after my last-blogged-about-week-in-hell, I went to a Doggie Daycare Birthday/Early Halloween party. Danny and Dora carpooled in with me.

I took several lines of the cocaine and dressed up as one of my favorite dogs at work, Atticus. He is a one-eyed doberman puppy whose tail moves independent of the rest of his body.

I got fluffy ears and a tail for $14 from Halloween Town, an eye patch for another buck with a piece of red paper taped in the center as my dead eye ball and hit the floor as soon as the door opened at the party.  I came in on hands and knees, ran between people’s legs and slapped the Great Dane at the party in the face. That’s what Atticus does.

I also stuck my ass in his face so we could formally introduce ourselves. Yeah, I was off my rocker.

In the first 2 minutes, I fell on my fingers wrong. The amount of cocaine in my body prevented me from feeling any pain, but my brain knew that I had done some damage.

I picked up a bottle of vodka and nursed that sucker all night.

Usually, I have a very low tolerance for alcohol, but being high on coke for so long had my brain acclimated to any high. I wasn’t registering a thing any more.

A girl who I used to work with was there. She was dressed in thigh highs, a corset and some Old West Theater Make-Up.

I said, “You look gorgeous.”

She said, “Thanks, but I look like a whore.”

I said, “Nahhh, you look way too healthy to be a whore.”

She said, “I knew you were coming as Atticus, but I didn’t know how you pull it off. You did, though.”

Its all in the performance.

I said, “Thanks.”

Sasha (my manager) was dirty dancing with Ocean in the kitchen, and I would clumsily join in every once in a while. Jose, my young co-worker, was trying to feed me drinks even though he and I had it out on the large dog playground earlier.

Jose refuses to listen to any white girl at work. He won’t even acknowledge that you are talking to him. He also happens to be a dumb shit 19-yr-old with the handwriting of a 6 yr-old and doesn’t know how to spell the word “romping”.

I had to call the manager on the playground to talk to him. He was putting pit bulls on a lot of time outs, obviously he is afraid of them. After I let them out around 10-15 minutes, he would pull them out of my hand, LITERALLY, and send them back in.

The manager came and spoke to him about listening and working with the other attendant. That was followed with a tense silence, and now, a few hours later, he was feeding me alcohol. I knew the night had gone too far when he held my head in his hands and said, “Kiss me out of respect.”

I said, “No.”

He held my head straight so my mouth was facing his.

He said, “Out of respect, you have to do it.”

I said, “NO! Kiss Taylor out of respect.” (Our 27-yr-old, heterosexual male manager)

He said, “No, cause I am a man.”

I said, “Whatever.” Shaking out of his embrace.

I remember inviting Frank over to the party. He mostly stayed outside to smoke cigars and interview people he only knew through my blog. I love LOVE when people introduce themselves through the character names in this blog, as opposed to their real name. I kind of feel like God.

Upstairs, Sasha and Camille (my little brown lesbian) were upstairs on the couch. I gave Sasha a raspberry on the vagina, over her pants.

Urban Dictionary:

raspberry
when you blow directly on someone’s bare skin resulting in a tickling sensation for the other person and makes a ‘farting’ sound, usually done on ones stomach

She said, “Whoa! That’s what a dude would do. That’s not what a chick would do.”

I said, “You didn’t like that?”

She said, “No. NO.”

I said, “Teach me. I want to know how.”

She said, “I find it hard to believe YOU have never gone down on a woman before.”

I said, “I haven’t.”

She said, “How is that possible?”

I said, “I have made out with women before but never gone near a vagina. Tell me how.”

She said, “I can’t tell you how. You have got to want it. You have got to want THESE.” (She grabbed her breasts)

I said, “One more chance.”

Music was playing and everyone was outside smoking. It was just me, Camille and Sasha.

So, I applied all my knowledge of the stripper Frank bought me on X, and the free class of Pole Dancing I took with Ocean and general experience with erogenous zones- I gave Sasha a lap dance.

The tease of almost kissing, the trailing fingers, the hair . . . I knew I did well, because she stopped talking.

I abruptly got up and gave Camille a lap dance, too.

When I finished, I got up.

I said, “So, how’d I do?”

Sasha said, “Well, you can’t be a TEASE either.”

I said, “Jesus, I just can’t win.”

As predicted, I got carried away with the party and let Danny and Dora go home without me. I stayed and drank more until quickly things deteriorated.

A love triangle slowly burned down in front of me and a few of the remaining guests. Two of my friends were left heart broken on dirty steps in Hollywood, as Sasha drove away, before stating to me, “If you ever want to try going down on a girl, call me.”

Jude, our ex-manager from Doggie Daycare, was there and talked down the birthday boy after some sort of sexual/amorous confrontation and its inevitable rejection. It was truly exquisite the way he handled it.

Jude, “You are just going to have to count this as a loss. Now get it together and move on.”

Jude is the perfect man. He looks like a Utah Mormon, is great with dogs, never condescending or frustrated as your boss, and unfortunately, in a very happy homosexual relationship for the last 9 years.

Jude had more finesse than me. I turned to the Birthday Boy and said, “Next time you profess your love, take out the vampire eyes and teeth first.”

Jose, even less finesse, “You live . . . and then you die.”

The Birthday Boy, “Jose, if you don’t shut the fuck up, I am going to punch you in the face.”

Jose, “Don’t hate man, I have been around.”

Frank took me home, as Jose reached in for my head again, preaching about some kiss we needed to have out of respect.

This part of my life is a bit fuzzy. I know I hadn’t slept with Frank, but with all the times he took me home and gave me a back massage, I am uncertain what we talked about or what happened.

One thing Frank often said was, “How is your supply?”

He did care about me in a way, but even if it took killing me through intravenous cocaine, he was determined to have my body. If he really cared, and I look back on this with resentment, he would wouldn’t have been so careless with my health.

I said, “Was that party worth it?”

He said, “You crawling around on hands and knees with fuzzy ears and a tail on, dry humping girls. Yeah, it was worth it.”

Then, the day crawled up to my doorstep.

The night before, my Cowboy Whore, Joel, took me out to dinner. We had a nice chat about my relationships and we smoked a little ganja. It was friendly.

Shortly after he left, Dora knocked hard on my door.

I opened it. There she was, in her uniform from work, bewildered.

Dora, “He’s gone. He took everything and left.”

I said, “What?”

Dora said, “Danny broke up with me.”

I kept cool. They are both kids in their early twenties. This is what we do, when fighting for our own identities, we push the people closest to us away. When you get older, the fighting just wears you down, and you realize very little is worth warfare.

I went upstairs to their apartment. It was stripped clean. He took the TV, the desk and computer, his bike, I mean . . . it was empty.

I told her to calm down and have a seat.

She was out of breath.

I said, “What happened?”

She said, “He just showed up and took everything. I don’t know. I don’t know what happened. He said it would never work between us, we will always fight, and he left.”

It was odd behavior from Danny. Even though I only socialized with Danny on  occasion, he was always kind and seemingly level headed. He hung out, watch Arrested Development, laughed at my jokes, showed me how to use the coffee press and helped me with my internet. He was a nice guy.

I said, “He loves you, he will come back.”

And he did, almost immediately.

He was there at the front door, charged in and demanded his pugs. Roxanne and Otis are their elderly pugs and they were lounging in the bedroom.

Danny, “Give me my pugs. They are mine.”

Dora, “GO! JUST GO! Do you want to see my face? DO YOU!? JUST LEAVE!”

He pushed his way into the bedroom. Dora pushed back and asked me to call the cops.

I was going to stay out of it, obviously, I couldn’t anymore.

I grabbed Danny’s arm and said, “Calm down. You two just need to talk this out. You love each other.”

Danny retreated to the front door as Dora screamed, “GO ON, GET OUT OF HERE!”

I said, “Why are you pushing him out when you want him in?”

Danny said, “She always does this.” He threw up his hands and left.

I talked Dora down a little afterward. I knew where she was, when I was her age, I would have been drunk and carving lines into my forearm with a kitchen knife. When you are young, you are cursed with the feeling that the things you love are all or nothing.

For better or worse, when you get older, you realize the people and things you love change. You change. Love will cruelly decide for you what lives and what dies.

You can tell someone that the feelings will pass and there will be a new day ahead of them. Until you witness that yourself and survive all those tragic moments, getting on your feet faster and faster after you are knocked over,  you really can’t tell someone how much is ahead of them. They won’t believe you.

Dora drank wine, and went to bed with tears and mascara on her face . . . but she was relatively ok.

The irony here is why would I be contemplating suicide if I am so aware of the temperance of problems? My problems are reoccurring, not the people, not the jobs, all of those change. In the end, I have supremely bad luck and knowing what is in store for my future doesn’t fill me with the brightest optimism.

I feel cursed.

The next day, I was rescuing a dog from San Bernadino and transporting her to San Fernando. Those rescues pay me for my time and gas- it pretty much is the dream job if it was consistent.

That morning, Danny was here. I walked up and smiled. I knew he would come back.

I ushered myself quickly into the bathroom, covering my face and said, “I am not here. Ignore me.” Then I took off.

When I came back, two and a half hours later, the police and fire department filled up the entire back of our road. I had to park down the street and walk up to our apartment.

I was singing Prince. I remember this because I thought, “Damn it, I was just in a good mood again? Now the cops are at my place.”

I walked up the stone steps and saw Dora crying. She had another blond girl to one side and her mother on the other.

I said,  “What’s going on?”

She said, “Danny hung himself in the bathroom.”

Me, “WHAT!?”

Her mother nodded and rocked her back and forth. Dora’s Mother said, “They are trying to resuscitate him but its not looking good.”

At this point, I couldn’t catch my breath. It wasn’t a full on hyperventilation but I just couldn’t breathe.

I started heaving a little and Dora’s Mom said, “Oh God, don’t get her steamed up again. Go over there.”

I went over to my little courtyard table and lit a cigarette. I think that’s what I did. I just remember not being able to catch up to this.

I thought for sure he would live. I mean, how could this be? How does anyone pull off a hanging, much less in our tiny bathroom? WHO HANGS HIMSELF? This isn’t a 1950s jail cell? CHRIST!

I got myself together, discretely and calmly broke down my cocaine station (a plate, a thick, plastic ring to crush the nuggets into powder and the cut straw) and hid it in my underwear drawer, and went back up to Dora on the steps.

Dora kept mumbling things about how they fought and he locked himself in the bathroom. I couldn’t piece together where she was. I mean, WTF WAS HAPPENING? I was only gone for two and a half hours .  . . Dances with Wolves takes more time!

I sat with her and she asked for a cigarette. I remember saying I was out because I was quitting.

The police came out and told us he was gone. Did it happen like that? Did they come out and tell us he passed away? Or did I walk up and someone told me he passed away? I think I asked a cop so I wouldn’t have to bring it up in front of Dora.

Danny’s siblings or cousins showed up. Two guys and a girl, all in their early twenties if that. They were calling Danny’s parents.

Dora shouted, “Don’t tell them anything so they don’t get in an accident! Wait til they are here.”

We waited until they were here. I heard Danny’s father on the street below. I heard his voice when he found out.

“NO! NO! NO! OH POOR DANNY!!! WHY GOD?!”

I will never forget what that sounds like.

Then I heard him say, “Its his girlfriend. She did this to him. It should have been her that died. I WISH DEATH ON HER!”

The girl on Dora’s right held her hands over Dora’s ears and told her not to listen. Dora screamed, “He’s RIGHT! HE’S RIGHT! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!” She turned beet red and swung her head around. She was convulsing.

I got behind her and tried to hold her down. We were surrounded by rock, so I really thought she was going to hit her head. Her mother and the other girl held her down, too, and told her to calm down. It was like she was possessed.

She calmed down and I asked the neighbor if Dora could sit inside so she wouldn’t hear him. The neighbor is in his 60s and kindly agreed. Dora took a seat in his clean, a/c apartment and settled down a little.

My room was closer to the street. I went back there to make a call or two. It was hot, so I had to leave my window open as relatives collected outside, sobbing and holding each other.

I called Frank. I can’t tell you how much I hate AT&T when you have to repeat “DANNY HUNG HIMSELF IN MY BATHROOM” over and over again through static while only getting “I really wish I could hear what you are saying” back.

I texted my last two exes, Abe and Alan. Both wrote me back asking if I was ok. That was nice.

I called my sister. She can be very monotone about things, “Wow, that sucks. Sorry.” She means well, but what does anyone say?

My parents were in Italy.

Frank was driving right up, even though I had to be at Doggie Daycare in a few hours. My room was sectioned off with crime scene tape.

I sat there, alone in my room, crying as the family shouted things like, “She will have another boyfriend next week.”

Someone pointed to me and asked, “Is that the girlfriend?”

I watched them go from standing up and walking around to melting over in tears on the ground. I sat there and watched all of them.

I felt tears and dirt on my face and my head got hot with frustration. Why am I sitting here, seeing all of this? Then it came to me, I am the witness.

Frank showed up and I said, “So . . . you want to move in?”

He chuckled low, and said, “Its too soon. People like you and me deal with things like this through comedy, but most people don’t.”

I nodded my head. The family was very close by, I shouldn’t have made the joke.

Frank sat there, hunched over and massaged his forehead between his index finger and thumb. That’s all you can do.

I said, “Thanks, Danny. Now, I can’t kill myself.”

Frank smiled a little, “No, you can’t kill yourself now. He stole your thunder.”

I didn’t want to go back up and be with Dora. I figured she wanted people close to her right now.

I got dressed for work and left all my information with the police. They were kind. The one officer said, “You have to go to work? That’s terrible.”

What was I supposed to do? Stay here. Sit here. Watch. Listen.  What I missed was his body being carried out and his mother shouting, “WAKE UP, DANNY! WAKE UP! PLEASE!”

I pieced together things over the next few days; Dora and Danny were fighting. They took a break in the argument that morning and Dora locked herself in the bedroom.

Danny said, “Why won’t you just let me die!?”

Some time passed, Dora came out and saw the bathroom door was slammed shut, and used a fork to open the door. Then she found his body, untied him from the dog leash stuffed in the door. She called her sister, who was the blond girl I had never seen before helping her now.

Her sister tried to resuscitate him with CPR until the police came.

Two things are so unsettling about this: NOT ONCE did I ever even get the inkling that Danny was depressed or suicidal. Dora and Danny just came back from a weekend in Catalina. And Danny was the kindest man in my life at the moment. Kinder than my last boyfriend.

That night of the party I remember telling him he was the perfect man. He said, “Tell Dora that.”

The other thing is, how does anyone hang himself on a door? He was taller than me, and I can touch the ceiling in there.

I went to work dumbfounded. I came in and just felt stunned.

Sometimes you tell people what happened, they say yeah, and move on like they didn’t register anything you said.

I wonder if they ever listen to anything I say, or if they just assume they misheard me.

The others, Trent and my other co-workers, just leaned back with their mouths open. “Wow” Silences.

It was like my reality dropped out from underneath me. When you are there and you realize someone you lived with just killed himself in your bathroom, you can’t feel the floor, or your clothes or someone touch your arm. All you feel is that instinct to wake up.

The night before, I felt the warmth of his body heat on his arm when I held them apart. That was blood. That was life.

Every other time I felt bad, going to Doggie Daycare helped. This time, I was just pacing back and forth. The Manager came up to me and said I could leave. She looked me over carefully and I shrugged and said ok.

I didn’t know what to do.

I went home and really don’t remember what I did, other than feeding Dora and myself a Xanax. She fell asleep in my bed. I think I popped on a movie for us or something, because I remembered my father putting on Reservoir Dogs for us when my friend drowned in the Columbia River when I was 17.

You don’t watch the movie, you just sit down and think while giving your brain a chance to be distracted.

The next few days are really a blur. I should have written while it happened, but my mind was black. It still is to some degree. I just want it out of my mind, so I can rest.

I woke up the next morning, and Dora was outside with pictures of Danny propped up against the wall next to their front door, burning candles. She was playing songs off her iPhone, just laying there. She seemed very together.

Dora would say things like, “I will miss him, but I know its not my fault.”

Or, “He tried this before, eventually he was going to hang himself.”

Or, “He is in heaven now, watching over us.”
She also forged his signature on a check for rent, came into my room and said, “Did I do this right? He said I could use his checking account if I ever needed to.” I looked it over, she had no idea how to write a check.

He killed himself a few days before rent was due. By the way, THANKS FOR THAT DANNY! Why couldn’t you wait until after the first?

I remember going to use the toilet those first few days after he died, and apologizing to Danny every time I had a bowel movement. I added, “But you chose the spot, man.”

In my head and ringing in my ears, I would hear, “Take care of her.”

Over and over again, “Just take care of her for me.”

I said aloud, “Alright! ALRIGHT!”

Jesus, I don’t know if that was real or not.

The bathroom garbage lid was dented in like someone used it to hoist their weight up. I haven’t asked Dora about the details, but every time I sit down on the toilet, I look at those dents and wonder if his last few breaths were filled with fear and regret as he realized he was going to die.

The bent fork to open the bathroom door was left by the sink for a few days.

Now, what do you do when your roommate’s boyfriend of 2 years kills himself? You sit there. Or, you stand there. You listen. You stop snorting cocaine.

I liked Danny a lot. Living here without him doesn’t feel right to me, and I only knew him for a couple months. But, I knew that every cell in my body had to focus on Dora, because soon . . . very soon . . . this violent loss was going to sink in and she was going to lose her mind.

And she did.

To be continued . . .

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Hookers, Housewives and Sex with a Sociopath: Finding my Place in Hollywood

Dear Readers,

I am sorry for the delay, but this last month has been incredibly difficult. I am still trying to get my mind together. And though it physically burns to recall the last couple weeks, I am going to try and make it mean something.

A month and change ago was my first night in the Boonies, Frank and I went on a hunt for wine. We wanted to break in this bitch the right way.

It was midnight, and we went down to a small bar off the road called “The Hideaway.” It was closed. So we went to the 711 down the hill.

I had wet hair from a fresh shower and was wearing a red sun dress with my B cup bosom jiggling in place. The Middle-Eastern man with a turban muttered that there is no alcohol sold after 10 pm. Frank was alarmed by this and rose his New York voice, “ANYWHERE?”

711 Man said, “Another 711 down Foothill does, off of (broken English)” I asked him to repeat the cross street three times and I didn’t understand it any of those three times.

We drove down to the next 711, several miles down the main street. I walked in and saw the magazine cover saying, “Think of the Children of 9/11.”

I said, “I do not want to think about the children of 9/11. That is the last thing I want to think about.” I turned to another Middle Eastern guy, “Alcohol?” He shook his head and repeated another cross street in broken English I didn’t understand.

We hopped in Frank’s car and drove to the Taco Bell. As we pulled up to the lit menu, we waited. I said, “Hello!?!?”

The lit menu went dark.

Frank, “Oh that’s great. (into speaker) GOODNIGHT TO YOU TOO, MAN, THANKS!”

We drove several more miles down the road and found a  711 with cars in the parking lot.

Frank said, “Everyone is here, this must be the place.”

We walked in and I turned to the new Middle Eastern guy in a turban and said, “Alcohol?” He slowly nodded, then rang up two girls buying a pint of Bud Light Chelada beer each. (That is a Bud that’s clam and tomato juices)..

Voted on of the worst beers of 2010 . . . Read more: http://www.esquire.com/features/drinking/worst-beer-051710#ixzz1bdsTsYEO

We grabbed a bottle of vino and headed back to the pad. I was still doing coke and xanax. My body was acclimating to the point where I was able to sleep and eat on it. This week I was going to stop, after my first night in the new pad . . . I was going to get clean.

Now that I was home, I could relax.
***

The weekend after I moved into the new place, Alan planned on stopping by after a dinner celebration of some kind affiliated with his school.

I was nervous. Since I worked so hard to get him back, with my texts of love, support, puppies and rainbows, I was having doubts. I thought about the words he used to criticize me. They weren’t just cold judgements and insensitive criticisms . . . they were meant to hurt me.

Around 3am, Alan arrived with Pepsi, candy and Wilson. We coldly hugged, but didn’t kiss. I didn’t want to think he could get away with it, but I wanted him back. Seems human enough.

We watched The Soup, giggled and fell asleep side by side, like we were laid in graves next to each other.

The next morning, he put my hand on his morning wood. Now, I don’t know about you, but the last thing I wanted to do after moving all my shit alone is give HIM a hand job.

I said, “The things you said did a lot of damage.”

He said, “I know. So were some of the things you said.”

Hm. Yeah. Right.

I said, “We have to talk.”

Silence.

We got up, and walked the dogs. We barely spoke. The tension between us was getting heavier.

I said, “Did you really mean the things you said?”

He said, “Yeah, I did.”

I said, “How can you say things like that?” You were so disrespectful.”

He said, “Every time I checked my phone, it was wah wah wah, whining about something happening in your life. And I got sick of it.”

I stopped and turned around, “ . . . fuck you.”

We went back to my place, more silence.

I mentioned something about not getting roles and he said, “I think it’s because you give off an air of being poor.”

This kid grew up with Southern white trash. I said, “You don’t put the napkin on your lap when you eat out, that is an indication that you are low-class.”

I turned on my toe, nose in the air and walked out to smoke a cigarette. WHAT AN ASSHOLE!

I was 2 days sober, and decided this was the wrong day to quit coke. So I started doing lines and cracked open another bottle of wine.

Angry, yes. Frustrated, yes. Horny . . . um, yeah.

So we had sex.  Our fetishes, once again, were taken to another level.  He was dark and sexy.

He said, “You have been frowning this whole time, that makes me want to do even worse things to you.”

I said, “Good. Do them.”

He did.

The wine was making me dizzy and the coke wouldn’t let me pass out. He suggested I take a xanax so I wouldn’t get sick.

I took half of one and slipped into inviting darkness.

Waking up in a daze, just for a moment, I felt him moving my head off his shoulder by my hair. He pulled my hair during sex, but I remember thinking it was oddly objectifying. He took my head by the top of my hair, lifted it off his shoulder and dropped me back down on a pillow. Jesus, SOCIOPATH MUCH?

Then back into darkness.

I woke up the next morning, and he said he was going to walk the small dogs. I said I would join him, but he was out the door before both my shoes were on.

Stepping outside, I looked both ways, he was nowhere to be found. So I took the girls up a mountain trail further than we have gone before.

When I came back, he said, “Your walk was a lot longer than mine.”

I said, “I told you to wait for me.”

He said, “No ,you didn’t.”

I said, “Yeah … I did.”

We quietly went to breakfast at a local cafe. I had an 11am meeting at Doggie Daycare, and he had to head back for some other law school event.

It was the anniversary of 9/11, so the television had relatives taking turns at the podium, reading names of those that died.

The wall had images of Princess Diana, Lucille Ball, and Mother Theresa painted on the walls. It’s a very confused motif.

Silence.

Names of the Dead.

I said, “9/11 was an inside job. By the way, I can’t give myself an orgasm since we broke up, so thanks for that.”

Alan, “That is the most bizarre segue I have ever heard.”

I said, “We have to talk about the GChat conversation.”

He said, “No we don’t. Just let it go.”

I said, “Um, we have to make sure that never happens again. We have to talk it out.”

He said, “We don’t have to talk it out, you just have to stop putting yourself in the position of being a victim all the time.”

Me, “And you need to stop expecting your girlfriend to fulfill the role of your mother.”

Christ, after his finals I SPOON FED HIM CANNED PEARS and massaged him all night long. After moving my shit in financial distress, I can’t even get a neck rub.

Silence.

He studied what was left on his plate. Then his head slowly nodded.

He said, “Let’s get out of here.”

As we drove up a steep canyon road, I pressed further.

Me, “If you just want a debutant type girl, who is agreeable and doesn’t really talk very much than I am sure you can find that.”

Alan broke out shouting, “That’s not what I want. You used to make me feel good. When I got text messages from you, or called you, you made me feel confident and happy. Now you just make me feel bad. You complain about all the bad things happening and you make me feel bad. I am afraid to say anything around you because you might shut down. Its like walking on egg shells around you. FUCK!”

For some reason, listening to him shout it made me feel better. His calm, leveled, robotic tone of voice changed. He was human and he cared.

I said very calmly, “Well you do have a point. I can be overly sensitive. I will try to work on that. Obviously, I have developed a pattern for people close to me unleashing lots of criticism. Its you, its Em it was my old roommate. It means something. It has to do with me and something I am doing.”

Alan, “And I have a pattern of driving people close to me away by being too honest. I just won’t do that anymore.”

I said, “You can be honest.”

He shook his head.

Alan and I came together and walked up to my place, put the leftovers in the fridge. I had to go.

We kissed. He was soft again.

He said, “See, now its moments like this when it’s hard to say goodbye. When I don’t want to leave.”

I kissed him again and mumbled an “I love you” I am not sure he heard.

As I pulled away, he walked up to my window and kissed me again. He said, “I love you too much not to work it out.”

I flickered a smile. He was saying what he thinks he should say.

The week following was one of the worst in my life.

My dog, Maggie (who I call “The Tank” because she is 80 lbs of pit bull lovin’), broke out of her collar and charged towards two unfriendly dogs, instigating a dog fight. I fell to the ground and broke it up.

Her ear bled quite a bit and my knees and hands ached from falling on concrete. That was the wrong day to quit cocaine.

Two days later, I found out one of my new neighbors complained that my dogs were “intimidating” and the landlord called and said I had to get rid of my dogs or clear the residence.

I indicated I had two dogs on the application. The landlord claimed he never got my application, and Dora claimed she sent it. It was a mess.

I cried and muttered to Dora and her boyfriend, Danny, “I should just kill myself.”

Dora said, “No, we will work this out.”

I spent my last dollar and drop of energy moving into this place, and now I had to move again? It was like someone ripped out my rib cage and told me to keep breathing.

I got on the phone with the landlord and begged to stay. He wouldn’t budge. He said I could stay until I had enough money to move but there were too many dogs between me and Dora. He said, “I mean, there are more animals than people on the property.”

We hadn’t even told him about my cat or Brad.

I posted my misery on Facebook because I just don’t know what else to do with it but recycle it on the internet. Frank came with me to the bank and Taco Hell.

Alan called, but I declined the call. We just went through how my never-ending storm of bad luck was dragging him down. I couldn’t rely on him for support right now.

Trent texted me, and I responded promptly with a “I am gonna kill myself.” Trent was trying to talk me down, as I had done for him when he and Kent broke up.

In my mind, I started orchestrating plans to relocate all the animals. Brad could go to my sister. Maggie with Frank. I found a place to order 700 mg of secobarbital tablets on-line. It was just Esther . . . no one wants a hyper-active, deaf pit-bull. What was I going to do with Esther?

I went to work, tear-stained, heart-broken and as I entered the large dog playground, the dogs got restless. They could smell the darkness on me.

A few dogs started howling and barking. Then more.

I waited for everyone to calm down, went back to the front of the playground to put down my keys when Sawyer, my Irish Setter Doggie Rapist, mounted me for our ritualistic “hello.” Another dog came up and snagged him by the back side.

I thought I broke it up and separated the two but the aggressive dog came in again and pulled us both to the ground again. I held on to Sawyer with my life, even though all the wounds on my knees and hands broke open again hitting the concrete.

I could hear Sawyer screaming in pain as I tried to drag him to one of the “runs” (a gated entry into an enclosed space between the playground and the walkway).

A manager appeared through a run and we tried carrying him through but I heard Trent’s voice say, “Stop pulling him! He’s locked on. GET THE STICK! GET THE STICK!”

There is a stake kept on the playground that we can use to pry open a dog’s jaw. Trent said he has only used it twice in 5 yrs.

I waited patiently as Sawyer writhed in pain. There was a release and he was lifted, as if he had wings, into safety. The other dog was taken into another run.

The manager in the run said, “Is your face ok?”

I said, “Yeah.”

She said, “He was chomping away right next to your face, I thought he bit you.” Sawyer would never bite me.

I looked down and saw blood trickle down her wrist and hand. I was lucky.

Another manager said, “Are you ok?” Tears filled my eyes and I was told to take a break.

I went into the bathroom to urinate, and on the toilet I felt my whole body erupt. My legs and arms shook and I broke down crying for approximately 10 seconds. I got up and washed my face.

I went back out there and finished my shift. Also, the wrong day for quitting cocaine.

Trent asked me some questions and kept promising we would get through it. At Doggie Daycare, we all help each other get through hard times. Everyone uses the royal “we” when we talk through each other’s problems. That place is better than any church or community I have ever belonged to.

Trent’s voice guided me through the violent dog fight with Sawyer, and now the violence of my own mind. He is my twin flame. He identifies with my dark side, and takes the role in the light when I fall low. It is a unique balance with him, and is slowly becoming one of the most precious friendships of my life.

On my 3pm break, I sat in my car and smoked a cigarette. Doggie Daycare is in a very industrial area, so the exhaust from the cars and buildings scorched my nose and throat, over the rash of smoke and cocaine.

I felt like a 19th century London Chimney Sweep.

I turned on the radio, Bob Dylan’s voice came on:

“Oh, the ragman draws circles
Up and down the block
I’d ask him what the matter was
But I know that he don’t talk.”

I smiled.

“But deep inside my heart
I know I can’t escape
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.”

I thought, is this the end? Office job or death, I will choose death.

A friend once suggested I take a desk job at a construction company or something, and I told him, “You know what writers actually wrote with a full-time job? Kaftka. And he was miserable. (beat) AND all of his novels were unfinished. THANK YOU, NO!”

Kaftka’s insurance job paid the bills but robbed me of closure when finishing Amerika. Think of all the other novels he could have written if he didn’t handle personal injury insurance . . .

Jerry, my friend, said, “AND he was insane.”

Then I remembered something Alan mentioned. He was trying to encourage me to go back to school and suggested writing from reading a couple of my blogs. He said loans could float me for a couple of years while I do what I love. Maybe he was right, I could write on loan until the economy improved.

Then I could worry about getting a job later down the road, without giving up in my thirties.

Obviously, I would have to give up on acting, since Alan did point out I don’t have the resources for it. My catch phrase these days is “Acting is for Hookers and Housewives.” Paying your way on someone else’s dime. I don’t have a sponsor, so it’s not possible for me right now.

Writing, though . . . the greatest writer’s in the world ate bread and wine in the cheapest of clothes and the smallest of rooms. That could be me.

“Well Shakespeare he’s in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells
Speaking to some French girl
Who says she knows me well”

I got out of my car, high on nicotine, and came back to the playground with my head high. I told Trent about my revelation, and he smiled. We sang the “Memphis Blues” together.

The rest of the week lacked drama. I made in appointment to go to an information session for one of the top 5 writing programs in the country. I fell in love, and called Alan on the phone driving back. I was still high on coke and chattering a million miles a second.

He told me to rest, and I could tell he was being laboriously patient with my self-induced hyper-mania. I was happy. I thought I could make it work.

It became apparent in the days following that Alan did not want to make plans to see me again right away. Sure he was busy, but I was sold on this idea that we needed to re-bond.

His snappy criticisms were still pinned into my heels and I wanted to start over and fall in love again.

He blew off the first few offers I made to drive down, and I blew off Frank’s suggestion that Alan was seeing someone else. Men love to try to bury seeds of doubt in my mind. Base manipulation.

Either way, I was feeling rejected and as I started collecting his words for previous blogs, I grew aggravated with the things he said again.

If we lived in the same city, I am sure we would have had a more civilized parting, but email makes it too easy to destroy. Just as we found each other on the internet again, we would lose each other just as easily.

I wrote: “I have identified two times you mentioned I look poor or like “a bag lady”. Um . . . you should know that I am not EVER going to be like Jaq. I don’t give a shit about clothes, and though I know how to look presentable and have been cast in roughly 60% of the roles I have auditioned for, not to mention receiving offers after an estimated 70% of job interviews in a professional place of business, I do not hold value in that system.

The Armani Folders can shove it up their ass. If that’s what you want to be, I can’t be there with you. You can’t change that part of me.

That said, take a look in the mirror, Sport. Don’t expect me to be “better” than you because I am a girl; morally, physically, or otherwise.

I am not mad, just agitated. And we hardly ever talk anymore so I am just sending an email with my feelings in it.”

I can see how out of the blue this might annoy my boyfriend.

Alan: “This habit of continuing to look through every conversation to find
ways I hurt your feelings and then pointing them out to me is pretty
much the reason we barely talk anymore.  Then I have to waste any time
we talk figuring out what is actually wrong with you and then
explaining the context of my words so that a five-year old can
understand.  Or not talking at all so you don’t have ammo to fuck with
me later.  My choice with you is either have a shitty conversation
like this one or not talk to you.

Why would I want to have this conversation?  Why do you think that
it’s important for me to feel worse about myself in the middle of a
Thursday?  You can’t resist can you?

Between these passive aggressive insulting emails (“look in a mirror”)
and the bullshit you post about me on Facebook, I’m so sick of your
words.  I am not here to be shit on by you and I’m tired of forgiving
it.  I don’t want an explanation or more excuses.  I just want it to
stop.

Other people have feelings too.  Get over yourself or leave me alone, Sport.
-A”

I wrote back: “Absolutely nothing passive aggressive about that email. Its straight forward.

As for dealing with my thoughts and feelings alone without sharing them with you, that makes me feel like a victim. I would like to stand up for myself without you feeling attacked.

It also makes me feel single.

Communication is important, in fact, imperative, to any relationship. If you are open to making things work, you have to talk and listen to me.

And treat me like an equal, not a 5-year-old. (that was rude, Alan).”

I guess I should mention here that I was sucking back a martini and quitting cocaine and cigarettes that day. It was a little rough.

Alan: “We are single.  And you don’t get to say whatever you want to me
for a while.  It’s unfair since the door doesn’t go both ways.  When
*I* say what I am thinking, I get emails weeks later telling me how
wrong I was.  Now, I’m too stressed out to deal with this bullshit
this week.  I’ll just talk to you after the thing on Saturday.”

Me: “Thank you for correcting me, I don’t have to worry about working on a relationship. Sweet relief.

The door of criticism has blown one way. Have I ever said anything negative about you, your character, your life, your looks? No, Because I fucking love you.

I am simply defending myself because I don’t like feeling cut down by someone I let inside.

My hope was to diminish the negative by airing it out and talking about it, as opposed to building up resentment and bitterness with silence.

I thought it was important we rebond but you don’t seem to share that concern.

You want to harness power and tell me when I can speak to you again? No.

Equal or nothing.”

Alan: “If you insist on a choice, fine.  I choose nothing.

Building a relationship will take a lot more time now.  I live a
different life than I did over the summer.  I had time this summer to
bond with you.  I tried.  I warned you over and over what I was going
to go through this Fall.  You wasted all of that effort when you broke
up with me because you can’t handle me speaking.  Well now I’m not
speaking.  Go figure.  I don’t have time to rebuild that bond now.
I’m working two jobs AND in law school.  I do not have enough time as
it is to do what I need to do. I won’t for months, and nagging me
about it is just making me resent you.

Don’t wait for me.  Go have a life.”

Me: “I have a life, I was just including you in it.

I feel no regret. I tried. Bye.”

And just like that, Alan disappeared. A few taps on a phone and a keystroke on computer can burn down a relationship in a little under three hours.

I was upset sure, but I lit my wings on fire and was spinning around in circles. The silence and distance, and stress and chemicals were putting me in a whirlwind.

After all was said and done, I went home and took the Molly I saved for a night with Alan. I got in bed and cuddled with my dogs. Joy and warmth bubbled all over my skin, and I felt ok for the night. The morning would hurt, but the nights are mine.

I texted Abe (my ex-boyfriend): “I do hope you are happy. Loved u.”

He wrote back, “Nah, not so much. Thought about U during my lunch today.”

Frank tried crawling in bed and asked for a little “affection.” I drowned myself in dog fur and said, “Not now, I am in a delicate state.”

He left.

I needed to collect myself. First, one more devastating tragedy was about to occur and completely level my world.

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The Move and the Mind Fuck: Good God, I lived to tell the tale . . .

So the next two weeks were miserable.

The morning after I broke up with Alan, I felt sick from self-loathing and general hatred towards the universe. I always go through this period of shock and regret .  . . should I have broken up with him? Was it my fault? Was it too soon? I should have given this time to breathe.

I am not very patient.

That next day I worked LET’S MAKE A DEAL and went over to Frank’s afterward to do my laundry. I texted him I broke up with Alan and needed to self medicate. By the time I got over there, he had a packet of coke waiting for me and $150 to help with the new place.

As I ground down the nugs into fine powder, I asked him to read the GChat of Alan’s giant stinking dump on my life and tell me if I was overreacting.

As Frank scrolled through, I heard the occasional gasp or groan. I would rush over and ask, “What is it?”

He said, “Don’t look at it. You don’t need to read this again.”

I changed out of my LET’S MAKE A DEAL costume and hung out in boxers and a t-shirt, sipping wine, snorting coke and chain smoking. Frank took a picture of me on his doorstep, it really captured how broken I am. Its not about Alan, just the hope of Alan.

I had texted Alan a few afterthoughts to float around in our muck.

Me: “I am actually a great girl- just need to get on my feet. Someday I will be someone great I hope. And maybe you will like me.”

Me: “I saw you changed your Facebook relationship status and felt sad. I thought we could talk while I had reception.”

Me: “Did you have to tear me apart in a dark hour? I trusted you with all of me and now its just gone.”

Alan: “You broke up with me in a text message during class. YOU DID THIS. I might talk to you someday. . but now? You have got to be fucking joking.”

The deal with getting the coke was only contingent on also getting xanax. Using the two, one when I got up in the morning and get through days of heartache, moving, working then more moving and one to allow me to sleep so I wouldn’t die.

The week before, I had asked for 3 days off to move my things into Dora’s studio while Alan was in town, but there was a scheduling mishap; they had plans and were unreachable, and I didn’t have the key. So I had to move during a week where I had two days off. One day would be allotted to moving all my stuff to the new place. The other day would be the devoted to cleaning out my old place.

The days I worked, I got up, snorted coke, hiked the dogs and tried to make a trip to the new place with a load before my shift and then another after.

Frank, loyal as ever, was there with me. Mostly he smoked cigars and Facebooked while I organized everything.  I just wanted the company.

Though I was busy, losing Alan broke my heart into smaller pieces, whatever was left over from earlier this year. I was a mess at work. During this text message exchange:

Alan: “I reflected on what we talked about and realized it doesn’t matter if I meant what I said that shitty night. I spoke what was on my mind and you left me. It was nice to be able to pretend I was part of something special for awhile, but there is no way I will ever be able to trust you enough to be honest again and what I feel or think. You were right to end things.”

Me: “I agree. I reviewed the conversation and could never trust someone who took huge dumps on my life without logical provocation. And if you thought so little about me- we should not be together. I am sorry it ended this way, but you and Jaq make a perfect couple- judging people and their lives instead of seeking to understand and appreciate them. I deserve better. And thanks for texting me your base and self-centric ideas, always far superior to me . . . I showed you nothing but respect and love. “

I am scrolling down the text messages as I write this. More of the same. We struck nasty, cold messages back and forth like a small ball of power, crossing violently from court to court.

I was actually holding out hope he would be sorry and explain why he said such hateful things to me until that afternoon. I broke down crying on the doggie playground. Sasha, my hot, tatted bi-sexual manager, pulled me off the playground. I kept chain smoking and trying to drink water.

I was making those hyperventilating sobs, the kind I made when I was six. Everyone was trying to calm me down, Trent, the receptionist, a co-worker who defriended me because I used the bitch voice on him once, even the sarcastic, Filipino Human Resources woman who violates every labor law known to America. They all hugged me. They took turns carrying my shift when I had to sit down from sobbing.

I told Trent I am going to fucking kill myself. I can’t live with losing everyone I love like this, hating me. Em, Abe . . . my parents. Its like every one who sees the real me, despises me.

Alan: “As for being mean to you. . you hurt me really bad and keep contacting me . . making it worse. . what do you expect? Me to be happy?”

Alan: “Wishing you had never met me . . . yeah . . . join the club. . its got a big membership list . . also fuck you for that . . I just want time away from you. . you hurt too bad . . “

At the end of my shift, Trent joined me on the playground and I just broke down. Something about hugs reduced me to a sobbing mess, no matter who it was. Trent said, “I hate seeing you like this. Come on. You are beautiful, you are smart, talented …”

I said, “Why does everyone I love have to tear me apart?”

Trent was getting misty watching me sob, “Because they just see a lot of potential and they . . . just don’t understand.”

The only thing that got me through that week was Frank, the drugs, the dogs and the move.

I am not an idiot. I know that Frank wants to have sex with me. And I would be lying if I said we didn’t fool around. Despite the underlying motives, I needed someone around me to just be there. I was periodically sobbing between loads, between lines.

He held me on my mattress, dragged out to the living room floor, alone with just my computer and he buried his face in my neck and said, “Do you want to hear good things about yourself?”

I nodded.

He said, “You’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re a great writer.”

I said, in that high pitched six-yearr-old voice, “I am?”

Alan: “No question of why I might have been so upset.. no concern about what happened.. you don’t care because I didn’t listen to you complain and say what u wanted to hear.. just let’s break up, by text message no less.. that’s pretty selfish and juvenile.. u want to fuck up what we have over petty shit without a chance to mend.. fine.. but its your fault and your doing..
Enjoy your life.. you are all that matters right?”

Alan: “How do you not understand?  You did this.  You crossed the only line I had.  This isn’t the first time I loved someone who cared so little they could end things through a fucking text message.  I’ve seen worse.  But this manipulative crap about how you dumped me for good reasons bullshit makes me so angry.  And breaking up with me via TEXT MESSAGE.  Damn you for making me keep doing this. Leave me alone.  I don’t trust you to look out for anyone but yourself.. why else would you keep doing this?  Its so YOU can feel better.  So you can have what YOU need.  So take care of yourself.  That’s all I wanted when I got angry at you Wednesday anyway.”

I would cry when the sun was down and I was done with the last load of the night. There was nothing to do but take the pain away with my magic fairy dust.

If someone gave you a small baggie of powder that made you feel ok again, in a matter of seconds, would you turn it down? I was battling thoughts of suicide. I hated myself. Its not just Alan, its the never ending spiral of financial crisis, the getting fired by bosses who hated me, the never booking commercial work, the crisis I created for myself taking in all these animals and refusing the idea of work that comes with any kind of security.

I have obviously created a pattern for myself, I struggle, I fail, form fast/intense bonds with people and then it all blows up in my face. Nothing gets better, it just repeats. And that, my friends, is hell.

I was already thinking about a suicide note, and a list of people NOT invited to my wake. Maybe dropping Brad off with Alan and Wilson. I had the key to his apartment. I could just disappear down there in Mexico or by the border somewhere. The pit bulls, but what about the pit bulls? My parents are too old to handle them and my sister lives in a 2nd story condo that looks like a museum.

No one would take them.

I am sure Belle (my cat) would stay with Dora . . . maybe. She keeps pissing on their fridge.

Over a small ashtray, I had several fine lines of coke laid out for me. I would hover over them sobbing, “The more people get to know me, the more they hate me.” I could feel my tears streak down my face with trails of dust and dirt spilling over my cheeks just before drying and rising off of me like sand surviving saltwater.

I stopped sobbing only long enough to do a few lines. And then I would quiet and collect myself.

Frank, “This is the most unhealthy thing I have ever seen.”

Me to Alan: “Relationships aren’t perfect, they have missteps and heartache and bad words. I want to know the man I love doesn’t think I am a total fuck-up. I am still struggling with those words you said and trying to tell myself you don’t think those things, that I am an ok girl.”

Me to Alan: “A bonus would be to know we can make it through bad days, find a new way to communicate so I don’t press like I did when you were having a rough day. Work on it. Develop trust and get through stupid shit together.

Stop hurting us, you aren’t just hurting me, you are hurting us.

My Alan … I miss my Alan … you were my family and now you just cut me off.”

Alan: “I can’t promise anything.. especially when being pushed into it.  I do believe what I said.  I do think you are wasting the chances you are given to accomplish what you want in life and I think you are lying to yourself about being happy or confused about what happy is.  It hurts to watch that and to just have to accept that you know what you are doing when you obviously don’t.  So if you can’t handle me saying what I believe honesty like that or worse then you are incapable of being in a relationship with me.  I feel that I have to tell you the truth or nothing.  But I wouldn’t leave you. Only one of us thinks that’s a more justifiable way to hurt someone than fucking TALKING.  That’s why I want to be left alone.  Talking to you is just pain and nothing else now. “

Me: “I guess you just don’t understand me . . . or care to then . . . I care about your opinion but not when it lashes out in an abusive fashion.

There is talking to someone about the truth with advice as a caring adult and equal and then there is repeatedly slapping me in the face with scarring remarks. No, I can not live with that.

I don’t deserve to be cut down to size and made to apologize for instinctively walking away from it. That’s not fair. And if you don’t see that, you are simply incapable of a relationship.

I tried.

xo”

Alan: “You just said everything about as correctly as possible. We both found
our limits at the same time.  We can love each other as much as is
possible and there’s still no way to fix this.  I guess I don’t need
time to think after all.

Bye”

I was averaging 5 to 6 hours of sleep, forcing myself to eat at least a bean and rice burrito once a day, maybe a slice of bread with peanut butter on it.

I wasn’t tired, I was hyper-efficient. I had already organized the new space and just had to push through cleaning up the old place. I was smoking so much, my lungs burned. I wanted to disappear, I wanted to get buried in all my useless junk and die in a pile of ashes.

Me: “I love you anyway, but that fact that you can’t promise to talk to me as an adult or equal is a deal breaker. How can you be that after everything you see all day? I thought we were going to be better than our parents. But you would rather just throw me away.

I feel sorry for you, there is light if you open your mind. I can’t do that for you. What a waste of a wonderful person.

Bye”

The little bag of coke was lasting me two weeks. I was not going overboard. I was taking enough that my body could handle working and moving from early morning to the middle of the night.

On a Thursday, I cleared out the remaining crap out of my space. I did it alone in the morning and called Frank, asking him to come over and just stay with me while I worked. And to bring alcohol.

I said, “I found a screwdriver and it says Detroit Michigan Marines on the side of it, and I am realizing it is Eric’s.” The Prophet. The insane freckled boy I had a 5-yr affair with. He helped me move into this little tree house. It was my last connection to him. I haven’t heard from him in almost two years. That would leave one more year on the restraining order.

Frank said, “I can hear it in your voice. You are in a weird place. Moving will do that to you. I will be right over.”

The end of the last bit of things included boxes of poetry I wrote in college, old screenplays, my wedding invitation embroidered on a huge cloth my mother framed for me on my wedding day, a sparkling gold trench coat my grandmother insisted I take the last time I saw her alive, little knick knacks.

I found a little wooden man and woman, hand painted with a fine little brush, maybe two inches tall, glued together on a little wood platform I could carry around in my hand. It was made in some exotic country. I told Frank the story:

I said, “In fourth grade, I had a nun teacher who hated me. She accused me of plagiarism, she would give me dirty looks, she spoke to my best friend and her parents, telling them I was a bad influence and they shouldn’t allow me to play with their daughter.”

Frank, “She had it in for you.”

Me, “Yeah, Sister Creole. She took a 2 week vacation and we had this nice substitute teacher. I wrote her an anonymous letter telling her how mean Sister Creole was and how I didn’t know who to talk to about it.

The Substitute Teacher read my letter aloud to the entire class after giving us all a little knick knack from some trip she took. I got this little wooden couple.  She said whoever wrote that letter shouldn’t get a gift. And the class cheered in agreement. After class, I confided in her that I was the one that wrote the letter, and offered her my gift back.

She said, ‘Oh, I didn’t know it was you that wrote that letter. Keep the gift. You are forgiven.”

Frank, “You were one of those kids. That’s horrible. I always wondered what happened to kids like you.”

I loudly snorted three lines on my tray.

Frank chuckled, “Now I know.”

I went to throw the gift out and he held out his hand and said, “Can I have it? After the story I want to keep it.”

I handed it over to him and smiled.

Frank’s cheap bottle of wine was sliding me into a higher plane of vulnerability. I opened up about about my friend who drowned in the Columbia River, racing his much skinner and weaker friend, who oddly survived.

I asked him what to do with Grandma’s Gold Jacket. The gold is spray painted on the material, so it pretty much stands upright, alone in my closet. Here is the thing with this tacky-ass gold jacket I would never wear: I loved my grandfather. He was a Polack who worked in a slaughter house. He was also the only one in my family who was kind to me, despite being the only one who was not blood related.

My cousins were ok, I guess. . . my grandmother lacked tenderness of any kind and smelled of stale cigarettes and dirty air conditioning.

Harry was the one who got me my first dog when I was 9. The next year he would pass away from leukemia in my grandmother’s living room, slowly dying on a hospital bed surrounded by porcelain owls and white wallpaper with gold glitter leaves painted over it.

It was no secret my grandparents didn’t like each other. My parents always fondly chuckle over the night my Dad had to talk Harry out of going back into his house with a gun, to kill my Grandmother. There is something ugly and wonderful about that kind of intimate hatred, still obliging to care for one another to the bitter end. All those months of chemotherapy and decay. She stayed with him. He obviously had no choice.

His funeral was on my 10th birthday.

The last time I saw my Grandmother, she was high on all sorts of pills. She was dizzy and complaining that the doctors weren’t checking how pills react opposite each other, they just prescribed more and more.

She kept slurring, “Your grandfather was not a good person.”

Then she gave me this tacky-ass gold jacket and said, “Grandpa Harry hated this jacket. Take it. Its yours.”

I said, “Why did she say that? Why did she have to say that knowing I loved him?”

The dumpster between my carriage house and the main house was filled to the brim and beyond with my shit. My old bed, boxes and boxes of things I wrote, VHS tapes, toys, clothes, stuff Salvation Army refused and I didn’t know what to do with. I was doing a major purge.

After all was said and done, I needed Frank’s car still to carry a few things, including the pit bulls- since my car was slam packed full of crap. We agreed that I should keep the gold jacket and the embroidered wedding invitation.

We did a final sweep of the place. I mopped and scrubbed.

He said, “You know you aren’t getting your deposit back, so you really don’t have to do all this.”

I owed my landlord at least $1,000 in rent. She was adding on additional fees for any checks she “pushed’ through twice or any other late checks and somehow came up with $2,000 before damages and repairs. I just don’t know what the fuck she is trying to pull over on me, but she is bleeding a rock.

I said, “I know she will keep the deposit. Its a matter of integrity.”

He said, “When my friend Ernie moved out, he was evicted out of this place. He ended up leaving an upper decker.”

I said, “What’s that? Wait, is that what I think it is?”

Frank was already laughing hysterically at his own story, bending over from fecal memories.

He really makes life sucking funny.

He said, “So Ernie left this upper decker in the toilet, didn’t clean up anything. A few months later, we went back to check out the place, (bending over from laughter) and there was a mushroom plant (more laughter) growing out of the toilet. That place hadn’t been touched.”

I laughed. Frank has this calming energy, like he doesn’t expect much from me. He is mellow, has nowhere to be and just hangs out with me, narrating highly amusing stories. I wondered if I would be safer in a relationship with someone I regarded more as a friend than as a lover. We had a chemistry, but it wasn’t what l would compare to The Prophet, Abe or Alan.

I wasn’t whirled up in a romance with Frank, I have always been in love with someone else around him. He is also shorter than me, which is . . . awkward.

I remembered a line from the “Cat’s Meow”, a movie from the early 2000s about a silent film star named Marion caught in a love triangle with William Randolph Hearst and Charlie Chaplin.

She said, “My mother always said, ‘Romantic love fades. Marry for sympathy and friendship.”

Charlie, “But you’re not married.”

Marion,  “Yet.”

We decided to go to Frank’s so he could catch the football game, and I could have a little fun with what little coke I had left. It was hotter than hell, and I didn’t have air conditioning in the new place.

I updated my Facebook status, “Next time I see a rich bitch with a moving truck who doesn’t have to work, I am going to spit on her.”

I showered, put on his Rolling Stones t-shirt and a pair of boxers. The dogs relaxed on his leather couch next to the cool air and I cracked open a Stella.

After the first play, Frank asked if I needed more coke. I said something to the effect of, “If you get me more I will do it.” The alcohol had removed the element of control I had on coke, and I was getting sloppy.

“Here,” I handed him $100 I owed him. I said, “$50 is for your friend’s air conditioner (I was buying) and $50 for what I owe you.”

Frank said, “I will use this $50 for the coke, you don’t have to pay me back for it. Its my gift to you.”

I also hadn’t eaten all day, despite cleaning since 7am. I knew that I was slowly dying.

Alan:  “I can tell you what you want.  But that would be pretty childish.
Just like your demand.  Mine was pretty simple and I told it to you in
advance.  Don’t leave me.  Mistakes happen but that’s the one thing.
I can forgive you if you cheat on me, steal from me, kick me, or
insult me.  Just don’t fucking leave.  I can’t get over that because
you just showed me how easily you could do it.  You can’t undo that.
I will remember it forever.  Every word in your little message.

I really am sorry I hurt your feelings.  I told you that again and
again.  But you are just being too selfish for me to stomach.  I
warned you about what would happen when I was pushed to the limit and
that the first week of class would be rough.  And you dumped me right
in the middle of the worst of it.  How can you really think I could
get over that?

So I can promise whatever you want and go back to pretending things
were the way they were before.  But I cannot get over this.  I never
will.  So sure, I promise to be as adult as ever with you.  But that
still doesn’t mean we can be together.  So isn’t this all futile?

I told you to just leave me alone so that I could figure out if I
could be your friend again at the least.  Even that much will be
pretty tough to deal with but I don’t want to lose you completely.
Maybe someday we’ll find a way to trust each other but right now.. it
isn’t there.

We say bye a lot.”

Frank returned with a small pack of coke, three xanax and a sandwich for himself. Later, I texted Frank, “Thanks for being there, but I really I wish you got me a sandwich, too.”

He watched me crush the coke and line them up. He said, “God, I feel like I am killing you. I am killing you.”

I smirked, “Good.” Then took on a few lines.

He kept asking me questions about what I wanted, what to do, and I told him he should tell me what to do for the rest of the night. I was done making decisions.

He said, “Here take this. Swallow it.”

It was a full xanax. I don’t remember much after that, but collapsing in his arms. He said I scared him.

I woke up in the middle of the night freaking out. I said, “I have to walk the dogs, I have to get them home.”

He calmed me down, “They are ok, I walked them already. They are fine here, they are sleeping. Just go back to bed.”

I was circling around, ringing my hands like a madwoman, talking to myself, “I just don’t have control, I have to think about this. What’s the plan?”

He sounded agitated. He raised his voice, “Calm down!” I was making him nervous.

I collapsed in darkness all over again.

First thing in the morning, I drove the pack over.  Before I left, Frank said, “I will take Maggie. I am willing to take her off your hands.”

I chuckled, “No. She is my dog.”

He said, as he closed my car door, “Just saying, I will take her. I love that dog.”

Well that is one pit bull I can re-home in the event of suicide, but nobody wants my hyper-active, deaf pittie. Esther is the reason I didn’t kill myself. I knew if I died, she would die.

We were moving to a small room in the mountains, up roads with no street lights and horses. New beginnings.

I was relieved it was over, but now had a whole new pack of coke to manage, and two xanax left. I could break it all up to make it last a week. It got to the point that I didn’t need the xanax to sleep anymore. I could snort and nap in the same hour.

My body was hurting. The depression was swallowing me.

Me to Alan: “I want to take it back. I want to take it all back.”

I thought if I scrambled to get Alan back, I would be back together again.

Its interesting writing this blog. People will talk to me about the last blog, the Break-Up GChat, and say, “I can’t believe he said those things to you.” And, “If my boyfriend said that to me, I would rip my heart out.”

My little story is being influenced in real time. Its a unique experience as a writer.

Looking back on why I fought to get him back, I was just confused and wanted the pain to stop. I saw the cycle, I break up with boys and then set them up to take me back. I did it with Abe and I did it all the time with Eric. You get caught up in the cycle, and you just use it as gauze over that hole in your chest.

A lightening storm erupted over Doggie Daycare. Everyone told me there was a rainbow over the facility, so I stepped outside and took pictures. I texted them to Alan, as well as a picture of me with a small puppy and wrote, “My heart keeps growing back.”

Alan, “I’ll come see you next weekend. I don’t know when, how long or what I’ll feel. But I will come if you want. I can’t give you anything else now. My heart is still dead.”

To be continued . . .

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