Let's go back to a week ago, when I was in Alan's apartment on a misty Friday morning and I received a text message from Trent. He and Kent got into a fight, the cops were called, and Trent was hurt again. He asked if I was up, which I was because Alan had class at 7am. So Trent called and we spoke.
He was in a bad place. The two of them, locked up in a one room apartment with cocaine, adderall and alcohol finally exploded. I don't care who you are, if you are in the same room for a long time with one person, even if you are in love, and you are putting that shit in your body endlessly- it will explode.
Trent has been living there for the last few months, and because his hand and wrist were so badly injured, he has been out of work. School was out of session and Trent got lost in Kent's life. Its ridiculous that their names rhyme but I didn't catch that til after I already established Kent as a character. Trent doesn't have a car, didn't have a job and lived inside of someone else. In the end, I think he felt like he lost control and lost himself. I can't speak for Kent other than I know that I love him, Trent loves him. Whatever happened between them is their business and I don't believe in judgment or sides or defriending or any of that bullshit. People are people, and we are all held hostage by emotion and circumstance. We all do our best to do the right thing, and if there was love, there is worth.
I knew the state of mind Trent was in. He had just broken up with his first real love. He had to move back in with his mother. He thought he was lost, but I still had my hand on him in the dark. I tried to remind him of the light up ahead.
I was stuck in San Diego too far away to comfort my friend, who was crying on the phone. He was mumbling and slurring, so I couldn't hear him very well. I kept saying, "I wish I was there." And Alan would listen within earshot, as he packed his books and walked the dogs. It was just a sad morning.
All I could do was tell Trent things would get better once he slept. He hadn’t slept in days, I think.
That night, when Alan and I made love. There was blood. I've been spotting for 3 weeks, part of being on the pill. He saw it on his hand, looked up at me and said, "Yeah, I'm done."
Well, I wasn't. So I said, "Don't talk to me."
I showered and went to sleep. He claimed I horse kicked him a couple times in my sleep. I have no memory of that- but sometimes I do things in my sleep.
When we woke up, we kept a respected distance. He made a joke, he explained that he was squeamish, and I shut down. Any form of sexual rejection for a girl is kind of unacceptable. It is on such a rare occasion that when it does happen, you feel like your vagina (and soul) is covered in slime.
He took a volcano bag into the bathroom with him for a good hour while he showered and I thought as I bled. Everything was so intense. I was still processing losing Em’s friendship and now possibly Kent’s. You feel those walls build up around you and block your vision. So I took half a valium and smoked a bowl.
When Alan came out of the bathroom to study, I crawled in his lap and surrendered. No more wars over silly things, I must keep our flame cupped in fleshy sanctuary.
When I got back home, I spent two weeks working at Doggie Daycare and arranging a move. A girl at work was willing to sublet a room with a private entrance to me, I get to keep my dogs, I get to live in the mountains and it will only cost me a fraction of what my rent costs now. It will save me, even if my unemployment benefits are severed.
I waited until it was 100% before telling Brian, my roommate, who complained that he couldn’t stand the sound of my fingers tapping on the keyboard at night, who left bags of trash on the floor and squeezed between appliances along with a very distinct odor on my stovetop that reminded me very much of vomiting up cheese popcorn on the car ride back from Girl Scout Camp in the fourth grade. I had to clean it up with McDonald’s napkins while everyone stared at me.
Brian’s needling was wearing on my nerves.
The first “fight” we had involved me coming home just to check my email. I could always feel tension from coming home and taking my computer away from him even though he never threw any money towards the internet bill.
Esther threw up earlier in the evening, and Brian felt the need to repeat, “These dogs need to see a vet.”
I said, “I don’t go see a doctor when I throw up.”
Brian, “These dogs NEED to see a vet.”
I said, “Do you want to pay for it?”
Brian, “No, they aren’t my dogs.”
I said, “That’s right, they are my dogs and I am telling you they are fine.”
Esther had been licking a scab on Maggie’s head that appeared during the weekend I was gone. When I asked Brian what happened, he simply said, “Yo, I don’t know.”
He doesn’t know jack shit.
He would say, “Yo, that cat looks miserable.”
And I would say, “She just spent 10 days roaming the neighborhood rooftops with other cats and squirrels. Trust me, she is not miserable. She is sleeping.”
Now he was pressing about the dogs and I was sick of it.
I said, “I am so sick of boys with no responsibility criticizing other people with full responsibilities.”
Brian, “Are you saying I don’t have any responsibility. (raising his voice) Yo, YOU DON’T KNOW ME, I GOT RESPONSIBILITIES!!”
I said, “I would love to go live on someone’s couch and save up some money. I can’t do that, I have to take care of them.”
Brian, again, “Yo, you don’t know about my responsibilities! I got homies, I got bills, I got my own thing.”
I raised my voice, “THEN FOCUS ON YOURSELF!”
Brian, “I am just saying, maybe the dogs would be better off somewhere else.”
Me, “Like where? A shelter? Cause that's where they would end up. And they would be put down.”
He shrugged his shoulders. Dip shit.
He said, “Let’s turn down the tension here, let’s work this out.”
I was done with this kid. I don’t need to work anything out- I just needed him to shut the fuck up and sit in the corner until I was finished with my email and dogs.
He said, “I didn’t mean to hit a nerve about the dogs, I just like them and worry about them.” He did mean to hit a nerve.
I said, “They are more important to me than anything, so yes, it hits a nerve. I bust my ass all day long trying to pay for this house and yard.”
He said, “I know they are important to you. Are they more important than acting?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “I thought so.” He said it with that weight like . . . then you aren’t a real actor. There is a mentality with actors and anyone in LA who hears you say, “I am trying to be an actor.” Everyone behaves like you have to make this one elected career field more important than any other aspect of your life.
Well guess what, LIFE is what feeds the ACTING and the WRITING. Without life, there is no art. You isolate from life, you are nothing but a want-to-be celebrity.
Ask Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep if they love their kids more than acting? Do you think it compromises their craft? Of course not, you moronic piece of trash!
But, what am I going to do? Argue with some degenerate from Baltimore whose loud voice and poor grammar were belting out my living room window in the middle of the night. He was making my small haven low class and embarrassing me in front of my neighbors.
I turned my back to him and furiously played Scrabble. But he had to keep going.
Brian, “You like dogs more than people, don’t you?”
I was in a bad mood but the half honest answer was, laugh, “Yeah.”
Brian, “Isn’t that like a mental disorder? Its not schizophrenia but . . . somethin’. Its got to be something.”
I turned around, “Are you trying to say I have a mental disease?”
Brian, “Nah. I am just saying that might be something you should look into.”
Me, “Um, I have loved animals since I was four years old. Its one of the first memories I have, its just who I am.”
Brian, “Yo, do your thing! That’s cool. Do your thing.”
I turned around again, “Oh thank you, can I? Thank you so much.”
He said, “We gotta break this tension.”
I said, “Look, I don’t go around telling people whats wrong with them or how to live their lives. I don’t know how people like you find the time.”
Brian said, “You are critical all the time of everyone.”
I never talk to him, he doesn’t know what the fuck he is talking about.
I said, “The only people I can think of whose lives are in need of serious readjustment are people who hurt other people or themselves. That's it. I can’t think of anyone personally I know who needs to change their life. I just assume everyone is doing what they need to do.”
Brian, “That’s cool.”
Brian, “I got to put on some music or something.”
Me, “My Pandora is now maxed out for the rest of the month, so I’m sorry. No music.” He played my profile until my hours expired without apology or afterthought. He even added a few channels tailored for his own musical taste. He must have been very comfortable here.
Brian, “I thought that shit was endless.”
Me, “It isn’t.”
Before heading down to San Diego for Alan’s birthday, I wanted to pick up Murray Man’s ashes (my cat who died in late January). I had been stalling for six months and don’t want to expose Alan to my misery quite yet. I want to feed him my darkness in small doses, so he knows there is something worth while in me first, before checking the price tag.
Frank offered to take me down to the Pet Crematory if I needed a friend. Though things between us were left hostile and broken, I took up the offer. There is a levity to Frank and I also don’t have to see him afterward if I lose my shit.
I didn’t lose my shit, but I broke down crying in the parking lot. I don’t remember much, just holding Murray’s ashes in a red cigar box and weeping that it was all my fault. My dogs hurt him so badly it triggered liver failure, and I forced him to live in a home where there was ever present danger.
Frank took me back to his place to kind of cheer me up. I kept texting my drug connection for valium or xanax or something- but she wasn’t answering. I guess she was at a baby shower. Even drug dealers go to baby showers.
Frank made a call, the only connection he had was for coke and he bought me a bag. I agreed to it in the four minutes I was asked because this particular dealer has a cut off at 10pm. I thought this to be a poor business decision until I tasted the coke. $50 and exquisite quality. Of course, free to me, which is equally good and bad for a poor girl.
The pain stopped almost immediately and I was gone. I played music. I climbed on furniture. I sipped wine and told Frank things I really hope he doesn’t remember . . . random dark things about myself or my past or my sex life with Alan. Whatever. I was blitzed.
We hashed out the blogs that upset him. He felt I misrepresented him. I explained that any male aggression or anger is perceived as a possible threat to my safety. He said he understood, but he is still struggling to swallow that last blog I wrote about him.
One thing I will say about Frank that will always carry my respect, he never crossed a boundary with me. I told him I was in love and committed to Alan, despite slinking around his apartment in little clothes like a groupie at a back stage party. He was a gentleman the entire night I did blow, and I really can’t say that I know many men that would be. Its nice to know I can trust him, even when totally out of my mind.
I don’t remember a whole lot about the evening, other than I lost myself in that shit all over again and it was heavenly . . . until I realized it was 9am and I couldn’t get anyone to cover my afternoon shift at Doggie Daycare.
Cocaine is the only drug where just discussing it reignites its powers. Coming down is rough. Its a bumpy road, man.
There was still some coke left but I had to get my shit together to go back into work. So I weaned myself off for the remainder of the day. Took a couple shots of tequila, smoked cigarettes and kept calm.
I made it. Even now, a week later, I crave that feeling again- feeling sexy and smart and ok about all the nasty shit spinning around me. Its just a feeling, its fiction and its borderline evil. I looked at the white bag that morning and said, “You are a demon.”
It took a whole day and a half to feel my upper lip again. I was blowing crusted coke and blood out of my nose for four days. All those bad memories and sentiments flooded through my kinked sinuses twice as hard as it would have if I never touched the stuff.
I texted a friend who went through a coke & rock phase in the 80s. He talked me through feelings I had about Em and the friendship, and I felt grounded, sober and good again. The cat I can’t fucking deal with yet.
I packed the quarter bag in with my other weekend goodies I would be bringing down to San Diego. And the night before leaving, Brian stumbled into my living room. He went through a bottle of rum every few days.
Brian, “What up?”
I mumble something indifferent.
That morning, Maggie had diarrhea all over the living room floor. As soon as I heard, I came in to clean up. He complained like somehow I threw shit in his face instead of serving him a cup of coffee, which somehow I think he always expected.
As I scrubbed feces off his free weights, I said, “Hey, that’s life.”
He grumbled, “Yeah. That’s life.”
I said, “Go write a blues song about it.”
He angrily gathered his back pack and stormed out of the apartment.
Now we were back in my living room at 10pm, me at the computer, him on my couch stuffing his face with fried chicken, beer and rum.
Brian, “Yo, why did Maggie get sick like that?”
I said, “She has a very sensitive stomach. It must have been something she ate. I moved your trash off the floor into the kitchen.”
Brian, “There was no food in there, though.”
Now Brian lies. I don’t know why because it makes no sense. He lied about breaking my drinking glasses after I discovered hidden trash bags of them around my kitchen.
Brian, “Yo, I think someone is breaking into your apartment and breaking your glasses.”
He lied about having weed while trying to bum some off of me. Esther, my deaf dog, pulled his stash out of his backpack. (Good girl)
Then he lied about having a bottle of rum behind the couch.
As I stare at it, “Oh, you have rum.”
Me, “No, its ok. You have a bottle of rum.”
Brian, “Nope, only the beer that's in the fridge.”
Me, “I am looking at it, you have a bottle of rum.”
Brian, “Oh yeah. I forgot about that.”
Brian lies. It doesn’t matter because I think he is a parasitic bum anyway.
Back to the living room, the computer, the confrontation.
Brian, “Yo, there was no food in that trash, though.”
Me, “Yes there was. Twice they pulled something out of there to chew on it.”
Brian, “That was the shit you gave them, not my shit. That was your shit.”
I went to bed, and in the middle of the night I heard Brian shout, “Maggie THREW UP!”
Waking up, I stumbled into the living room and saw Maggie was sitting in front of the door, coughing up a puddle of kibble.
I cleaned it up and rubbed her tummy.
Brian, “I didn’t sign up for this! You should be paying ME to maintain these dogs!”
I laughed in his face.
Me, “Pay you? HA!”
Brian, “I did NOT sign up for this.”
I said, “You knew exactly what you were signing up for.”
Brian said, “Yo, can she sleep outside tonight? I can’t have her throwing up while I sleep.”
I growled, “You are not putting my sick dog outside.”
Brian, “What the fuck! I am not going to sleep next to her.”
I said, “She is sick, she is staying.”
The blankets for the crate were drying outside after being hosed down from the morning diarrhea, and all I had were a couple towels and my bathrobe laid down for my two pittie princesses.
I went back to bed and I heard him say, “If it happens one more time I am throwing Maggie out.”
Through the wall, I yelled, “What did you say!?”
Silence, then the sound of fiddling with the crate. I said, “You are NOT putting Maggie in a crate!!”
I came out and he had Maggie in the crate, sitting on the bars with only my bathrobe to sleep on. Maggie, making the most of it, was trying to kick a bed out of the 3 feet of cloth.
I said, “NO! NO!! NO!!”
We started shouting.
Brian, “I AM NOT SLEEPING IN HERE WITH A SICK DOG!”
I said, “WELL STOP LEAVING SHIT AROUND FOR THEM TO EAT!”
Brian, “Hey, I didn’t leave shit.”
I said, “I have been cleaning up after you and four animals since you moved in here.”
Brian, “Cleaning up after me!?”
Me, “HA! YEAH!”
Brian, “Yo, I am way cleaner than this place.”
He was shouting, and I said, “LOWER YOUR VOICE, ASSHOLE! I HAVE NEIGHBORS.”
I didn’t consciously mean to call him an asshole to his face, but it slipped out so effortlessly.
He got in my face, “Who you calling an asshole!?”
Me, “If you don’t lower your voice, I am calling the cops.”
Brian, “You are gonna call the cops on a black man?”
I held up the phone.
Brian, “This is fucked up shit.”
I said, “You keep your voice down, or I am kicking your ass out tomorrow. You don’t threaten my dog.”
Brian, “I didn’t threaten her. I said if she throws up one more time, I am throwing it on your bed.”
Me, “You are ignorant.”
Brian, “You are calling me stupid, why, cause I’m black?”
Me, “No, because you are stupid.”
Brian, “What? I am not as cultured as you?”