For several days after the encounter in the parking lot, I beat myself up for telling Renee my secret. How could I be so stupid? I moved to the hills for anonymity and here I am blabbing to the first warm body I encounter my entire backstory. I’m an idiot. And I don’t think being that vulnerable helped any. She hasn’t come out of her house again. Not from what I’ve heard at least.
Being a busy body is never a good idea.
What the hell was I thinking?
I know better than to try and fix someone else’s life. Especially when mine is such a fucking mess.
Who do I think I am?
It’s like I haven’t learned a thing in the past year. I still make really bad spur of the moment choices.
When will I learn?
Apparently this affinity I have for flirting with trouble isn’t going anywhere no matter how many pills the doctor prescribes.
Speaking of pills, I totally blame that medication for my risky behavior. If not for all this numbness, I’d be elbow deep in paint instead of all up in Renee’s business. Gossip is for the mindless and that’s just who I am anymore. A drone living on Wonderland Avenue but acting like it’s Wisteria Lane. Yay me. From artist to gossip. What a climb!
I have to learn to deal with this numb feeling sooner or later because I’m not going off the medication any time soon. We all know how I am when I’m off my medication. Creative, sure. Crazy? Hell yeah! It aint pretty. And I learned the hard way how my moods and actions and words can make someone else feel. It’s not good. In fact, it’s deadly.
I needled the man I love. The father of my child. To the point where he was so raw that the only way he could make the pain stop, was to end all of our lives. Imagine that? The only way out, so he thought, was for us all to die. Clearly, my sickness became his sickness and it destroyed us all.
And I don’t ever want to go there again. I don’t even want to talk about it, really. Though I probably should talk about it. I probably should have therapy sessions four or five hours a day, where all I do is talk about it, instead of twice a week.
In fact, I probably should be in a padded room with no visitors allowed since I’m the one who made all of this happen anyway. I’m not a victim. It’s my fault. My disease destroyed him. It destroyed our child. And there’s nothing I can do about any of it now. I just have to live like this, with this, forever.
Renee has the right idea. Lock the doors. Draw the blinds. Don’t let anyone in. Never go out. Let them come. What they’ve got for her could never be as bad as what she does to herself day in and day out. This I know to be true.
No 51-50 will cure her of what ails her. This thing, that Renee and I share, is a life sentence. With no room for appeal. It’s armageddon for your soul. Death of not just our loved ones, but of everything. Every single thing we ever wanted or dreamed or worked towards. Poof. Gone in an instant. And all that remains is the grief.
But I’ll tell you a little secret. The grief: it aint all bad. When your heart is aching, when the tears fall, you can tell you’re alive for a moment. The numbness gives way to aches and pains that are, believe it or not, comforting. We welcome it. Aches and pains are a connection to them. It’s a tether. A lifeline. If I can mourn you. You are still a you. Somebody. In a way at least. More than just a loss. You’re not yet a memory. You’re current. A current. An emotion that I can feel. Something to connect to. Electricity.
Can you see why I should have just stayed away from Renee? Not said a word? I felt bad listening to the gossip from people who don’t have a fucking clue. But I think, maybe, butting my nose in was a mistake. At least at this stage.
Believe it or not my cell phone is ringing. And you’ll never guess who’s on the line. Why she’d be calling me, and how she got my phone number, is a mystery. I’m afraid to answer it. What should I say? What can I say?