Two days earlier, I had this epiphany that caused it to happen, that caused me to get up and use my hands, to make things happen, instead of drowning in my inability to make my life my life.
I left work early, called in sick, even though I didn’t have the sniffles. Maybe mentally sick, or at least really really tired, would do for how I was feeling. I just, I felt, like I would never love, or be truly fully understood, which makes no sense because I have best friends, but I still haven’t let them in all the way. I haven’t let anyone in all the way.
For some reason, I got in my little hatchback, hopped on the 101, and drove. I was thinking, thinking thinking~~ I remember a terrible night back in high school. We went to my friend’s cabin for her birthday, the five of us. So close, best friends, and got drunk. Really drunk, like we started drinking at 4, and ended at 12. It may or may not have been incredibly stupid.
They were having the most marvelous time, laughing and being silly. And I was watching, and laughing, and watching. They were so happy, their smiles, their laughs, and I was there, and they liked me, but I couldn’t breath, couldn’t breathe. I went outside to sit alone on the chairs and look up at the moon.
And I typed a message to myself, for drunk writing is my favorite:
I have such emotional problems it’s terrible, im just like my mom but I worse, I feel so cut up like I can’t connect and that my logic is so messed up because I’m so low and I have so many problems and even though I laugh because it’s funny, and I smile at how funny they are, but me im not funny im a listener a listener and so I listen and I don’t want to speak because I don’t want to mess up their nights because my mind is all protected by wrapping paper and I’m so scared to let anyone in because my mind doesn’t make sense even for me and I don’t like all parts of me yet so why would other people, I have such emotional problems, terrible emotional problems, I’m a nightmare, who could ever like this person who when they should be drunk, as drunk as thy could be, I don’t want to talk because to talk about my feelings is so painful and I don’t want anyone to know how much of a mess I am and how even though I always blamed those sleep overs or thirsty Thursday and how I would disappear and say it was because I had work or to be somewhere in the morning, but it’s more because I will never connect with people because I am too scared to connect with people, and the fallacy in my logic that I keep not wanting people to know things that make me sad, because they are so happy and I don’t want to make them sad because I’m sad, and I don’t know how to share emotions and when I imagined what it would be like to tell them, I was tempted because they would probably make me laugh and feel better and now I regret not telling them, but the wall around my mind is impenetratable so strong that I can’t even get through it, and maybe Thad why I think I’m a writer because I’m so emotionally distraught, so unable to connect even when it’s my best friends, I am a sad excuse for a person, and if modern medicine hadnt been here would have been gone, never to have existed, and then maybe these mental/ emotional/ social problems I had wouldn’t exist and it’s people like me with a genetic probability of forgetting everything as an old lady and crohns disease and that I am so in a glass case that I have even recognized the case and I want to break out but I can’t because I’ve been making the glass thick all my laugh and now it’s too thick to come out, and the alcohol brings all my troubles to the surface creaming my face and I know everyone has problems but is there really someone out there who has done what I have done, who has cried about being disconnected when all her closest friends were inside and didn’t know how to let go. All I do is laugh and I’m so depressing and I just want to tell someone but I don’t want to ruin their day too, so instead I stew and turn into a stone Olmec head, and I just can’t release all this rock hard safeness and this is when I know I’m the writer and the poet because all these things that I wish I could say to a person I can’t because I care wayy to much about other peoples happiness,
Now for all the embarrassing shit they did all my friends are in rehab, i love all of you guys, I just want to get laid, I’m gonna get you laid man, im so drunk, am I annoying, I just don’t care:) try this I mixed this drink, mixed it with a spoon, started at four ended at 12 wowww
I have such emotional problem and I am such a quiet, that they know, and depressing drunk -and I laugh a lot and listen but i cant let go I can’t!
The front of my Spanish style house is before me. I am home. The home I grew up in, where the pain of adolescence still follows me around obnoxiously. I go inside, pet Lollie and Awfuls, miss them so much. I scratch and hug them, wondering when was the last time I had a hug. It is raining. I am raining. I get a mug and some hot chocolate, say hi to my mother who is busy on the phone, and go back outside.
Automatically, I walk to my van, ‘the Shag Wagon’, put the key in, unlock the door, open it, unlock the rest of the doors, pull back the back door and hop in the trunk.
There are pillows all around me, even a pillow pet, and my favorite stuffed animal Fluffy from build-a-bear. Fluffy, raggedy Fluffy, now ten years old and still wearing the gender neutral sports pajamas, since my brother and I pooled money for in order to by her. I pick up Fluffy, look at his face and remember.
A trip to Orange County with the second cousins. A brownish hotel like thing with narrow streets going up to our room. We were all so excited, since we rarely saw them, they were the older cousins, the ones who told us that Santa was ‘already down stairs’, and when we crawled back saying it was just our parents talking, they winked and we knew.
Also, we were going to Disneyland! But more importantly, there was the largest Build-A-Bear ever there and we had to have one. We had watched all of our friends get them, seen the birthday parties, the other kids, and finally we would have our bear. All of our spending money that we were given for Disneyland, we saved so that together we could buy the most awesome Build-a-Bear ever. We picked Fluffy, because we had wanted a real dog, but that was not going to happen any time soon.
I keep taking sips from my orange and blue and green mug that my brother painted at Clay Club years before. The hot chocolate is perfect with the music of rain. It reminds me of Honduras, where I did a community service trip in high school. And how whenever it rained, we would sit in their little living room under the tin roof, and hear the large droplets pelt the top. No conversation could be held, just little discussions through eye contact, just humorous smiles and crinkled crow’s nests as we showed our love and our patience. It was nice, the quiet human, the loud and powerful and beautiful mother crying for our wretchedness.
But, instead of that, I am all alone, no one to make eye contact with except Fluffy. Her pupils are marble cold; too much patience and no love; docile, waiting. I breathe in, breathe, breathe, and I don’t know why I feel this way. I feel lost, so lost, like I used to write in my journal entries in the beginning of 10th grade, where I would cry all alone in my room, unable to do anything, when I felt like the “only Christmas light dim on a strand of brightly colored ones” (quote from my journal), when I felt depressed by my inability to make my dreams come any quicker.
Last night, I was feeling this way too. A little more drastic, more public. Jenna was in the car with me, as we were heading back from our adventure to the California Science Center.
I had been in one of those moods, where if we were walking somewhere and you were listening and asking questions, I would randomly share memories that I didn’t want anyone else to know, and they would come out at random moments, or whenever I felt a connection, like standing on a pole, and then reminded of the game I used to play in 9th grade with a bunch of boys, ‘Duck Duck Goose’, and if you were tapped, you had to do a pole dance. One time I became a goose, and they chanted my name, “Sammy, Sammy, Sammy”, and secretly I’m blushing inside melting inside, and they looked at me, and I felt miserable, and shy, and I didn’t want to do it. I feared their eyes, to feel them on my curves, and to see me seductively dance around the pole. So I didn’t do it. I touched it and sat down, frightened to show my sexuality, to reveal that I was a woman who wanted to do things. It was so hard to break out of that, to take off the clothing that protected me from getting hurt, from being revealed and sensitive, with nothing to hide me, finally and totally human.
While we were in the car, we were having one of those talks that can only happen in the car when you are so close, and not making eye contact. I asked her, “have you ever wanted to change your reality but couldn’t?” I was trying to explain the reason why I wanted to do drugs, but she didn’t understand. Was it because I didn’t make a lot of sense, or because it was a strange thought to have. Have you considered why you would do drugs? Obviously, I have, and it’s when I really really don’t want to be in my body, to be having these thoughts, feeling these feelings, around these people, when I just want to run away from reality, hands up in the air screaming, escape, escape, escape. I want to be somewhere else, somewhere happier and not so real.
Because a lot of the time, my reality upsets me, and I want to escape, I want a different reality. I have this vision in my head of the way everything should be, and so far none of that has been happening. I wanted poetry readings, opening nights, open mics, karaoke, plays, musicals, shows, but instead, I put money in front of my dreams, tried to be practical for my family, for my parents who said that money was so important.
So far, I am still sitting in my trunk in the van like I did when I was in high school, trying to hide away from everything, still falling to be happy. I look up at the stars and doodles, poems and quotes written the summer of senior year that I found beautiful and inspiring. And now, I was living in Los Angeles, just like I dreamed of, I went to poetry readings, I had friends at poetry readings. I got paid to read. I wrote like a madwoman, and yet, I still felt unsatisfied. Why was this? And really, did I have a reason? My life, to all others, and compared to others, was pleasant, happy, something to be envious of. I mean, I love my friends, and I smile and laugh almost everyday, but then sometimes I get caught in these unmarked ditches, and my foot gets stuck, or maybe my whole body falls down, and I’m fearing the dirt falling on me, but at the same time I am hoping it does.
Have you ever felt that? In St. Andrews, my whole group of friends would take walks every night to the pier, where we would look out into the darkness, shadowed by the castle ruins. I would sit right on the edge, dangling my feet over the sea, using the handrail for balance, leaning out as far as I could. I would go further, my hands the only things holding on to something, my whole body ready for the air, ready to let go and fly. Everyone was nervous, “Sammy, don’t die. You’re gonna fall.” And my only response was “I hope so.”
They were scared for me, worried, they cared about me, but I loved the edge. I loved that feeling of being delicate, free, fragile, seconds from the drop. I imagined flying, but I also imagined hitting the cold blue waters, to feel my body turn into an ice cube like the one in my Dad’s favorite gin, and how I would kind of sit there, until I fell to the bottom, and maybe then someone would grab my hand, and look at me like I was clear, like they clearly understood that I wasn’t a pointless ice cube, only there to keep things cold and melt, except in my instance, it was only to keep people happy, but a beautiful, broken person.
To practically everyone, I am always happy, a happy person, always smiling. And overall, I am a very happy person, and I enjoy being that person, I love being that person. It’s just sometimes, I feel this huge pressure to never let them see me not happy.
“Sammy, you make me so happy!” “When I’m with you I feel happy”, and when I hear that I feel happy, but it is so hard to live up to, because under the surface of my smile, is a whole lot of chemical imbalance, of problems, and issues, and tears, and misunderstandings, and stories I think no one wants to hear because they don’t make me smile so why should it make them. And so I highlight only the happy parts of my life. I mean those low parts are far and few, but when they hit, or I remember, I go into this slump, and the only thing I want to do is run far away from them, to feel my heart hammering them in my chest until they are just debitage, unable to be put together into any form that reminds me of what they actually were.
It took me forever to realize that it was okay to feel something other than happy in public.
I looked back at the cup, smoothed my hand around the curve of it, brought it to my lips one last time, closed my eyes. Soothing, brown goodness calmed the frantic, sporadic tap dancing in me.
I didn’t know why I was sitting in the van anymore, so I climbed out and went back into my house. My mom was sitting at the table working on her real estate business.
“You know, Samantha, this is not what I thought it would be. Instead I’m working with a computer, not people. It’s lonesome.” She hadn’t even turned around, but knew I was in the room. I love my mom, I sincerely do, but she’s so hard on her self. She’s a beautiful, broken person, too.
I didn’t hang around for long. Sitting in the office that used to be my bedroom being sad didn’t really seem like fun, and I was feeling a little better. I got back in my hatchback, flipped onto the freeway, and took off back to a whole other world, just forty-five minutes away.
In the car, I thought about my life, and kind of felt sad again. There really is no reason for it, I mean, I have potentials. I hate that word. Potentials. But that’s all they are, people that I may or may not have a chance with, or if I decided to cross the line, to make a move, they may or may not reciprocate it.
There is Darren at my favorite coffee shop Solar de Cahuenga who is always sitting in the super cool pillow area. We’ve had some deep conversations, and he hinted on going on a date, but never really made a move. There is Kyle in the elevator who is just so attractive that for those 4 minutes and 5 seconds, I imagine us having sex, right there. Then there is Jeff, some guy from a club who asked for my number. And, then there is Mark, my gym buddy. And of course, there is Jeremy.
Terrible isn’t it. So many on the list, and all still up in the air. Shouldn’t I just do something about it, so that I can cross them off my list and move on. I should, shouldn’t I. I’m waiting for them all to do something, to ask me. And I know this is a new age, and that the girl can ask the guy, but in every magazine I read and book, it says that guys like do the catching. But, what if I’m terrible at flirting, and so they have no clue whatsoever that I think of them in that way.
That’s it. Why should I care if they don’t work out. I just got to put myself out there. And if I get rejected, why should I care? I’m just a person, and heart break and ripping, that’s what makes for good poetry . I know! Tomorrow is the day I shall put myself out there.
When I get home, I shall sew a heart onto the sleeve of my favorite purple sweater, and will wear it tomorrow. And I shall ask them, shall put it out there. I shall be the man.
Fuck the man, fuck broken hearts, fuck hearts at all. I want to live where there is nothing at risk, and nothing hurts. But, again, again. Nothing risked, nothing gained. Without pain, there is no pleasure. Fuck, fuck fuck. Why does it all hurt so much, when I haven’t done anything? Why do I fear pleasure, and feeling good?
Is it because I know the happier I feel, the longer the fall? I will be brave.