Friday, May 23, 2014

Tornado

tor·na·do
a localized, violently destructive windstorm occurring over land, especially in the Middle West, and characterized by a long, funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground and made visible by condensation and debris.



People who have never lived here don't understand. Those of us who have never lived anywhere else, well, tragedy can occur anywhere.



You tell yourself that you have a storm shelter, and common sense. You prepare, and you believe preparedness is safety. You fool yourself, because as adults, that's what we do.


Children are the brave ones. They believe in monsters under the bed. Childhood is honesty, and the older we get, the more we're taught the lies and uncertainty of adulthood.
The monsters are still there, but we think that with enough foresight, we can somehow keep the horror at bay. But monsters don't have rules. They're everywhere. Sometimes, behind the faces of people we trust.



September 13, 2011 was my own personal tornado. It was darkness.  Once something like that happens, moving past the tragedy is impossible, the tatters of the life I knew fell away, and every day was the day of the tornado.  I lived in the eye of the storm.  It all seems quiet, but on every side, the tragedy is still happening.





--


I like a good beer buzz, early in the morning.


Drinking was the sign of adulthood in my family.  Beer was for barbecues, champagne was for New Year's, and vodka had it's own seat at the dinner table.


I'm a drinker.  Sometimes, I'm a drunk.  I like the taste of beer, and I love the way it makes me feel.  Blurry at the edges, wanting to laugh, fuck, and maybe pass out.  Beer.  That's the name of my God.


I know I'm not the first person that kind of thing happened to, and I won't be the last, but there was such surprise.  That's what I'm most ashamed of.  The surprise that something like that could happen to me.


You wouldn't believe the amount of shame that I carried around.  I'd spent my days off watching shows like Law and Order: SVU.  I would watch it and think about the tornado.  About sleeping with all the lights on, and checking the door to make sure it was locked at least fifty times a night.


Anyone who could take away something like that from another person, to turn pleasure into horror and pain, doesn't deserve to walk in the midst of people. 


What was stolen from me is something I'll never get back.  It wasn't just my torn body, it was the way I used to trust.  The way I could love anyone, completely, and selflessly.  I miss myself.  I miss certain things about the woman I used to be. 


The worst part, the one that anyone who's been through it knows, is that one memory you can't bleach with therapy or booze or antidepressants.  Mine is the sound of him spitting into his hand.  Just typing that last sentence makes my stomach clench, and my lunch flutter in my stomach. 
There are some nights, that I wake up to that sound, him spitting into his hand, and think about that being the last good moment in my life.  That spitting sound, and then we have now.




--


“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”—Unknown


I hate helpful, huggy quotes.  "Fuck your forgiveness.  There are things that should never be forgiven. "  -- Me


The first time I tried to have sex after it all happened, was so awkward, it was like regaining my virginity.  I didn't want to have sex.  I didn't desire it, but I wanted to know that I was capable of still deciding.  It was the decision that I was most worried about. 


I talked to one of my best friends and nagged and pestered him so much, he finally agreed to have the most awkward sex imaginable with me.


Getting hard wasn't the problem, it was staying hard.  When you're trying to have sex with someone who has a Sports Illustrated archive worth of issues below the belt, it's impossible to be in the mood.


A year or so ago, he told me it wasn't the worst sex he ever had, which made me laugh so hard I let out a monstrous, honking fart.  We both laughed at that until our stomachs ached.  It felt good to know that I still had the ability to laugh. 


--


"It's a way we had over here with living with ourselves. We cut 'em in half with a machine gun and give 'em a Band-Aid. It was a lie. And the more I saw them, the more I hated lies.'' -- Apocalypse Now


I won't tell you a lot of the clichés you hear from most people.  Those are like the religious pamphlets zealots hand out.  Take a look, and then throw that shit out.


Either you'll survive, or you won't.  I think there are strengths in me that I never realized.  Was it worth what I went through?  Not on your fucking life.  I drank until I alienated family, friends, strangers, everyone.  I remember waking up on a pile of beer cans for about six months straight.


It was ugly.  Hell, I was ugly.  After I made it through, I didn't have much left to go home to.  It's a good thing I know how to start over.


Some nights, I wake up and have to tell myself that it's over.  I lived that one day for years, as much as I'd like to leave it behind, it's always going to be with me.


I'm still going.  Maybe I'm too dumb to quit.  Whatever it is, I can live now.  The eye of the storm is finally behind me.




--


“There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar. ”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick





7 comments:

Robbie Grey said...

The storm...its shrapnel left in its wake, and the survival of it is somewhere no one wants to be, but knowing it can be survived is a certain sort of amazing.

Nessa Locke said...

There are a couple of lines in here I'd like to steal, not because they're life affirming, but because they are the exact fucking thing I'd like to stick in a few faces. Sometimes I won't comment, because things hit too close to home. Other times...I can't help myself.

Sally-Sal said...

Robbie, that comment is beautiful. Shrapnel and survival. I think we all have it in us, whether we want it or not.

Nessa, steal away. I'm rusty as hell at this whole writing thing, and I really didn't think anyone was reading my brand of bullshit :)

Will said...

Randomly stumbled upon this blog, from search engine.

Enjoy your writing style and Moby Dick quotation.

Definitely keep writing somewhere. Online or offline - you have a knack.

Idiot Savant said...

Hang in there.

Mike said...

Hey know, I was reading your brand of bullshit. I absolutely loved your last post. I'm a drinker too, actually I can be quite the drunk.
I hope you keep going with it.

Thanks

Nashville Brown said...

Still waiting for that next post...