The Choice I Left Behind

We were drunk. Very drunk. I had the weekend off. Rare for my job. We usually worked six days. Always on call. Twelve hour shifts,minimum. Overtime. Always overtime. The weekend meant rest and more rest. It meant fun. Trips. Movies. Magic Mountain. Fun.

We laid on the floor, embraced, smiling, laughing. There she was. A woman I fought tooth and nail for in my heart and mind. A woman that made me giddy. Happy. Complete. Sexy, kind, funny, perfect. Freckles on her face, light red hair, soft skin, kisses, love. Her weight wasn’t a problem for me. I loved her. I loved her so much that on the floor, drunk, insane, I asked her to marry me.

In my head it was a joke. My thoughts said, “Wouldn’t it be funny to ask her?” and I answered with a resounding yes. As did she, before breaking out in tears and confessions. I said we didn’t have to say anything. It isn’t official. Its more of a promise. She said it wasn’t that. It was something bad. Something worse. Something very, very wrong.

“What is it?” I asked. The answer I did not expect. If I was the man that I am now, I would of saw it. I wouldn’t have been on that floor with her, singing lovely praises between shots, blind to the words that came next. The words that haunted me for months, years. Something I never got over. Something I kept secret for her and, sadly, for myself.

In April of that year I went down to meet her for the first time. Months of talking over the phone. Years of talking over the internet. It was time. She was overjoyed. The first days were blissful. Then things rolled away. She became distant. She was cold. She said I was different. I couldn’t figure out why. I was nervous, yes, but what I was to learn later was that I was cocky on the phone. I performed a Beta Switch. That, in her mind, led her to sleep with her ex, in the back of his van, while I sat in her bedroom, waiting, freaking out, anxiety bursting through my pores.

The next moment was long. It hit me, but I went cold. Very cold. I held her in my arms and screaming CUNT through my bones. WHORE! SLUT! I had forgiven her for backing out of our plans, forcing me to make a trip 3000 miles in a state of intense depression, only to change her mind again not long after. That was nothing compared to this. This was something that was meant to be unforgivable. Death was passed on crimes such as these for thousand of years. We weren’t even married, but it was the deep, boiling betrayal she knew she committed. She knew what she did. She knew the enormity of the pain. She waited until now to tell me. I thought and thought and thought, yet the answer came as quickly as her confession.

“Its okay,” I said, teeth clenched. Arms around her sobbing, wobbling figure. Her body shaking. My body numb.

What else was there to do? Smack her around? I wished. I wished always. I wished I had sent her packing and returned the fling with my bigger breasted roommate. I wish I had left her at the airport. I wished so many things, but I had it in my head that I put this much effort in, that I still loved her, that I’d get over it.

That was my mistake. Trying to get over it. Trying to rationalize it. Impossible. The best reaction is the natural reaction, otherwise you’re fighting something stronger than civilization. You’re fighting yourself. There’s a reason we feel these things. They help us survive.

I made the wrong choice that night. I made the wrong choice from then until she left. After she left, after months of work, I did something I said I do that night on the floor.

I got over it. By getting over her. By getting over the lies of society. By embracing what is real, my instincts.

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Change (In The House of Flies), Part 4: The Resurrection, Part 5

The first full day there was rest. Organization and rest. I repacked my bags so to make it easier for the long drives. Electronics here, clothes there, food there, and so on. It took me most of the day. I wrote, I read, I kept busy, but not too busy. It was relaxation after all. I had contacted Becky, a friend and former co-worker, and we set up a time to meet. I hadn’t seen her in three years. Her husband, Rick, was a good friend too, even our time working together was cut short by his unjustified firing. Such is the business of entertainment. She wanted to meet in West Hollywood. Left around eleven, missing the traffic from the Inland Empire streaming into LA.

I arrived early and had a smoke sitting on the edge of one of the flowerbeds, remembering all the times I had driven or walked to this place to pick up the Ex. She worked at the Best Buy. Sometimes I’d get mixed up and walk to it when I was supposed to be at the Bed, Bath and Beyond Store far down Sunset. I was fine with it. I liked walking. I began to miss Los Angeles.

It took them a while, but they arrived with their dog Debbie. I was surprised when both Becky and Rick both gave me hugs. I hadn’t known them that closely, or so I had thought. They looked excited, like I was a long lost friend. I felt close, like I felt with Adrian and Lana. I told them the story. I explained the money problems and even went into my changes from the two days previous. “I changed between ten pm and meeting a drunk girl,” I said, smiling. Becky smiled and slightly jolted in her seat. They knew me as timid and clingy. As a hard working kid, not as an adult. We talked for nearly two hours, grabbing drinks at Jamba Juice. They told me of their freelancing in television and film. Rick getting enough work for them to stay solvent. Becky pursuing writing and acting. They both had been part of the machine I was a cog in. When I got tired, when my kid brain had enough, I went to a new machine. They broke the cycle. I admired them greatly.

I was riding a high from the night at Area 51. I was riding high from being in the sun, the clear blue sky, the swagger in my walk and the confidence of my talk. I felt the third eye scan the world around me, judging, watching and targeting. I tingled all over, underneath, vibrations so slight I had to stop to feel them. Everything had gone right. Everything was good. What felt right was right and what felt wrong was wrong. There was no questioning. No choices. No debating. There was just what I wanted and that was it. I called my dad and told him I’d be staying in California, not coming back to Canada. I’d be staying with my uncle. I’d get work, pay off my debts and make my life, alone but not lonely, out West, as I always said I would. I was home and I was being told it was by the little motions of the universe. I imagined real cowboys, gunfights, world saving and honor and nations for years. Politics and history and morality. It was all bullshit. The West called me out to do this, to write, to have fun, to be big and be bigger. I called my mom that evening and I cried to her. I cried simple tears. Real tears. No anxiety. No shaking or fear or Hell. These were the tears of five months of suppression crashing down around me. The realization I’d spent half a year dealing with the end of my marriage. The midway of 2011. The peak of the hill is coming up. I was scared shitless of what I had done, but I was also supremely excited. Deep down, I felt as I feel right now, like the certainty my uncle and his family have of God’s will in their lives, I have the certainty my life will blossom here. That alone, with each step taken and without looking back, I can walk down the street, the pier or into a room and I am the motherfucking man. No bitch, no boy, no chav, no cunt… no one can tell me any different.

God likes playing tricks. He found me the perfect woman and made her fat, stubborn and impulsive. He made her barren. He made her annoying. He made her mine and then he made her leave. He made me cry. He made me timid. He made me question myself and bring me to edge a dozen times. He made a sure thing into a throwback. He taunted me with rabbits, pussy and the loving arms of family thousands of miles away. No more. No rules. No ways. No fear.

God’s not going to like what I have in store.

My sins are just the beginning…

Change (In The House of Flies), Part 4: The Resurrection, Part 4

He drove us back to Lana’s place, and his place now that he had asked for Lana’s hand. My opportunity to actually feel the alcohol I consumed instead of slight blips of taste. My chance to brag and regale and unwind from unwinding. My chance to slow down. My expectations were delusional. When we arrived, Paul was seated in the single seat couch, otherwise known as a chair and ottoman, playing Mass Effect 2. Paul was a glorious nerd of massive wit and eternal kindness. He could cuddle his son one minute, work his ass off another and bust a very gross joke the next, all while getting all 95 achievements in Red Dead Redemption. Paul was a giant kid. A thirty-something bic-ed loveable kid. Immediately, Adrian gives me a Hops Rising beer. Bitter, dark but 9% alcohol and locally brewed. A good start.

We watch Paul bust through the plethora of talking in the game, waiting for Lana to return. Soon, Orange and Rex came in. I had met both of them once or twice. I never met any of these brothers-in-arms much. I was happy to see them. Orange was a DJ and had just come back from a birthday party. A great looking woman, her friends and her daughters. He was dressed in a crisp white shirt, black suit jacket, black tie; the formal ten. Always with a smile, he recounts the story of his night. The woman is pointing out everyone there. Orange saw two drop dead, boner inducing women, mouth slightly opened. The birthday girls leans over to him and says “And those two are my daughters. They’re off limits.” My first thought was he should of went for them anyway, but a good man knows that pay trumps women, especially the disposable kind. A lightweight redhead became extremely enamored with him during the night. She “guns” were used, over and over and over, until she tipped over. An ex even shows and he has to escort her out. “I’m working,” he said. I listen closely.

It became my turn to tell my story. I should of felt overwhelmed. I should have been overshadowed by Orange. I’d heard several of his stories, but I was still high off the simple things I had done. It was basic game. It was below basic. The men I read on the net – Dagonet, Willy Wonka, Roosh, Roissy – that was their light breakfast, if they felt like it. But, for me, it was the start. It was winning the playoffs, even if it was the pee wee leagues. I was happy. That’s all that mattered. I went into the story. Lana returned, hands full of bags and clothes. Quickly, after hearing the conversation, she backed me up. “She had great tits.” We went into the kitchen. Paul broke out his smooth, licorice tasting Columbian liquor. We all shot and talked. We all told stories. Rex about the gray-haired hippie lady he drunkenly hit on. His band mates watched from a distance and laughed as she tried to pick him as he desperately tried to find a polite out. Orange talked about giant clits. I told a very short version of a girl I worked with at Denny’s and fucked twice after I quit, both times in public parks. Without the shots, the laughs and the barbs between us all, I may have remembered how half the time her dog cockblocked me. It didn’t matter. It was the best time I’d had in a very, very long time.

It rolled around five and Orange had already went home. I was pretty drunk and I had to get up early enough to make it to my relatives in California at a decent hour. We all had a last smoke and went to sleep. Only Orange was sober enough to drive home. The rest of us scattered around the condo. I got about five hours of rest before Paul woke me up as he promised, the sound of coffee being made and I enthusiastically took a cup. I could feel the Columbian devil water still in me, but I had no choice. All my shit was in the car. All the shit I thought I needed. All the shit I thought I didn’t have the balls to throw away. Things I may do or may want. It was all things. The Exs storage closet held enough require five of my cars, if you packed it tight. I gave a handshake to Paul and we said our goodbyes as he went off to work. Then, as requested, I knocked on Lana and Adrian’s door. They came down and Lana gave me a giant hug, wishing me the best and headed back up to sleep. Graveyard shifts. Adrian went outside for a smoke and I joined. We talked for a bit about the trip and smaller things. I only had half my cigarette. I needed to space them out if I was going to make this habit last an entire carton. We shook and I left. Some Marylin Manson on the stereo.

I felt excited. I felt ready. I hit the road and realized I was still drunk. The intoxication fell off around southern Utah where I stopped for Gatorade and a smoke. I pondered on what Kay had told me about an hour earlier. The Red Cross in Tuscaloosa was slow and inefficient with the tens of thousands of volunteers helping. I had taken over the conversation. I wanted to expose it. I know people. Benefit of big family. I went on and on and on. Then, when I gave her a word, she reminded me that the problems happened days ago, not currently. All she wanted to do was vent about the past problems. I jumped on it like I jump on a lot of things. Like ideas. Like feelings. Like my marriage. It was a kick to the ego. One needed. The humbling ying to the alpha yang.

At the station, after pondering, surrounded by new condos in the middle of the parches desert, a jackrabbit burst out of the brush and stopped dead in the middle of a clearing no more than 20 feet away from me. I stared at it for several moments. It didn’t move. For years, I had tried to hunt jackrabbit in Utah, the only animal you can kill without a permit due to its massive population. I was told they were everywhere. I had even seen them on hikes. Yet, every time I took my .22 with me to hunt, they were never there. Any rabbit I did see either was too far, ran at an insane speed directly left or right, or popped up when I was out of ammo. Now, for whatever reason, God or whomever had decided to taunt me a dumbass rabbit, as he did with a drunk girl. It was at this time I concluded that it was God’s plan to prank me as much as he could, and that I needed to start pranking his ass back in whatever way I could.

It took 11 hours to get to southern California from northern Utah. Traffic jams from Vegas straight into the Valley. Agriculture checkpoints 100 miles in the California border. Dumbasses galore. I was home, again. God pulled another prank on me while I was stuck on I-15 with thousands of others: Osama bin Laden got capped. I had thought about that moment for many, many years. I wanted to be at a bar, or at home with family and friends, or be able to be able to join in the celebration. Fucker died while I was squinting into the brake lights of some soccer mom’s minivan, waiting for my turn to look at a pulled over sports car. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Why couldn’t it have been yesterday? Why couldn’t it have been with Seasons’ tits in my hand? If anything would of pushed me to take her into the bathroom that night and carve my name into her thighs with my dick, it would have been that. Even goths hate terrorists. I called my mom about it, she being a political person. Her reaction was, as I used to be, as Spike was, a downer. It didn’t matter. Who cares if he’s dead? I cared. I was happy. Some people need to die, no matter what. Its in male genetics to murder our enemies. The yang returned. Embrace the animal. The nature of man. Quit fucking downing yourself. I turned on Queen and belted my cracking voice.

When I got to my uncle’s place I was drunk on fatigue. It took me three hours to fall asleep. Something still wasn’t right. My mind still having insane thoughts at insane speeds like it did in Utah. I popped a Xanax, knowing it was the second to last one, knowing that if I was addicted it would be a very bad thing to run out. I didn’t want to be. This was supposed to be a rest. Something still wasn’t kosher, but I pushed it away. I just wanted to sleep. Sleep was short. Sleep was restless. The only thing that still ran well was the ego.

***

The finale, tomorrow.

Vicarious

***

I was never really in charge. I was never the dom that I thought I was. I was the slave holding the leash. I was the dog walking itself. Things happened because she wanted it. She got the best side of the beta and then walked away.

Five months of hell I walked. Five months of hard work and emotional breakdown and hate and love and pining and attempts to change and no change and friends, good friends. Five months of temptation and control and loss and loss of control and shit shit shit shit shit. Five months of months going by like bullet trains. Months lost to monthless moments. Months gone, never to return.

One night. One day. One kiss. One reason. One godless world run by godless heresies. Her ass in my crotch. Her intoxication. Her disposable body. Her sad face. Her smell. Her taste. Her eyes. My realm.

That was me in those eyes.
That was me in control.
That was me focused and on fire.
That was me in charge.
That was me on her tits.
That was me with her hips.
That was me.
No one can take that away.

“You’re your own man now,” said my uncle, smiling at me.

“My own man, for once,” I corrected.

I had told him I wasn’t going to leave his California home that he welcomed me in to for as long as I wanted. I had told him that I decided to cut my trip short and stay. I wanted to stay. My friends, my old co-workers, told me of the gold of being your own boss. He fired, she quit. On their own. Making what they could, together, free. I wanted to feel the sun and the breeze and see the peaks and the palm trees and drink up the dystopian paradise that is California. I couldn’t help myself. My being had given its ultimatum. It wanted the gifts of human delusion. It wanted the juice of self-deception. It wanted the command of the unaware and the unprepared. It wanted it all, and I decided to give it what it wanted.

For the first time, even while the tears streamed down my eyes, staring out at the blue-orange-red sky above me, sitting on the swing bench, I did something truly, fully and inexcusably for myself. The hate and the time and the worthlessness came out.

I no longer had to hate her.

She no longer mattered.

She was the dust blowing above me.

She was gone. Disappeared. Dissolved.

Amen.