Monday, June 25, 2012

is what it is

"Fuck me gently with a chainsaw Heather", that quote (from the best movie ever BTW) pretty much sums up my life right now. I'm utterly, tragically alone right now. It's okay I guess. I mean okay in the sense that whatever is going to happen is going to happen regardless of what I do. I leave for Northern Ireland on Saturday. I'm excited and nervous and scared and scared.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Okay so I suck at this sorry everyone. I'm still working on a few essays and I promise they will be up this week. To tide you over until then here is part of some short fiction I've been working on.

The Leftovers

I broke my own heart. There’s really no other way to put it. I didn’t want to break up and I wasn’t really dumped. Well I was but it was the logical outcome of my own illogical behavior. Unbeknownst to myself I had, years ago, set down a path that could ultimately lead to only one inevitable conclusion: self implosion. I was like the child who keeps knocking over his towers of blocks that he had painstakingly built up. The child cries when the blocks fall down even though he has done it himself. It’s like I had set myself on fire and was using gasoline to put it out.

Looking back now, through a haze of painful memories and too many regrets to count, I can see the solution to all of our problems so clearly now. Were probably doomed from the start. I was juggling problems as if they were chainsaws. I refused to address a single one while fervently adding more to the cycle. I can’t blame him for leaving me; I would’ve left me too. He probably deserves an award for staying as long as he did. I can still hear the last words I spoke to him, hanging dead in the air, like a weather balloon caught on some power lines.

“What am I, if I can’t be yours?”

He couldn’t answer that. In the interest of self-preservation he quickly distanced himself. I was left trying to build a life out of the smoldering ruins of a relationship that I had seemingly, purposely driven into the ground. I have always been my own worst enemy and I sabotaged this relationship like so many other opportunities throughout my life. I spent weeks lamenting the dissolution of a love that meant more to me than the very breath in my lungs. He was supposed to save me, but I was just too far-gone.

I began to self medicate. Drinking, which was already a priority, completely took over my life. Let me tell you, from first hand experience, there is nothing more unattractive than a fully grown man child with a drinking problem that’s getting much, much worse before it gets better. I can think of nothing more depressing than being the first customer at the liquor store. Actually how about taking the handle of cheap vodka that I had just bought and drinking it out of a water bottle in the school library while I skipped another class. My transcript at that point was like some kind of bizarre version. I didn’t even have F’s, just row after row of FX’s that meant I didn’t even fail because I had never shown up to begin with.

Buying alcohol became a game of sorts for me, or rather, an exercise in prolonged, self-destruction. Initially, I tried to retain a small semblance of dignity. I would frequent several different shops that specialized in peddling the last legal drug. I would try to project an image of the hard partying but totally in control college student. I would imagine that I was just ever so busy and it was just more convenient to buy booze early in the day.

I had a running list of reason as to why I was buying liquor so early on a daily basis:

“End of the semester party,” I would tell clerks who couldn’t care less about my self-imposed descent into complete desolation.

“East coast mardi gras,” was always a good one. Most people in Maryland only have a vague notion of when Mardi Gras actually takes place, so it was easy to stretch carnival season to unheard of lengths.

“Oh, you didn’t know that there’s a raging ground hog day party every year?” This usually fell on deaf ears because by the time I would trot it out people could see what I was doing no matter how opaque my delusions were. The thing about lying is that you eventually get so used to it, so it just becomes another aspect of your life. I never actually believed my own lies, I’m not crazy. However, I started to view my life as having two parallel timelines. The first was the true one. I had a life that I could only get rid of. The second one was the imaginary one that I tried to project outwardly to anyone I came into contact with. I knew I was lying but it was just easier than facing the mounting consequences of my double life.

The cashiers never questioned me, why would they? Their fake, Colgate smiles never faltered, never once revealing their silent judgments as I scurried out the door clutching a bottle in a brown paper bag. They had already seen this movie too many times before. I was the idiot who thought that he was the first person to ever discover the bottomless depths of self-destruction.

People eventually noticed of course, I was sloppy and didn’t really care all that much about hiding my problem. “Why don’t you just stop?” was something I heard constantly. The truth is I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want clarity and lucidity and I certainly didn’t want to accept responsibility for my actions. I just wanted that murky fog to roll in and shield me from the world. I was a grown man who couldn’t let go of his security blanket. I lived that way for a long time.