Monday, June 4th, 2018
This was going to be a poem, but I changed my mind. Let it be a liberating stream of consciousness.
Two nights ago was a disturbing ride through my imagination. The world started to become a bright, blurry streak of light. Hallucinations. Paranoia. Illusions. The two ladies I was with seemed like they were paranoid. There were voices telling them that they were wrong. I was actually wrong. Nobody was telling them anything. Water was dripping on them.
My heart raced. I double-checked, triple-checked my Fitbit watch. My heart rate was at a steady 140 bpm. I tried to control it, but I couldn’t. Pretty soon, I’d have a heart attack. My breathing seemed difficult. It was probably normal the whole time. A five minute video of myself just staring at myself could be found on my phone. Bloodshot eyes. A lazy stare. A little smile on my face. In those five minutes, so many thoughts crashed in all at once.
My tempered father-in-law came into the picture, angry. There an imaginary argument going on. “I spent nine hours in the back of a fucking car,” he yelled, drowning in the loud, rhythmic music of the bar we were at. Then, my mother-in-law was staring me down, recounting when my father-in-law angrily complained earlier in the day. There was hostility. “Fuck him,” my girlfriend, as if she had finally had it with his anger towards her mother. I kept quiet, trying to ride out my own problems.
I was in the bathroom having forgotten where I was. I had to check five times to see if I was properly zipped up. Somehow, I made it outside for air and sat in a corner. Different people walked on by. A dog walked on by. I could’ve sworn it was behind my left shoulder, staring at me. I didn’t dare to look back.
Eventually the evening faded into night views of midtown Manhattan at Gentry Plaza Park, eating a delicious lamb over rice from a halal vendor, and breaking a $20 bill for a chocolate syrup ice cream cone.
But this was the last time. I don’t like it anymore. It feels as if I’ve lost some brain cells and some of my dignity. At the very least, I was able to redeem myself the next day. Saying “no” next time should be a no-brainer. Just look back to here. It’s the adult thing to do. I’m not a teenager anymore.