I thought I could do it. Hold it in, smile, do as she said, and make it unscathed through this one month, after which I won’t have to see her for a year.
I couldn’t. I can’t.
Such a stupid trigger. Nothing, really. We egged each other on, and soon enough, the torrent of sharp accusations flowed from my tongue, acrid in the air, sweet in the moment; my brother says nothing. It’s the same as always.
Self-righteous, I stormed from that car. Gathered my things, stalked towards CM’s house in the dark. I caught a glimpse of my pathetic mother, facing the backyard in the kitchen in her ridiculous pink, frivolous cardigan. Emotional, of course. About to cry for the next few days. Pitiful.
But on the way there, I saw myself. Slowed. Stopped. Looked up at the fucking beautiful stars in the fucking New Year’s Eve night sky – when the fuck is it ever that clear around here – and started to cry. And there I was, lying on the floor of our privileged suburban neighborhood, feet in the road, back on the sidewalk. Then a fucking tear slipped out, then another, until there was a fucking stream, and then of course I fucking lost my ability to breathe like a normal person and then I was a pathetic thing on the sidewalk in pajamas taking these big, shuddering breaths and crying like the spoiled brat I am.
And the stars. Those beautiful stars in the beautiful universe with so much good and so much bad and everything in between and I’m so small and insignificant but I’ve somehow still managed to fuck up what little I have an effect on. It is so easy to be a decent person. How could I not manage to keep it together for even a month?
And that poem I love comes to my head – O Me, O Life – but I realize it helps me none. Because what the fuck am I contributing to the play? This isn’t a verse anyone wants to see. This isn’t a valuable life experience.
And I was sitting there thinking of who to call and I realized that it was New Year’s Eve and I still had so many options, more people than I’ve ever had before that I could truly trust. And then I looked at fucking Orion’s Belt and that made me think of JKm, and then fucking Pleiades and that made me think of WB, and then the stars in general and those made me think of AYl, and I realized that somehow I’ve managed to fool all these people into thinking that I was a kind person. They deserve better than that. They deserve better than me. None of this is fair for them. And with all these amazing people in my life, somehow still I am a horrible, self-centered person.
I call no one. I cannot ruin their nights.
After twenty minutes of being a pathetic lump on the floor, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am going to apologize to my mother, I am not going to the New Year’s party, and I am not sleeping at my friend’s house. Sleeping outside is still an option.
Shut up and stop being melodramatic.