Midnight Memories

So to set the scene I recommend listening to “Blinding Lights” by Loi. It’s probably the best version of the song and the tone of it completely encapsulates the memory I’m going to share.

The first thing my husband ever said to me was through an instant message on AOL. He let me know that he and Diego were still together and not knowing who he was (and being the annoying teenager I was) I continued on the conversation as if I knew him and what he was talking about. I finally dropped my charade and asked him who he was and it was then that I added him to my buddy list, cchuck77383. From then on I would message him whenever he came online because I just knew things with him and Diego were on the way out.

This all happened at the very end of September 2003 after an abrupt break-up with my third boyfriend. (Who has since passed of stage 4 cancer.)

I was taken by him (my husband) because he happened to share that my ex wanted him, but my husband was not even remotely interested. This made cchuck77383 immediately attractive to me.

I wasn’t a good person then and I know that now… but regardless of what got me to meet with this man doesn’t matter now. I am still here.

After things with Diego fizzled out he agreed to meet me one late night at a Denny’s.

I put on “sleeping beauty” in my bedroom, snuck out my window, and drove across town to meet this stranger I had only ever spoke with online.

He didn’t tell me what he drove, but I knew he had arrived the moment his white mustang drove past me. For the next hour or so we sat in a booth talking, while I watched him nervously spin his silver Motorola flip phone, twitch his nose, and run his index knuckle up his phantom mustache.

For whatever reason he liked me and invited me over to his apartment downtown to watch a movie.

The first thing we ever watched together was Philadelphia. Which, if you don’t know, is the story about a man dying of AIDS. He swears now he had never seen it, but I remember him telling me it was a good one to watch. However he had also just started collecting DVDs at the time and it is highly likely that he hadn’t. I tend to rely to heavily on my own memory. And I am (at times) wrong.

That early morning, when the movie had ended, he walked me to my car and kissed me, wishing me good night. I drove away thinking I would never see him again, feeling satisfied that I got to make-out with the guy my ex wanted but couldn’t have.

Little did I know that this dude would then call me every subsequent day and talk my ear off. There isn’t a day since that he hasn’t. It kills me most to know that his disease will eventually take that from me. I have spoken with him at length ever since then and to think I will have to face a day where I don’t just cuts my gut.

Fear and Loathing

In usual “look at me, look at me” form I recorded a video to post to Twitter, discussing the “realization” I had had over the people who are reluctantant or refuse to follow any of the COVID-19 rules and restrictions. However, the lighting was bad and I ended up sounding like a loon, so instead I thought I would return to good-ol’ long form. (Plus I need the practice if I intend to use this ample amount of free time to polish up that manuscript.)

Much like everyone in the fucking world, I am grappling with accepting the new reality in which we reside. Coming to terms with this new existence is hard and it’s stressful, but it is necessary. Embracing the present is the only way we can successfully move forward. And regardless of where we are emotionally, life will continue to keep going.

One of the steps I had to take for myself was to try and understand why some people REFUSE to do anything that is required of them. Why these “inconveniences” are seen as taking away their “freedom.”

Setting aside the PLETHORA of misinformation that is infecting websites across the internet, I wanted to know what other factor could be at play. It couldn’t be JUST misinformation. Because for them to seek out these “answers” there had to be some sort of catalyst.

When I examined my own behavior of discomfort and random outbursts of rage the answer came to me. The common factor fueling every one right now is fear. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the virus, the fear of watching your entire reality turn on a dime. It is truly terrifying. Human nature wants stability, but external factors refuse that need. That’s why people keep looking for the “light at the end of the tunnel” or this “return to the old way.” But all of that is bullshit. When we go through a journey we are never the same people at the end. It’s true with every step we take. Even if we just walk down a hallway, our heart-rate rises, body temperature changes, we experience new scenery from where we once were. All of these compound in our minds to form a new existence, because at the end of the hallway we have gained even more than what we had at the beginning.

But, walking down the hall isn’t scary for most (taking into consideration fears and life experiences). This is more like we’ve been placed into an unfamiliar hallway, blindfolded, and we’re told that there may be obstacles, but we don’t know what kind or how many.

So, as I begin to seethe with rage at these people breaking stay at home orders, or protesting local governments about restrictions, I have to remind myself that these people are reacting from fear. And that gives me SOME relief. It doesn’t change anything outwardly, but at least it helps minimize the terror I feel in myself.

Get in, Sit Down, and Shut Up

Here is day 4 and I am still doing it. Surprising to say the least. But I do feel myself pulling away. Although, why I don’t know. Is it because of the pressure I am putting on myself to perform? Or that there is a quasi audience reading what I write, judging me. Or is it because I’m just a lazy fuck? The world may never know.

In all honesty I should have done this earlier in the day. I’ve been bored watching television and stuffing my face with the holiday cookies my husband made last night. He’s been really busy the past few days, which left me alone to my own devices.

I had attempted to continue reading about druidism but it was throwing so much information at me that I thought I was going to die. Eesh. But once the husband goes back to work and thus leaving me all alone, I’ll pick it back up. Plus I need to read a book a month, per my year long goals.

Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A. Klems & Zachary Petit
January 4 365
“Days Something life-altering happened. As a result, you’ve decided to give something up for an entire year. Write a scene detailing the cataclysmic event, or the struggle to keep the vow you made.”

I stood staring at my car parked in the driveway. It was covered in a thick layer of dust, that some punk from the neighborhood had decided to scrawl obscene words in, along with the images of dicks and even a pair of boobs. Any other time I would have been furious. I had loved my car. It was the lover and friend I had always wanted. Loyal. No one drove her but me. Now, I couldn’t care less what happened to her.

Ever since the accident I can’t bring myself to sit behind the wheel once again. My girlfriend says that I’ll get over it, in time, but I’m not so sure. It’s been a year since the incident and I still don’t even feel comfortable in a car, let alone drive one myself.

Angela walks up behind me and drapes and arm around my neck.

“What’re you doing, honey,” she says.

I lower my head. For some reason I can’t bring myself to tell her that I had gotten the urge to try and drive down the street. Maybe it’s because it would give her hope that I didn’t feel ready to give.

I look into her sapphire eyes.

“Just wanted to get some air.”

She hugs me tighter. With a peck on the cheek, she feels satisfied and turns to go back into the house.

I slowly walk around the front to gaze at her other side.

The body shop did an amazing job. No one would ever know that a Ford Bronco had t-boned me in the intersection.

A faint memory flashes through my mind of he headlights getting brighter and the deafening crunch of our cars colliding.

I stumble back out of breath. I double over and try to catch the air that has left me.

I still don’t know how I survived. By all accounts I should have been crushed. When I replay it I just hear sounds. No other details come to mind. It was like my brain had put me into suspencion to protect myself from the crash.

The next thing after the lights, that I remember, is waking up in the hospital days later. The doctors were afraid I’d never wake up.

The doctors released me into my own care, but what they failed to realize is that I would be consumed with fear whenever in a vehicle. I close my eyes and tense my body every time I go through an intersection. Every car that waits until the last minute to stop will surely collide into me. I just know it.

My heart begins to race. I was stupid to even try. I turn and head back into the house.

Halfway up the walk I hear Angela’s scream. I rush up the rest of the way, throw oopen the door and find my girlfriend sitting on the kitchen floor, blood all over the white linoleum.

“What happened?” I say.

“I’m such an idiot. I dropped the knife and it went right through my foot.”

She’s clutching her bare foot, the bloody knife only a few feet away. I rush to the drawer with the tea towels and grab everyone of the neatly folded cloths. I drop to my knees and begin wrapping them around her foot.

“You need to take me to the emergency room.” She says.

I look up at her. My eyes are wide and my mouth is open. Very slowly, I shake my head no.

“I’ll call an ambulance.”

I stand up, but she grabs me around my arm and stops me.

“Are you insane? We don’t have that kind of money. This isn’t that bad.” She says. “You can do it.”

I look at her. I want to tell her know. But her eyes plead with me and I can only agree.

I scoop her up into my arms and take her outside. I don’t even bother to lock the door behind me.

I gently lay her in the passenger seat and rush around the nose of the car to the driver’s side. I stop only inches from the repaired handle.

“Hurry, Jon,” she says, “I’m getting blood everywhere.”

I scream from the deepest part of my chest and pull open the door and toss myself inside. She starts up instantly, like she was waiting for me. Carefully, so carefully, I back out the driveway and head for the emergency room.

“You’re amazing.” She says.

My hearts pounding in my ears. I can barely focus on the road and all I can think about is she did this on purpose.