It all began to fall apart when my brother Jim died in August of 2018. Nothing since has ever felt the same. Until it happened I couldn’t have known my little brother was a weight-bearing cornerstone of my planet. It’s small solace to know how much I’m sure this pleases him.
It happened the same week my one and only son moved to NYC (soon to be San Diego, and then West Hollywood). The same week one of my closest friend’s sons stepped in front of a train.
Every single belief I held as a sure thing came into question. I now know there are no sure things. I knew it all along, I just didn’t want to believe it.
My daughter became a teenager the following summer. To see her face it was suddenly necessary I look up instead of down, more discombobulating than you might think. Sometimes she now buckles her knees just to make me happy.
Once everything started to settle, the hole I found in the center of my heart was enormous, much bigger than my twisted family could fill with its’ entertaining stupidity. It was so much more fun to focus on my psychotic fucking mother, to direct my anger at my bully of a sister. They have not changed, just the insanity of the moment.
It was so much safer to be in the eye of the storm, pretending to be above it all.
For the last three years (is it really?) I’ve been spackling and gluing, dumping a panoply of addictive possibilities into my own personal toxic landfill: tequila & gay bars, ice cream treats & insulin shots.
I decided my therapist was less than helpful when she claimed I spent too much time fantasizing, supposedly a by-product of childhood. Seriously? Life has always been way too real.
Meanwhile, the husband whose calm demeanor once seemed like a saving grace became an emotionless choking anchor around my throat. The promise to love, honor and cherish is one he wants me to fulfill, even if it leaves me bound and gagged on the bottom of the ocean floor.
Forgive me for being s(h)el(l)fish.
I’m no longer happy being a twisted observer even if it means I’m safe. The passive role leaves me gasping for the person I was meant to be: pro-active, impatient, brash and assertive. I’d rather make an atomic mistake and go out with a spectacular bang being true to myself.
Hiding behind others is so unnecessary when I’m twisted all on my own.