Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Confessional

I used to think I had to live a tortured life in order to be interesting. I welcomed catastrophe because catastrophe meant stories. In truth, this formula works. After years of self-inflicted disasters, I do have stories to tell. However, I'll never tell most of them. These narratives now represent a part of me that I'd rather keep to myself.

You've heard the advice before: never have regrets. Whoever came up with such bullshit?

It is natural, human, and right to regret. Without regret we cannot self-examine. Without self-examination we cannot change. Of course, we should not wallow in regret. Wallowing leads to chronic, blinding remorse. Chronic, blinding remorse leads to depression, and let's face it  depression is the most selfish of all maladies.

Thus I regret, wholly and unapologetically. I regret mistakes I've made in childish, narcissistic pursuit of a story to tell. I do not regret regretting.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Insomniac

When he can't sleep I can't sleep.
I fret and fidget in a smoky semidream
And nearly implore the ghosts of my black
To pull me from the false harbor
Of my dwindling blue.

When he tosses he turns my stomach
The bed seesaws like a raft in turbulent waters.
I clutch the corner of the mattress
And pray the wretched vessel will not capsize,
Will not send me tumbling

To the place where I once witnessed
The other sleepless one
Perish in the waves
Beyond my empty hands.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Drive-thru Drive-by

I often forget to eat. I'm a recovering anorexic, and my doctor used to tell me this was common. But I haven't had significant problems eating for several years now. In fact, sometimes I wish I could muster a modicum of guilt about eating two doughnuts before dinner, or eating a whole bag of tortilla chips in one day. But I've long lost the anxiety that used to keep me up at night, obsessively counting my daily caloric intake. No, these days I sleep soundly. For once in my life, I almost like food. In fact, I even indulge in the occasional drive-thru goodie, like a milkshake from Burger King or a deep-fried burrito from Taco Time (delicious with the extra hot sauce).

I allow myself these treats. I happily hand the cashier my Amex card at the window. I bob my head to radio tunes as I wait for my card and receipt. The cashier hands these to me and then does one of two things: (a) she turns around for a moment to pick up my order, or (b) she asks me to pull up to the second window, where another employee will give me my food.

What do I do nearly every time?

I drive away, sans treat.

I've done this at least twenty times in the last year, at restaurants ranging from McDonald's to Del Taco, at hours ranging from 6 AM to midnight. I don't realize I've left without the food until I've nearly arrived at my next destination, which is usually home or work. By then I'm either too embarrassed or too pressed for time to turn around and pick up the food.

Before work this morning I stopped by McDonald's and ordered a fruit and yogurt parfait. I drove to work parfaitless and a dollar poorer. After ten minutes on the freeway, my error dawned on me. I opened my window and unleashed a torrent of curse words into the frigid air. And then I made plans to hit the Subway drive-thru at lunch.

For the record - I managed to wait for the sandwich.