73755082.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-largeThe boyfriend remained a live in, I kept going at my jobs, my men and my addictions. I was too wasted to care about too much at all. My ‘love’ affairs seemed to be steady, and if one dropped off I’d simply pick up a new one. I was a party girl, and guys loved me to be around when I could be, and I was too stupid to see that I was simply just a fall back girl that they likely talked shit about to their guy friends. I didn’t really give a shit about that either. I felt unloved and alone most of the time, so I decided that perhaps going the route of taking on a girlfriend as a steady would be a good idea.

I met a gorgeous dark haired, blue eyed girl who I couldn’t understand at all. It’s not that I couldn’t understand her physical needs and wants, I couldn’t understand her terribly broken English. “Lordez” was a Spanish beauty with a heart of gold and a fiancé, the kind with a penis. I can’t remember how we met, I only know that I kept her hidden and that no one knew about her but me. We were together for maybe a month when she asked me to move with her to Texas, Houston to be exact. Despite the opportunity I turned my back on her, simply heartbroken that the one person who I felt actually loved me wanted to go so far away. I wasn’t willing so we went our separate ways. The fact that she pleaded, cried, and made promises of taking care of me didn’t sway me, I just didn’t want that. I knew that it meant that I would have to reveal to her who I really was and not the kind, romantic word wizard that I had shown her. We didn’t speak the same language, couldn’t hold a conversation, but somehow she understood me, and loved me just how I was. We spent a nice evening alone going to a really nice dinner, and out for drinks and held each other until daybreak the next morning when she had to go. I’ll never forget the look in her teary blue eyes when she glanced at me over her shoulder and said “I’ll never forget you my love, remember me always. I hope our hearts meet again soon.” With that, she was gone. Disappeared into the sunrise like the stars in the twilight of morning. I never contacted her again.

That night I decided that a ladies night at the “Rocking Horse” was a good idea. It was after all one of my go to spot for lots of booze for cheap, good laughs and some strange sex partner who likely just passed through. The place was a dive by all means, but there was a new band weekly which provided plenty of escapades and parties at the band house. That night I met “Ivan”, an early 30 something drummer with big brown eyes, a soft voice, and a passion for his craft. I continued the affair with him for a few days, perhaps a week or so, and can recall details from this particular time vividly. His room in the band house was dark, with a creepy old mirror on the ceiling that smelled of sex and sweat mixed with the smells of homemade gumbo with rice and stale beer. He was gentle and sensual, always feeling as if we were making love, which was different from many of the other encounters I had at that time of my life. I felt a great deal of comfort with him, and I always knew when he was performing a song just for me. “Our song” was “Look good in my shirt” by Keith Urban. This was a reference to the old beaten up Saint’s jersey that I’d sleep in, when I spent the nights with him.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????We would lay awake nights cuddled and kissing just talking in the dark as if we had a chance to be together. We connected in ways I hadn’t experienced before, and he seemed to care about me for who I was, not scared away from my dark past. I remember him best because for about 3 days I was mostly sober, and we went on an actual date. We had dinner at this place called Grizzlies in the mall where I worked on the weekends, to the movie Semi-Pro, and to an arcade for some shenanigans. When we turned in our tickets for prizes we got these silly little rubber rings that matched and wore them on our pinkies. I don’t know if he kept his, or even wore it after we parted ways, but I held on to that hope for a few months never taking them off even to shower. I remember feeling so in love with him for what seemed like forever, and would always get excited by a phone call, which were few and far between. A musician’s life isn’t an easy one, nor predictable or really stable where the schedules are concerned. I think he was the first I’d written a love poem about in years. We ended up drifting away like the leaves in the fall, and every day I hated that I was simply undeserving of someone who seemed so very genuine. We found each other again a few years later, and he remains a supportive person with kind words when he catches wind of me struggling.

I can’t remember where my other boy toys were, or which ones vanished from my life or when. I didn’t really give two shits as I was still attractive enough to get what I needed just about anywhere. I met Ivan and the rest of it was all put on hold for a while. With the devastation of losing him, I decided that it was maybe time to close that chapter of North Dakota. That state was great in the summer months, but dreadfully cold and dreary in the winter months. I hated the negative temperatures and biting winds of such an open plain of space. It seemed as if there was never any sunshine, there were no real opportunities, and it was several months wasted in a strange place.

I ended up staying until May of 2008 when I caught wind that my maternal grandmother had fallen ill to the point of needing oxygen and 24 hour care. I figured that she wouldn’t tell me if there weren’t something seriously wrong with her, so initially I bought it. Looking back now, I really don’t think that is was so much that she needed someone with her 24 hours a day because she was still pretty spry. I think it was her plotting to help get me clean. She knew that family was important and I surely still loved and valued her even if I couldn’t feel any real emotion because of my substance induced haze. She just wanted me to be the little girl she always knew with a bright future and intelligence. Though she was a very harsh and cynical woman, she was also very kind and loving. She refused to give up on me. She refused to believe that I was anything but full of potential. Just like that, I resigned from all of my jobs, and simply “came home”, only to begin yet more struggle and self-destruction.