It was icy in the city in 2013 and I was going to kill myself an hour before my shift. I was petrified, disoriented, and yet enthralled by what it would be in the time to come after death. To me, at 19, death seemed like a snow globe. It only looks appealing in the Christmas time. Months after it’s a snow globe roofed in gray snow; dust. It only matters when I thought about it, and I did. I thought long and hard about death. It depleted me, it provoked me, it tired me and eventually it would find me. I befriended him.
“How did I end up being $1,500 in debt?”
“Will my mom ever get better?”
“Will I have to pay for this house I don’t love forever?”
“How bad is it if I go to school when I’m 30?”
“I’m broke. Girls hate broke guys.”
I was working just to get by. Just to stay alive and not be that man on the street corner beseeching for change. It wasn’t easy, but it was my fault. Time after time I felt myself being a wrestler in a ring fighting opponents; debt, regret, self-esteem, health.
If I do recall, her name was Amanda and she saw me. I was standing at the corner debating to forfeit this war with life over the bridge and into the cold water, or, go to work like everyone else around me, suck it up, silver my hair and hope that by the time it’s over, I can breathe.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Amanda asked pulling an earbud of her headphones out of her ears.
“Sorry, I was just thinking” I replied stuttering.
Amanda examined me in confusion and a chuckle, “Well, why don’t you come inside at work and think there, it’s warmer too.”
Just like that, I was talking to her about a show on television that I had never seen or heard because I never grew up with basic cable, but it made her happy. I nodded my head when it was suitable and I did what I did yesterday and the day before. It wasn’t easy, but I did it because it served some busy purpose in this raucous world.
Like an escalator, the debt grew. I lost some jobs and gained some more. I quit, I got warnings, I got late and I got afraid. Gradually, I came to terms that some things I will never be able to change. Some things happen when it needs too and if you plan to make it work, it’ll work. Today I’m 3,500 in debt. I’ve not attended school. I’m still paying for a house I don’t like, except I pay ten times more. I’ve acquired a second job to work eighty hours/week and the only thing to keep me sane is her.
A girl who fell in love with me at 22. She fell in love with my tired eyes. My sober heart. The cow lick I can never fix. She fell in love with my struggle, my humbleness, my black belt of patience when I serve indecisive guests in fast food. Still, I prepared to have my heart broken, but she remains by my side knowingly. I tell her everything, but it doesn’t scare her, but she asks me if I’m real time after time. I kiss her on the cheek, on her head, on her lips. I fix the creases in her shirt and blanket. I hold her if she’s cold.
I fucked up in my life, I might fuck up a little more, but everyone fucks up every day. The whole idea of existence is to find a way to fuck up in a way that it’ll take everything to get un-fucked and maybe, just maybe, you’ll write a blog post on WordPress titled, “I Fucked Up, and now I’m Un-Fucked”