Life writing: Ever the optimistic enabler

Colour photograph of an empty beach and calm sea at sunset

At this time of year I always think of you and I’m reminded of the trips we took, like when we camped on the beach and we talked about your father’s nervous breakdown and how much of himself he sees in you.

He always gave you warnings and you always heard them as something else, something more like being reprimanded.

Like when that girl you were in love with, who judged everyone by her own standards, assumed we’d been having some kind of secret affair, which of course we hadn’t, but you drank a whole bottle of vodka and you were angry so you tried to throw yourself out of the car while I was driving.

Then you punched the door and thought maybe your hand was broken because of how it felt the last time you punched something when you were drunk. And I didn’t speak the whole way home because I’d run out of things to say many corners ago. It was dark and my head hurt and all I could see were the lights on the cars in front and on the other side of the road.

And the memory of every time I’d tidied your apartment before I went home, frozen and silent, putting things back to where they’d been before you kicked them across the room or threw them against the wall in a rage that you never really tried to understand but constantly fought to justify.

Because it was always someone else’s fault.

Then the next day when I drove you to hospital and you kept saying “Sorry”, over and over again, and you asked how you could make it up to me and I said, “Just never do that again because I can’t watch you destroy yourself any more”.

And you promised you wouldn’t. But I let you break my heart a few more times before I let you go. Because I always hoped. And I should’ve known better. I do now.

It would be such beautiful comfort for all of this to be part of someone’s grand plan, God or the collective consciousness, the initials of enlightenment – LSD MDMA THC (not necessarily in that order).

I hope that in the time since we last spoke you’ve found some answers and somewhere to stop running from, that you’re flying instead of falling.

And I wonder if you still wear a few broken shards of our 4ams on a chain around your neck and if you miss those hopeful times as much as I do.

Do you still walk into rooms and forget why you’re there?

Weren’t you going to do something?

Originally written July 2011.

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