I can’t self medicate. I can’t drown it away. I can’t take a pill and not care. I want to.
Alone in the kitchen, the red plastic party cup half filled with rum and coke sits next to me. I am once again singing Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Under the Bridge.” I wait for my love to leave. I don’t want him to see my tears. I can’t answer his question.
He asked, “Why haven’t you slept in the bed?” The answer, “I can’t sleep when I write.”
It’s been over three weeks since I slept in my bed, our bed. In my head, there is the preparation that when the toddler moves into his ‘big boy room,’ I will have my own place. A red writing room complete with a daybed, a room which was formerly a nursery. I will disconnect from our relationship. There is no blame. Swim in with the high tide, swim out with the low tide. Swim away, dive down into the deep.
He has seen it before. He saw it masked behind pills, he watched it snort reason after reason. But, he hasn’t seen anything yet.
Maybe it’s the snow freezing time and emotions with an ice packed coldness. I am not happy here. Day after day, year after year, I’ve asked a question. I have begged a repetitive plea.
“When can we head south? I need the salt water. I want something better for our family.”
My mountains are my home. The hills hide the misfortunes and my sadness. They can provide an escape, instill a fortitude and, if you let it, they will smother you in coal dust. I was born into these mountains and I will be buried in them… but dammit, I want to live. Even if it is only for a brief few years in my life. I’ve lost enough.
I spent three years forgetting a past. Today, right now in this moment, is my ribbon bound gift wrapped present. The decisions we make will be our future, and I want a better one. I want to not hear the lady across the street screaming ‘fuck’ at her kids every evening at 8 p.m. She doesn’t want to be bothered with them as she makes drug deals on her cell phone. Yes, your neighbors hear you, ma’am. Your children want your attention. They want to play. We hear them too. I don’t want to watch the crackhead from the alley dig through the bushes for his scrap fix. Better. There has to be a better.
Battle me. Date me. Love me. Try and ignore me.
Phoenixes rise out of ashes. Blue crushed powders was once grounded onto counter tops, on the tops of public toilets, and too many glass tables… they were my ashes. A beautiful, talented, smart woman is currently spreading brightly colored wings and trying to redeem what she previously lost. Time.
My son looks to the clock and says, “tick-tock, tick-tock.”
How much time do we lose before we learn to live? Before the tick goes into the tock?
“Hickory, dickory, dock.
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.”
The clock is past one. Hickory, dickory, dock. Mice run down a clock away from a plague.
The answer to my love’s question is, “As long as I feel alone, I sleep alone.” I need to write. I need to play Legos with my son. I need to learn more French phrases as the toddler is starting to mimic and understand.
I need to write.
Write a better tomorrow for my baby, for myself.
Bonsoir, mes amis.