It Is Time.
For too long I’ve been away for too long we’ve been separated too long apart from each other and in losing them forgetting them I have forgotten myself and in a life that never felt real it is in them that I existed in them that I found myself it is in them that I can both escape and find myself believe in myself belong to myself. In the words I write I can weave myself out of what was, what might have been, and what is because even today even tomorrow I’ll need to try to unlearn goodbye as the first lesson I was ever taught.
It is time.
The world and our lives are made of stories; the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we dream, the stories we live every day. In not having someone to tell them I have to write them down, as if I don’t they shatter and the words left over eventually fill my head as if it were full of buzzing and bees and I can’t hear can’t concentrate can’t find the peace I knew when I did write and the noise inside my head was quieted as if the bees turned into words and with each one written the buzzing and the confusion decreased and I would wake each day knowing who I was and within the knowing I found my strength, and I knew that nothing could stop me.
It is time to come back.
To start writing again, as the words are my therapy, my solace, my serenity. Only in writing can I find myself again, and I have been lost for far too long. Even when I don’t know how to begin I need to find a way, and even if it’s only a few sentences I need to say something, even if what is said makes no sense. I need to find myself again. I need to write the stories, even if they are stories that should have been written long ago.
I need to remember that I am here, that I exist. I need to remember that in some way, I mattered.
It is time.
Time to clean out my head, to finally find the peace I once knew. I need to create the space to think new thoughts or think nothing if I choose.
At times I will bounce from first person, as writing in third person offers in a way a certain protection, as well as lets me use a different language – a different style, a freedom to play.
This is not where my story begins or ends, only where it changes.
Some days it’s hard to go on. To keep fighting, keep working towards being healthy again. To get out of bed. To remember how strong I used to be, and to believe that I can get there again.
But I have to. I must keep fighting, even when I have no energy to. Even when it’s so hard to give a fuck. Especially then.
I firmly believe that there is a reason that I’m not dead yet, though by all rights I truly should be – and I’d like to believe that reason is to help people.
I have an advantage when it come to that, as few people alive have actually *been* through what I’ve been through, kept fighting, kept dreaming and made it through. I’ve been homeless, been a junkie, a meth-head, a drunk – and I’ve fought through 18 months in hospice to surprise everyone and walk out the door, instead of carted out in a bag, another secret in the night, the only thing left of me being my name in a book they kept by the door, so people could write their memories and say good-bye.
But I’m still here, and whatever the reason is, there is one – but again, I need help. The energy it takes is draining, and not being able to afford the herbs I need by myself weighs me down with stress and anxiety, but there is no way around it. I desperately need YOUR help to purchase the herbs I need – as well as the abdominal binders, compression leggings, nutritious food, books, and all the other little things that help me keep moving *forward*.
I can’t express how much your help has meant to me, how much it has *helped* me. Without it, I can’t honestly say that I would be alive right now, but without question I would be in much worse condition, likely wishing I weren’t alive. You have given me hope and strength to go on when i needed it.
And as much as I loathe it, I am forced to ask again – as I again need your help o get the herbs and other things that I desperately need fo my health and for the surgery I’m trying to get.
If you can, please – send whatever you can afford. The herbs are many and expensive, and I can’t do this without you. If you think that someone else will take care of it, I can assure you – they won’t. The past three times I’ve asked only a few people were kind enough to give – and I know how weary you must be of this, of me asking for help, but believe me – I would much rather not have to at all. Thankfully, your generosity gets me closer to being able to get back to work and not having to ask at all – and instead, being able to give.
So please, give whatever you can afford, as I go through the herbs quickly and always need more. The more you give, the more bottles I can get to carry me through.
My paypal address is firstname.lastname@example.org – and yet again, thank you so much for anything you can do!
I lay in bed and think of the things I need to get done. The night before as my bed called insistently to me I made the promises, knowing deep inside that I was lying to myself again but like a victim of abuse believing that this time, it would be different. All I need are the words and the pain will go away. This I know to be true.
There was a time, lifetimes ago, when the writing was all I needed. I would shut down my mind and the words came out, scraping the walls of my mind and heart and briefly taking with them the loneliness and frustration of a life that holds on to so many things left undone, like slowly pouring sand on a wet piece of paper until it rips through, crushing the peace and serenity gathered and piled and so fragile underneath. I search for the words again, calling them to me, trying to open up and let them in, let me out.
I started “writing” when I was 13, 14, 15 – somewhere around there. I was the weird kid. The page was my friend in the absence of any others. I wrote when I needed to. The page would listen, and understand in its silence.
I stopped the day I moved out of my motorhome and into the hospice. Though I had come to terms with my death and written about it many times, it was always death at a time of my choosing – and that day I chose to live. I wasn’t ready yet. I still had far to much to do, too many ways to help. So I fought, and in the fight I forgot the words.
Now, by brain gets cluttered with the constant need for help to buy the herbs – herbs that will heal me so eventually I won’t need to think about them anymore. I can come back to the page and know serenity again and, as I was lifetimes ago, I can be happy, I can be healthy, I can work, and I can help.
Every year, on my birthday, I check to make sure it’s still there.
Every year, it is, and my heart is both torn and comforted.
It was the first thing I ever knew, and over the years has become a part of me. I think that without it, I would be lost.
Every year, for my birthday, I take it, wrap it up in pretty paper, and give it back to her, but I could do that a thousand times and it would still be here inside of me. It makes me who I am… but I do wonder what it would be like if it were gone.
Inside is the very first thing I was ever given, and something I carry with me even today. Even more today.
I didn’t have any words to voice what I felt, couldn’t make sense of it as the heartbeat and smell and warmth that let me feel that I would be safe was ripped away and I was torn out of the arms that for fifteen minutes kept the cold of the world away forever.
I would take it out, put it in a small box, wrap it up in pretty paper and hand it to her. Inside is something bigger than she is or can ever be, but something that over years and years made me stronger than I ever could have otherwise been. It takes a lot to hold the pieces together for so long.
She would open it up every year on my birthday.
Inside would be the baby’s pain.
Sunday afternoon, vending FLUX MetalWear at the ‘Costume & Magical Treasure Sale’ hosted by Professor Violet (Scott Levkoff), I was called into the position of caretaker for a friend who had a little bit too much of this, that, and the other, and was feeling the excess in a bad way. After Scott directed this person (who shall remain name & gender-less to protect them from even more embarrassment) to his bathroom, I was called to go keep an eye on them, making sure they were alright while Scott kept an eye on my jewelry. What followed was a few different, purely accidental, science experiments. Results of experiment #1 – The adjustment of eyes from sunlight to a dark basement: Not as fast as I would have hoped. Results of experiment #2 – Walking on air with no preparation: Complete failure. Due to experiment #1, I didn’t see that there were two steps that went down, and I missed them both. It’s quite a surprise when you expect solid ground to be there to stop your foot, but instead your whole 180ish pounds just kind of falls forward and doesn’t stop until there is ground, far further down than you had expected. After everything including me stopped moving and falling in this cluttered space (which, by the way, made me completely change the opinion that my apartment was cluttered), I performed a quick mental check: Bones, okay. Wrists, hands, just a little sore, but nothing that would prevent me from working. Outside left upper thigh – Ow, FUCK! I’d hit it on something, but at most I figured it would be yet another epic bruise and some swelling. I can live with that.
I get up and go check on my friend in the bathroom, who now, thankfully, seems to be doing much better. As I’m asking them questions about what they need to have done, I had rubbed my ouchie on my thigh just to see how it was doing, and pulling my hand away, noticed that it was a bit stickier than it should have been, and rubbing my thumb and fingers together, noticed a viscosity that I am far too familiar with. I think – it’s been about two or three minutes since the fall, and already soaked through my tights, skirt lining and outer lace. Right about then I notice something dripping down my leg. Oh, hell. I can’t dwell on that right now – I’ll find out what the damage is to me after I take care of my friend. With my right hand I pull my phone out of my left breast pocket of my tails coat to call someone to pick them up, trying to get the number right but because this person would not SHUT UP with their apologies and such it took me three times to finally get the right number. I hand them my phone, they leave a voice mail, and then keeping my left hand mostly hidden I send a text. They’re on the toilet and messages have been sent, For the moment, that’s all that can be done for them. Finally, I look at my left hand. Crap. That’s not a little bit of blood. I walk the few steps away from the bathroom to the place where gravity and I had our disagreement, and find what must have been the culprit – the corner of an innocent looking mini-amp, just sitting there as if nothing has happened, the bastard. When I turn back around I notice that I’m bleeding a bit more than I originally thought. Where I stood by the bathroom there’s a literal pool of blood, and full left footprints of my Docs all the way to where I’m standing now, creating another pool. I lift up my skirt and pull down my tights (which would sound kinda sexy in a different scenario) to get a read on what’s happened and make sure that no arteries have been harmed in the making of this science experiment. I need to know if it’s straight to the ICU, or I can dress it at home.
At this point I notice that my entire leg is saturated with my blood, and where the tights are tucked into my boot there is a doughnut of blood that hasn’t leaked out. From past experience, I figure that this is where some of it has congealed. Fun fun fun! In a strange semi-contortion so I can see the back of my thigh, I realize what has happened: I hit the amp with enough force that it ripped back the epidermis in a triangular shape, like the skin peeling off of an over-ripe peach, exposing the raw muscle below. So this is what it’s like to be flayed! Ya learn something new every day – though honestly, I could have been happy not knowing what it actually felt like. Okay, I don’t need to go to the emergency room – from my time in hospice, I still have a bit of ultra high-tech dressings, absorbent pads, and these weird pads that turn into a type of gelatinous skin – enough to get me by for the time. If I went to the ER, it would take them 5 hours to do what I can do at home, and besides – I need to get back to my dog. Trying to find someone to get my keys, take care of and feed her and get my keys back to me would be a logistical nightmare, and I don’t even know who I could call to ask. I try to help Scott clean me off the floor, but everywhere I step I leave another foot print and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Thankfully almost everything I’m wearing is black, and my boots are good ol’ Doc Marten oxblood. I can pack up without people noticing and get out of there. I don’t like people fussing over me.
Getting home, I pull off my boots, skirt and tights, starting in my living/bed room then realizing how stupid that is, going to stand in the tub. The amount of blood is impressive! I wash the wound, spray some wound cleaner on it, then put on an absorbent pad, wrap it tightly in gauze, and wash as much blood as I can out of my clothes. Ten minutes later it finally begins to thin and the water going down the drain is pink instead of a deep crimson.
It’s time for some sleep. I set the alarm for intervals of three hours because I’m still bleeding and a bit concerned about not waking up again – but we’ll just have to see. Making sure I cover everything that matters most, I write an email to a friend I can depend on and set it so it gets sent in 9 hours, saying that if he receives this to call my building manager to be let in and check on me – and if worse comes to worse, find someone to take care of Ruby. I give a few names of people I trust to find a good home for her. I then set a reminder to cancel the email if it isn’t necessary. I really hope it isn’t. I drink as much coconut water as I can, eat the rest of my spinach and take a bunch of my “Blood Builder” herbal pills, much more than I should under normal circumstances – but these are far from normal. I dig around and try to find things to eat that might help my body, and lacking most anything really helpful, make myself some oatmeal. Need to do what I can to help my body produce at least a little energy… Over the bandages I put on my sweats, fold a bath towel in quarters, lay down and read until I fall asleep. It’s been quite a day.
Waking up I notice that the left leg of my sweats are saturated, and getting up see that all four layers of the towel have been bled through to the comforter. Standing up I take a read on how I’m feeling: Still doing alright it seems, not light-headed, thinking doesn’t seem to be any worse than usual. My leg isn’t cold, only some pain at the wound. I change into my other pair of sweats and fold up a new towel and lay down again. Still, even with all I’ve been through in past years, I’ve never seen this much blood coming out of a person. At least not one that lived.
The next morning, Monday, the bleeding has slowed but not yet stopped. I stand up – and now, it’s there. I’m lightheaded and a tiny bit nauseous. My brain isn’t getting enough blood. No good. I leave a message for my primary care doc and he gets back to me quickly. He’s been my doctor for about 13 years now, and has seen, more than anyone, what I am capable of. He worries, but he knows that I know my body, am not stupid – and am one hell of a warrior. So tomorrow after 1pm, I go to urgent care in *my* hospital building, not the main one. Somewhere I feel comfortable, and will likely know a couple of the people – and most importantly, they’ll know me. I’ll let you know what happens.
Results of accidental blood loss experiment: After three saturated legs of clothing, two saturated quarter-folded towels, pools of blood on the floor and some soaked into my car seat as well as an unknown quantity washed down the bathtub drain, I finally feel light-headed. WARNING: DO NOT TRY TO DUPLICATE THIS AT HOME.
My toes hang over the precipice as I stare down into the
void, each year hoping that this time it might be different, that I won’t fall
into that vast chasm of loneliness in my heart, that this time, maybe, I’ll
walk home feeling less alone than when I walked there. Maybe I’ll break through
my shyness and meet a woman I might eventually find love in, maybe I’ll meet a
stranger and through good conversation see the promise of a true friend.
This year, maybe I’ll find my way out of the shadows.
In the green room we again say our rushed hello’s and how
are you’s as they all get ready for the night – the majority of the people living
less than ten miles away, yet still I only see at most a few times a year, and
then only at events. Again the questions invade my mind, wondering who I am to
them, and who they are to me.
Though in conversation I would call many of them friends
just for ease of description, I hold that title with a certain reverence – and with
the exception of a scant few I wonder and doubt if it holds true any longer.
Perhaps once upon a time it did, but now, these days, I feel as if I am nothing
more than an apparition from the past, chained to their present and still
trying to belong in a place I don’t anymore.
Each year I walk out my door with the hope that maybe this
time, it will be different – but each year I walk home, again alone, again
feeling lonelier than I was on my way there.
There was a time when I changed my life completely around
somewhat frequently, a time where I earned and lived my chosen name of Flux –
but that person was lost somewhere in the eighteen months in hospice and years
after, teaching myself to walk again and rebuilding the atrophied muscle. All I
was anymore was the guy who fought death and won.
Now it’s time to be someone different. It’s time to change.
Time to let go of the past and who I was, and become, again, someone new.
Something new to be known for – and possibly, be remembered for.
It’s time to step back from the edge of this oppressive loneliness, meet new people, and in the process earn my name again, and again make my dreams into reality.
I avoid the mirror, the bloodshot eyes stained from the tears brought by years of frustration, I look instead inside, searching for an answer, a reason. Some sort of justification. Anything. The energy it took, the agonizing pain I forced myself to get past or swallow or get through, the stench of my own flesh decomposing, rotting away on my legs… So many times I could have stopped fighting, so many times I wanted to. It wouldn’t have taken more than a few weeks until I went away, and if the pain got too unbearable I had the pills stashed. An hour at most, into one last dream – and then nothing but a name forgotten in time.
But I had hope. I believed that things could be better. That they would be.
How wrong I was.
So now, I search inside for the passion the rage the anger that i have found and hold so dear
I search for the love, a reason, a purpose…
but these past months the deeper i go the less i find and the less i find a reason to go on.
Seven years since I left the hospice, seven years fighting against the current, trying desperately to make it to calm water… and for what? For THIS fucking life? This life, where loneliness eats away at my heart, where I seldom know where the next meal is coming from, where I can’t even pay my bills. This is not what I fought for. Not what I lived for – and I can’t help but think, at times, that I made a mistake.
But here I am. If it was a mistake, it’s already been made, and it’s far too late to give up now. Maybe tomorrow I’ll sell some jewelry, maybe I’ll soon finally be able to buy a car so I can not only do the things I need for my business to make it grow, but escape this city and just drive until I find a place – a beach or forest somewhere, alone, where I can find my heart again.