One Chance to Taste Life From Her Lips


OR: Two Blogs in One Day?

Technically it’s tomorrow, but time has ceased to be real for me.

Thought before I begin, I would try this, a little mood music, a serenade to smooth out the rough edges of my mind’s ramblings.

So, it’s late, and I would go to sleep but my nerves have been extracted, wrapped around my sanity and tied off by some supernatural seamstress. At least that’s the story I am telling myself, just to avoid reality for a little longer. Who am I kidding? The summation, maybe pause the music – New place, job, life normal. 2 days later – New place, no job, life choking me out. Except I can’t tap, nothing is left to lose.

Enough of the boring shit. Let’s crack open the grayest matter. Hold on to someone you love.

So, talking to the nameless angel, trying to explain how there was a time not to long ago, say October, November, where I had come completely undone. Right or wrong, I was so lonely I was paralyzed, trapped inside black thoughts, that part of an addict’s brain that gets its jollies by bashing the shit out of the person just trying to get well. I understand this will all sound pretty insane, that I assume most addict’s brains work just like mine, because at the core, there is nothing. For me, my addiction to opiates fed on emptiness, on the perception that I was worthless.

Past attempts at getting clean were seemingly paper muzzles scotch taped to sweaty skin, it didn’t take long for that demeaning voice to be heard. I have heard intelligent people have the toughest time getting well, somewhat oxymoronic, see, I use words that suit me, not Webster’s, because heroin is a really dumb solution to apply to one’s problems. I digress. In all seriousness, I have become a master at out thinking myself. That part of me will accept the challenge of making the insane perfectly rational. It comes at me quietly, a silent dinner guest, listening to the music until the right song about a broken dream plays. That is its in, and it, well, it is just teaming with disease.

When October rolled around, it dawned on me that I was really messed up and being clean was great, but there was so much missing from me even beginning to get well. The ex- sold my car. She took the tenant’s security deposit and rent so she could move. Then that tenant broke the lease and bailed. Me, I had not gone out of the house other than to walk the dog in over 2 months. The house that was “ours” sickened me, yet I couldn’t step out the door. It told me that my behavior was cool, after all, I was finishing my memoir. Where else was I going to write? It, one clever son of a bitch.

November came, I looked sick, I felt worse. I not only rented the back out, but also decided the 2nd bedroom might as well earn me some money too. After I paid the bills, it dawned on me that I had a free flight and enough money leftover to stay at a nice hotel in  downtown Pittsburgh. At this point, It had driven spike after spike through any perceived goodness in me. Sadly, that is never a fair fight, It has way too much ammo to fire at a psyche with balsa wood shields. And well, with the felony and all, not like I had anything to fire back at it.  It could choose from the destroyed pharmacy career, the agony I put my parents through, highlighted by that morning I died in my childhood bedroom. Or, the latest, divorce. Did I mention It is really slick? It knew that what bothered me was not what I lost, but the idea I was never finding anyone ever again. Over and over, die alone, die alone streamed by on my mental ticker.

Out of tears, I gave up the fight. At the time, I was clean for 5 months, and figured the easy way out was a few bundles of dope. Get high a few times, then take the last bundle and do it all at once. Just another semi-tradgic story, where the ticking time bomb junky finally went mother fuckin’ boom. If there was anything I could do, it was live down to people’s expectations of me. The proverbial failure, the weak-willed one, the ungrateful, selfish, self-destructive liar, that guy, he will never change, he will end up dead in some flea bag motel, covered in sores, skin and bone, what a legacy.

This was how I had decided that once and for all, I would give everyone the gift they were craving – proof that all the negative opinions of me were spot on, that shoving me out of a particular person’s life was the best way to go, why care about me, because everyone knows his time was borrowed, now it’s in default. Death is coming to collect. So why not be a man and give him the address? Say goodbye to family and friends, get one last home cooked meal, one last Primanti’s…you can laugh, cuz here I am writing this.

And if you read these blogs regularly, you know the story goes that the woman I love sent me a message literally seconds before I was booking the rental car and hotel. It was the first message in a while from anyone, and that it was from her, and was simple, kind, and genuine. Her words kicked It right in the balls.

The point to all of this, as I shared with my angelic princess, is I never let anyone know just how far down the spiral I had slid. That  I wasn’t holding anything together, no matter what I said. “I am doing wonderful people, I am clean AND serene. Awesome!  Behind the walls of that tainted memory house was the real me, lying on tear soaked pillows, balled up, not caring what distraction flickered on the TV. I was lost inside myself, the me that It defined.

Genuine: possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real.

Why do I love this girl so much? That word for one, as she defines genuine, yet with an effortless grace. Every action, every word spoken is genuine. How did I, who trusts no one, come to trust her, to know she was not like so many others? My brain can’t answer, but my heart, my soul, can. It was just there. One of those pure connections. One of those things that you can try to decipher, or just ride it where it takes you.

I tell her she saved my life back in November, and that as we grew closer and closer, got deeper into each other’s minds, she made me such a better man. When our lips touched, the fog of life lifted, and I am finally alive. She  tells me she did nothing, but really, isn’t that exactly the point? The girl I love was just being herself. She doesn’t change – I am lucky enough that she cares about me, understands me, loves me. I know every word that she says to me is true, and that I can tell her absolutely anything with zero judgement and an acceptance.

She is selfless. She helps me not for praise, but because that is who she is. I want to be like her. Where I live in such a way that my regular day-to-day actions can impact someone profoundly. Shouldn’t we all want to be more like her? None of us are perfect by any means, but going through each day and treating someone with respect, love, and honesty, man the world would be a better place.

It’s late. I have to go to an interview and be there at 9:00 sharp. But sometimes, there is something that needs to be said. For me, I am truly a lucky man, to have found the sweetest, truest girl. If I go with my monk Sunan, where one of  my past lives was so bad that my soul was split in two, after lifetimes of vain quests, I am whole again. We are one, not just in body, but in heart and spirit. Genuine. Pure. Beautiful.

I hope someday she understands that she is indeed special, and a gorgeous soul, full of love and compassion. She is unique, and well deserving of praise she never wants to hear. What a journey to come face to face with eternity. And it was worth every mistake, lie, OD, day down; every tear shed, every broken hurt, and the litany of sins. All worth it indeed. Because, to loosely paraphrase Henry David Thoreau, ” the truly blessed are fortunate enough to live out their dreams in reality.” I am truly blessed, because reality blows my dreams away.

Peace – MFJ

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