My therapist takes notes, but they are not to detail what I have told her. Every statement I make, leads to a revelation about another patient. At the end of each session, there is a small stack of papers for me to take home. I fill them out immediately, giving little thought to the questions. I answer what I think is most appropriate. We go through the worksheets together, neither one of us really caring for the process. She is incompetent, and I am apathetic.
I am hosting another of the dictator’s relatives. He has heard much about me. I say it hardly applies anymore. I mention that the hellhound has passed away. He looks down, promising to be a gentle guest. He is a man of his word. The discomfort is bearable, but he has taken my voice. No harm done.
The only thing one can say to most people who are a part of their past is, you were not that great. Really, oh really, this should come as a shock to no one at all. We leave those we felt unworthy of, or those we felt were unworthy of us.
Since the hellhound was taken away from me, I have come to understand the necessity and value of dependence. I listened to a man speak of an oxcart. He said it is easier to push one, than it is to think about it. I agreed, without fully grasping what he meant then, or now. What I did comprehend, was enough for me to feel satisfied with his teachings. Then, I thought about getting an oxcart, but I wouldn’t know where to buy one.
I will always need something, even when I have an abundance of what I demand. This is how I came into the world. A slight bruise on the brain, caused by mother’s sharp ribs. I long for it all. I guard what I have, and yearn for what I do not. There is a part of me forever aching at the hands of melancholia, debilitated by calling out to what will not respond.
I no longer hide behind ten glasses of wine. My skirts have all been lengthened. I do not believe the answers are found in the words of a man. My mother’s eyes are no longer a glowing red. My father’s power was taken by the thunderstorm. I can see how far I’ve come, just as I see how far I need to go.
Please, forget me. Let me slip away into the unknown. My routine was never comfortable, but it was the only life I knew. This has been disrupted, and I can no longer remember how to function. Without a king to rule, the kingdom collapses. Let me rest with him. Or, if he does not rest, let us explore the world behind the veil together.
With shame, I say that I want to die. There is no energy to plan. No words to write in the note I must leave behind. If it is possible to be happy again, I refuse its entrance. Give it to another who would appreciate it. Let the person fill their heart with it. A heart they would share more than I was ever willing.
Uncle Enrique is dying. How ungrateful I feel. I look to end what he hopes to extend. Every minute robs me of something. Take my failing eyes. Break my fingers in ten places. Pulse out a broken sexuality. Crush dreams I held for too long.
No, I cannot do this. Death has taken my hellhound. It has taken the mother I knew in aunt Arminda. It has taken my gentle Americo. Now, it wants to take the father I knew in uncle Enrique, and so easily I would hand myself over to it? Be steady, Elizabeth. Do not be taken by the storm.
Tomorrow would have been my king’s seventh birthday. There is nothing to be done. As they say in Al-Anon, let go and let god. Let god take the breath out of your lungs. Let him strangle you, as you take your vitamins in the morning. Let him bruise your arms, as he holds you still.
My very survival has always depended on the ability to identify my vulnerabilities. It isn’t hard to stay soft these days, because it is all I am. I cry as I drive to work. I cry on the drive home. And if I close my eyes, I see my boy sitting on the hill with the gnarled tree. I try not to create castles and fantastic things out of cigarette smoke. I do not want to smile, fearful this will move me away from his ghost.
I have adopted another dog. I do not want him, reject him when he begs for attention, ignore him when I can. I have named the thing Diego. Once he is house trained, I will gift him to my father. It seems he is having a difficult time dealing with my hellhound’s passing. They did, after all, spend most weekends together.
This act of kindness, it draws out my patience. Diego is nothing like my beast. He is a needy creature, disgusting and loud. There is no beauty to him, no grace. Though it has only been a day, I long to be rid of him.
My Christ in disguise, my now slaughtered lamb. I stood as your disciple, as the one fated to betray you. I know less than I ever did. It was always that, even in your silence, you were louder than me. Forgive me. Someone has to, and it will not be me.
I will never again be so many things, and from this day forward, so much more than I ever was. Time will tell whether it is for good, or directly on the other side of anything than can be considered that.
I am calling to you. Can you hear me over there, my hellhound? Tell Hades I said, “fuck you.” He had the last laugh.
Days before Ruey’s death, I had a strange dream. This is not uncommon. In the dream, I sat among friends, eating dead flesh. A hamburger, or something equally boring and American. Someone remarked on how strange they found the sight of me eating meat. I responded that since I killed my king, it no longer mattered to me if ten million animals died.
I should have paid more attention. To the dream. To my thoughts. To when my heart spoke.