Hanging in a little better, today.  Need to take my meds while I am thinking about it.  Okay, that’s done. 

I am afraid of myself, lately.  In my clearer moments, I realize I am still capable of some doing some pretty terrible things to myself.  I try not to think about those things.  I try not to romanticize what I know was killing me.  I try to stay in the moment.

I try to tell myself I deserve a future that’s better than my past.  I try to tell myself that such a thing is possible.  I try so hard to hold myself together.  I can’t be what I need to be – I can’t live up to what I know I ought to be, and it makes me feel like quitting, sometimes.  I know, that makes no sense.

"It’s a junkie dream makes you so uptight
Yeah it’s halloween tonight and every night
Hear you scratch your skin
Your sandpaper throat
You’re a symphony, man, with one fucking note"

It’s like I can’t be who I want to be, RIGHT NOW, so I want to give up all together.  I can see how nuts it is, right now.  I can see that clearly, sitting here, writing about it.  But, as the day rolls on, irrational thoughts will creep in.  Mostly rooted in sadness or paranoia.  The sad part is, I am better than I was.  THIS is better.  Just not the BETTER I was hoping for…

I know I can be more than I am.  And, I don’t know if I can or will get anything right in my personal life – I feel like I have always been a failure in that regard.  I have failed every time I have tried to make something work – something that really mattered. 

"Charlie beat you up week after week
And when you grow up you’re going to be a freak
Want a violent girl who’s not scared of anything
Help me kill my time
Cause I’ll never be fine
Help me kill my time"

My daughter died within hours of her birth, because her lungs were underdeveloped.  One of the things about having been an addict is that I know, when I tell people about Minnie, they assume I caused it.  That I got high, an wrecked her little body while she was still in my womb.  I may have worked too much (because I was on my own, and going to school, and trying to make a life for her and me, on our own), but other than that, I did everything right.  I took a fall a while before I went into labor.  Some time before…  I was convinced it was why, but the doctors said it likely wasn’t.  My health was poor at the time.  They said sometimes, the body just senses that it cannot sustain the strain of the ever-growing child, and it rejects the unborn infant before it can become too great a threat to the weakened mother.  This was no comfort at the time.  I hated myself.  I felt like I had failed her somehow.  I ate right, took vitamins, and I wouldn’t even drink caffeine or take Tylenol for pain.  When I went into labor, I knew it was too soon.  I knew she had to make it to 26 weeks (back then) to have viable lungs that could be supported by a neo-natal respirator.  I knew she would be so small, they might not even try to save her – I had worked in a hospital for years, I knew how these things worked.  I begged them to do anything they could to stop the labor.  They said they could not.  I was losing too much blood.  I won’t go into any more of the messy medical details – it’s hard to talk about.  The part that maters, and the part that keeps a piece of me in that moment in time, is that Minnie was born, and died on August 8th of the year 2000.  I [email protected] hate August.

"You went down to look at old Dallas town
Where you must be sick just to hang around
Seen it on tv how to kill your man
Then like gacy’s scene a canvas in your hand
You better call your mom she’s out looking for you
In the jail and the army and the hospital too
But those people there couldn’t do anything for you"

No one should have to outlive their own child.  The people close to me acted like it was a miscarriage (as if that wouldn’t have been a big enough deal – it’s still the loss of a child), but she was not a miscarriage.  She was born, and named, and loved as a living, breathing person.  I never let myself grieve the way I needed to, at the time.  I just buried myself in drugs and booze.  I was loved by someone, and that helped.

But, he died within the year, as well.  He was someone I didn’t fail – at least I don’t think I did.  He did talk about kids toward the end, and I was nowhere near ready.  I was too young and I had just lost Minnie a short time before – I couldn’t even think about it.  I was in school at the time.  If I had known we had so little time…  I might have thought differently.  Who knows? 

I guess, none of it matters now.  The past is less than dust.  It’s all perception and memory – snap shots that are inconstant, and fleeting.  Pieces of sound or imagery that float up to the surface, here and there…  it’s easy to get lost in that disconnected landscape – reflections of the past scattered like drift wood around your subconscious…  

I can’t spend much time there.  All I wind up doing is regretting the scattered pieces, one at a time. 

"Help me kill my time
Cause I’ll never be fine
Help me kill my time
Help me kill my time
Help me kill my time
Cos I’ll never be fine
Help me kill my time"  (Elliott Smith "Some Song")


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