I woke up this morning very confused and disoriented. It was 3:30 in the afternoon, and the curtains and the stairs were blocking out most of the light. When I moved, I realized something was different. The bed wasn’t empty like it usually is at such a late hour; I’d forgotten he’d stayed home. We had one of those typical moments where we both just lay there and pretend like we’re going to go back to sleep, and I prod him a couple times to make sure he doesn’t really drift off again.
I must have been out of bed five minutes when I get this weird text. I blink a couple of times and reread it.
“Can you come to my house? i need you….”
Given that it was entirely out of character, I grabbed my shit and left without much thought about it. I always wondered to myself what I would do if the situation was reversed and someone else asked me for help. I must have come up with a thousand reasons why I would ignore it in the real world, but somewhere in the back of my mind I kept thinking I could never do what had been done to me. Never. Not ever. There is nothing in the world worse than laying on the bathroom floor of a shitty motel, fucked up beyond comprehension, sobbing so hard you can’t see straight. Bloody and hateful and desperate. No one should ever see anyone else that way. I remember beating my head into a wall until my ears rang. I remember the coldness of the white tiles on my bare legs. I was screaming so loud he threatened to call the police.
Even then, after that incident, I didn’t stop drinking. I can’t explain to anyone what the appeal is of such a horrible state of mind, suffice to say you come back from it as someone else. You wake up in the morning and everything is clear. Your demons have fled you, finally. They run away in terror, because even they cannot handle such a frightening, self-destructive monster. There is nothing more pure and primal than that person, and there is no way it can be let out except with drink, because no one in their right mind can be as uninhibited and certain in their desires as that individual. The devil comes alive, and he’s as flesh and blood as anything.
I’ve never done drugs because I’ve never searched for pleasure. Pleasure was never what I was seeking. All I ever wanted was something to permeate that fog of control, control that is almost always nothing more than a sad puppet’s illusion. You take that away, and you can find what lies beneath. There is no doubt and the fear is heavy on your chest. It’s only then that you truly know what death is. It is only then that you can know whether or not you answer to that unending question is ‘yes’, or ‘no’. It’s only when you throw up so many times you grow weak from it, when you’re laying there fucked up and lost and alone that you see what this is all about.
Interestingly, you usually only know who your true friends are after the fact. They might stop you because they are afraid, but so few help because they genuinely care. After the fact, things fall apart. No one can live with the reality of such a thing, such a dark, horrible secret. Watching someone lose control is as condemning as any crime. You’ve committed a crime against what’s right and just to them. You’re mad. There’s only one in a thousand that will stay with you after such a thing. And somewhere in my heart I always hoped I would be like that person, no matter what my instincts might dictate.
She was just fine, if not a little upset, sitting on her porch smoking a cigarette. She was surprised that I showed so quickly though, and grateful. It’s good to know I haven’t lost everything of me. There’s still a little something left, you just have to look.
And it doesn’t matter how many times it happens: I’ll still come running. Because there is no way in hell that anyone should have to die alone. There’s no excuse for that. To do so is nothing but fear and cowardice. I loathe the ones who run, afraid of anything that isn’t perfect. We’re so imperfect, and sometimes that’s the only good part of anything.
How can you not see? How could you?
I hope it haunts you everyday for the rest of your life. In the end I must thank you, however. I thank you for breaking me down in such a way. I won’t be tied down by you or anyone. I am free in all the ways you are not. Your benevolence was a lie; you’re worse than the ones you hate. I see now what I’ve done. I see how I was wrong, and I see my fault in the matter. But I am glad for it. There is not a thing I would change, because I realize now that all I got to see was who you are.
And things certainly aren’t as pretty on the inside.