I used to feel like I had a vivid imagination but now I feel like reality has beaten it out of me and I’m slowly becoming an inane drone.
I try not to regret things. Bad or good, what happened has happened. Good things end, bad things end. I must be grateful because these things mold me into who I am. I am growing. I am a living, breathing person, made of flesh and blood and bone. I’m not who I was yesterday nor will I be the same person tomorrow.
On the way home this evening, I felt numb. The route home was slightly different but most of it was the same. There was the drive west on 36th Street instead of 41st Street but the rest was dark and wet.
It started raining but for a while, I didn’t notice. The rain made it difficult to see through the windshield but I didn’t turn on the wipers. At some point, it clicked.
It’s raining. Better put on the windshield wipers.
When I arrived at home, the cats were ready to play. Some of them sat and kept their distance while others approached me and made their presence abundantly known. After a few minutes, I went upstairs and settled in. My bedroom is off limits to them.
Should I turn on the TV, read or surf the internet? Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should think. Thinking is never one of the choices. It should be. Must keep thinking in mind for next time.
The nocturnal animals slosh around outside on the wet ground. It stopped raining. I don’t know. I took my anti-depressants and a sleep aid. I need to relax. I need to forget a few things.
A story for another time, perhaps?
Tomorrow will be the twenty-first anniversary of my mother’s passing. We were very close though we often did not see eye to eye.
Recently I’ve drawn comparisons between my mother’s life and the one I’m chugging along with. I left home around the time my mother was forty-five, the same age that I am at now. My kids moved about a year and a half ago with their mom because they’re not at the point where they can be on their own.
When I left home, my mother continued working but unbeknownst to me, she was abusing alcohol. I know now that she was very lonely and there was pain, a pain that I’ve not been able to put my finger on. She lost several siblings before she died and perhaps the losses weighed more heavily on her than I imagined.
For the last four years of her life, she lived alone. I know that she watched lots of TV and read the daily newspapers without fail. After she had read the papers she would doodle on them. I have a few of the newspapers she left behind to this day.
I think of the times when I’m alone and at my loneliest and I think of her. It’s painful as fuck to be alone. And when I say alone, I mean without friends or family nearby. I’m saying that if I dropped dead right now no one would notice until I didn’t show up for my next workday. I understand her pain more today than I ever did.
I know now that my mother chose a slow and painful road to death. I say chose because I think she made a conscious effort to give up. It was one of those choices you make that you’re too embarrassed to share with another person. You just continue on a destructive path until its over.
Sadly, she lost the opportunity to see me grow into a middle-aged dude. I’m gray, my hair is receding and I am at the beginning stages of arthritis. She would have gotten a kick out of all that. She lost the opportunity to see her grandchildren grow up. Two are in adulthood and two are at the cusp of it.
To that end, I noticed some people on my dash voicing their despair. Most of them have children and families. If you are in pain, seek help. Don’t deprive yourself of the good and exciting things that lie ahead, both for your family and yourself.
In the last year or so, I’ve lost my ability to drink myself to oblivion. I don’t know when it happened or how it happened. I just woke up one day and stopped drinking myself to death. There would have to be a monumental turn in my wellness for me to die at the forty-nine as she did.
That monumental turn has three years to go. Give it your best shot.
I fool myself on the weekends. During the week there is always a build up of good feelings. Sadly they all come crashing down during the weekends when I feel most alone.
It’s no one’s fault. I’m not even at fault. Although I mostly rest on weekends there is still a desire to paint the town red, and more importantly, with someone else in tow.
I filled this weekend with work. When I do this I barely have time to get to work much less do anything I might enjoy doing. Saturday was uncharacteristically busy and Sunday will be more of the same. On the one hand I make extra money but on the other, it sinks me deeper and deeper into loneliness and depression.
It feels like I’ve been holding my breath for over thirty-six hours. I’m suffocating and there’s no one to share it with. And yet I don’t want to. I don’t want to share. I don’t want anyone to suffocate with me. I want to go at it alone until I can go at it no longer.
I remember thinking it was all a dream. It was like being asleep and being completely aware that what your subconscious has cooked up is not real.
But everything was real. Your kiss, the walk through your city, a precious jewel located in South Australia and the moments we spent making love or simply watching TV.
From the moment I felt your warm embrace (shortly after I cleared customs and found my way to your airport’s common area) to the moment I reluctantly left your presence, I felt at home. And home is wherever you are. I learned that the minute you visited me in America and I took you to my home.
But the dream ended. I would have forced myself awake if I knew it was going to end. Now I’m left with an emptiness I find difficult and unwilling to fill.
Today was a rough day.
It started during the early hours of the day. I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. I aborted, got up and went for the TV remote. There was nothing on so I turned the TV off and stared into space for what felt like hours. I thought about nothing in particular. Eventually I drifted to sleep without a say in the matter.
A few hours later, I awoke. I took my MacBook Air outside to the deck and began writing. It was cold so I put a hooded sweater on. I wrote of nothing in particular. The words that flowed formed coherent sentences but meant nothing when grouped together in paragraph form. It was disheartening.
I abandoned my efforts, went back inside and back to bed. I kept drifting in and out of sleep. Briefly I dreamt of sea turtles.