Tonight, it’s raining. It’s 8:00 PM, and the rain woke me up from a nap I started when work was over because I couldn’t sleep last night. Last night, I poured a glass of bourbon and started writing to you on the old typewriter I keep in the apartment for my drunk friends to type on. It’s the most I’ve ever typed at one time on the old thing–each paragraph washed down by a swig of fire. It’s good, I think. It’s sweet. And it is.
I’m typing like some tired-ass cliche of a writer. And wherever you are, you’re probably sleeping or something much healthier.
I’ve made a life out of creating holes in myself. I’ve convinced myself that I need to be broken. I’ve spent countless nights drinking bourbon or rum or wine or vodka. I’ve smoked. I’ve fingered addiction but pulled away before it could draw me in. I’ve wallowed. I’ve pushed outward with my hands at the darkness that I created for myself that sometimes swirls too close.
I’ve been a coward. I’ve known what I needed, and I’ve run away instead of fighting. I’ll probably never stop running. The running–more than the laundry and the jokes and the games and the cynicism–is what makes me a child. I’ve convinced myself that the running is easier, that the loneliness is necessary to creating–the self-inflicted pain will allow me to be a better artist. Maybe I don’t need to be better. Maybe I don’t need to be an artist. Maybe I’m not one at all, and I’m only pretending–acting out the part like a stupid play.
Sometimes at night, sleep paralysis lays down on me. I’m awake but not. I’m asleep but not. I feel something dreadful in the room with me, and as it lays down on me like a cloak, I try to move but I can’t. I make those stupid sounds I used to make to wake you up so you could wake me up. I try to make that desperate grunting form the word ‘help,’ but I don’t know why. My sounds are lost in the air of an empty room.
This is how it is, I guess–like a tide. This is grief, I guess. And I should have known it would come washing in eventually. I was foolish to think I had beat the fall out. I was foolish to think it wouldn’t catch up to me. I was foolish to think that I could watch the rain fall through the window in the apartment you found for me and not be stirred. I was foolish.
And I pull the piece of fancy paper out of the typewriter’s paper table–a term I had to look up. You’ll never see this draft. It became impossible to spell the word deficiency, and so there is one line in paragraph two or three with a handful of failed attempts at the same word, so I stopped trying.
It was the worst it has been, and it will be bad again. But for now, the rain has stopped.