Tag Archives: xanax

Relationships, Xanax and Facebook

Do people negotiate relationships like they do employment contracts and rental agreements? I think we should … you are embarking on an agreement with another human being that requires a shared understanding of expectations and boundaries.

“At that party, you said we could have an open relationship, did you mean that?” I asked.

polyamorous productions

“I don’t remember saying that, but I believe you,” he said. “I was drunk. If you have sex with someone else, I will say I love you very much, but we have to part ways.”

“So, no open relationship,” I asked again.

“I will say I love you very much, but we have to part ways.”

**

At the time, I was making some side income with my radio acting. Those of you just tuning in might not know, some of my money comes from morning radio shows, posing as a distraught wife or girlfriend to act out a scenario. DJs counsel me through while another paid actor, hired as my significant other or botched date, improvises with me on the air.

radio-tower-full

It pays well, about $40 per show, and a taping takes about 15 minutes to a half hour. I am given a scenario the night before with an alias, a time to expect a call from the radio station and, most times, a business name to drop at some point during the call. A credit union. A lawn mower company. A local or corporate business that paid to have their name dropped during an emotional, yet scripted, confession on morning radio. I do it and it is easy money. Sometimes we have multiple takes, but there is no pressure because it is all pre-recorded–  but always packaged as live, on the air. Listeners call in, passionate and opinionated, weighing in on the romantic kerfuffle but don’t realize I am a single girl in LA, most likely lounging on my bed with a book and three dogs by the time the call airs.

I hooked my roommate, Frank, up with the gig because he is a stand-up comic with a quick tongue and a dry delivery. Often we are booked together. One morning, we booked two shows in a row. The first call was about a first date he thought went well and wanted to know why I never called him back. The big reveal is after (my character) shows up to a Weezer concert to meet him for the first time, she discovers he is wearing tight, leather pants and is embarrassed and turned off. As you can see, scripted morning radio ain’t Hemingway.

“Who is this?” I asked after the DJs cued me and we were recording.

“This is (insert random middle American radio station). How are you doing today?” they asked as if we hadn’t been chatting the last five minutes off the air.

“I am only on my second cup of coffee. What do you want?” I asked.

“Well, we are just calling about [such and such] who took you out on a date and claims you never called him back,” the DJ responds.

I break out laughing. “Oh yeah, he wore these leather pants that were more like ‘Pork and Beans’ than ‘Pigs in a Blanket’ if you get me.”

They laughed. It was in another time zone, so the sun had not yet risen in Los Angeles.  Frank vehemently defended himself under the alias and we went on for almost 15 minutes before they thanked us and disconnected the call.

The next call was in 20 minutes in another state, so I had my cup of coffee and checked on my boyfriend, who was still asleep in my bed.

morning ritual radio coffee

This call was about how I pestered an attractive man on the phone until he turned cold. The reveal is that I really just want to take him to a family reunion; kind of like a movie I saw once with Debra Messing called ‘The Wedding Date’. I took the call and they asked me to describe how I had contacted this guy after one unsuccessful date. It is all improv, so I described how I pinged him via text, Gchat, facebook, etc. and he never got back to me.

They got Frank on the phone, really in his boxers and a t-shirt in the next room, and the improv moved to a place where the DJs (a male and a female) felt sorry for me and offered us both a limo and dinner before my family reunion. It went on for about 20 painful minutes until the call ended. Then Frank and I convened in the living room.

“See, I didn’t like the first call. I felt like I really had to get defensive as this fucking loser, but that call was just pathetic,” he said.

“Yeah well, I was the pathetic one. I had to channel the whole post-Huck scenario for material,” I said. Huck was the boy from Milwaukee I fell for in writing school in June. He broke my heart twice by July.

“Don’t tell me you were using real stuff! I don’t want to know the pathetic [StarFire] when the first call was the cool [StarFire],” he said.

“Well, they are both me …,“ I said before refilling my cup of coffee and checking in on Michael. He was still asleep. I was feeling hot and nauseous. After a show, Frank and I get restless. There is an adrenaline rush with improvising in general, but we are encouraged to work ourselves up to a domestic spat (“The more dramatic, the better” they always write in the summary email)  which is always my favorite part. You need at least half an hour after a call to decompress. I crawled into Frank’s room and sat on his daybed.

radio_tower

“Now I am amped,” he said, sitting next to me in his loafers and a pair of khaki shorts.

“I don’t feel well,” I said, leaning back.

“Do you want something? I have pills,” he said.

“Like what?”

“Xanies,” he said.

“Eugh,” I sputtered, “alright.” I broke the pill in half because everything hits me so God damn hard. I am always impressed with how many pills or drinks people can ingest when I am forced to remain economic with my dosage.  If I don’t watch the units I consume, I could get sick or worse, pass out.

I climbed back into bed with Michael and felt the fuzziness of Xanax rub against me. My body was humming like a guitar string and all the nausea disappeared. It was the morning we were going to Planned Parenthood to be tested for STDs. It would be a load off of my mind, especially considering the amount of unprotected sex we had.

dandelion paul harrett

A few weeks earlier, Michael was outside a bar talking to me about it. “So, I was thinking, if I get a disease like herpes or something like that from you, I would be ok with it. I mean, I think its worth it. And even with HIV … they will find a cure soon anyway, so that’s probably fine too.” I chuckled obviously because he would feel differently if I actually did transmit a disease to him. I know if it was the other way around, I would never forgive him. And as for HIV/AIDS, we all thought there would be a cure soon when we were 23.

On the way to Planned Parenthood in Pasadena, I felt the winter sunshine burn through my coat. My brain was blocking out all the shadows and doubts in the world and tuning into the classic rock station on the radio. It felt good to be with Michael. On Xanax, I didn’t believe our age difference was a problem. I didn’t think there were any problems. Everything felt like it was locking into a perfect fit, so I did the unthinkable: I changed my relationship status on Facebook and linked it to his profile.

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Facebook is such a dangerous place for a person like me. I am an exhibitionist by nature, an entertainer, therefore creating my own virtual platform is already too easy. The smarter performers separate their personal lives from their “persona”. Sadly, my personal life is my persona.

The other factor about Facebook is the way information aggregates- it really feeds into an obsession where my thumb and brain are constantly searching, scrolling, perusing to collect more data- no matter how useless, trivial or violating. In general, I would agree that I have a Facebook addiction because it has reconfigured my mind to mark and advertise any moment, thought or event just before the minute, moment and memory expire. If I am unable to mark it, I feel less control over time. If we were sitting at a cafe and discussing this over coffee right now, we might have a deeper conversation on the matter.  I would agree with you that time is not necessarily real. Time is an illusion. Social networking invigorates the best and worst parts of man; impulse and discussion. However, right now I am talking about relationships, xanax and Facebook- so … another time.

This particular Planned Parenthood has a back building devoted only to STD testing off the street and behind the clinic. Michael and I parked the car and sat in a waiting room with a few other couples, mostly Hispanic teenagers wearing spiked bracelets and glitter eye shadow. We were both taken in around the same time but to different rooms and different nurses.

thank god for planned parenthood

“How many sexual partners have you had in the last year?” “A lot”

“Do you use condoms?” “No.”

“Do you use intravenous drugs?” “No.”

They took a sample of my urine, saliva and blood and I sat to in the waiting room wondering how close I had played my luck this time around.

Meanwhile, Michael’s questions were a lot simpler. Although, when asked if his sexual partner used intravenous drugs, he thought about cracking open the door and calling out the question to me in the waiting room.

“Of course not,” I said, later. “Like heroin? Come on.”

“Well, I don’t know,” he said. I realized much of what Michael knew about me at that point had to do with this blog and a glamorized version of my dark side.

We got our HIV results at the end of the visit- both of us were clear. And later the rest of our tests came back clear as well. Lady Luck was still on my side, at least for another hand.

Jeffrey Alan Love polyamory
For the rest of the afternoon, Michael and I decided to make love. Since I posted this blog, I learned that we did not make love, rather I fell asleep when he went down on me. (I assure you this has nothing to do with his skill but the thick, heavy influence of Xanax) The incident required more than one discussion on how insensitive I was and how hurt he was.  I fell into a deep, self-medicated sleep. A 6-hour nap. I missed phone calls and emails. By the time I woke out of my drug-induced coma, it was dark outside.

“I am worried about the dogs,” I said.

“We will go walk them, just lay here with me for a second,” Michael said.

I curled into his arm with my cell phone and pulled up Facebook. The spell was broken. My brain was back on its feeding frenzy.

“Oh fuck, I changed my relationship status?” I said.

“Yeah, baby. Remember? I asked you if it was because of the Xanax but you said you wanted to do it anyway,” he said.

“Well of course it was because of the Xanax. It is an anti-anxiety drug. I felt anxious about our relationship until I took it,” I said.

He laughed in his way, leaning back and covering his eyes with the inside of his arm before sighing, “Baby …”

“Oh well,” I said. “It’s out there now. I am your girlfriend. Good luck!”

Our story begins

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Beginnings.

It is hard to decide when someone you are calling on someone for sex or for company. Well, it is hard for me since I assume every man I am with prefers the former. After Abe, my boyfriend of two years, broke up with me a few days before his cousin’s wedding, and a few weeks after agreeing to move in with me, I had officially given up. Maybe it wasn’t official. There was still Huck, who I fell head over heels for at writing school for the week residency in June.

In between, I had several small love affairs with European men while in France. In Washington, I had a few one night stands, one that was a little more, mostly with younger men … less charming men. When you are a single woman and you really harness spontaneity, the short-lived spark of a moment and the sweet surrender of pleasure … you don’t go so hard for the hunt of a mate. I am sure when my body starts aging I will feel differently, but right now I feel as if I have unlocked the secret of being a man.

hollywood stones

The Hollywood Stones, the Rolling Stones cover band, I followed and adored through the outskirts of Los Angeles county, were playing in Orange County. Abe lived in Orange County and I thought it a good opportunity to see him again. We kissed goodbye in spring, before I left for France and spent the summer in Washington. Last thing I heard from him was a text: “I read your blog. I am so glad you had so much time to write all those things down!”

I wrote back, “Oh, you must have read about Huck.” He didn’t respond and I didn’t press. The man disappears when its convenient and only ever really reaches out on holidays or when he visits his grandfather’s grave.

My fear with reconnecting with him in person was that I would fall back in love with him and resume a love affair that would go absolutely nowhere. Old habits die hard.

Down to Orange County I went with my two roommates, Gary and Frank. We still were on a coke binge of some kind, there was plenty left or plenty more bought … I wasn’t sure. We did several lines and arrived to Harvey’s Steakhouse in Huntington Beach blitzed, riding in on the white pony. Frank wanted to order a steak and some nice liquor. That is part of who he is. Gary was just along for the ride, he couldn’t find a job, had no money and didn’t talk very much. There was a balance between Frank and Gary- they both enjoyed each other’s company while I was away at work but when it came to serious issues like finances and forgotten children, I was the one they spoke to.

At Harvey’s, it was my first time seeing the band since I was kicked out of an outdoor concert in Sherman Oaks for dancing too wildly and (supposedly) not wearing any underwear, which is total bullshit by the way. I made contact with the band via Facebook. They already recognized me from dancing on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, at the Brixton in Redondo Beach and definitely when I was asked to leave by police at the Earth Day concert in Sherman Oaks. The band promised me a t-shirt and gift bag the next time I saw them in concert, afterall,  they found my dancing to be “inspirational”. I should state here many people think I am on drugs when I dance, the truth is no one can really dance like I do drunk or on drugs. It would be physically impossible to dance that long and hard. From the first note to the last, I keep going.  When I dance, it is with every drop of heart and soul. Most people love it, some people hate it. That seems to be the case with most things though …

Halloween Hollywood Stones 2

I was nervous because I really wanted to this cover band to like me, we hadn’t ever spoken in person. Once, I spoke to the lead guitarist after their St. Patrick’s Day performance on the Queen Mary. “Are you in a relationship?” I asked.

“Of course. Aren’t you?”

“No, he couldn’t commit,” I said.

“Well, I have heard that one before,” he said.

“Midnight Rambler, please?” I always ask.

“We only had til midnight. Not this time,” he said.

bill wyman
Since that night in April, they have closed with Midnight Rambler to every show I have ever attended. Is it because of my request that night? I don’t really know. Once I hear the dripping, heavy harmonica, I scream. The women on the dance floor flop around as if Dick Swagger’s (that is the name of the lead singer) lips are blowing directly on the globular bud tucked away safe between their legs. Even the least attractive drunk finds the rhythm of sex during that song, and in the beat we share that rhythm together. Once in awhile I will look up and see all the women surrounding me in the dark, as the drum and guitar catch up to the clacking, bluesy voice steaming out of the harmonica. It is a beautiful sight.

Dick Swagger
This particular night, I did not invite Michael to join me. Michael was the boy I was sexually involved with. He was on my mind, but I didn’t want to be confused with him and Abe in the same place, at the same time. And I didn’t want to make it awkward for them. I will freely admit I keep the men I loved on a string partly because I don’t know how to give up on love and partly because it eases the ache of rejection. It always seems nicer to stay in touch- nicer and more confusing.

We arrived, our pupils large and black. I was in a red and black tutu Frank bought me with a Freddy Krueger hat Alia set on fire and stomped on to make more authentic. I also had the token Freddy glove. I was running out of money and had to stick with what I knew. Put on some glitter knee high socks, converse and a ripped ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ shirt and voila! StarFire failsafe. Girl Kreuger. (I love “Nightmare on Elm Street”)

Halloween Hollywood Stones 1

The band came on with the music before Abe arrived. Abe is always late. He is also always stoned. I dragged Frank to the floor and it only took a few seconds before other people stormed up to join us, like it was the beginning of a revolution. That is usually the case. It only takes one. The problem was the cocaine was making my heart palpitate. It was difficult dancing, because I when I go, I go hard. I thought if hard core bands like Led Zeppelin or the Stones can go on and perform shows high on coke, I should be able to dance for a couple hours.  After the first song, I could feel myself get dizzy and wondered if I would pass out. I kept going. No matter what my body is telling me, no matter how hard my feet and thighs are screaming “Stop!” or my lungs and heart burn, the music keeps me in motion.

Frank was mixing his cocaine with xanax, and after a few days that makes him funny. In this case, it started when I refused to dance with him to ‘Time is on My Side’. I shook him off. “I never dance with other people,” I said. He looked hurt, then offended, then indignant. The xanax was bringing out that aggression. He would dance close, or get close to the guitarist and nod his head heavily or block out some other schmuck trying to dance with me. The guitarist would look at him, then at me, trying to piece together what to do.

cocaine lover

“Ya’ll got … cocaine eyes …” I sang to him. I flicked my fingers over my eyes with the line. He doesn’t remember. That is the problem with doing too many drugs, they make you act like an asshole but rob you of the memory. You can’t learn, reflect or empathize. You let something else take over your body for a period of time. A monster maybe. A machine. Something that wasn’t Frank. He stopped every once in awhile on the dance floor to hold his head, shake and scream. Men pulled their girlfriends away. Xanax only ever makes me blackout, but that night it sucked my friend’s soul away.

coke clown
Abe arrived and once I saw him I felt my smile. I rushed over to him in between sets and greeted him.

“I know I am late,” he said.

“$8 cover charge,” the man at the front said.

“There is a cover?” he said, annoyed.

“Well, you should have come early and got in on our table. That is the price you pay for being tardy,” I said.

He stretched out his eyes just before stretching out his wallet and pulled out a $20 bill he never worked for. He got the change back and I asked him to dance with me. He wouldn’t. He still claims the band hates him … which makes no sense. “I haven’t been really doing anything, except discovering the secrets of the universe,” he said. Floating in a cloud of THC and family money can make you believe anything about yourself.

At Harvey’s, the band is afforded three sets and the third is always the best because they throw in all my favorites “Sympathy for the Devil”, “Miss You”, once “I’ve Got the Blues”, “19th Nervous Breakdown”, “Monkey Man”, “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’”. It is the bluesier set. They also have a saxophonist. He is an older guy, we spoke outside during a break.

“We really appreciate seeing someone who shares the same level of enthusiasm in the music we have.”

I blushed. “To dance to a live saxophone on ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ is a dream come true. Thank you!”

A guy came out of the club and looked me up and down, “Whatever you do in life, dress like that every day.”

“Thanks,” I said flatly.

“You must have had a lot of drinks to dance like that,” he said.

“Not really. I am their groupie,” I said.

“Well, I am a groper,” he returned. I snarled my upper lip and turned away. Charmed.

The saxophonist smiled. He was cool, in his 50s, wearing down from the late nights and lungs full for brass. He leaned against a post outside the corner Orange County steakhouse and smiled away from me.

“Do you smoke?” I asked.

“Not cigarettes,” he said. I smiled and nodded. I was still shy with the band. It wasn’t because I wanted anything from them, certainly not sex. The majority of the band is over the age  of 45. I just wanted (and still want) them to like me.

Before the third set, one of the guitarists approached me with a gift bag. “We designed the shirt just for you,” he said. I blushed, though you couldn’t notice from how red my face was. The cocaine softened in my system, and I was drinking one goblet of water after another.

I pulled out a red tank top with a completely lace back. There was a card and a pin. I thanked him and loosely hugged him, worried my sweat might stick to his. “You should come and hang out with us in between sets,” he said.

“I don’t want to bother you. I know you are in the zone and everything.”

“Don’t feel that way, please. Feel free to stop by for a conversation and talk to us.”

Halloween Hollywood Stones
When the third set came around, Gary was hanging by the table or outside with Abe chatting. Abe would never come back on the dance floor. Frank did come back in, sipping something out of a small glass, “They are talking about probiotics and bananas out there,” he said. I laughed but kept far enough away to watch him, as he teetered against the wall in a black fog. He wouldn’t remember any of this in the morning.

I wouldn’t leave the music for Gary or Abe outside. I wouldn’t leave the music with the waves of nausea and exhaustion bursting from my overworked, pumping heart. The saxophonist was done for the night and blocked Frank from getting too close to me on the dance floor, first by the restrooms then closer to the bar with his single drink. I danced to the last note and the lead guitarist saw me after the show. “Get home safe tonight,” he said, glancing towards Frank. I nodded and smiled, brushing my hand against the vintage, velvet sleeve.

I said goodbye to Abe, who I barely saw that night and then tried to drive all three of us home. Frank passed out in the passenger side and I told Gary I was going to throw up. “Can you drive?” I asked.

“Sure, I just don’t know where I am going,” he said.

“Follow the navigation on my phone,” I said, cueing it up for him.

In the back seat, I fell down on a cloud of cocaine, and several glasses of water with no food in my stomach. I felt the car come to a start and heard Gary whine, “I don’t know where I am going.”

In my motherly voice, “Do you need me to take over?” I asked.

“Sorry, [StarFire]” he said.

I got in the driver’s seat and consulted the navigation to find out we were in Long Beach, that is the opposite direction of Glendale. Gary wasn’t too bright. “I am going to throw up so can you find a plastic bag back there?” I asked.

I heard him rustle and then give up after 20 seconds.

“No plastic bag?” I asked.

“No, sorry,” he said.

So I pulled over and vomited up about two liters of water. Frank woke up out of his deep snooze and rubbed my back, but I was in no mood. I shook him off and puked once inside the car just to make a statement. Yeah it was my car, so what kind of statement I don’t know. Then I drove us home. “Two grown men in the car and no one can help me get home …” I said. Gary apologized again, but Frank was back to snoring.

The next morning, I woke up Frank with two cups of tea and sat on the floor of his bedroom.

“Do you remember last night?” I asked.

“I um … remember some of it but most it is lost, I have to be honest,” he said.

“You have to stop taking the xanax,” I said. “It was bad last night. Really bad.”

“I could say some things about you but I am going to hold back,” he said. It hurt to have the talk so he threw that out once then twice. “There are some things I could say about you, but I am not going to right now.”

“Ok, this is about you and you were out of control last night. I was embarrassed. You need to stop,” I said, staring at him.

“I heard your peace,” he said, sipping his tea. “Should I expect tea every morning from you?” His smile crept up between blowing the steam off the top.

What resonated with Frank was my refusal to slow dance with him. “I have just never seen anyone go that ga–ga over a cover band. I mean, they aren’t the Stones, they are a cover band!”

My friend Jerry was over for this particular conversation and said, “When [StarFire] dances, she dances with the band.”

“You’re telling me,” Frank said, giggling over his disappointment. “You can go see them again, but I am done with that band. I don’t need to see that again.”

“Great,” I said, “No man ever wants to just dance with me to the Stones.”

“Honey, not like that,” he said, before taking a long, sip of coffee.

**

A few days later I recovered most of my things from a storage unit in Orange County. Abe helped me, and as he gathered my things out of his garage and packed up my car, I flirted with him. I stood close and tried to kiss him on the mouth. “What is wrong with you?” he asked.

“I am just so God damn attracted to you,” I said, grabbing his hips.

He was awkward about those kind of things. He laughed and pulled away, regrouped and verbally planned out how to pack up my car. I leaned against the hood of my car and propped my leg up. He laughed and walked away. He smelled of cigarettes and laundry detergent. He was exactly the same. Nothing had changed in him.

When we got to my storage unit, we packed up both our cars to drive back to Glendale (which was over an hour in rush hour traffic).  I thought about whether or not I wanted to have sex with him. I thought about what it would mean. Would I go back to mooning over him? False hope about a relationship? False comfort? I really didn’t want to go back. The hardest part of seeing him again was resisting the urge to fall back in love, and it took me like a stranglehold. He was nice, he was attractive, awkward, calm, all the things I loved about him though I knew he had nothing more to give me.  To this day, sitting here in my bedroom with another man’s smell on my pillows and blanket, it still makes me sad.

I thought about Michael. I knew I made love to him twice and he was inexperienced enough to be vulnerable about my other partners. If I had sex with Abe would I have to tell him? Was I capable of leaving him for Abe? God, how could I live with myself?.

Those pristine blue eyes under the shadows of his severe eyebrows brought me in again. “We cast a spell on each other,” he said once.

We got back to the apartment in Glendale and unloaded most of my stuff from storage. Abe smoked out Gary and the two seemed to get along well. They were both in a nonsense world with minimal responsibility. That said, they both helped me when they could. Gary would walk the dogs and do the dishes. Abe unpacked my things and set up an air mattress my boss loaned me.

Abe and Gary
When the lights went out and the house outside my bedroom door settled, I wondered if I would have sex with Abe again. I wanted to, but it felt like the wrong thing to do. “If we had sex, I am afraid you would lose your mind again,” he said. I laughed. “Me too.”

It is hard loving someone partly with your soul, but completely with your body. I laid down and he played some music on my computer. I asked him to rub my back and I fell asleep with his warm hands on my back and legs. In the middle of the night, I woke up to him climbing out of bed with me, still fully clothed. “I have to go home now,” he whispered.

“Stay,” I groaned, grasping at the air.

“I can’t,” he said. And that was the last I saw of him.

***

It wasn’t long before I was back in Frank’s closet, snorting a few more lines. As long as it was there, the three of us, Gary, Frank and me, kept going, playing music, sweating, roaming, circling in and out like a merry-go-round.

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Somewhere earlier in the day, another ping rung out from my phone. It was from Huck again: “Miss you.. im comi gng to lax in december. I cant waieoq.” I screamed and dropped my phone again. I looked down at my black phone on the floor frozen. Then I screamed again.

“What …?” Frank asked. I read him the message. It was unlike Huck to misspell words, so I assumed he was drunk. Later I found out it was written by his girlfriend at the time. After reading the words aloud, Frank leaned back, “Tell him Super Shuttle is $13.”

I laughed and picked up my phone. “What … the .. fuck?”

“Seriously, if you bring him back here during residency, I will knock his block off. And I am serious,” he said.

“I would never … ever … TOUCH him again!” I said.

“Ok,” he said sing-song. “Just don’t bring him back here.”

*

I hadn’t heard much from Michael, he was still at a cool distance. I texted him: “What are you doing tonight?”

“Hanging out with my best friend [StarFire]” he wrote.

A few lines of fairy dust were swept into a small baggie with a make-shift straw I kept sticking out of the top. Instead of laying down lines on a mirror or surface, I would just snort directly out of the bag. There wasn’t much, not to justify what a junkie I can be. It is just a moment. A dance in time. It would be over soon enough and I would be back to work.

“Should I ask where you are going?” Frank asked.

“No,” I said finishing up the line he cut for me before rushing out the door. “Dogs are walked and fed. See you in the morning.”

*

I showed up to Michael’s house in Pasadena. He was the only tenant on the bottom floor. His room had a bed, a massage chair, a computer and a dresser, all in black or white decor. He greeted me as I walked in, “So I have champagne, chocolate soy ice cream, mango soy ice cream, wine and vegan almond squares.”

“Oh my, you have been reading my blog,” I said, delighted. I sat down eyeing the champagne first.

“But first I would like to take you out to dinner. Anywhere you would like to go,” he said, smiling.

“That’s ok, you don’t have to do that,” I said, popping open the champagne myself.

He slowly nodded, trying to understand what that meant. “I am not very hungry,” I continued, opening my little baggie and taking a whiff of dust. I felt his hands on my shoulder, he was short but I loved the way he touched me. The weight of his hands fell around my shoulders, and I felt his breath on the back of my neck as I snorted. Snorting cocaine excites men, which I never understood since it seems like such dirty business.

cocaine street art

When I was done, I felt the heat of his body pull away from behind. “You wanna go smoke a cigarette?” he asked. I smiled and nodded. Outside, there was a fire pit of sorts, surrounded by old, rotten couches and a stand alone fridge, stocked with beer. Plenty of young men occupied the house, but I rarely saw them. It was dark and cold, but the fire was going and the hot tobacco warmed me up.

“So I got a message from Huck, remember Huck from my blog? He wrote me ‘Miss you. I am coming to LAX in December. Can’t wait to see you.’ I mean, what the fuck? Who does this? Who breaks someone’s heart and then pulls strings afterward? I wouldn’t do that. If I hurt someone as much as he hurt me, I wouldn’t go near them again just for sex or whatever he wants. Its not fair.”

“You know what you sound like? Someone who had their heart broken,” Michael said.

I blew out some steam and then allowed him to light a second cigarette. “You know there aren’t other girls like you?” he said. “You know that, right?” I hung my head heavily to the side. It is a beautiful thing to say but I didn’t know how to respond without sounding arrogant or self-deprecating.

“You are a beautiful woman, you are a great writer, I love those blogs. I don’t read very much but it is easy for me to read your writing. That says a lot. It keeps me interested. You have a, you know, good head on your shoulders. And you are great in bed. What more do you need?” he said.

“I would like to be funny,” I said, smiling through the burn and the darkness. “You are,” he said.

I knew the kid was holding me up high. The blog is a monster because I refine my life and bring out my best and worst moments to be a character. There is a human under the witty banter, the drugs, the adventures and the sex. The human is always less appealing than the character. He would find out who I was, eventually, but for that moment in time I wanted to be his fantasy. Those are always the best parts of my relationships. The beginnings.

We spent the entire night making love. Sex would last a few minutes; the groaning, the sweat, the sloppy ecstasy before a quick end. Then it would start back up all over again. In between sessions, we would talk. I was out of coke but forgot about it. There was no come down, there was no aggravation, no rustle for the last few drops of white powder.  He made me laugh and my withdrawal vanished.

“Here, let me play some music for you,” he said, pulling up his Pandora.

“The Diva channel? Really, Michael. I don’t know what straight guy has Celine Dion and Cher as a channel,” I said.

“Why not?” he squeaked. We played some music and talked about more music. He knew more about 80s music and culture than I did, which still baffles me since he was born in 1989. He must have spent a lot of time alone as a child.

“You are cold as ice, willing to sacrifice our love …” he sang.

“You know who sings that?” I asked.

“Yeah, Foreigner.”

“No, really.”

“Look it up.”

I got on his computer at the desk parallel to his bed and pulled up ‘Cold as Ice’ by the Chipmunks. “See? It wasn’t Foreigner, it was the Chipmunks.” I pressed play and made him listen to Alvin, Simon and Theodore harmonize. He laughed with his whole body. I watched him lay in bed with a perfect upper torso, black hair trailing down his stomach to his plump cock, and the laughter tighten around the muscles in his abdomen. He had a high pitched laugh, but it wasn’t feminine. It sounded like the squealing of tires and made me feel brilliant every time I cracked a joke. It also created that bubbling sensation in my sternum, the possibility of love or what I know of love.

“Suggested videos from the Chipmunks is ‘West Side Story’” I said, clicking over to a medley of songs. “Maria”, “When You’re a Jet”, “America”, “Cool” all played, and I sang them almost word for word.

Westside-Story-classic-movies-6446879-2560-2010

“How do you know all the words?” he asked.

“I am a fan,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“You want to see my impression of ‘West Side Story’? Eh, my name is Tony and Chino killed me. Oh…” he said in fast, low thug voice. I cackled. He does quick and silly impressions of people and movies. It is one of my favorite things about him.

“Uh oh, looks like someone is drunk Facebooking,” I said, rolling over his computer. “‘I wish people wouldn’t tell me how to raise my kid, go to hell!’ is her status update. Let’s review the events of the night and see what brought her there. Two hours ago ‘What a beautiful night, I am blessed!’ Uh oh, only two hours ago? What happened? One hour ago “Why does my life have to be so difficult? Because of the men I choose to share it with. When will I learn?’ Ok, so in the last two hours she had a bad conversation with the father of her child, I guess, and chased it with a bottle of wine. I love it. I am a pro at drinking and Facebooking.”

“And we love you for it,” he said. His soft brown eyes always looked glazed over. All the years I had known Michael it never occurred to me we would have a chemistry. You would think there would be a tingle, a moment of recognition, a hint of some kind that this person could make you fly with a kiss.

“I will get a dog. A dog with three legs is like … cool. A dog with two legs is like, ooooh, I really love that dog. A dog with no legs and just wheels is heaven!” he said. “That’s my goal, to get a dog with no legs,” he said smiling. Sometimes he would sit up on his bed and face me, as I nursed the bottle of champagne and then the bottle of red from his desk. Other times he laid back. We had made love four times, but were both wide awake.

dog with legs 0.jpg

“Tell me your deepest, darkest secret,” he said.

“Why?”

“Just to do it, why not?” he asked.

“Because I am having a good time. I don’t want to change the tone. Do you have a secret you want to share?” I asked.

“Not really,” he said. I crawled on the bed to fit in the nook of his arm. When we laid side by side, I could feel encased by him. I could look up to him and feel smaller, pocketed, loved the way I was used to. Standing up, I felt like the Jolly Green Giant.

“Did I tell you about the time I tried to kill myself?” he asked.

“No,” I said, softly.

“I feel like I did. How they had to pump my stomach with charcoal,” he continued.

“I feel like I would have remembered that. What led up to that decision?”

“I was 15 and my Mom had this snowglobe. My grandmother gave it to her and she just died. I accidentally broke it. When she found out she screamed ‘I hate you!’”

WinterSnowGlobe
“That’s terrible … but is that all?” I said. “Not to take anything away from you but … was that all that happened?”

“Yeah. That was it,” he said. I realized then how fragile he was. “My childhood wasn’t great. Kids were mean to me. I let them be mean to me but it still sucked. One time I let them set me on fire.”

“Oh my God,” I said again. “Did you get badly burned?”

“Yeah, that was horrible. I had to pull my sweatshirt over my head,” he said. I realized why he was attracted to me, why he loved the blog so much. He thought we connected because we suffered in the same way, but we all suffer, and all in different ways.

“How were your parents?” I asked.

“Well, my father died. Did I tell you that? I thought I did,” he said.

“No, stop saying that you told me these things because it makes me feel like I am not paying attention. I would remember stuff like suicide and dead father.”

“Yeah, he died when I was 19,” he said.

“I am sorry.”

“No big deal, he was barely around at that point,” he said, lightly. The eyes made sense now; the loss, the burning desire to rescue paraplegic dogs and fuck me. I put my arm over his chest. “My grandfather died, his funeral is next weekend so I will be out of town.”

“Oh, I am sorry about that, too,” I said.

“We weren’t close. No big deal.”

“It might be good to go back and settle business before you move back to Milwaukee,” I said.

“Maybe I won’t move back,” he said.

“Oh,” I said. In fact, I can’t remember what I said but I felt my heart stop and a chill freeze my blood. He was going to stay because of me. “It sounds like you have a pretty solid plan though.”

“Not really. I just thought I could go back there for a change, but I can do all the things I was going to do over there here.”

“What about school? You were going to be a vet tech?”

“Field animal observation. I can do that anywhere. I was looking at Glendale Community College. I can get free tuition in California,” he said.

“Well, you know my feelings on Milwaukee so, I think that would be a better life for you to stay. Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons,” I said.

“I will,” he sighed, holding me closer, blowing into my rustled head of hair.

It was around this time I crawled down and gave him a blow job- not because I was in love but because I knew it would impress him. I also knew it wouldn’t take too long. Afterward, with the moaning and praise, he said, “I never knew it could be this way. That was the best head I’ve ever had.”

“Well, you are only 23,” I said.

“No, sex with you is on some other level. I can’t explain it. I never have had sex like this before,” he said.

“Well, I am probably more experienced than the other girls you have been with. That’s all.”

“When you touch me, there is an electricity,” he said, covering his face with his forearm. His skin was so milky white in contrast to his black hair. He almost looked like a sculpture of a Roman soldier I admired in the courtyards of Paris- with the prominent nose, the robust physique, the marble-like complexion. I wiped my mouth and crawled back into the crevice of his arm singing ‘I Feel Pretty’. We agreed to turn on “West Side Story” and fell asleep to it. I woke up to Maria crying over Tony and muttered in a morning voice, “She was so good in this movie …”

“Yeah” he sighed, holding me up for a morning kiss. We made love a few more times before agreeing to go to breakfast.

The only place I could think to go was the vegan place in Los Feliz  Abe and I used to regularly go called Green Leaves. It is all vegan, vegan pancakes with vegan chicken and vegan eggs. We came in together and the usual waiter recognized me, looked at Michael and smiled. I shamelessly sat down with a head of hair that was tossed in a hundred different directions during a hundred different positions.

“I am not going to push you, but I want you to know at some point I am going to ask to be in a relationship with you. I want you to be my girlfriend. It doesn’t have to be now, but I want to talk to you about it later,” he said.

I nodded, “Ok.”

“I am not sure how you are feeling but I have feelings for you,” he said.

“I am having feelings too, but I am not looking for a relationship right now. Things have been going really well with this whole casual approach thing I am doing. It is hard to be in a relationship with someone like me,” I said. “Let’s just leave it at ‘We can do whatever we want.’”

“Well, I would like to try. Like I said, let that sit. We can talk about it later,” he said, casually picking up a menu. And just like that, my heart was dragged back under by a 23-year-old from Milwaukee. His mother was going to kill me.

Michael at green Leaves

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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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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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