Resorting to the geographical cure by moving to New York only seemed to trigger and reinforce my longing for Matthew. The idea of moving there initially came across as refreshing especially since the city itself felt like it’s been beckoning me for a while now. However, I know so well that the desire to move there stemmed from the fact I had spent the last few months in Chicago recreating the painting Matthew had above his bed; the one with the Twin Towers. I used the photos I took of it to replicate and make an almost identical duplicate of it.
Battling my inner grief and rage into existence through the recreation of the painting, I knew I was only hurting myself more, but the masochist part of me reveled in it. It allowed me to externalize all the pain and chaos trapped inside me. I also desperately wanted the space in my apartment to reflect my inner turmoil and mourning, so I recklessly destroyed or put things away to turn the place upside down. I enjoyed looking at the mess and embracing it. Seeing everything fall apart around me gave me a particular kind of strength and resilience. As I started planning my move, I cared less and less about maintaining or cleaning the apartment and got rid of the things I wasn’t planning on keeping.
It was impossible for me to stay in Chicago. Every grocery store, coffee shop, park and almost every street and neighborhood reminded me of things I’d rather forget. Most of my relationships there ended either abruptly or unfairly and I couldn’t help but feel alienated and trapped in the bitter throes of nostalgia. The kind that’s melancholic and sad and bittersweet. The kind that messes with your sanity and makes you do crazy things like stick your head inside a freezer and scream from the top of your lungs or pop pills and race them with alcohol to knock yourself out. And it was all because of Matt.
Matt had insinuated himself into my consciousness from the moment we met. I managed to bury him deep somewhere inside me to try and forget he ever existed, but every night he’d creep back into my awareness and I’d start remembering scraps of our conversations, the amazing sex we used to have as well as the sentimental moments where we shared our innermost thoughts with one another. He truly loved me and all I did in return was cast him aside and run from him like wildfire. Being able to regain and preserve some fragments of solid memories makes me hope and beg for a rare form of amnesia, a dissociative fugue which can wipe vast swaths of my memory so I’m able to start a fresh new life. It’s never going to happen, though. My macabre relationship with Matthew Eldon is at the epitome of my life. There’s a bottomless pit of need inside me that wants him and only him. It’s my own malevolent fairytale.
Boredom is he hardest — most confusing feeling to alleviate, and depression keeps blighting and blotting my life. Some days I feel nothing, other days I feel so emotional and tense, a degree away from experiencing a full-blown panic attack. All I can do is get myself into my bed, pull the sheets up over me and cry so hard until no more tears are left, until my throat dries and I can hardly breathe. It’s the only time I can feel some sort of temporary relief. Self harm is another way for me to feel present, to punish myself for my never-ending flaws and sinful existence.
Psychological pain is inexhaustible. Now I know. Back then, when I’d come across a mentally challenged or dysfunctional individual on the street and they’d be punching random objects or kicking trash cans while screaming obscenities, I could never grasp how they could be acting so bluntly and outrageously out in the open. They were very unstable — some of them — lunatics so psychologically damaged and unable to keep their rage and turmoil under the surface. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed myself unawarely lashing out in public. I’d talk to myself, sometimes curse out of anger and frustration. Every time it happens, I try so hard to catch myself early on and reground myself so no one notices even though sometimes I don’t care if they do.
Lately, everything triggers me. I was walking to the elevator the other day when a muffled sound stopped me right in place. It was a song I never thought could have such an effect on me. It sounded dreamy and slow. I could only hear the tune, not the words. It made me feel so peaceful, as if I was underwater. It’s in moments like these that I realize something welling up inside me is about to explode. Suddenly, I’m drawn back into a deep depression involving misplaced anger and compulsive actions.
Shoplifting still does the trick even though it makes me feel shitty afterward. A few days ago, I went to the mall and pickpocketed an expensive watch, carefully hiding it underneath my cellphone once the store got super busy. I casually walked to the door and left without bothering to check if someone was watching me or not. Somehow, I ended up at the store adjacent to the one I exited. I looked through the merchandise for a brief second before noticing a security person rush inside and to the second floor. I wasn’t sure what they were looking for, but I knew it was time for me to leave the premises. I walked over to the revolving doors but they were stuck, so I moved away to the door right next to it and even that one had issues. It was heavy but I managed to force myself out and succeeded. Being out in the open made me paranoid, so I quickly headed toward an underpass and sought shelter at the lower level. At the subway station nearby, cops were monitoring commuters coming in and out, so I avoided the train and took the bus instead. I instinctively know how to avert danger at the last second. I’ve become so good at it. I’ve managed to go through life doing what I do without ever resulting in punishment. Another sign I’ve failed to grow up.
When I got home, I took a shower. I don’t know why, but it felt like the glowing bathroom light along with the fogginess caused by steam seemed heavenly. I started to choke myself, vision coming in and out of focus, head rush reaching the extreme, my eyes fixated on the top of the shower curtain hooks. I focused on the line until I couldn’t see it anymore. Soon, I was taken over by lust. I thought about the amazing sex Matt provided. His animalistic approach was exhilarating, the orgasmic release unbeatable. His haunting presence has become too frequent and real its driving me crazy. I want to die and be with him. In the shower, I jerked myself off until cum pumped out; it hurt as some of it contained clumps. I felt a sharp pain in my testicles until my ejaculation stopped.
This is the horror of apartment dwelling. Your mind starts playing tricks on you, your emotions get the best of you. You acquire some sort of deep ingrained weirdness that makes you act in strange ways. The way I live today is reprehensible, but it’s much more bearable and easier for me to allow myself to lose my sanity every once in a while. I mean, let’s face it: Deep inside, we’re all animals driven by instinct, aren’t we?