Monday, April 30, 2012

A sober birthday.  The first one in how long?  Eight years?  Is that the right number?  The right amount of time?  How much of my life have I blurred with drugs?

    Well, it passes well enough.  The day is gorgeous.  Blue skies with those big, white, fluffy clouds.  The temperature calms in the sixties.  It’s perfect.

    We gather at a friend’s.  We make pizza, once again.  I learn how to roll and pull the dough for the crust.  I smear on roasted garlic and olive oil.  Drop on caramelized onions.  Strategically place slices of goat cheese and apple.  And sprinkle on fresh thyme.  I even get to slide the whole thing off the pizza peel into the 1200 degree hearth outside, as friends lean over and marvel with interest.

It’s good fun.  The time goes.

I speak with the Mother while we stand by the koi pond.  She throws nuggets of fish food in.  We talk of depression.  We talk of the battles.  The darkness.  The weight.  Her Son.  

Her lost Son.  

My lost friend.  

And it’s encouraging but also so despairing.  It leaves me rugged.  It leaves me limping and bare.

We all leave shortly after.  When the sun goes down.

I drive home with a friend and tell her how nights are the hardest.  How these nights, these nights, tear me apart.  She places her hand on my shoulder and I try to feel something besides defeat.

But I can’t.

So I just drive the car in silence. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another day.  A birthday.  Another year down the drain.

    I’m twenty-seven today.  Twenty-seven.  I am a number.

    This day is supposed to be a bad one.  A pattern has developed.  The evens are good.  The odds are always so horrid.  So utterly wretched.
    But maybe things can be different.  Maybe we can break this cycle.  Maybe things will change.  

After all, they are, aren’t they?  That’s what we’ve been doing the past month.  From the moment you walked into that clinic and exposed yourself to the world.  From the moment you decided to address the plague that has crippled you for so long.  The plague you secretly loved.  Possibly still love.  Are so afraid of removing.  

Let go.

But we’re moving forward.  We’re pushing and straining and trying and trying and trying.  We can’t stop trying.  We can’t.  There’s no choice.

So, we enter this year as clean as we can.  We wipe off the residue and muck we carried from the previous.  We bathe ourselves.  Brush off the dust.  Shovel out the ash.  

Time to build it back up.  Time to try again.  And we will keep trying.  It’s all we can do.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

      Again and again and again.  What happens?

    The nine of us are seated around a circular wooden table.  This is a Friday night.  Some rock tunes are playing from an ipod.  Beer mugs and shot glasses clutter the table, along with the board game we’re playing.  Pictionary?  Or have we moved onto Catch Phrase?  I’m not sure.

Regardless, the Girl gets up to go smoke a cigarette.  She asks if I want to come with her.  I say yes.

Of course, I say yes.

We rise and I grab the itchy, beige cardigan that’s draped over the back of my chair and my giant green beanie that made its way to the floor.  Nobody seems to care that we’re leaving.  The game continues on.

As we near the door I tell her I’ll meet her outside.  That I have to use the bathroom.  After all, I’ve been chugging water all night.  

When she arrived I had a sample of beer in front of me.  A small pour from a bottle everyone shared.  She sat down, and after one of the nine had pulled a bottle of liquor out from the freezer and started pouring shots, she asked if she could have a beer.  One beer.  I shook my head no.  Gave the rest of my sample to someone else.  And that was that.  It was done.

So, as I enter the bathroom, it perturbs me to find a half full bottle of Yuengling perched on top of the water tank of the toilet.  I immediately infer that one of my housemates had taken a shower earlier while drinking the beer and forgot about it upon finishing.  I pick the bottle up as I relieve myself.  It still feels cold.  I bring it to my lips.  Feel the carbonation pop against my tongue and taste the malty sweetness as I swish it through my teeth to my cheeks.  

It goes down so easy.  So very easy.

And I imagine the Girl will want some.  I imagine it’ll be a little treat while we share the cigarette she’s most likely already started.  Something we can enjoy to ourselves.  Away from everyone else.  Outside.  Under the stars.  How romantic.

I grin at myself in the mirror.

She’s seated on the front step with her knees drawn to her chest.  I sit down beside her and feel the chill of the cement through my pants.  

Casually, I bring the bottle to my lips again and swallow.

She turns towards me and I offer her the bottle.

I hold it out into the dark night.  Into the cold.

She looks from my eyes to my hand, then to the ground.  To the grass.  To the cars parked down the street.  Away.  Away.

She shakes her head no.  Drags on the cigarette.  

The smoke blows in my face.

I have failed. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

    A piece of paper.  A piece of paper has never felt so heavy.  Felt so dense to my fingertips.
    She hands it to me from across the table, while we’re seated in the cafeteria.

    It catches me off-guard.  I’m still swallowing the last bite of the turkey wrap I bought.  

    And the fellow who decided to join us has no idea.  He’s munching on his quesadilla, looking about the cafeteria.  Wondering whether that woman who’s in a mania will find and annoy him.

    But the paper.  The paper.

    It’s covered in words.  Words written so big and words written so small.  Words repeated and repeated and repeated and words that must’ve hurt so much that they were only written once.  In handwriting that could only suggest a trembling hand.  A red face.    

    I wince while I read.

    There are curses sprawled all over.  Curses towards someone else and curses towards herself.  There are quotations that deeply wounded whoever received the lines.  There’s sex stained across the entire page.  Alcohol and lies.  Betrayal and rejection.  Pain.  Sorrow.  All the good stuff.

    Once I’m done reading I can’t move.  I can’t look away from the page.  From the piece of paper that was torn from a composition notebook.  My hands latch onto it as if it’ll break if it falls to the floor.
    She’s staring at me from across the table.

    “Does this change anything?” she asks.

    I look up.  “Only for the better,” I say.

    Only for the better.  And I mean it. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

    More and more and more words.  What to do with them all?

    I go to a friend’s.  The Mother makes pizza from scratch and the Father throws them in the stone hearth he built in their backyard.  Others sit around the island counter in the kitchen picking on walnuts and leftover bits of cheese.  There are smiles and laughs and soon enough there is fresh baked pizza that we all devour.
At the end of the night I’m presented with a homemade carrot cake that tastes divine.  I blow out seven candles.
I turn twenty seven on Sunday.
(Does this mean anything?)
When it’s time to leave I receive hugs from everyone.  I am wrapped in embraces.  Enriched by warm bodies.  By affection.
By love.
And these are good times.  They calm me for the long ride home.  When I sit in silence and stare at the darkness passing by so quickly.  At my life streaming by on the highway.

So why is it they feel so weighted on this hazy morning?  This bleak and chilly morning?
Where is the sun that shone so brightly yesterday?
Where are all those warm bodies?
Why do I need comfort from someone,
(Please, anyone),
All the time?
These eyelids fight against me.  I’m being sabotaged.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Wednesday.  What happens on Wednesdays?
     I wake with a girl in my bed on Wednesdays.  I wake to her Mother calling.  The cell phone vibrates on the floor.
     I pass it to her and watch as she mumbles into the receiver with closed eyes.  A piece of jewelry hangs from her septum.  Her black, dirty hair sprawls out on the pillow case of palm trees.  She smells of cigarettes and worn clothes.

She looks beautiful.
     After she hangs up a slow moan seeps from her.  I kiss her cheek.  Bury my face between her neck and shoulder.
     “I have to go,” she says.
     She always says she has to go.
     I shake my head, but she rises anyway.  Standing on the bed in disorientation, she grabs her socks and shoves them in the book bag she brought with her.  Her box of cigarettes are on the floor and she picks them up.  Checks to see how many there are.  Puts the box in her purse.
     Once she pulls on the brown fabric boots she wore in, she looks towards the bathroom mirror and rustles her hair this way and that.  
     I lay and observe.  Quietly.  Patiently.
     Eventually she looks down at me and I smile.
     I smile while staring into her hazel eyes.
     Then she leaves.  She’s out the door and I’m alone.
     Once again.
     That’s a Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    What happens?  What always happens?
     I’m sitting in group therapy.  Which one is it?  Dual Diagnosis?  Is that the one?
     Anyways, I’m sitting there and the swelling becomes apparent.  A sorrow is gaining mass in my chest.  It’s bulging.  I can’t conceal it any longer.
     My nose begins to drip and the social worker asks if I have a cold.  I chuckle and say yes.  I rise from my chair.  I say excuse me.  (Must be polite).  Then I’m out the door.  I text a friend who is seated in regular group therapy.  The group that doesn’t have abuse problems.  The luckier group.  

I tell her to meet me outside.
     And it’s cold outside.  It’s overcast.  It’s drizzling.  But I don’t care.  I sit on the curb and I let it rain down on me.  I let the tears come and the heavy sobs and sniffles and snot and gasps for air.  I let it happen.
     My friend comes out and crouches in front of me.  She asks what’s wrong and I ask for a cigarette.  I ask for so many cigarettes.  She gives me one and as I smoke it she retrieves green tea and a bundle of tissues for me.  I take a few sips of the tea and continue using my sleeve as a rag.
     She puts her hand on my shoulder.  She’s consoling.  She’s nice.  She’s such a good friend.
     But I just sob and stare at the pavement.
     She suggests we go inside, there are too many people out here.  Other smokers.  Employees.  Visitors.
     I shake my head.  I say I don’t care.
     She says it’s cold.  She says I’m freezing and that I should go inside with her, but I just ask for a few more minutes.  A few more minutes outside.
     She complies and I smoke more and more cigarettes.  I fill my lungs.  I purposefully fill my lungs with smoke.  With a haze of grey.  
And now I’m home.  My throat is sore and my head aches and my eyes are irritated.   
My body is demolished from crying for hours.  
And I couldn’t tell you why.
I couldn’t tell you a damn thing.
What a silly Monday. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

    Alright.  Let's get down to it.  Let's get our faces dirty.  Smear them in mud.  Let it crust over.  Peel away the dried chips.  Here we go:

    A loss.  There is a loss.  A giant gaping hole in my chest.  What falls out?
    Is that organ still pumping blood in there?  Does it still find reason to beat?
    And who cares, really?  Misery finds you.  There’s no need to create it.  It will hunt you down and it will destroy you.  This territory has been conquered.  Burn it down.  Roll in the ashes.  Cover yourself in dust.

    Air doesn’t meet my lungs so easily tonight.

    And I’m hoping the Trazodone and Mirtazapine will knock me out.  I’m hoping I don’t have to achieve sleep on my own.  I can do nothing on my own.  Hold my hand.  Lead the way.  I will follow.  Blindly.  Foolishly.  How truly horrid one night can be.  Give life a few minutes and it will tear you to shreds.  It will ravish your spirits and leave you bare and cold.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Must type.  Must produce words.  Must share the world through human experience. 
And I'm not sure if this will help at all.  Or what the point of it is.  Just a need to create.  A need for documentation that I actually exist.  That these things did happen.  That I did wake at seven in the morning on this rainy Saturday in sorrow.  That birds chirped outside my window and cars whooshed by on the highway behind my house.  This does prove that, doesn't it?

I'm not so sure.  And I always assume these words will change something.  And maybe they do.  Maybe I'm oblivious to all around me.  An incompetence to interact with this world.  My head is spinning.

Today I'm involved in a Chilibrew competition with my friends.  We'll stand in the rain and pour beer and serve chili to those who would like to consume it.  Normally I'd get drunk at these events.  Good and wasted.  One time I went home and opened a growler of our beer afterwards.  After I had already downed dozens upon dozens of samples.  The beer was over carbonated and exploded, staining the kitchen walls.  But I drank the rest of it.  I was on the phone with my Mother.  I don't remember the conversation at all.

But I won't be drinking today.  I'll be attempting to live life without the obsession to coat it in alcohol.  Attempting.  This battle drains me.

And perhaps this is a bad first post.  Perhaps this doesn't give a solid back story to what-the-hell is going on.  But it's good enough.  It has served its purpose.  It got me typing.  That's something, right?  That means something, right?

No reply at all.