Take Another Look











{February 23, 2010}   no bail out

Jason’s hair curls down past his chin. If you were overly ambitious, you might describe the color as soupy dark. In reality the colors belong to an old dog with grey, white, and cobweb-like black patches covering the skin. He shoots his friend an anxious look when she tells him how many benzos she erratically consumes. She tells him she stopped cold turkey and how her nightmares mostly involve people stuck in their own excrement being beaten, the sound of hysterical screams coming out of an attic, and the calm clerk coming out to explain that she had only two, no six minutes to get ready for her appointment and that her mother had left them a deliriously frantic message about how she could not, under any circumstances, be late.

The people had been talking about how Jason had “let himself go” and such.He was the perfect candidate for one of those before and after shots- he’d just have to switch the before to after abd the after to before. He’d gained about a hundred pounds- an effect of the Seraquil the doctor insisted he take to sleep. The doc didn’t tell him about this effect until the weight had been sitting there uselessly for about a year, despite the fact that Jason was an avid walker.

Jason also had several kids from different women. Now that they were approaching teenage status they all wanted to be cool the way he was.He wasn’t like the tightass grownups most kids had for fathers. They felt they could tell him anything. Jason lived in the moment.

“Jason,” the girl across from him asks, her smile fading. He’d been showing her jewelery and she bought two earring sets for ten bucks, with one more thrown in for free.

“I just want to do this cold turkey.”

Jasons eyes fill with hard fear and panic.

“You can’t do that love. It took me four months to go from four milligrams a day and look at me now! I only need one a day but I can get by on five a week.”

“I am tired of it messing with me. I used to have a photographic memory.”

She lowers her voice and leans in, tapping on her coffee cup. “Now I get forgetful.”
She pronounces the word forgetful the way a housewife with children would pronounce the word pedophile. The contempt is visible and Jason is shaken.

She sighs. She purses her lips thoughtfully.

“Jason, how come you always look so burdened by talkin’ to me? What’s the matter?”

A look of relief fills his eyes but the rest of his face still registers alarm.

“Cuz I just don’t know what to say! It’s erratic but you can’t go cold turkey you just can’t. Don’t you know how dangerous that is?”

“But it’s the only way that works for me. I wouldn’t know how to go down- I just know extremes. I take twenty milligrams at once and I still can’t sleep. So I take ten more milligrams two hours later-it doesn’t seem so much at the time. They are number two’s so it’s only fifteen pills.”

“Your body can’t process that much at once. It treats it like a poison, flushing most of it out so you can’t feel it.”

“I feel it. Just not until the next day..and maybe that is the methadone. I just don’t know.”

Jason looks around wildly to make sure nobody is listening. The girl, she don’t care.

“Just cuz you can hold your drink- or in this case pins- doesn’t make it advisable. Don’t model yourself on the man in the book any longer, girl. Aim higher.”

He hugs her and kisses her on the head.

“I love you,” he says.
“Thanks,” she responds, feeling slightly grateful for this open display but sorry she can’t return it.She has gotten so careful with her love these days. She used to dole it out to all her friends, freely hugging them and sitting on their laps. Then a truck came rolling, snatched her from her friends, and raided her of that feeling of carefree abandonment. When she returned she shook off their hugs and couldn’t stand their open displays anymore.

She kept her arms folded into herself, her smile turned downwards, her laughter locked away. Nobody knew how to reach the sonofabitch who was holding the key.

when she discussed a certain guy with Parker, Parker made the mistake of saying she had been held hostage. She never mentioned his name again to anybody. And since it was so unlike her to refrain from mentioning something that occupied her thoughts, nobody pursued the point.

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{February 22, 2010}   Those Damn Tree-huggers

A friend says he’s not the only one who gets this way, who gets angry when he sees evidence that somebody did something that will hurt him; I try to hide my gratitude when he tells me that he also finds himself thinking, is this all they can do to hurt me? Well, I can hurt myself a lot worse and I will, just to prove that they aren’t as good as me in this arena, and that if I wanted to, all that would be left in front of me is a puddle. But even if forced into a corner I would choose to hurt me, not them. Never them! I choose to treat them with the care of an infant but this is how they repay me, the only way I know how to react is to take the ante up further, put the knife where I will bleed out the fastest. Then maybe they will know  how it feels to be hurt even if Oshiro says that I am not teaching anybody anything, that they won’t feel anything. When my friend tells me that he finds himself thinking this too there is a moment of lightness amidst all these threats that we condone ourselves with. We giggle like children, seeing the idiocy at what’s at stake as the weight slowly melts, and also feeling understanding for our own behavior from somebody else, something we don’t find very often from other people. Why? Because we are not other people and we will never be other people and still I try. I think he finds more peace in not trying, but me, dammit if I don’t get them to admit I was right.

Maybe the guy that has the whole world at his fingertips in terms of hurting me won’t be able to sympathize, maybe he won’t understand, maybe he will use words like insane again because that is what feels comfortable and nice. But they won’t be able to close their eyes. No, they won’t. I feel so relieved that I am not the only person that goes down this competitive line of thinking, and ironically, the person who got me going down this bad road, is the one who always tells me how silly I am for going on it. They are the one who reaches their hand out and dusts me off and calls me names. But mostly I sit out here and they don’t come outside. And definitely not anymore. If I think of the total picture, I am not making things better by trying to create anything. But these are emotions. I couldn’t hold back when I felt like that just as much as he couldn’t hold back from erasing those things that hurt me. He can’t blame me for feeling hurt and I can’t blame him for hurting me because we were both just doing things people do. I just wish…. I just wish I was with him. But then my friends go on their rap about how he isn’t good enough for me but  I want to shut them up for if I had never listened to my friends I wouldn’t have broken up with him in the first place because getting nothing is better from him than getting less than nothing but than I see through that too, because that is crap too because the truth is that he does leave women three months into the relationship no matter how special they are and nothing I did was going to change that so I need to move on too, it’s just I’ve chained myself to this tree to show him that I am not going to leave with a fight that I really did care, that i care more than anybody will ever care, and nobody can win in this war of who cares the most about him, that he will have to saw this tree down to get me to stop. Even if I go to New York and the deal goes through and I become famous I still won’t stop with the metal handcuffs and the tree. So he can move on all he wants to but no matter how many things he does to push me away I still can’t cut the cord. I just found the cord again. It had been lost for so many months, how can I let it go again?



et cetera