Wednesday, January 30, 2008

my history of love, sex, and drugs

This is going to be a very long, self-involved post.

So, on the advice of my friend Karim, I have been locked in my apartment on a semi-secret mission to go through the records of my life and to write about them. I've kept a written journal since I was eight years old, so I have almost twenty years of clues to look at to jog my memory and see what I should write about.

It's been a really strange experience. It turns out I don't remember most of my life, or I just don't think about it anymore, which is mostly good. I'd say a good eighty percent of my journals are all about the boys I think are cute. I literally used to write down every cute boy I saw. Good to see that I'm not some desperate, aging spinster looking to sink my teeth into every cock that walks by, no--I've always been this way. And a lot of it has been really inspirational, because even though I was a weird kid and didn't fit in much of anywhere, I usually did what I thought was right. People always used to get down on me for being a goody-goody, because I didn't like to be around people who smoked, drank, or did drugs.

Then I got really depressed. It just happened. Or, I'm not sure. It seems like it just started happening, this horrible feeling that everything was useless and nothing I did mattered, because I would suffer. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and I didn't understand it. That's when I first started drinking. I would drink until I either passed out or threw up. But then I realized that it was bad, and I stopped doing it for several months. And from then on, after I had had my little brush with the dark side, my parents took over.

Of course, at the time I was sure my parents were half the problem. At the time I was starting to go through these bouts of depression, we were fighting a lot. It's hard to tell whether we were fighting because I was upset all the time, or if I was upset because we were fighting, or if they kind of leaned on each other. In the past few years, I'd totally written it off, but looking back, it would be easy to say that the way they tried to control me...ME, when I was the one who tried to get everyone else to stay out of trouble...well, that really affected me. I never wanted to be a bad kid. I liked the idea of purity, and I wrote about how much I would never do drugs, never have sex until I was married, and I hated hanging around people who were drunk all the time. I was the kid who went to the wild parties, and drove the drunk people home, even people I kind of despised.

My parents didn't understand that you could hang out with people who did all kinds of crazy stuff and not engage in it. They punished me for all sorts of shit that I didn't do, and when I realized I had all this power and yet I had no control, I couldn't handle it. I got in trouble no matter what I did, and I was miserable enough not to care anymore. So I got me a job, I got me a boyfriend, and I got me into drugs. The same year, my parents insisted I go to college, so I got me into a college, too. That turned out to be a disaster.

My saving grace during all this time was my very first boyfriend. He was a Prince. It has been so wonderful reading about that first relationship, because it shows me that even though I always think I'm a big fuck-up in relationships, it's so easy; I did it when I was seventeen. Everything about my first relationship was great. It was slow. We were honest with not knowing anything about what we were doing. We pondered what we thought love was before saying we loved each other. He admitted when he was jealous; I admitted when I was crazy. We didn't spend tons of time together, so I was always happy to see him. It was a big treat when we were able to spend an entire day together. And we waited a long time before we had sex, until we were out of high school and were as much motivated by love as by the fear of going to college virgins.

I've forgotten what that's like, that love can work like that. A few months after we broke up, I plunged into the single most destructive relationship of my life. We were so out of sync that one night he forced himself on me and I was so scared and exhausted from fighting with him that I cried myself to sleep in his bed and he didn't know what had happened until I finally stood up for myself the next day (an event I completely put out of my mind until I read about it a few days ago). When it happened a second time, I didn't say anything. I was out of my mind at that point. When you go from Prince to ...that... in the span of a few months, it really fucks with you.

It's interesting to read about your past. In my mind, I loved both of them, but when I read what I actually wrote to myself, it's so easy to see that both BadBoyfriend and I were just using each other for control, for affection, for sex, for the illusion of love.

That's when I realized that not only could the pain of love be dulled by drugs, by the illusion of love could be obtained by other drugs that I began to consume in massive quantities. I loved drugs so much that I lamented to my friend that I wish I could tell my parents about them, but they wouldn't understand.

I'm not sure about my most recent relationship yet. In my readings, I'm still in Chicago. I have six-and-a-half years in San Francisco still to go before I hit the present moment. I'm grateful for this interesting experience, but sometimes I feel like it's best to let sleeping dogs lie. If I ever run into BadBoyfriend now, I'll remember all these horrible things, instead of the our peacemaking night out for drinks several years ago. And with my parents it's especially pointless to realize this now, because I no longer live with them, and we're on good terms, and I know they were just trying to do what's best for me. So I'm focusing on the good part, the part where I had a magical relationship with a Prince, and try and remember how that worked.

I've been spending a lot of time with this guy lately, the guy who just transferred into my program. I've got to give him a handle here, and I want it to be his last name, because he has one of those unfortunate names that you see and you just want to put a hand on his shoulder and say, "You've been through a lot, my friend." But since this is the blogosphere, I will just call him My Friend.

It's plainly tongue-in-cheek, because I kind of want him to be more than a friend, and on the other hand the thought terrifies me. Then, the thought that this thought terrifies me terrifies me even more, since I LOVE LOVE. I used to be good at it.

So, in the way that I really fell in love with Prince and, in a way, with Ex, I am going to just be his friend first, and not try and constantly get myself so drunk around him that I won't feel awkward if we end up having sex. It's kind of nice, but I miss the excitement of wondering, "Oh my god, are we going to fuck?" It's funny how the times we end up naked with someone can seem as random and unrelated to ourselves as individuals, as though someone had just brushed against you running down the stairs to the subway, not spending conspicuous hours getting groomed, selecting the most likely to bar to run into equally attractive-yet-undiscerning people of a specific demographic, spending hours and paychecks boozing away any feelings of innocence, puritanism, or idealism, and subconsciously working out how you will get home from his house out by the beach in several hours. I am all about my newly rediscovered sense of precarious first love, the main drawback being that it is hard to pull off innocence and idealism when you are twenty-seven with a smoker's cough. I am figuring out how to make this work.

One thing I have figured out completely, partially due to my readings, partially due to the fact that I'm no longer drunk and high all the time, is my menstrual cycle. It's taken me fifteen years to figure it out. It lasts an average of 23 days from Day One to Day One. PMS consists of bloating and the onset of really bad gas on about Day 18, having to pee constantly on Day 21 followed by a horrible hangover if I drink that evening or the next day (which is unfortunate because another part of this cycle is an extreme loss of faith in humanity, which makes me want to drink more than usual), and extreme restless the the night before I wake up extremely sore all over and begin to bleed heavily for two days. However, along with the blood comes an extreme elevation in mood, and a rebirth of my love for life.

1 comment:

Luis Celestino said...

i love your long, self-involved posts because your "self" has a magnificent way of connecting with lots of other selves out there!

p.s. as I stare into the precipice of 30, 27 whispers to me sometimes: "I am so young and free!" The truth is that with thoughts like the ones you're having here, you'll stay young for a loooooooong time. :D