My parents’ house backs up to a protected wildlife area so the only thing beyond our backyard are trees, deer, and the occasionally photogenic bird. Dana and I are staying here while they’re on photo safari in Africa, so this morning I’ve been sitting in the backyard on the deck with my grandfather’s pipe, smoking Black Russian tobacco (chocolategasm) and thinking that someone should take a picture of me because this is obviously the book jacket look we’re going for.
I kept thinking about how I should write my grandfather a letter, and I will put it on my to-do list because my hands are so crippled from RSIs that I need some time in the hot tub and lots of Aleve before I commit to handwriting anything. In that moment, though, my grandfather and I were having communion together, because he was teaching me how to smoke a pipe in my head as I was trying to get it lit. Instantaneously when I put the pipe to my lips, I was back in the cream-colored station wagon with the red interior that just smelled like him. I mentally watched him pull until the bowl would stay lit, and would chastise myself for not doing it just. like. Pawpaw.
Which was a good, safe place to be mentally because the rest of me just feels like crap.
I said it was over, and we both blew up. Me and _________. It was a disaster, just “let’s see how fast we can emotionally destroy each other on the way out.” I laugh to myself that it’s kind of like that scene in Argo where they’re trying to burn every document in the Iranian embassy. I still have a lot of scars left over from that day, and I’m not even going to pretend that she doesn’t… and that’s what I’m thinking as the nicotine buzz sets in. My mind floats above me while my body enjoys first-drag bliss.
It feels nice to let my mind go for just a sec. I am wrecked about this friend breakup. I know I haven’t mentioned it before (that was like a joke, except jokes are funny). Anything I can do to put my mind at ease for five whole seconds is a miracle. Last night I spent seven minutes making a cocktail. Seven minutes. That’s how long it took me, I was so intent on this drink being my moment of Zen. I was going to drink it on the back porch and listen to Regina Spektor. I made a DATE with myself people.
The mixer was sugar free and I didn’t notice when I used it. Made the whole thing taste like asshole… and that was just the thing to happen to absolutely BREAK me. It wasn’t about the martini. It was that I could not even maintain anymore. I poured the whole thing down the sink and sat on the floor in the kitchen, praying my end of the frayed rope prayer. “Shit, God.”
And as I was sitting on the floor, God whispered, “ain’t no girl worth this, sweetie.” My friends say she’s manipulating me and I tell them that’s fine, they don’t realize what an asshole I am, either. They say, “yes, we do” and I’m not sure quite how to take that, but whatever.
What I know for sure™ is that my friends cannot take away the thousands and thousands and thousands of lines of prose between us, and even if that is all I have left, it is enough because it has to be. I cannot live my life with this much anxiety all the time when all I want to know is whether the resurrection took or whether I am absolutely throwing my time in the garbage because I’m giving time and energy to someone who doesn’t want it.
I think of myself as a dog, loyal to a fault in all relationships, because especially when I’ve hurt someone, I whimper like a part of me is missing.
No, actually, it’s a lot like that.