I was hung up on Abe this last week. Denial is a powerful thing, I waited practically a week before announcing it on Facebook. Even after outing it publicly, I was waiting.
Waiting for Abe to call, message, show up . . . DO anything. He didn't. And I was still waiting.
After several offers, I selected someone to sleep with to break the bond, association, whatever I had with Abe. It is a man, a friend from 11 yrs ago, someone who is sane, stable, also in a transitional period . . . and not a pig. We did it over a bottle of rum while Californication played on his iPad.
The next morning, I was thrust into a grieving period of some kind.
Memories of Abe suddenly became vivid. In my mind, the crumbling of our relationship was very sudden. I thought of how good looking Abe was, how he took care of me a few days after my cat died, how he forfeited Christmas out of town with his family so he could spend the day with me, how he came into my life with cleaning supplies and groceries.
My depression sank into a whole other level of worse depression.
I was chain smoking, uncontrollably sobbing where ever I happened to be . . . in my car, on the street, filling up mop buckets at work, first minute of waking up in the morning. To be honest, I am still going through it.
Smoking dope and cigarettes wasn't enough anymore, I was sipping rum until I finished the bottle left behind from my intimate visitor, and asking to go over to friends' houses to drink beer since I was broke.
Its not just losing Abe, who for the life of me, I thought was the one and would have bet everything I had on. Its remembering what its like for two cats I loved to be ripped to shreds. Its letting go of Not-for-Profit and Cupcake when both seemed totally abandoned by the goodbye. Its not having enough money to get away from LA and breathe for a day or two somewhere else.To be locked into a work schedule that fucked me out of two auditions and a cash job last week.
The only thing keeping me from slipping into an emotional coma was a) working at Doggie Daycare b) visiting Em so I wasn't always left alone with my dark thoughts.
My heart just can't take anymore, you know? Maybe you don't know.
How would I ever believe in another man?
Em invited me out to a Richard Bueno Fashion Event at a Mexican restaurant called El Cid. My out-of-town/rum friend, Rummy, was going to meet us since he is spending a few days a week at my place. The password to the event was 'Richard Bueno' the joke being, it really is "Dick Good". Ha.
It soon was apparent this was an African American event. Not that I mind- but when you are in the racial minority, you notice. By racial minority, I should say we were the only white people in attendance, save three white people finishing their dinner.
Em and her friend Chryssa met me at a booth in the outdoor patio. The fashion line was on a folding table between the entrance, the bar and the patio. I was dressed in a wife beater with fishnet arm stockings, a black and white skull neck tie and some eye liner. Em was in a 70s dress with this amazing dark make-up around her blue eyes, and Chryssa has an 80s motif going on with a black dress, puffy skirt and slightly puffed hair. We were kind of awesome.
A young man approached after several young men stood around in a circle, looked over at us and passed around an enormous blunt.
He introduced himself, and we in turn greeted him with our names. Em . . . me . . .
He said, "And last but not least . . ."
He said, "Ah, you ladies good on drinks?"
I raised my glass.
He said, "Already."
Chryssa says, "What does that mean 'Already?'"
He said, "It means . . . already."
Me: "Its slang, Chryssa." I raised my fist, "Respek!"
He said, "Bet."
I didn't know what that meant.
Inside, Chryssa asked we share a booth with the white diners- who were about to leave. I caught the boyfriend looking at me, and offered a small smile. He returned just before collecting the check and his girlfriend.
A few Hip Hop Artists on stage started, "Gonna take you on a lyrical journey . . . (music, then singing) I got my phone . . . got my keys . . . got my wallet . . . oh, no I can go home."
Me: "I can relate because I am always looking for my phone, my keys and my wallet before going home."
Music, "I got my phone (phone, phone) . . . got my keys (keys, keys) . . . got my wallet . . . oh, no I can go home (home, home)."
In case anyone was confused by how white we were, there were two glaring signs. One, we clapped after the musical performances while others "holla-ed". Second, we asked strangers to take pictures of us while we were there. One guy flat out refused. Ha.
It was around this time I got a call from Abe, I jumped outside to talk to him. It was brief, my voice was shaking. I cried on my way over to El Cid and was only on my first beer. He said, "Look, I know I've hurt you and I am sorry for that."
I started ranting about the pain in my heart, how I couldn't make it stop.
He said, "Are you drinking?"
I said, "Of course I am drinking. I am always drinking now."
He said, "I have turned to my vices too."
Em came out and took the phone. She said, "Abe, this is Em. Yes, I am mediating. Oh . . . you called her. Wow. Well, I am trying to have a good time with her right now so how about we schedule this for another time? I am asking- (pause) Tomorrow? Tomorrow at 10pm, does that work? Ok, call her then. You will call her, right? Well, I just don't want there to be any miscommunication."
God, I love her. Once in a while, you really want to see someone stick up for you.
Em and I grabbed a table outside so I could smoke and she could talk sense into me. She said, "You aren't getting back together with him."
My face fell in my hands.
She said, "What do you want?"
I said, "I don't know what I want. I just want the pain to stop."
She said a few things that really brought me clarity.
"When you were worried about the tsunami, he punished you for caring. He refused to call back. My husband would have picked up the phone and told me, 'Don't worry about me, Babe.' He would be happy I was worried."
"You deserve someone who is going to make it easy for you. You'll see. Someday you won't believe how good a guy will treat you." I heavily shook my head. I haven't dated much, but Abe treated me better than anyone outside of my ex-husband.
"Just because you guys had great sex and had great conversations while high, doesn't mean its a great relationship. Everyone has great conversations while they're high." -I do disagree with this, because it kind of reduces my year with Abe as if it was based on accessories rather than a core of some kind. I can tell you, when I was around Abe I felt good. Content.
She said, "Give yourself time to heal. Then look at everything again." This is the best advice I can take right now. The pain is blinding, in every sense of the word.
Em left me just before I was bookended by two dudes.
Guy #1, "You shouldn't be sitting alone."
Me: "I wasn't, my friend just left me."
Guy #1, "You aren't single. I can tell."
Me: "I am. Recently single. Just getting my head around it."
Guy #1, "I can get you around something. You find me and I will climb that tree."
Me: "Thank you. That is a very high compliment."
Guy #1, "So he the reason why you are smoking like a chimney?"
Guy #1: "See I don't smoke cigarettes, I smoke these." He rolled out a thin cigar, the kind you can buy at Rite Aid that will make your nose bleed from cheap tobacco.
Me, "Cigars? It all hurts my throat."
Guy #1, "How about I quit, you quit? We do it together."
Me: "I am in. No smoking. Well, everything but weed."
Guy #2, "Ha ha. She said everything but weed."
I said, (seriously) "That's right."
Guy #2, "I just quit a few weeks ago."
I said, "That's a shame. (drag) You guys performing?"
He said, "No, but you come out and find me."
I said, "I would dance but . . . (drag) you know . . . (look at other guy) . . . I'm white."
Guy #1, "Don't you worry about that. You got the big plan and I got the small one. You find me, rub up against me and make it work."
I said, "Don't ever tell a woman you have a small one."
He said, "Small plan!"
I said, "Ok.
He asked, "You ever been to Compton?"
I explained to him I conducted documentary interviews in Compton.
Guy #1, "Ok, you call me and we'll figure something out. My name is Will."
I said, "Will it to be so."
I came back in and Rummy was there, with Em and Chryssa. He had a tall tequila I was "sharing". He said, "Take it easy on that."
I said, "Its ok, I don't ever get drunk anymore."
He smiled, "Me either."
A rap duo came out, one was wearing a keffiyeh around his face. Its the scarf Rachel Ray wore in a banned Dunkin' Donuts commercial because it reminded idiots of muslim extremists. Chryssa and Em jumped up shortly after and said they had to get home. I preferred to stay a little longer so we said good-bye.
The rap was kind of . . . angry. Em doubled back, "Chryssa says her intuition is telling her we should leave now. Just so you know!" She kissed my cheek and left. I turned to Rummy and said, "Are you uncomfortable?"
He said, "No, I can hang with my peeps a little longer."
I ran into a director and co-actor on one of my comedy projects. Its magical how small the town is.
Chips were left on the table, and we were eating them faster than the ice melting in our tall tequila.
Rummy said, "You got a call from him!? From the ex?"
He said, "Look, I just want you to be happy. But you should be acknowledging how much you deserve. You should be mingling with higher up people, producers in the industry. You belong there."
I said, "They just want to bang me and be done with it."
He said, "No, you are intelligent. And that doesn't go unnoticed. And your humor . . . it makes me happy."
That was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.
The chips were almost gone and it was my only dinner with all the borrowed drinks.
I said, "Let me show you how its done." I shook the basket until all the broken pieces tumbled to the edge, grabbed them like a stack of cards and dipped that shit in some sauce.
On the way home, I stopped at a gas station.
Homeless Man, "You know Avril Lavigne?"
I said, "I know of her."
He said, "You better than her."
I said, "Thank you."
He said, "Where you from?"
I said, "Washington"
He said, "What are you doing in LA?"
I said, "Following my dream. What are you doing?"
He said, "Asking for change."
The next day after work, all the Doggie Daycare employees met to take their dogs for a night hike by my place. I grabbed my two pittie princesses and headed up the side of a steep hill with 15 other dogs, most off-leash and wearing puplights or flashing gadgets people put on their bikes or dance with at raves.
When we pulled up, Rummy said, "Holy shit, that's a LOT of dogs."
Huskies, boxers, mutts, terriers, labs, small dogs, big dogs . . . and us. It was surreal. The path wasn't lit so all we had were our flashlights and the puplights spreading around us, running ahead, jumping in and out of darkness. Occasionally, you would see the edge of a leaf or the bottom of a tree. The rest was darkness, but you could taste the dirt.
My girls stayed on-leash just because one is deaf and the other hasn't been in a pack situation like this. Both of them were wagging their tails. If Rummy got separated from me with my deaf one, I could hear her cry for me and Maggie (my other pittie). We climbed that hill like nobody's business. My girls practically pulled us up. I know they are strong, but you forget how strong when you are practically jolted up the side of a mountain on your dog's shoulders.
When I got on top, the others said it was too steep. The few of us who made it to the top started climbing down. It was kind of insane. I was relying so much on my dog to make the right decisions. The flashlight fell out of my pocket. I was proud of my dogs. And for once, I felt like I belonged.
I am not an actress in a troupe or in a class, not that it matters too much. I think actors are highly competitive and you don't feel apart of a union. Everything feels slightly cold between us, with the exception of my close girl friends. My point is, its a lonely craft.
Here, on this mountain, I felt apart of something. Instead of explaining why I had two pit bulls, I was celebrating it with other people. People I liked.
By the time I got home, I had to call Abe. I was 2 hours late for our appointed call time, but texted him that I would be late. He texted back, "Looking forward to it."
I was so nervous, I knocked over my coffee pot and it shattered on the floor. Rummy said, "Are you ok?"
I said, "I'll be fine. Just a little on edge."
After a cigarette, I called. I don't know how to describe the conversation so I will just cover little points that sum it up.
Abe, "So how are you feeling about things now?"
I said, "I think you are a mind fucker and you need to be called on that."
Abe, "So you are going to lay into me? Ok. Do it. Lay in to me."
He accused me of having an attachment disorder where I need to be around him "all the time", blah blah blah.
I asked him if he was in another relationship with some other chick, because its not possible for me to call him all the time when I work 3 different jobs, have more friends and more responsibilities. NOT TO MENTION, NO RECEPTION 60% of the time.
AND wanting him to move in is not about having him around all the time.
I called bullshit.
I also said, "If I am not worth a 10 second text message, you are not worth my time."
Blah fucking blah. Its morbid bullshit.
Did it make me feel better? I don't know. I just know he should be called on being a slimy, dishonest mother fucker who made PROMISES to me, ok? He made promises. And I fucking believed him. That is the worst part. I took all that was left of me after the Prophet and poured it into this guy. I loved him with everything, and he turned away from me when I needed him the most.
The next day I went to Em's and smoked a pack of cigarettes, played cards, drank two bottles of wine with her and her friends and cried my eyes out. Due to my sporadic bouts of sobbing, I often make people uncomfortable. It is what it is. The crying needs to get out of me, so I will keep crying until its run its course through me.
I passed out on her bed and woke up around 11pm to drive home. I was sick. My body, my stomach specifically, is not doing well.
The depression sticks to the bottom of my shoes. I really have to hoist myself out of it, after a month of making myself sick.
Saturday night, I met up with Helen at a dance performance she choreographed and performed at the M-Bar, downtown in the Mariachi district (yes, there is one). After her performance, she said, "Can I buy you a drink? They have great sangarias here."
I said, "I swore off wine, but that was 48 hours ago."
She said, "I don't know if I told you, Ed and I broke up." She bit her lip, tears filled her eyes and her face fell in her hands.
I was relieved. I didn't want to spend time with a couple in love who broke up and got back together roughly around the same time Abe and I did last year. It reminds me too much of him.
She was blaming herself for making a comment that he later used as an indication that the relationship was too serious. I told her, you have to be able to say what you are thinking to be free in a relationship. When you start watching what you say, its no longer an intimate friendship.
She said, "I asked him if he ever thought he would get married, and he said, 'Maybe, if I ever fell in love.'" I looked in her face and watched her lips tighten into a frown before her face fell in her hands again.
I realized, he was saying after four years of on-again, off-again with Helen, after nursing her back to health after a coma and head injury, after orchestrating a commitment party and buying her a ring . . . he was saying he wasn't in love with her.
What . . . the . . . Fuck . . . ?
She said, "I am going to do the taper off thing where we still have sex and see each other less and less."
Her other friend started violently shaking her head.
Helen, "Not a good idea?"
Me, "Not . . . really." I have thought about going down to Abe's and seducing him. But he doesn't deserve any part of me and I have to sacrifice the comfort to gain myself back. Part of me is still stuck there with him, smelling him, telling him about my day, feeling proud when he laughed at my jokes. Its a memory of a different person than who he is now. Its just so god damn mystifying. How can it spoil so fast?
Helen grabbed my arm and said, "You and me. We're going to get out there and date like crazy, right?"
I fucking hate dating.
I looked at her porcelain face, the tears rushing to her eye lashes with the tide, but holding back with the threading string of restraint. I smiled and said, "Absolutely."