on monday i found out b. was stabbed to death in a drug deal.
b. was beautiful. men in west hollywood were obsessed with him. even i had to force focus away from his fierce features, a jaw line so sharp it shred many a heart and when he stuck out his hand before we shared a ride, mine to cedars, and his to court...
"hi, i'm henriette."
...was the only word this early bird could croak.
but b. was more beautiful on the inside. sorry, untruly trite. he didn't; couldn't speak for the first few weeks, but when his words began to fall, like a toddler's first steps, you leaned forward with waiting arms to catch their fall. he ferociously fixated on ideas and churned them inside his blender of a brain, serving them up like protein shakes; thick, near indigestible, but loaded with value. a trainer, perfection in his pursuit, but like a greek statue, crumbling; not from weighted pressure of time, but a brain atrophying from disease.
his defiance in group was skin-crawlingly, rubber-neckingly addictive. you could not look away. with quiet fury, he'd huff and puff in-house authority right up against the wall, pinning them with stunning truth. and i'd stand in the mosh pit beside him, fist-pumping, head-banging, shrieking myself hoarse into awed silence.
"i don't understand you."
"have you ever slammed meth?"
"are you an addict?"
"SO HOW CAN YOU UNDERSTAND ME?"
he had a point. and a good one.
but every calm breath retaliated by the good doctor would only stoke b.'s fire, and in the end, he felt how we all feel after years of fighting something we don't understand.
day 29 in rehab. throttled by a humbling trifecta of new and sobering experiences: 1) an early morning group (punishment enough for this night owl), 2) slaughter by a migraine (grasping at sober days like sand through my fingers), and 3) no narcotics for the first time in my life (fantasizing pharmacy, ski mask and a gun), i announced i HAD to miss group. my catastrophe, surprisingly, did not notch on rehab's whipping stick as a legitimate reason to miss group, and so i dragged my sleepy, selfish ass upstairs.
"migraine", i mumbled, as i slipped cross-legged into the circle, clearly out of my mind in pain, and my comrades in armor nodded in sympathy.
but it was b., in one of his loveliest moments, who reached out and stroked my back, surprising me with his lucidity; his love.
i don't ask questions that start with why, because if i did, my heart would never stop breaking.
i love drugs and alcohol. i love them.
i love them so much i did anything in those desperate, dark 3, 4, 5 am boarded-up discotheque, pre-dawn hours. when running out of vodka meant pouring from any bottle that had the word alcohol along the side. because your brain tells you it's clear. and it burns. and it kept me dancing away into the night.
i have to stop fighting them. i am powerless.
when we fight drugs,alcohol,our weight,our spouses,our clothes,our jobs,our houses,our cars,our toys,our facebook,our children,our health,our bank accounts,our...
we choke on the chatter, noise, chaos in our heads...
[something to talk about.]
and you can't hear it.
the peace within.
it took me 45 minutes to get out of bed today.
like a slippery bar of soap, i can't get a grip on these side effects,
if i fight it,
i'll never grab the soap.
i'll never be
dewormed, dewaxed and ready to listen.
so tonight i curl, surreal, in my old cabin in his hills, but not alone.
on one side i curl fur, matching sigh for sigh, with the sweetest hound's breath.
and on the other, a ghostly presence, fingers that linger still on my spine, gently pressing me onward, forward. no longer fighting.