Saturday, July 7, 2012

In Which I Have a Nervous Breakdown

I had a nervous breakdown in the car today. There is nothing more narcissistic than writing about your mental health issues. It does not make you special.

Dashboard Confessional's "Stolen" played and I thought about college. How I was miserable my sophomore year, yet also the happiest, but then miserable again, because I knew that I couldn't stay. I could not stay because I did not have a driver's license. You cannot live in Menomonie without a driver's license. How will you go to Eau Claire for your internship? This is what I had convinced myself, anyway.

My mother and I saw "Magic Mike" the other day. This ties in, I swear. I told her of my Facebook status discussing how we were going to see it together, and how it got 10 likes. "Why do you always refer to me by my first name?" she asked. "Why don't you ever say 'my mother'? My brother always called my mother by her first name because he didn't like her and they had a horrible relationship."

What I wanted to say: Do we have to have this conversation now? We have gotten along better now than we have in 12 years. Do I really want to think about this when Channing Tatum is gyrating? You know I call you by your first name. This is nothing new. Why are you choosing now? I do it to Dad too and he never said that it bothered him, and then there was that night at Big Louie's when his friend Joe called me out on it and said if his son ever did that he would kick his ass, and Dad said "Yes, well, Joe, that's different, my friends actually respect me", and when I look back, I think that I, in character with being a passive-aggressive Cancerian, am still pissed off about that even though it was a year ago.

What I said: "Um, well, it's no secret that I have had Mommy Issues, but I started doing it around ten years ago as a way to emotionally distance myself. You know, that was when I ..."
"...Stopped liking me?" she said.
"I ... Oh, look, Erin Court!" I said as we passed the street that shares the name of my best friend.  "I miss her so much! Why is she in Haiti?
"Erin should live on Erin Court," my mother said.
"She is going to have four boys," I predicted. "No, she will have three boys and her life will be cake and then she will have an 'Oops' baby late in life and it will be a girl, and she will have no idea how to raise a girl and her daughter will drive her crazy."
"Yes, well," my mother said, "Life doesn't always turn out how you think it will."

We were driving to Wynnsong Cinemas. Six years ago, back when I had only known Channing Tatum from "She's the Man" (and MY DREAMS!), I had walked ten miles there from the Walgreens in St. Anthony to go see the midnight show because I *had* to see my husband's new movie at midnight and my mother would not let me take the car. I did not have a license to operate the car. I was 20 years old. At 20 years old, I decided I was old enough to drive anyway and not having a license was beside the point, because I was four years past 16 and it was really fucking ridiculous.

I was suicidal my entire sophomore year. Then I moved to New York City, which was supposed to save me, but I was still angry, and I spent every waking moment in the greatest city in the world being mad at my mother and wishing I was living in the "Henhouse", the home on 20th Avenue in Menomonie where my gal pals were all residing. Then I flunked out/quit Brooklyn College and everyone in my family, including myself, had the audacity to be surprised by my epic failure.

Then the iPod played "I Will Buy You a New Life" and I remembered when I was a freshman at Stout, and back then I was so stupid that I thought I was miserable even though the true misery would not come later, and I randomly finished a LiveJournal entry with "I moved in with the strangest guy/Can you believe he thinks that I am really alive?" Then I felt really poor. I am throwing myself a birthday party next week even though I technically cannot afford it. It is no one's fault but my own that I am poor. No one put a gun to my head and made me drop out of two different colleges (not counting the two seconds I spent at MCTC, and I actually paid for that tuition myself), nobody put a gun to my head and made me spend the first two years of my job constantly tardy and hung over while watching everyone else get promoted, and now nobody is putting a gun to my head and making me crabby and timid while watching everyone else get promoted. I never e-mailed that prospective talent agent because I didn't think I was good enough. I did not enter that national comedy contest because I didn't think I was good enough. I was in rehearsals for a play because I thought maybe I was good enough, but then after seven months of rehearsal the play got cancelled and then I realized that my hair is thinning and there was no chance in hell I could have played a 17-year-old anyway. XCel Energy claimed my check was bogus (whaaaatttt?), my computer crashed and burned, my car is death on wheels, my apartment is 1000 degrees and smells like cat pee BUT IT'S IN LORING PARK I WANTED TO BE A GAY BOY IN THE CITY, my point is that the essence of adulthood is that you can make all the plans you want for your life, but shit happens, and then you just have to figuratively roll with the shit until it turns into fertilizer.

Then the iPod played "That I Would Be Good" and then I just started swearing at the stupid thing. Really, iPod, really? And then I cried about Kevin, even though I said I wouldn't write about him anymore, but I lied, because I had a whorebox epiphany last night at The Saloon that he has probably not thought about me once in the past four weeks while I still think about him every day, and that is what hurt the most: Not that we were never physically intimate (unless spooning counts), not that he invited another boy over when I had driven to the suburbs to his apartment and was already drunk, not that Nora Ephron died a week after we had watched the first hour of "When Harry Met Sally...", not that I had felt tears in the back of my eyeballs when I sat on his couch because I could feel myself falling for him and knowing it wouldn't end well, I just didn't think it was gonna end that quickly and with no actual closure ... No! None of that! What had hurt the most was that he had ultimately meant much more to me than I ever did to him, and perhaps that is the essence of heartbreak.

"GET OVER HIM," Liam told me last night when we were at Lawrence's house (Lawrence was the host of the Recovery Party after Pride Weekend and is a Cancerian in all the best ways -- extroverted, outgoing, loving, and opens his home to anyone).
"I can't!" I cried. "He was my first."
"Oh my god," Liam's jaw dropped. "You were a virgin?"
"No, no, no, we never had sex," I explained. "I mean, he was like my first gay crush. I only fall for straight dudes, bartenders, or guys from the Internet. He was the first actual gay guy, in the flesh, who was on my team, who had been in my bed, and then dropped off the face of the earth."
"You've never dated?"
"Was this your first Pride?"
"Kind of. I went to the parade last year. But before that, no. When I was 21 and 22 I was moving in and out of New York, and then I would work all weekend...."
"Oh my god," Liam finally said. "When it comes to gay guys, you're like ..... 15."
"I know," I whimpered.
"It's okay," he said. "You look 12."

I kept crying when I was in my apartment. I looked at my phone and saw that I have over 200 contacts. I realized that, out of all 200, I did not know who to call. Then I cried harder. I called my parents' house but they didn't answer, which was probably merciful. I would have screamed and sworn. Nothing would have been resolved. My mother and I are fine. We are Scandinavian. We do not need to talk about issues and feelings and bullshit.

Life was never meant to be the Brooklyn Bridge.

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