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It’s so difficult to write when you don’t really wanna talk about it. When I don’t know what to do I end up telling the truth. I was once on a date with a girl because I was trying to get over another girl. At some point in the young night she turned to me and said, “I feel like I’m keeping you.” At the time I was daydreaming about building a loft in my apartment. I was so shocked by her forwardness and honesty I just looked her dead in the eyes and said, “Yeah, you’re right, I’m so sorry. I’m heartbroken and trying to do what I thought was right.” I went home. Once, in college, I had a particularly combative professor who brought me into her office, sat me down in a tiny swivel chair so that we were kneecap to kneecap and said, “I get bad vibes from you. I feel like you hate my course, like it’s not good enough–a waste of time.” Wide-eyed I replied, “That’s correct.”

The night my family discovered my addiction for the first time, I was seventeen. I hadn’t drawn one single sober breath in at least two years time. A self-prescribed vodka and cocaine drip. They cried from fear and failure. At some point we walked to the car and as I fit myself through the small paths of the garage I had to look up at my mother to avoid bumping into her while we moved. As I raised my head and began to recognize her features, I realized how long it had been since I had seen her face. Shame does funny things to your body. Makes you walk a certain way, stand a certain way, sit. Eat, not eat. Drink yourself to death. I hadn’t held my head up in years. When I saw her I understood that in that moment, there was nothing left of my burden. Everything had come to the surface, the truth is like that. There wasn’t a single lie that was still my own and my body raised its head for the first time.

I don’t think I’ve written about anything other than the tiny Greek in a blazer since the time we have met. Some things just hit you that way. There’s always that grief period when you have to mourn something–someone that might have never existed. Maybe something built from flowered paper, wooden shoes and a bread hat. Maybe the timing was always off, as she invariably said. I remember when hopelessness used to be my biggest problem. Now, strangely, hope seems to be causing the angst.

Last week I visited my mother’s house. I walked through the living room as the TV played Hitcock’s Vertigo and Kim Novak said, only one is a wanderer two together are going somewhere. I kept walking as I remembered later she plunges to her death.

We’re all so psychologically fucked and disconnected that it’s easy to find someone who will be there in a crisis. It’s far more difficult to find someone who will be there when it’s boring. When the call is subtle. When the need is silent. When you have nothing to say.

There are two people who I know of: people who I intimately trust and strangers. There’s not enough time and I’m tired. My family is dying. My friends are sick. This shit is not forever, not even for 100 years. How quickly can you count to 100? You won’t live that long. I’m not interested in complacency. I’m not interested in games. I’m done wandering. I’m no fool having fun.

– JT.

 

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