I'm eighteen. Fit. Fucked up. Meek. I've never smoked, never had a drink, never had sex. Full of energy, full of big thoughts, full of questions for the world. Full of everything - simply full. The most novel thing is being able to drive anywhere I want at any time, and I grow attached to my vehicle as my home on wheels. I may leave the car to go into other residences, but they are borrowed, not mine. This car is mine. This bridge and the rocks and life underneath it are mine. This town is mine. I fall into the earth every time I need to bring myself back to baseline.
It works - I inhale the grass and dirt and twigs. I remember that they are my source. I follow everyone like a stray waiting for scraps. And at night, I lay down in the elements and I humble myself intensely.
I'm twenty-two. Not fit. Just as fucked up. I've found a voice in my core, and I use it to voice opinions and defenses that I will never stand behind. I can be loud. I can be silent. I swing between a hard headed determination to pursue what I want and a deep loathing that prevents me from ever really wanting. I sit on the curb and read the chronicle while the sun rises in the cool, moist air above the treeline and lights my paper. The beginnings of the fear of going indoors has been planted inside me. Now I take maybe ten minutes to myself before stepping over the threshold.
How many times did I tell him and my closest friends that I wanted the relationship to end? But my voice still had more compassion in it than personal interest. I stayed. I sat in the grass and distracted myself with rescues and waited for time to pass.
I'm twenty-three. Fit in the wrong way. Fucked up more than I have ever been. I spin through life, I breathe in water, I choke and sputter and slip beneath the surface because at least it makes sense to drown. I run. I take my beloved car, my home, all over the state. I take it to Montrose, again and again. I have lost nature and found whiskey. Found kamel reds. Found xanax. Found a gun. My will exists on an unwitnessed paper towel in sharpie in the cabinet of the armoir. I have no home and I do not go to it - I don't go to his parent's house, and when we move back into our own filthy hoarder's storage unit of a house, I don't go in there, either. I stop at the doorframe. I think about the shotgun. I think about taking it out to the yard, way in the back corner. I think about waiting for someone else to fire one off so I can time it just right, so the vultures will carry off my pieces before 7 am, before he comes home. So there is no clean up. So I can sink back into the ground that I miss, so I can nourish the birds that he so loves. So I can fly, and be dragged, and be torn up.
But instead, I wait in front of the door. I sit down on the bucket on the porch in the pile of filth that vomits out the entryway a little more each day. I rest on that pickle bucket and I smoke a smoke and I rage at myself for not being able to simply. Walk. Inside.
Probably fucked up.
I have little pieces of purpose in my life that float around inside of me like puzzle pieces. Sometimes they fall into place, and some days I pull them apart. Some pieces are under my couch. Some are in my ear, like a buzzing bass humming through far away ear buds. Some touch my lips and twist up my stomach.
Some days I walk through the door.
Some days I wait for an hour or more in the car. Mustering courage. Trying to be ready to step into that life some stranger in my shape created, fostered, cultivated. I don't know who she is, but here I am in her place, trying to keep things together in case she comes back. In case someone sees through my act. In case one day I can get back to my own dimension. The one with the right baby. The one where we never got married. Where nature didn't steal my child. Maybe there we are together. Sometimes I think that's not it at all - I'm just dead alongside her, rotting the way it was supposed to be. Holding my tiny ball of a future in my hands like I have any way at all to express the love I carry for her.
I cannot live separated from her.
I can't breathe.
There are good days and there are bad days, but truthfully - none of them are really mine.
Maybe this year I'll find a way to live in my own life. Find a person who allows me to grieve, survive, love. Maybe I can forge a new direction in this other woman's life I'm leading and do right by both her and me.
I mean, maybe, right?