Loveless in Hell City

“My friend said that she thinks god lives in Tel Aviv. I told her that if that’s the case, the devil certainly lives in Chicago.” My roommate continues cooking his dinner and I think about it for a second.

“Yeah, the devil definitely lives here.” I reply. I think about the 4AM bar just down the street, and the guy who tends it that wears Urkle glasses. I think about the bedrooms I’ve woken up hungover in. I think about my personal poverty in such a restrictive sense, like eating ramen and drinking PBR somehow make me less of a human than the corporate grind and the false sense of security I felt before my mother died did.

I’m not short on adventures. I’m currently writing about my near orgy at a truck stop motel in Pennsylvania last weekend. I tend to find definitions of the meaning of life in transient strangers. My genius sprints. I can get people to be golden with me in shorts period time, but longevity has been hard for me as of late. I’ve nearly forgotten what intimacy is, or what it feels like. I chalk it up to the universe saying, “I need to be single right now. I trust the path I’m on. I believe in what I’m fighting for.”

But do I? I have no idea on what I need or what path I’m on. I feel like I’m throwing punches in the dark and have no idea who my opponent is or if I’m hitting them. I have no idea if I’m on a treadmill or actual ground and I have no one to guide me through any of it.

The devil is a spiritual roofie making a physical place seem godless. It obstructs your sense of security in the same way diving head first out of your comfort zone does.

When I was driving down Lakeshore in the pouring rain last Sunday, the wheels of my rental Altima cutting through the water like the sound of gunshots on an otherwise quiet night, I could feel the warmth of my home seep out of my pores and onto the road behind me. I could see only a few feet in front of me. I cold hear the gospel music coming from the radio singing “Christ will save you” with such conviction, I wanted to believe it.

But even if it were true, I’d like to think it was me who got myself home that night, through rain and ice, on winding roads I didn’t know.

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It’s Not Me- It’s Actually You- A Post about “Fade Outs”

I want to talk to you about a “fade out.” You know what it is. One day you’re texting each other pictures, jokes, and finalizing plans, and then within the next few, everything comes to a complete stop-without reason or apology. You are left jumping at your phone and getting mad at other people for contacting you, people who WANT to talk to you, because they’re not that person. If they ever do text or call again, it’s usually months or years down the line, and they will likely talk like it never happened.

One of these fucks you up. A couple will make you jaded. After a few though, you rally and your realize it isn’t about you, it’s them. The road is hard fought of course.

The first time this happened to me, it left me depressed, so much so that I would spend the next day drinking away the time, or I would immediately hop into bed with someone else. I would think to myself, “What did I do wrong? Why is he doing this to ME.” My best friend would hear the same conversation over and over again to the point where her patience would qualify her for sainthood.

But then I realized it wasn’t about me. It was about them.

The truth is, no matter how “crazy” you are, no one is worth the fade out. No one deserves the complete lack of compassion that involves leading someone on and then not telling them you’re over it. It’s a form of the abandonment. It’s the dating equivalent of tying a dog up to a telephone pole and never returning. It’s so shitty and yet, pretty much everyone has done it. It’s coward and not only does it illustrate a complete lack of commitment to a person, but a complete lack of commitment to ending it.

If the door never really closes, it’s still technically still opened, in the same way that if the door was technically never opened, it was never closed either.

This perpetual gray area of dating it isn’t healthy. It makes everyone paranoid or lethargic, and reduces our capacity for love, which is pathetic and can’t be good for humanity. You all wonder why we’re “crazy.”

The oddly good thing to understand in all this, is that, it isn’t a math equation. If you fucked more or talked less, they wouldn’t still be there. If you texted less but joked more they wouldn’t have hung around any longer. They were going to walk anyway, regardless of what you did or how you felt, and they simply didn’t care enough to tell you that.The bottom line is that the fact they faded you out only proves that they didn’t respect you then, and likely never did. If they can’t at least give you the decency of letting you know they’re not feeling it, than they sure as hell don’t deserve you being sad about it.

So don’t be. Get angry! Instead of asking “Why would the do this?” say “HOW DARE THEY!” Scream “FUCK YOU” into a pillow until your throat hurts. Collect yourself, put on your favorite outfit and make yourself feel incredible. Don’t for a second blame yourself for this.

And if it hurts, let it. Even bad bitches get the blues. But the pain is temporary and your audacity is forever.

Clue

Ian and I show up to this shindig dressed almost identically, but not on purpose. As an ex boyfriend of Alison’s, a lot of people pretended to not know who he was.

“It would have looked worse if you didn’t show up.” I remind him. He grabed my hand in agreement.

We spend the next hour and a half with our eyes pealed. The elders are drinking and sharing stories. The young, all hit by bricks. At Alison’s memorial service, the only dead girls present are the one’s drinking hot cider slowly and trying not to talk to anyone they don’t know. Per request of her family, she didn’t even show up at her own funeral.

How fitting, to anyone that new her well.

Even still, this breaths less like a service, and more like a game of Clue. The people that know death too well by now are there for the cocktails, but for us Al’s contemporaries, we look at each other paranoid like someone has information they’re not sharing. We’re all starved to find out who was her primary influence in the last month she was alive. We all want to know,

“Who sold the heroin that killed my friend?”

Not like that would make a difference. There’s some parable about a horse and water, except that addict’s don’t know they’re thirsty for anything other than the object of their deprivation. If the only thing that “cures” you is killing you, you’ll die sooner rather than later and there isn’t a thing in this world anyone can do about it.

Furthermore, even if I met them, is it really their fault?

Is it Jose Quervo’s fault every time a white guy dies driving drunk on Cinco De Mayo? Hardly, but we are so starved to pin the blame on the dirtbag because it hurts to think that death by addiction is somewhere in between dying of disease and assisted suicide. It hurts to think about period. It hurts to know that we can’t even blame her, and if we could, it would be the girl who tried drugs in her teens, not the woman that ODed on heroin two weeks ago.

As I browse through the youth at this death party, I notice that some’s eyes are glassy, others are stone, but collectively we’re all harder. Unable to trace the steps of a woman who was fantastic about downplaying the flaws that couldn’t be construed as beautiful, even the most solid leads are etched in sand.

I’ve found that closure only comes by finding out things you don’t really want to know. I assume that’s part of the reason for it- closure.  Maybe that works for the adults here but not the children. Either we’re wrong in our reaction, or are yet to conquer much bigger hurricanes. I feel bad for anyone who’s jaded by a 26 year old dying at their own hands, but I wasn’t there to spit venom. I was there because I said I would, and because my alternative would have been to drink alone. Lately I’ve been so toxic to myself, and have been associating with people I’d never want to put through that.

Ian and I leave early and walk three miles to a bar close to his place because we just needed to keep moving. The November air nips at us in the same way a kitten does on attack. I let him fill the silence with babble. He doesn’t ask me to slow my pace. He doesn’t ask how I’m feeling because he know’s I’m shot out. I’m overcome. When we get to the dive, the bartender can’t find my date of birth on my out of state license so he asks how old I am.

“Twenty seven.” I say, briefly remembering how I rung in that birthday- Al, Nadia and I ordered takeout because we were amidst one of the polar vortexes and I didn’t want to drink on a Monday.

I took a slow sip of my Old Style and wondered how long, not until when, just how long.

Chocolate

“Do I remember all the pieces of chocolate I’ve had?” I think as I look at Chris seated across from me. He’s holding me with his eyes, but he knows the deal. I told him I’ve been spending time with a guy, but he’s yet to understand what that means.

For the record, I’m not sure what that means either, but I know there’s something cosmic going on here.

I know the vibe I give out  where I am overly aware a man is one of many to me. I know I dot my t’s and cross my i’s. I know it cheapens things- to have many, to take a few at once and pick your favorite. To some, that’s called “playing the field,” but lately that’s been exhausting. I know most men aren’t worth my intention, but when I meet someone who could be, I feel like more is at stake.

When I look at Chris I ask myself if the temporary sweet is worth the long term sour. I think that if I have to ask myself that question, the answer is probably no.  Even if the talk between me and the other hasn’t happened, I know part of me would be incredibly unhappy if this other had some of someone else. Regardless of how it turns out, I would almost rather keep myself honest for the sake of my own sanity.

So I decline. When I walk away I don’t feel empowered, only that things are just as they should be.