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Saturday, August 6, 2011

home again home again


feeling trapped and dirty after 7 days of driving and sleeping unshowered in the van we pulled into the rocky mountains from the east just as the sun was going down. the mountains will always be my home. the endless beautiful grey ridges, radiant peaks and jagged slopes. their ancient faces drinking up the sun. watching over us, knowing that we hurt. guarding us from each other, from ourselves. there is a time in everyone's life where the house you grow up in doesn't feel like it's your home anymore. the walls exhale and quietly release you. in my house they had whispered 'your on your own' and then they fell down. i couldn't go back. pride wouldn't let me. i didn't feel i belonged anywhere. i didn't want to be a burden on my mom. she had her world torn apart, at least i could stay out of her way. i secretly wished she would stand up and tell me my place. 'here is your bed, you sleep here because you are my daughter and i will make sure your safe' my mother did not know how to show love, was fearful of showing it. she has never told me out loud that she loves me. she wrote it once in a letter. she was fearful of so many things. the world controlling her instead of her standing up to it. i can see now why now it was hard for her but it doesn't stop me from wishing she had fought harder for me back then. i was so angry and hateful. she threw up her hands. she gave up. the knowledge that neither one of my parents was actually in charge was numbing. i am certain it was this revelation that made me lean lustfully and violently towards risk. if your not gonna stop me...well then, maybe i won't ever stop. i ran before i could stand bringing forth with me the mentality of don't ever let them see you stumble.

i ended up renting a tiny basement suite with S who started back working with the army. i was just 20, he was now 36. i found a job as a nursing assistant in banff. to piss him off or make him love me, i'm still not entirely certain which, i bought him a dog. kia. a black pitbull. let the record show buying something living to revitalize something dead does not work. it only makes the dead thing more undeniable. we were dead. S started to suggest threesome's as being a good way to 'perk' things up and to illustrate his position started buying porn. underage international school girls. big surprise. a few months and our relationship had amounted to non stop screaming and door slamming. i started driving into banff and partying again with my old friend E. eventually i packed my things and left. the self professed human pitbull didn't want to hold on any longer. my jaw hurt. my heart hurt. my lips were cracked and bleeding. i needed a drink. to freshen up, start again. desperation ceased...lockjaw released. so it was goodbye to S that porno purchasing egotistical pedophile. how dare he think he could do any better. life happen in your 20's. i was entitled to something more. this world owed me and i would collect.

in banff i worked taking care of seniors, people who needed me. i loved being with them and feeling appreciated and valued. i cleaned their diaper's. i spoon fed them and wiped their drool. i brushed their hair. i bathed them. clipped nails. put makeup on. i sang. let them sneak occasionally out for cigarette's. i snuck the diabetic's cake. i put their teeth into cups. i kissed them while they slept. i heard the sound of their hips breaking as they hit the hard polished hospital floors. i watched their eyes go hazy as their bodies surrendered to sadness. i watched their minds forget. i unplugged oxygen machine's while the  families sat there in total grief. i gave quick remorseful downward glances. i wrapped up their cold heavy bodies and lay them on the slab. caring for the elderly healed me just enough, made me feel important enough that before long i was ready to reopen my own wounds. i grew anxious. restless. depressed. i would have panic attacks and visions of rape and slaughter. i was filled with fear. i new i had nothing. nobody. my mom had moved away from canmore with my two younger sister's. no thanks i'm ok. i'll just stay here. i stopped speaking to them. resented her for helping them and not even questioning if i'd be ok. not even asking about me. i was the one exhibiting 'risky' behaviour after all so i must be enjoying what i was doing. my wool blackened. i had these strange reoccurring visions of laying down in the middle of picturesque main street banff, closing my eyes to rest, waiting for the early morning traffic. it calmed me. my familiar. my touchstone. what i knew instinctually was hurt. this i'm sure is not entirely a parental error. i don't know why i am like this. i suppose i feel safer hurting because i understand it. if i'm already hurting then i dont have to fear it happening. i dont have to fear it jumping out and catching me off guard, fear it taking away my happiness. i didn't let my my expectations to get up by believing in something only to have them crash and fall all that distance back down. by something thats fails me. something that leaves me. someone that tells me i'm not worth it. i will not let myself be happy because the loss of happiness is far beyond hurt. the loss of happiness is death. 

like a forceful wind alcohol pulled me forward and backwards again, i leaned into it and most of the time it held me up. welcome back. of course i waited for you. absorb. absolve. release me. let me go. let me be gone. to get myself out of the constant darkness i also started snorting cocaine. it felt like alcohol's bigger badder brother who had just gotten out of jail. dangerous. night after night the same crowd. same scene. i didn't care about the people. i cared about my escape. slipping away. everything in my world became about how to get back there. any alcoholic woman knows that one hazard of the trade is men. we do resent the past nor wish to close the door on it. and as the story goes....the true story anyways....is that it was on or around this time that i incidentally slept with about a million men, give or take a few. my drinking friend from work J and i had created a game... she saw a guy she would bet me i couldn't 'get' and i'd get him. the magician up on stage. i passed him a note in the middle of his act that said 'i dont believe in magic'. after the show he handed me his room key. on the bedside dresser a wallet with a photo inside of 2 beautiful smiling kids. brother and sister. straight teeth and blonde bangs. the bouncer. motorcycles. gym passes. angry ex girlfriend. the football player. retired. grey cup trophy ring. steaks and seafood. called me sweet cheeks. the newfie waiter turned apprentice electrician. we lived in his flop house where coke binges went on every weekend. people gathered in tense silence as the drugs were put down onto the table. soprano's always on tv. nervous twitchy glances making sure other people were throwing down too, people secretive about their stash. sneaking into bathrooms with the prettiest girls. hunting each other down. killing ourselves. no eye contact. shame fills the air but in a minute you wont have to feel that anymore. it's your turn. hollowed out cut off plastic pen cover's. plastic tubes from the gas station horoscope's. your nose right down to the dirty table some guy holding your hair. the burning sensation as it hit's the inside of your nose. sinus's drip. sniffles. 101 signs your kid's on drug's. the instant numbing rush. floating and weightless and free. shedding layer's. i just want to die in peace. broken glass and no food. it didn't matter. i had left my body. i wasn't there anymore.

the hockey player. free drinks. the musician. free drugs. if i hear him now on the radio i change the station. my skin itches and i see him on his cell phone lying to his girlfriend outside the tour bus. i feel him fucking me in a bunk bed with a foot of headspace above us. i smell him stinking of sweat and whiskey and endless cigarette's. and this one's for nothing. and this one's for fun. and this one is about rock and roll and comic books and bubble gum. due at work in 3 hrs i wake up hundreds of miles away in saskatchewan. i still owe him $120 for the bus. bartenders. australians. a pharmaceutical representative. they all became the same person. i became them. they became me. we merged. traded. i wish i could lie but it came easily to me. i had built up a wall and i didn't feel them anymore. i didn't really feel anything anymore. anything that didn't relate directly to me scoring drugs/booze didn't matter. i was punched out cold on the sidewalk in front of a cab once by a man and the people in the above balcony drunkenly cheered. i opened my eyes to my boyfriend smashing out his teeth. it was survival. we lived indoors but barely.

the world went soft and quiet like it does right before an accident. slow motion. 'baby if i coke you up all night your mine' thats fine....i'm not even my own. i may as well be yours. i stopped dreaming both figuratively and literally. entire paycheque's disappeared. dialling the bank frantically at 3am to see if i had at least 20$ left because you can't withdraw19.99$ for the dealer can you. that 1.50$ service fee for an atm withdrawl was the most evil bogus fucking charge ever. i ate hospital food, even the old people's mashed up food. i found a container of potato salad once in the safeway parking lot and it was the only thing i ate that day beside's cracker's. i stole hospital kleenex and tampons. i saved nothing. i ruined everything. i inhaled it. i consumed it. i fought it. i escaped it. i isolated. i binged. on bed's, in hotel rooms, cars, park benches, alley's, public washrooms. sex and drugs. i still can't walk into a bathroom stall that has a little shelf above the back of the toilet and not invision dragging my finger slowly over it's surface... imaging straddling the toilet and pulling out the flap from my pocket. a throw down just for me. 

my usage steadily increased over the two years i lived there. i binged alone with cocaine one night in a single basement room that belonged to my ex boyfriend. dim orange lights. underground. a bed and a dresser. his dog. i was paranoid people were watching me. that the dog knew more than he was letting on. i stood up and smoked out the tiny window above the bed until the sun came up. sunrise to a coke addict mean's nothing more than remorse and shame. the curtain comes up and there you are alone on stage, everyone can see you. who you really are. junked out and trashy and worthless. i became exactly who you told me i was. i had waited for him for hours snorting lines by myself pacing back and forth in that room. my nose bleeding. my heart pounding. i have never wanted so badly in my life to die. i thought maybe if i just snort it all. it would finally end. my pathetic life. i couldn't even cry there was nothing inside of me. decomposing in my own personal addicted hell. waiting for someone who never came. where was he? what was i even doing here? suddenly i was so ashamed for being so fucked up and having waited so long for him. i lit a smoke and walked quickly through the deep snow crunching underfoot towards the house i lived in. my head down praying i didn't see anyone i knew. back in the room i rented i sat on the floor and looked into the sliding closet mirror. staring into my own eyes i couldn't see myself. the girl in the reflection wasn't me. i felt hatred. terror. shame. i went quickly to the bathroom and brought back with me a ceramic octopus soap dispenser. i locked my door and forced myself to look into my own eyes as i smashed it repeatedly into my own face. i deserved this. i couldn't overdose. the intense impact of it's weight on my face over and over. i didn't stop for what felt like 15 minutes. i woke up the next day to splitting excruciating pain, half my face so swollen and purple my eyelashes weren't even visible. puffy red welts and black lines of dried tears that had taken the mascara down with them towards my chin. my forehead above my swollen shut eye was smashed. shattered. split open.

in xray at the same hospital i worked in i explained that i had been mugged. the tech had tears in his eyes and said he couldn't believe this had happened to a nice girl like me. who could have done this? i had fractured 90% of the way through my cheekbone in 3 different places. one more blow from the 'beer' bottle i claimed to have been hit with and my cheekbone would have collapsed into my face resulting in severe vision loss, structural damage of eye ball position, bone grafts or a metal implant held with screws. only i could have hurt myself this badly. because i hated myself the most.

in an addicts life there are times when you stop monetarily and think maybe your are powerless, out of control even. that you might need to get help. that breaking your own face with a smiling ceramic octopus soap dispenser may be a red flag. the cycle continues because although the addiction causes immeasurable pain to the addict, the only known cure is more of the same. i didn't see there being an end other than death. i couldn't stop.

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