Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rotten bandages

Which came first- Crippling self doubt or the magnetic desire to numb myself? As far back as I can remember, these have been the tracks playing in my mind. Tip toeing around the house, trying not to wake up my father as he sleeps off the booze. The smell of mixed drinks and his violent snores fill the middle of the room as I quietly retrieve my toy from under his feet. If I wake him, there will be a series of arguments. Or he will walk out with no indication of when or if he will return. I slink up to my room to play alone, grabbing some Doritos and soda to drown my feelings. 

I pull my pants down to my knees, searching fruitlessly for that perfect spot of blue that hasn't disappeared beneath the goosebumps that cover my bruised flesh. It's cold out. I don't feel anything. I don't see anything. I don't hear the sound of children nearby as their parents walk them to school. He left me again. Left me days ago saying “I'll be right back…” I should have known the truth. My $40 and his pretty face are gone. I gave up believing in happily ever after a lifetime ago. If he doesn't show up with a jail wristband, it's over. Sticking myself with poison, hoping I can spread my ribs to massage my aching heart back to life one day. 

I got your text message. I read it again and again. I want to believe in someone. I want to believe in something. When you told me you “adore me”, I want to believe I am the person that you see. I want to believe you aren't the ten other men that hurt me. I want to believe you aren't my father, looking for any reason to leave. I want to believe in a friend that elevates me above my fears. I want to believe I am better than this. I dissect happiness into the smallest pieces. I inspect it for the tiniest flaw. Which came first- Crippling self doubt or the magnetic desire to numb myself? I am not sure. I need you to shake me loose from these rotten bandages so I can finally heal. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"If I knew what to do, I would have already done it..."

Heroin made me it's bitch. There is no denying it. There is no sugar coating the relationship I have with this drug. Heroin fucks you in all your holes, tells you it is real this time, then leaves you. It is the one love that drives you to the outer limits of your fucking mind. Check your phone every five minutes. Go out in the street at 2am looking. Hand over every penny as long as it will love you one more time, every god damn time. Our love is the saddest song ever written, played every six to eight hours. I will disgrace my name for one last time to prove my love for you. I would beat or kill or fuck or beg a man- I'm just that sick.

If we can't be apart, we will die together.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Water's Edge

I hear each individual drop of as it slowly joins the pool that I hope will swallow me up. My freshly painted toes peak out at the end of the bathtub. The veins are popping out from the heat of the water. I feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into a cloud of my own making. If I only had the courage to slip underneath the smooth to hide my screams.

How long have I been in this place? An hour? A day? Time has completely escaped me. He said he had a clawfoot tub. He promised me I could seclude myself in here. A wounded little girl now has adult problems. As I slid the deadbolt, I felt a slight sigh get caught in my throat. Maybe I can rest. I gently strip off the top layer of clothing, the layer that I want the world to see. The next layer reveals my secret. The fabric of my shirt is crusted against the weeping sore that scabbed in unison with the undergarment that doubles as a bra. When I bend over to pull of my socks, I notice the shoulder that once supported my ample chest is giving way at the lack of womanly assets. I have nothing in the space that surrounds my heart with the exception of the memory hurried kisses once given by young men who called me baby.

I sit down on the toilet in an effort to balance myself. I feel myself spinning with regrets. It isn’t often I get to inventory the physical damage I have caused to myself. As I pull off my other crusty sock, I wonder when will this finally end. I place my ear against the door. I want to know FOR SURE that he isn’t going to be coming in. I can hear the rattling noise of a sleeping tiger, waiting on the futon for me to return. He couldn’t stay awake long enough to collect on his end of the bargain. That’s okay. I slipped him a xanax so he should be out for awhile. I look up at the florescent lights on the ceiling as I have the pleasure of releasing my belt in peace. My jeans are as tight as the shoelace I had wrapped around my arm. I wiggle out of them in the hope that I can feel human again. I move the condensation aside on the mirror hanging on the back of the door to reveal what remains of me. The body of a tired of woman and eyes that have seen far too many things. I dislodge my panties as I prepare myself for the baptism that can wash away my frequent sins.  
I feel everything and nothing at the same time. I'm too tired for the five different kinds of body wash he left for me. It was almost human. A gesture of manufactured affection. Really, he just wanted to  make sure I was “clean”. As I lie back, contemplating my next hit, I think about home. I think about a time when I was wanted for something besides the feeble body resting below my neck. I think about Saturday morning cartoons in footed pajamas, flannel sheets, and my special towel. No one made me a junkie. Yet, here I am. I am going to fall asleep here, pretend for a second that my life is normal. Until it is time to put back on my dirty shell and start all over again.  

I have been writing a lot lately. Thanks for listening.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Strung Out On Love

As delicate as a spiderweb in a rainstorm, my tenuous grip on my emotions dictates that gather my words off the floor. I push all the things I said back into my mouth. I hope that you didn’t hear them. I feel foolish. I am an old dog that turned a few tricks easily lead from place to place by a few pats on the head. By promises that will never be delivered. No one needs to tell me that I fall too hard. No one needs to point out that I would give anything in one moment to know that the things that have passed between us are authentic. I am stuck on you. Stuck like my legs to the hot slipcovers on the day my father left us. I feel abandoned again. I replay my childhood in every relationship hoping that this one will somehow stay. I play silently with my toys on the floor while my parents argue in the next room. My ears are ringing again. The chills are climbing up my spine, telling me this is over (over and over again). How or why doesn’t matter. I am the shy kid hiding behind my mother, pulling on her pant leg, asking where you are. It burns. It slowly eats me alive, that magnetism that will pull any woman within your orbit. I have it too- that something that draws the glimmering moths to my exhaustive flame. I burn myself out each time I use another person to feed the part of me that needs constant fuel to stay alive. I sucked the marrow from their bones, telling them they should be happy to know me. The worst part? They believe it.

I know this pain. I acknowledge this familiar misery. I have painted myself into a corner again. There is no way out of here without the leaving the footprints that signal I had to walk away.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Conversation

"I spent six years living on the streets", I told him. "Two years of that living outside." 
I meekly reach for my lukewarm beverage as I sink into the bench. I feel like a little kid at the table for adults. Do I belong here? hate that feeling of being exposed. I spent many years putting on masks the way my mother used to cake on her makeup. It is rare that anyone sees what is underneath all the mythology I created for myself. I am pushing the boulder back up the hill, waiting for the end of a beautiful friendship.

To be a drug addict in "the life", one must completely embrace the idea that no one can be trusted, not even yourself. I have buried the truth so deep inside of me, I forget where to find it. Not the truth of daily living but the truth that is only accessed on a sleepless night when you wet the sheets with tears and the heat of pain leaving the body. The truth is revealed only in shadows while hidden away at the very same time. I lived my life with one truth- I was wholly in the grips of the drug I loved/hated so much. Now, sober, I have to sort through this life with no real idea of what comes next. 

It is rainy outside. The windows are dripping condensation from steam  and the faint smell of regrets. It feels like my mind is on fire. I am too nervous to eat, I push my food around in circles.  When I start talking about myself, my stomach turns in a similar way as it did when I reached my hands out for little bags of dope down the street. My past, this is generally my ace in the hole. It gives me the ability to shut everything around me down. The general public is so horrified by my poor choices, the rest of the conversation involves voyeuristic question or vain attempts at making me feel safe. Either way, I win. I don't have to be myself. I can be whatever you want me to be. I'm your huckleberry, your whore, or the mother you never had. I don't have to be myself; I have already been defined by a few moments in a long life that involved syringes. 

When the words slowly trickle by, I am not safe here. I am dangerous. I am wounded. I am cornered. I have to face someone who sees through me because I let them in. It is so delicate, this moment, when I wait to see their reaction. Will they judge me for what I am or who I was? What is the next joke that I can tell to shift the focus. I am still shivering but not from the walk here. We traveled a mile in the rain, handing them a pair of my glasses to see the world through my eyes. 

I hold my breath in waiting for a moment when I can live again. It isn't isn't just the track marks that need healing. It is the idea that I am somehow unworthy of love. That lies at the core of my existence, a jagged hole this new square life can't fill. I can bury myself in food or charm some random out of their clothes or buy the perfect outfit to cover up the ugly I feel inside. I know I am better than this but when I wake up from my dream state of self delusion, I missed the rest of the conversation. I was too busy sitting there judging myself. I felt better. I felt lighter. I crawled out from underneath the stones than cover my chest. For a few moments, I was completely present. It was an unfamiliar feeling but one I enjoyed.  

I brushed the raindrops off the pin on his jacket at the train station.  That was way of saying thank you.