An awful gift
It’s funny, when I first met Mouse, she was arm-wrestling a girl in yet another bar. At least, that’s one of the earliest entries where I introduced her to you for the first time.
In any case, she ended up arm-wrestling another girl at Pac’s bday at Solas as well. She won.
After I had my little outdoor escapade with the woman from the bar, I went back to Solas but when I returned, mosta my friends had left.
Since I knew the bouncers, they just waved me and I quickly – well, as quickly as I could considering how snockered I was – went up to where we were all sitting because I remembered I left my camera at the table in our room.
Shockingly, it was still there.
New York’ll still surprise you from time-to-time, I think.
I’d just left and wanted to eat so I wandered around looking for food. This worked out because I ran into Mouse outside on the street.
She was stone cold sober because she was driving the old whip.
Asked her if she’d be willing to give me a lift to the station cause it was super late and she – hesitatingly – obliged.
Figure she could tell I was two sheets to the wind. She’s one of the few that can since I don’t turn red and I don’t act much different to most people.
It was nice being in the whip again; I thought of her and my dad and tried to remember if they met. They didn’t.
It was a short drive – just from 9th and 2nd to 14th and 7th. But along the way, she asked me something that sobered me up right fast.
Her: When we were together, you wanted to die. You were suicidal. But then…you said that you would stay for the boy. (pause) I didn’t understand why you wouldn’t live for me.
Our past conversations were always arguments, always. Lots of yelling and finger-pointing. And anger.
So much anger, from both of us.
This time, though, the way she said it – simply and plainly, no anger, no bitterness, just…simply and resigned – cut through my intoxicated brain.
If I had a space to crawl into to hide, man, I woulda.
Me: (struggling) I don’t know. I was really messed up then. (sighing) I’m so sorry for everything.
She countered – calmly again – that she was often in physical and emotional pain when we were together. Yet she still helped me – and the kid – despite her own pain. Instead of doing the same and helping her, I was trying to think of ways to kill myself.
The bad thing about being able to forget things is that when you remember them, it’s like you’re experiencing it for the first time. I saw exactly the moment she brought up, as if I was watching it unfold for the first time.
Like Athena in Zeus’s head, that memory grew and, like Zeus, if I coulda, I woulda grabbed a hammer to bash it out.
Honestly, I woulda much preferred she screamed at me. Much.
She pulled up to the station, I stepped out, and she drove away.
Wish I could tell you I said something terribly charming or clever before I left. But I didn’t. For someone never at a loss for words, there I was.
It’s been four years since we were together. I was sleepwalking through life when I met her. Wish I found a way to wake up before she left.
Then again, I wish a lotta things.
I’m still ever the skillest and killest with my deadly weapons and I’m always armed and dangerous.
It’s a truly awful gift.
Him: (out of the blue) I wish I had a sibling.
Me: What?! (deep breath) I’m sorry, kid. I…
Him: It’s ok, papa. I just wish…
Me: (interrupting) I know. We wish a lotta things. I wish that too.