How to disappear completely

I wanted to be an astronaut so bad as a kid. Dino and I used to spend our recess time sitting in a tire and pretending we were in a space ship.

I went to Space Camp with Michael and Simon. And I was in Young Astronauts in elementary school. And then I realized I was claustrophobic.

Claustrophobia feels like panic. The hatch door closes and locks and suddenly you regret your decision immediately. This thing feels permanent. It cannot be undone. And you wonder how much oxygen you will have until you pass out from mercy and die encapsulated by things.

NYC feels that like that today. I love it here so much but I need an open horizon line and a sunset painted on the evening sky and mountains as if by a manic demi-god.

I need to be a passenger on an all night road trip through the desert with the only light pollution being gas stations and the occasional penitentiary.

I need the encompassing smell of a bonfire with wood crackling and momentary pops as people shuffle through an ice chest looking for the “good” beer.

Not all the time, but maybe just once every so often.

What I really need is for someone to hold my hand and tell me it’s gonna be alright. I don’t care if it’s a lie. I’ll take a lie right now if it’s offered in mercy.

My house is selling on the 30th and I’ve had to borrow money from friends who’ve offered it long ago. My dad’s been helping me out with expenses, mostly Ubers. This is not because I am a princess. I’ve helped him out in the past. He’s been stealing money from me since I was old enough to receive cash in Christmas cards from relatives. He took a credit card out in my name when I was 16 and never paid it off. He once stole $15,000 in one swoop. And today he told me he was going to need my help when the house sold.

He’s already made plans for the only money left I have in the world, that is supposed to see me til my dying day or until I’ve got money from some new endeavor. He might as well be asking for entire days of life from me. That’s what it boils down to. My escape plan from this oppressive claustrophobia might be cliche, but I prefer it to destitution and living off the kindness of strangers.

I told him no, while wrestling with the gut punch he’d unknowingly inflicted. That we didn’t have a good past with money and I didn’t want to fight anymore. You might never know how hard it is to enforce boundaries with parents like mine. Or how isolating it feels.

I’m laying in bed and trying not to sleep. I tried around nine and had a nightmare about my dad and feeling really alone. Like yelling and screaming and stomping just to get him to believe me for once that my feelings are real and necessary. I’m not ready to confront that feeling again just yet. It doesn’t originate in my dreams. I spent the better part of a lifetime looking for someone to listen and see what what was going on and just, for once, believe me at my word.

Does no one see that I’m the one who should be able to ask for help? No. I’ve never been allowed to be the child in any of my relationships.

It’s going to be one of those cold winter night in NYC that I’d been warned about. The hatch has been closed. And suddenly I immediately regret my decision to be living so far north.

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