I tie a strip of wool blanket around my head like a samurai and settle back on the plastic covered ‘mattress’. I chose the upper bunk, thinking I could pretend it was an artist’s loft. It’s drafty, and I already regret my decision. Like all my decisions. I need to stop calling my mom, she can’t do anything to help. I’d rather call my dad, but my mom is better at getting things done.
It’s 4:30 in the morning, at least I think it is. The clock above the guard’s desk always looks blurry from my cell on the second tier. They will be waking me up for court in 24 hours, thus the insomnia. No need for a wake-up call, thank you. I’d like to say I gave my cellmate half my sleeping because I’m a good person, but I just wanted to make sure he’d leave me alone. I want to open my Aunt’s letter, and I know it’s going to make me cry.
My head is a jet turbine. It’s too cold to write about my past, and my eyes are too dry to read. I don’t think I’ll ever be warm again. I’m wearing socks on my arms and two pairs of Bob Barker polyester pants. The flame retardant blankets apparently weren’t made to repel cold, just fire.
So I’m left with my thoughts. I’d pay (have paid) good money to be thoughtless. The money is gone though. The money’s always gone. There’s a chase card and an amex I haven’t maxed out yet in case I need the Attorney, but I think I’ve tied all our hands together. Like everything else, behind my back. Unlikely prisoners.
I should be starting classes at Pitt, putting an Armani tie on for work, or anything but hunched over a discarded medical request form writing. Writing about how this could have been avoided or what I did wrong in a past life. At least I have one-third of the power to stop my bloodline.
If this is beneath me, why does it feel like the weight is on top? Crushing my concave chest, my one visible flaw. Imagine what you can’t see?
They only let me out an hour a day since I’m in protective custody. Enough time to shower and call my mom. Like most unfortunate circumstances, it’s my fault. I was high on Xanax and told the intake officer I needed special protection. Still holding on to that delusion that I’d get my own private suite with Netflix and chocolates.
“And why do you believe that your life is in jeopardy?” the guard asks, not looking up from his clipboard.
“Um…because I’m good looking...”
The guard finally looks up from his intake form.
“Look at this jawline,” I demand.
He stares at me blankly, so I stand up and point to my arms.
“And look! Not a whole lot of upper body strength.”
The man sighs and says, “ok, I really don’t care“.
My cellmate messes with my head tonight, a real existential crisis. I don’t want to be sober all of the time, not really. But I also don’t want to be paralyzed by addiction, unable to concentrate on anything but the next one and the next one. I’m not interested in either of those lives. Both are just so fucking boring.
I am not my own man. Why do I feel this responsibility to my parents? Probably because they have always bailed me out. Does that mean I sacrifice my life so they can sleep at night? Favorite Therapist called this a Jesus complex…God, I wish I could talk to her.
I know my Dad will still talk to me if I leave, like the last time I moved to Richmond, but what about my Mom?
Allegedly leaving tomorrow morning for yet another rehab. My cellmate taped a picture to the wall of Anna Farris holding a banana to her ear like a telephone. I’ve been staring at it now for almost a month. She doesn’t look confused, just scared.
I’m no longer unsure, just afraid. Afraid because I can’t take back what I’m about to do.
I guess it’s time to make a decision before the cognitive dissonance drives me insane. I think we all know what choice I’ll make; as always, the best one.