Did you notice that I have returned to using the static ‘home’ page for this blog? Well I’ve done so for two reasons. First, I love having the image of the “thought tornado” on my blog’s cover. It really does fit the philosophy of this blog. But most importantly, that image helps to remind me of what I write this blog for: self-therapy through self-expression. I’ve been gradually moving towards making this change and, hopefully, the events I’ll talk about in this post will help explain why I have chosen to do so now.
Do you remember the song that goes “Just another manic Monday?” Well take that same sentiment, divorce it from all the ‘work-related’ things that you’d normally associate with Mondays and replace them with all the psycho-drama that goes with how addicts waste their ‘leisure’ time, and you might just begin to get a feel for the Saturday I just went through.
I’ve talked before about the reasons why I have chosen to isolate myself away from other people. Well my Saturday both reinforced the desire to escape from the insanity of human existence, and revealed again, with all the painful ugliness I could handle, just how badly I need to get myself into some semblance of a ‘normal’ life.
In previous articles like My Terrible Ordeal and Love, Loss, Anger and Faith, I’ve talked about the trouble I have gotten myself into while trying to have a social life, perhaps even a ‘love life,’ without first doing something about the sense of alienation I feel around other people. Well I went through a similar such painful adventure on Saturday. Fortunately for me, the majority of it took place inside my head.
You see, on Saturday I had a long visit from one of the few people from my ‘heavy using’ days that I still welcome into my new world of solitude. And it’s what happened during her visit, and my thoughts on why I’ve been willing to let her visit, that I want to talk about. As usual, I won’t reveal her name. Not that it matters, since none of the people who both know me and read have ever been privy to that side of my life.
The ringing phone woke me up at a little after 9 am. She asked if she could stop over for a minute. Being an idiot who is somehow unable to ‘just say no’ when it comes to this woman, I said “sure, come on over.” She was knocking at my door before I could even get the coffee maker started. And I was already regretting my decision, once again, before I took my first sip.
I don’t want to get into a long, drawn out description of what transpired, so I’ll attempt to sum it up quickly. She is an intensely beautiful, thirty something woman with an air of innocent naivete and vulnerability that makes me just want to wrap her in whatever protection from the world I can muster. I have, from the moment I met her, felt such a strong physical attraction to her that it really is difficult to describe. And yet I know that she will her allow herself to be outright ‘dogged’ by men in her pursuit of drugs. I have seen it with my own eyes, on more than one occasion.
So whenever I am around her, I’m immediately torn between my desire for her and my desire to protect her. I guess it’s some sort of twisted paternalistic Freudian thing. It makes my stomach churn just to think about it. And the fact that she absolutely never stops talking just makes it all that much worse. Now imagine, if you can, my spending a day with her without the ‘benefit’ of drugs to ease the experience.
As usual, she was ‘on a mission’ to find her next high and, having burned so many bridges behind her, she had no phone or wheels to help her on her way. I can only imagine how she managed to get a ride to my place, but the first thing she did when she came in was to ask for the phone. And that, my friends, is when my ‘lesson from the cosmos’ began.
You see, no matter who she called, she could not make the connection she wanted. As hard as it was for me to believe, it seemed that there simply were no ‘human vampires’ available to swoop down and feast upon her luscious flesh. And that’s when it began to get really weird! You see, up to this point I had been assuming that my suffering would last for only a few minutes. But now, the prospect of my having to endure for a much longer time frame was starting to feel like I had swallowed a burning coal.
You must understand that, while the part of me that wants her to be safe was very relieved that she would not be getting foully mistreated for a while, the part of me that wants her for myself is quite strong as well. And the fact that she trusts me so much that, once she finally gave up on the phone for awhile, she laid down next to me and fell asleep… Well I hope you can imagine the psychic whirlwind that began to blow through my mind.
Since I have no desire to add to the really long list of things I regret having done, I spent the rest of the time she was here puttering around my apartment looking for ways to distract myself. Let me tell you, I had no idea had badly TV on Saturday sucked! And my PC is in my bedroom, which was the last place I needed to be at the time. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I was quite relieved when one of the vampires (I presume) finally called her back. I couldn’t even bring myself to look outside to see who had come to pick her up.
Now perhaps a ‘normal’ person could have just shrugged the whole thing off and went on to have a much improved remainder to his day. But that’s just not ‘me’ is it? No, I spent the remainder of my day wracked with guilt that I didn’t somehow come up with a miracle to make this situation have a happy ending – preferably one where both she and I permanently lose the itch for ‘escape’ and discover instead a lasting itch for each other.
But the more I thought about it, the more I began to see that thinking that way was just a continuation of the descent into psychic hell that I began when she laid down beside me. The fact is that saving myself is already a monumental enough task without taking on the additional burden of saving her. And getting lost in that kind of fantasy would be just as crazy as Don Quixote’s crusade against the windmills.
Fortunately for me, my world is filled with things that I can use for inspiration, so I turned to one of them to help me sort things out. This time it was the most recent episode of Saving Grace that had been patiently waiting for me on my DVR. This one was about a monster of a man who deluded himself so badly about his relationship with a woman that he didn’t even know that he spent three full days viciously raping her over and over. Oh yeah, and Grace damned near got herself killed by a childhood friend who had gone off his meds. Luckily for her, she managed to survive with little more injury than the permanent set of angel’s wings he tattooed onto her back. Placing Saving Grace into My Heroes Hall of Fame is long overdue.
Once again, it’s like when the flight attendants warn us to put our own oxygen masks on first before trying to help our loved ones with theirs: I can’t help, or even recognize, those I might want to help, if I allow myself to be incapacitated. Even before this weekend began, I had already made up my mind to take action. And to that end, I’ve made appointments to get back on track with my doctors and my medications. I haven’t seen either of my doctors in over a year, and my prescriptions have started to expire.
But still, for the time being…
I want ice water.