Years ago, on my first trip to NYC, I had a line up of guys to go on dates with.
The first was your typical sad boy. Comic book writer named Jesse. He was also Bree Sharp’s hairdresser. That was the impressive part.
He did all the sad boy things. He sat me down to watch that scene from Mulholland Drive with the monster behind the garbage. He had a typical dude bed with one pillow and a ratty blanket from childhood. He lived in Queens.
What did I like about him? He was a good writer.
Anyway, time goes by and he’s not doing well. He’s stuck in this depression whirlpool. I invite him to come out to Arizona for a while. Get away from NYC. I don’t know what I was thinking, except, maybe I could help.
He came out and was a total mess. Completely out of it. I don’t know if he was on drugs or just really fucked up. We got kicked out of Kingfisher because he was acting weird. And he’d get mad at me because we weren’t partying til dawn. I’d told him Tucson wasn’t like that. It wasn’t 2018 NYC. But he wouldn’t listen.
It got to be too much after a week. The guest room smelled awful. He was this gloomy force. And I asked him to leave.
Not true. He scared me and I locked myself in my bedroom and called his sister in New Jersey. I stayed in my room for 24 hours until he left. He yelled at me through the door to talk to him. But I didn’t want to. I had a lifetime of dealing with a dysregulated mother. And I’d been dysregulated myself. There’s no point in talking.
He left. Caught a flight or whatever. I don’t know.
I got a text from an unknown number about a month back. No words. Just a link to an Amazon listing. A graphic novel. By Jesse.
I don’t need to read it.
When I saw what the text was, my stomach started to hurt. I don’t know if he knows that’s how I feel about him.
I assume that anyone who doesn’t make an effort to be in my present in a positive way just forgets about me. I stop existing for them. But the truth is that I exist in a lot of people’s memories as the person I was when they knew me. Not the me I am now or the me I’ll be in a few weeks.
I’ve done a lot of not great things in my life. I don’t get to go back and fix those mistakes. I have to be ok with being unredeemable to some. Their perceived perception of me can’t be the reality I project for myself.
And also, I can’t save anyone. I can’t change them. That’s hard to swallow because I’ve been in the whirlpool of depression, hoping and wishing that anyone would come and save me and what I did was drag them down. I thought people were watching from the shore to see me drown. When really, they were waiting for me to realize I was on my knees, and if I just stood up, I’d see I wasn’t drowning at all.