the easter bunny. april 24th, part 1.

there isn't much i really believe in, faithwise. no easter jesus. no easter bunny. no higher power.

it was slightly mind blowing to do the walk of shame (which was no shameful at all, i did it with an exhausted smile) on easter sunday morning. i walked home, forgetting it was a holiday at all. until i saw a man in a seersucker suit. and then it hit me.

the last four days have been an intensely insane whirlwind. being busy and working and boycrazy is absolutely exhausting. every day this week, i walked around worried that i'll end up in a hospital, on an iv drip. dehydrated, fatigued.

yet i march on. it comes and goes, the ate up feeling reminiscent of post-acid hazes. the sleep deprived sickness in my stomach. the highs i achieve from making out and fucking around and getting laid. the mental rollercoaster of conversations with boys, that lead to something or don't. the perpetual nausea that i can only sometimes eat my way through.

when i'm hungry, i eat too much. when i am not, i order what i know i'd get if i was, and force myself to eat half.

skeletal tea is slowly rebounding to a version of me that i'm content with. but every day it changes.

i am in desperate need of some leveling off. and i can't fathom that it will happen anytime in the not-too-distant future.

i'm playing games. i'm kicking asses and taking names and numbers.

but my head is not in the game. because it's pinging around from points a to j to q in a nonsensical pinball pattern.

i am cracked out. this post will be scattered. and it will be so insanely long that i only hope i can cover all of it today. i'm in bed now. and don't plan to get out at all today. maybe to fetch dinner and beer. but anything more than that? can't really see it happening...

i wish i could sleep, but i don't see that happening either. i fully believe that laying in bed resting can almost achieve the same effect. so i'm giving that a try. and if i can doze off? i most certainly will. sleep tonight can suffer. i have to get it where i can take it these days.

i just wrote the rest of this post in outline form. i don't know if there are enough hours to expand upon it. here goes...

thursday i made plans with matthew. he wanted me to meet two of his friends, his old roommate lauren, and her boyfriend. the original plan was for me to bike to his place, for chinese food takeout, his treat. there was this whole texting ordeal because he was at work, trying to sort out what he wanted to order for the four of us. i joked with him about his friends, asking first if he was testing me. and what happened if i didn't pass. he said, of course you get dumped. and then asked what happens if his friends like me more than they like him. and he said they would - his friends hate him.

so i biked home, took out my contacts for staying at his place. and he texted saying they wanted to hit a pub instead. so i biked over.

his friends were awesome. and they loved me, of course. they made a point to tell him at least four times, and he made a point to tell me.

we ate burgers and fries until we were stuffed and burping garlic all night. he rode my bike slowly, i walked next to him on the sidewalk. it was after midnight at that point, and we got to his place. i met his current roommate, who seemed cool. but who was having a few friends from out of town over. they were going out to close down a dive bar drag show. we shared a glass of wine, talking. then went to bed.

we made out for two solid hours. it was incredible. everything felt so right, and my head was full of squishy boyfriend thoughts. thinking about possibilities. thinking about how much fun i have with him. how much he loves to cuddle and make out. at its worst, thinking about the fact that he'd be the perfect boy to have a kid with, because he'd be the most fun daddy.

not that i want to have a kid with him, or let myself go to such an intense place. but just trying to think about what i even want in life, much less in my life right now at this specific place and time. and wished silently that he won't lose interest in me or end things with me, because i don't want a boyfriend. i secretly wished that he lets me have some fun until august. and decided that, by the end of summer, if he's still around, that i'd bet he would be my boyfriend by august. if i'll let him.

but then it came time for sex. i was so completely wound up from all that making out and fooling around. and when i asked him, he said, 'i told you i was tired...' and fell asleep almost immediately.

it was a horrible place for me to be mentally. because i still haven't broken my personal curse, i guess i felt like that would have been the time it would have happened. everything was so right. i just KNEW it would work. and when he started breathing heavily, i was laying on my back, in his most comfortable bed, in total silence, staring at his ceiling, trying not to cry.

i felt so many different ways, but more than anything i was far from tipsy enough to sleep. i was amped and wide awake, and so fucking frustrated. i know i was laying there, swimming in that for at least an hour, broken up by one cigarette. when i went back in, i fell alseep eventually. and maybe for an hour had fantastically deep sleep.

and then the party came home. so fucking loud. everyone in and out of the bathroom that shares a wall with his bedroom. everyone drunk. everyone eating cheesesteaks that managed to creep into his room on the second floor with the door closed. and i was just laying there, waiting for them to either start puking, or to pass out.

it felt like forever, but was probably about an hour before they announced plans to go to bed. i waited until everything was quiet, and went for a smoke. it was 330. one person i hadn't met and two people i had were in the living room i had to walk through. his roommate asked where i'd come from, which made no sense to me. obviously, i had that 'just woken up' look about me. where else would i have been but in his room that whole time?

when i came back inside, they were gone. and i went up to try to take another stab at sleep. and watched the light outside start to glow blue. i fell asleep again, for maybe another hour before his alarm went off. he woke up slowly, but started making out with me. the intensity had not left me, from a few hours before. and i was relieved to try again. but after an hour, he said he had to get a shower for work.

and he left and got a shower. and came back in and got ready for work. i studied his morning routine, which had (to this point) involved leaving my room for my car or his car. he smelled fantastic. and i asked what had happened. why he was holding out on me.

and in a moment of stupor, upon hearing his answer, i was both pleased and dismayed.

he said, 'maybe now i'll see you this weekend.'

i'd told him i wouldn't see him when he asked to hang out this weekend, because of kit's birthday festivities. he knew there was time he could grab or join, but i hadn't asked him. i think because i know he hates loud bars, and that was the plan. maybe i had invited him, but maybe he wanted alone time only. i don't know now.

we started joking around, and i got my clothes and walked out with him. he walked my bike for me, so i could smoke, while we walked back to the bar to get his car. he'd parked on the corner of the street i was going to bike home, so it worked out perfectly. and then i wasn't mad at him. i certainly wasn't upset anymore. and the rest of the day, i thought about whether i was mad or enchanted that he was playing the girl role, withholding sex for quality time spent alone with me, with the promise that there would be sex then.

it fucked me up for most of my driving day.

i biked home at 7. it felt both good and awful. it was a super quick ride, we're only a twenty or so blocks apart, the bar was only eight or so from my house.

and i decided to try to go back to sleep so i'd be well rested for the show and kit's surprise slumber party.

he had agreed to come along the next night (saturday), for at least part of the evening, and to come home with me and sleep over.

biking home, i had this line in my head. it is perfect for a song, but hasn't been written into one that i know of yet. and i resolved to write it down, so as not to forget. it was, 'with a head full of love and fear...' and i didn't write it down and lost the second half.

and it wasn't that my heart is full of love and fear specifically right now. it was the idea that it's there, underlying. that it is who i am at my core. and i thought a lot about how long it will take for me to let someone chisel away at the shell and get into it.

i couldn't sleep. i was laying there, trying, thinking about everything i had to do that day. and i got up to start putting everything together. so that i wouldn't fuck anything up. and i balanced my checkbook and thought about what i needed for the slumber party. and what i needed for life in general (no groceries for two weeks, at least, and no food in the house). i decided to go to walmart, target, and old navy in delaware. and that i would be buying all new matching underwear sets because i now need them and it had been over a year since i had treated myself.

that is how friday became shopping insanity. how i ended up smoking a pack of cigarettes in 24 hours. how i had a panic attack, paying $370 (i'd guessed i had $400 in the cart; gotta love tax free shopping!) for shit at target. and how, two minutes later, with a packed car, i was a giddy pile giggling in my car. squealing at how happy i was with the things i'd purchased. thinking about how i'd tell lawyer to just max out my credit card in exchange for having something to show for the hard work i'd been doing these past six months, when i didn't spend any money on myself other than food and alcohol and shit for the house.

because i went to target first, i bought everything except refrigerator items there. new sheets for both beds. super plush bath towels. four new bras, ten pair of underwear, super soft sleep shorts. paper needs for the house, supplies for making enchiladas, and enough party food to kill a horse. a shower rack for the bathroom. condoms, and girlie shit for the slumber party. i felt so good. so happy. there is absolute truth to retail therapy.

i worked feverishly at the office to get the fuck out of dodge. i needed to be home to organize the party, and contractor wanted to swing by to discuss our game plan for our tuesday work day. i stopped off at the grocery store to get the rest of the stuff for the party.

the timing was so tight. i knew i had a shit ton to do in preparation for the slumber party, and got talked into one drink with contractor to strategize for tuesday. we talked while i did laundry that had been stacking up, along with everything i'd just bought that needed to be washed. and while i set up party stuff, and put away all of my purchases. we facetimed nina, who wanted to meet my jewish contractor superhero virtually. he gave her the video tour of the work we've done and joked with her inappropriately about boobs. it was fun. i am excited for them to meet, because they will get along super well. i think i enjoy my time working with him, because he's like the slightly older male version of nina: same sense of humor, equal parts fun, similar ideologies. it's like having her a little bit closer to me, geographically.

mike was home, and the three of us talked in the kitchen for a bit. mostly tossing 'that's what he/she said's around. we had a smoke after feeling good about what we'd accomplish on tuesday, and he bailed for his next job. i hope i can handle the emotional flood that a basement day part two will trigger. ever has been heavy on my mind lately.

planning with contractor made me 15 minutes late to dinner with lauren. until i got lost somehow i northern phila, and made her wait another 15 to sort it out.

it was an intense dinner, with heavy conversation on both sides that made me wish i had three more hours to spend talking not in a burger joint with her.

but i had to leave for the show. filled with the fear.

so this is what i've left off of blogger, detailwise:

ever and i had a record label together. his employees/the dudes are all musicians. the friends that i lost when i left him were people that i'd paid for and supported for years. when i left him, he threatened a restraining order if i showed up to any show of any band that we had worked with.

it was total bullshit, but because i didn't want to see him, and didn't want to put them in the middle, i didn't go to see any of them play for the last year. of all of them, i had only seen my friend jay once in the last 13 months. and through other bands, got word that they missed me. but just couldn't go.

i'd invited about 20 people to the show, thinking i'd have a posse surrounding me, protected from ever, should he happen to go.

but it ended up being just kit and me going, and when i left lauren, i did not want to go. i couldn't tell kit how fucking SICK i felt over going, because it was the first of her birthday plans. and she was almost as excited to go as i was.

so when i picked her up, i told her how scared i was - almost backing out.

we came up with a plan that i was comfortable with. having a code word (oklahoma) if one of us saw ever. and we paid and got inside. and the reunion commenced. i bought beers and went to start easing in to saying hi to the people i spent more time with ever to avoid losing in my life.

that, paired with this insane set of opportunities to meet some of the most incredible musicians, to meet them, feed them, befriend them. i lost those benefits when i left, too. for someone who is so obsessed with music, and so smitten with musicians, it was also something i had to think about for a long time before leaving. it was the only consolation during times when we were so broke from releases and his total lack of income. meeting my all time favorite musician just before i left. and having tickets to go see them next saturday is kindof crushing my heart. because last time, i met him and his wife and son, and watched the show from the sidestage. in a way, i guess i feel like it shows me how far i've fallen. or that's how it felt. until i realized that seeing shows now isn't work anymore. i don't have to be 'on'. i don't have to entertain. i can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. and not meet the musicians. just appreciate the affect they have on me. and the effect they have on my life. being able to tell the people who literally make your day when you're happy, or help you wallow when you're sad is one of the most amazing experiences. meeting them as people, not as celebrities. hugging them as friends, not band members. meeting thao without ever's help showed me that i can still have it both ways.

but friday night at my first show back out in over a year, there were hugs. big hugs. cheek kisses. we've missed you's. it's good to see you's. so many people who were such a part of my life. and the show was bittersweet, because it was the last one with the current band lineup. it was the death of an era that started long before i met jay, nine years ago. it was sad. and it was happy.

the singalongs. the new songs. seeing them in a lineup that i had yet to see. hearing new songs that, before, i'd had access to as they were being written. all that dancing. smiling until my cheeks hurt. not seeing ever. being able to stay. recovering the feeling that i am a part of something bigger, and that my work there is not done. ever has fucked them royally, and i told kit that i feel led to do something to help them, without having any clue what it is. i can't afford to run a label for them, to replace the one that ever has completely run into the ground. all that hard work. all the time and money, spent building a little empire. a reputation. and now he has destroyed it so completely that everyone knows that his shit is just FUCKED.

he got all four of his bands go on the road for months of booked solid tours. and let them run out of merch two weeks in. about the time that i met with jay's girl to see if she thought there was truth to him using again, they were all out of merch, and no one was able to get him on the phone or via email.

it's even more sad to me than the death of our marriage. the one thing he had, that he could hold over my head was his label. and he has completely destroyed it now. it's devastating to me. i thought he'd be okay, because he would have that. it was the one thing that i couldn't take from him when i left him. and it is just dust now. a memory. it's the saddest thing. more sad than him using, even. because using is one thing. but having something to live for is another. and now he just has nothing to live for.

i didn't realize how serious it was, or how impossible it was that he wasn't there, until i ran into andy.

i met andy and was smitten with him instantly. a brilliant musician, cute, friendly. a tripper. a stoner. like apple and liam, my aquarian dreamboats. just like them, actually.

i met him briefly at the house. then hung with his band on new year's with nate (we both stared at him longingly). right as i was leaving ever, he was at the house one day, a bunch of us got stoned together. and that was the last time i saw him.

i always will wonder if people remember me. whether it's on facebook or in real life. from last week or from kindergarten. i didn't expect him to have anything to say to me.

but did he...

i saw him, and he hugged me enthusiastically. and said he hadn't seen me in forever. and as we were leaving the show, when it ended at ten, we walked outside and i ran into him, pretty much literally. his friend talked to kit, and he talked to me.

a fucking mile a minute. all about his band and ever. and what ever did to him.

i asked if the band was breaking up, or if it was an april fool's joke, because that was the day they announced it. and with bloodshot eyes, he speedily answered me, and corrected himself.

'yes. no. wait. i answered the wrong question. yes it's true. no it wasn't a joke.'

and launched into what he's doing next musically, so excited for the fifty or so songs he has written and is waiting to release with different friends and different bands. how excited he is for this time in his life when he is at some sort of crossroads.

and then took a turn for something i wasn't prepared for.

the whole night had been so fucking ups and downs. panic attack, fear, excitement, nervousness, pure joy, dancy fun, singing, loving. and then?

he basically vented to me about ever. in a torrent. for a lot of minutes. everything ever did to the band. all the inner turmoil it caused. how much money he conned them out of with empty promises built on lies and their faith in his ideas. the money he knowingly stole with his reputation. how he started figuring it out first. how no one believed him. and how ever took from them until they had nothing more to give.

and all i could say was, 'dude. i know. i was married to him for seven years. i know.'

and all he could say to that was, 'i can't even imagine what you went through. it was so fucked up and so complicated.'

and i apologized for ever, emptily.

and told kit as we got into the car that he will never show his face again to all those people he banned me from. because he fucked them all so royally. he STOLE from them. he made them hate record labels. he's made them all suspicious.

he changed them all. for the worse. like he did to me.

and i wish it made me feel better. i mean, in a way it does. because it took them all, independently, thirteen months to figure out that he was a sponge. that i was their fan, their support. that i did it all. and that, when i was gone, the label as it was ceased to exist.

what it will mean, i don't even know. i want to do something. but i know that i can live free now. and those dudes? i think it's safe to say that everyone sees now. i wasn't the bad guy. i was just close enough to see the wool. i saw him knit the web. and i pulled the shit off my eyes.

and i fucking ran while the ship was setting sail. and now they're all abandoning ship. full circle, a year later. he capsized. and he didn't fucking take me down with him.

i don't know what boat i'm on right now. i don't know the ship i'll build. but i'm pretty damn sure that i'll have all the passengers. while ever floats off into the distance, clinging to some deflating life boat.

i don't think that anyone can save him. because i don't know that anyone could want to. be continued...

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