This is a story.
And it’s not about drunken, tear stained notes
pinned to shirt
reflected in the steamed over bathroom mirror
standing, impulsive razor blade to shaking wrist
hot water filling sink
“Don’t Fear The Reaper” wafting in from the other room.
This is about trudging through another day of
Chest tightening when the phone rings
more bad news?
So you make little deals with yourself to keep going
to eat some breakfast, get in the shower, get dressed, and out the door.
Into the powerlessness of a never-ending monotone gray December sky
just hold it together
a little while longer
you’re almost home
and then you can
do all the things you used to enjoy
now empty rituals
red buttons attached to nothing.
This is about lying in bed
praying to a god you don’t really believe in
to just let you die
painlessly, blamelessly, in your sleep.
This is about waking up alone in the dark.
This is about digging out that old prescription bottle
pouring two pills into the palm of your hand
putting them back
and pouring them out again.
Repeat until the pills are soaking on your tongue.
Too late now.
Repeat every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
This is about searching
struggling for terms
but no matter what you put in
the same words pop up again and again
telling you to hide the knives and call a friend.
This is about…who writes that shit?!!
Ubiquitous, platitude dripping crisis center call sheets
waterlogged, sinking life preserver pamphlets.
This is about making a plan.
This is about it’s not so easy
two-car garage tofu hugging wanna be yogis
until there’s no good bridge left in this town
not covered in mother fucking safety fence.
This is about being everyone’s favorite charity case
It’s getting old fast
(and so am I)
*shrug* it could be worse
(but it isn’t getting better).
This is about watching friends rise up and down
along their paths through adulthood
gaining skills and experiences and building lives that…
A long time ago I saw a film about a severely developmentally disabled adult
played by Robin Williams
who is best friends with a neuro typical boy.
As the boy comes of age
gaining the rights and responsibilities of adulthood
–a car, a job, dating, falling in love–
Robin Williams’ character gets increasingly erratic, bitter, and rageful.
After all, even though he isn’t able to participate in the rights and responsibilities of adulthood
or know their joys and heartaches
he is painfully aware that they exist and that they could have been his too
should have been his too
if not for a condition he is powerless to change.
Watching his friend grow into adulthood
standing so close by
and being unable to follow
is too much for him.
He strikes out
but many times in ways that hurt the boy
who is upset and confused
after all, the boy has gone so far out of his way to be patient and kind and helpful to his friend
and make time in his busy life to spend with him
even though their realities have become so different that they can no longer truly relate or empathize with each other anymore.
It was a pretty crappy movie
but for some reason it stuck with me all these years.
I never dreamed it would be my story.