Thursday, January 29, 2009


One of my earliest memories takes place on the street where I grew up. It has grown vague with age…and joints, but I still remember the feeling of Brian telling me he had a new best friend. “We can’t ride bikes anymore, I’m going with Jeff instead,” I was devastated. Turns out he became a Bush voter and a suburban cop, so in hindsight the loss wasn’t so great, but the feeling of rejection remains regardless.

I never was a popular kid. I was squirrelly, loud and I ran my mouth constantly, pushing away any potential friends I might have made. I was a nerd in grade school and a junkie in high school who thought he was better than everyone and wasn’t afraid to say so. Hence the “Most Likely to Start World War III” award I won during graduation.

In short, I was a professional friend pusher awayer.

Now, that’s not to say that I wasn’t constantly surrounded by people, but they were mostly the “friends” one makes when perpetually searching for heroin. They used me, stole from me, lied to me and generally treated me like the piece of shit I had grown to become. I had a few real and close friends, but as time went on most of them faded and became hazy memories.

I remember my parents asking me what characteristics I wanted in a college, my response was simple, “That it isn’t in Wisconsin.” I moved to Ohio to run away. I needed to let go of the life of crime and drug abuse that I had built in Milwaukee. I needed a fresh start. But most importantly I needed something I was sorely lacking…friends.

College came and I found myself becoming Mr. Popular. Everywhere I went on campus people would ask, “What’s up Cheese?” Everyone knew my name and for once it felt good to have to ask who they were, instead of the other way around. I had countless friends and my cell phone rang during class and into the night. Then again the more I think about it, it might have had to do with the fact that I was selling a thousand dollars worth of drugs every week. It was simple, I stopped selling and the phone stopped ringing.

I started drinking a lot towards the end of my college career and during those hazy parties I met some of the friends I still have today. I became close with a few of them, closer than I had thought possible with my volatile personality. They had my back, covered for me, threatened to kill people who messed with me and generally helped me out when I needed a hand. I finally felt like I belonged.

This summer I melted down, got in fights with them and worked diligently to destroy the relationships I had painstakingly worked to build. I cursed, punched and screamed at them when they didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I made damn sure that when I needed them the most, I would be alone.

I realized it when the amount of times I got their voicemails began to outweigh the times I got their voices. Now that I’m more overwhelmed and scared than I have been before I find myself by myself, fighting an uphill battle in the snow. I’ve watched the friends I made drift away due to disgust, fear and general misunderstanding of the truly neurotic personality I am cursed with. I watched them disappear one by one, leaving me to go it alone.

So tonight I sit here in my apartment drinking in my solitude wondering if there is anyone left here that cares about the kid who they once called “brother.” I have made some good friends here in the blogosphere but they are only friends until the computer shuts off or it’s time to go home. They can’t be here when the fear clenches its hand around my throat and they can’t be here to pick me up when I fall.

So I think I’ll have another drink. I’ll sit here looking back on the bridges I have nuked and the people I have scarred. I’ll think back on the pain and the betrayal of the past and I’ll think about giving up. I’ll think of what might have been and I’ll loathe the choices I have made. Mainly though I’ll just think…think about what I should have done differently, about the times when a when I sold myself short.

I’ll think about the regret.

So I think I’ll have another drink. I’ll sit on my couch and let the time pass before it’s time for bed. I’ll have another drink and I’ll wait patiently for the inevitable conclusion of every single night:

Turning out the light and knowing that in this life…I truly am alone.

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