Ya know what I hate? How we have romanticized madness (in its many forms) to the point that it is thought to be the requisite state of the artist. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a cliche. I resisted writing about this part of my life because I do not want to become a cliche. And yet, you write what you know, n'est ce pas?
I would have left him then if I could have. It was not a choice. I went back to Georgia. The Oaks reached out for me like tentacles. I buckled under the pressure of the water in the air and I thought it was love. I did not know I would miss you.
I carried denial on my back like a wrecked semi. Everyone saw me coming. I knocked over houses, plowed down fields of flowers until I arrived again at that place. The drugs were the only thing I wanted more than him. The escape. I sucked the sulfer-laced white powder through my nose, my mouth, would have shot it into my viens if I had known how. My neck wrenched, my jaws clamped and my heart, my heart was nowhere. What heart?
One night, alone in my room with that sweet little package of magic I torture myself. No sleep, no food for days and when was the last time I had let him touch me?
He would leave again and I knew it but all I could do was wait and try to hurt myself so badly that his departure would be like an echo—a thing from my past. I am an Abyss where his call cannot reach me. I am the cliff I have jumped off of. I am a hollow scragg of rock. The promise of death.
I walk past the mirror and see a ragged doll whose hair stretches across its face, naked and boney-eyed, ruined and wasted. I turn away. When I turn back I know it is me.
Puss sprays from the holes the doctor has punched in my skin. It reeks of sulfur, rot, struggle. Worse than that I cannot bleed. I un-ravel right before my eyes. I scramble to catch myself but I am too heavy. I sink and rust and this would hurt if I could feel it.
I could not remember you then. If I had said your name, heard you sing? It would have killed me. The heart I never gave you would have burst.