The Darkest Night of the Soul
I just heard the dreaded sound. Oh no, I snap my ear to attention simultaneously cursing it and hoping it was my imagination. Nope, there it was again! Birds chirping.
Everything goes downhill from here. The night had been so fun, we laughed, we danced, we had wildly fascinating conversations in a merry-go-round of people the whole while with a sense that something exciting and incredible was about to happen in a blurry haze of events.
But it never did. Because the birds came too early.
My stomach drops. Oh nooooo. I can feel it happening. The turn is coming and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
“Did you hear that?” I hiss to him.
“Yep! What the birds, oh I love birds! Birds are the best! How can you not like them? Wait, are you ok?”
“No. I’m not.” I stare at him, aware of the dark pools my eyes have become, endless empty, meaningless pools with a whole lot of sadness at the bottom.
“Yeah, you look kinda freaky.”
“Do you want another glass of champagne?”
“No, nothing can save me now.” I slump dramatically down on the couch wringing my hands. I can work through this. I start to rock myself squinting at the tiny bit of sunlight streaming through the curtains.
“Oh fuck! There’s the sunlight!” I pull at my hair on the sides of my temples and bury my face in my knees. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no.” I start to chant. I pray to God, is he there? Nope! I can’t feel him.
I think about really freaking out. I am right on the verge as my heart races. I might not make it this time.
“Do you have a xanax?” There is only one way through this. Like a rockstar, like a warrior. I pop a xanax, put on my sunglasses, pour myself another glass of champagne anyways and head out on the balcony to smoke one more cigarette.
He comes outside and tries to act nonchalantly, like everything is cool. I am repulsed by him. I know it’s on my face, so I look away. There is an air of heavy awkwardness, a silent threat. Something bad is about to happen but I don’t know what. It hangs there, weighty.
Yes I do. He’s going to want sex and I am not going to want to give it.
My throat hurts and my head is starting to throb. I chug down the pink champagne and wait for the xanax to kick in, pondering the concept of ‘lower companions’ they talk about in those goddamn AA meetings. This guy is really creeping me out now…
What am I doing here? How can I escape? I need to distance myself internally, at least, so I can stay safe. I decide I won’t speak to him for the rest of the night, then I say:
“Can I have another one please?” I implore him with desperation in my eyes. “A xanax, not another line.” I am monotone now. It is a clear demand, not a request.
And he is going to do what I want, because they always do. Even though I feel way more messed up than he is, I am still way out of his league.
Then the despair and shame hits. What am I thinking? Why am I better than anyone? All of a sudden I don’t want to be here. I want to be anywhere other than here. I don’t want to be on Earth. I want to be gone.
If I could in this moment, snuff myself out as easily as I could blow out a candle, I would. Buh-Bye.
I think about my daughter and cringe hard; how can I think these thoughts? What about my daughter? Oh, she would be better off without me. She does not need a fuckup of a mother like me.
I think about my funeral, the whole occasion will be so sad. She was such a bright light they’d say, there must have been something we could have done.
I wonder which photographs they’ll choose for the slideshow. What songs will they play? Robin will have to say the eulogy. My mom will be too much of a mess, she is such a crier.
Then just like that, life would go on. They would miss me but they would forget too. Everyone but my little girl. She would never be the same. She would probably turn out much worse than me. She would suffer from depression her whole life and this horrible lineage of dysfunction would be carried on and I’d have done nothing to stop it.
I can feel the xanax now and realize I’ve gotten carried away. Weeeee! It’s going to be okay. I giggle and feel an unbearable lightness in my being sensing the sheer ridiculousness of my thinking and have I gone out of my mind?!
“Okaaaaay!! I’m ok noooow!” I say in a sing-song voice and slide back into the living room, just like Tom Cruise, in my socks with my sunglasses still on. I turn on the stereo, “let’s do another line!”
“Nice outfit” he smirks at me. I realize I have pulled my socks up to my knees and am wearing a short skirt with a rainbow top and heart shaped sunglasses.
“I must look cute, I feel cute!” I say coyly snickering “and crazy.”
“And crazy.” He agrees, nodding. We laugh and as we start to fall together I know everything is groovy. My body is like gumby and somehow still graceful, I spin and twirl and feel good again, thank god.
I regain my balance and push him on the couch. My inner vixen comes back. I straddle him and toy with his lips with my tongue, turning it on just enough to get him to bring out the baggie.