*Authors note: I wrote this back in 2017 and buried it deep among my other unpublished work. I guess I wasn’t ready to share it just yet. But I am now. It references the winter of 2016 when I was living in my car. This was one of the darkest times of my life. Not just because I was a homeless drug addict, but because I was on a mission: a mission to die.
Obviously (and thankfully), I did not succeed, and my mental state is rock solid these days. But this does happen to others—every single day. And a lot of them are not so lucky as to get a second chance. This is why I wanted to share this dark, ugly, and extremely personal piece. But it’s important for me to remember times like these. Experiencing and remembering the absolute darkness of the world makes me appreciate all of the light I’m enveloped in these days.
No matter how bad things get, there is always a way back. If I made it, you can too. We’ve got a lot to live for—don’t ever forget that.
Stay safe, friends.
It’s so damn cold. That kind of bone-chilling cold that settles so deeply inside of you that you forget what it felt like to ever be warm.
My gas tank is stuck firmly on empty, so not only can I not get warm, but there is also no way for me to make it back home. The black and starless night serves only to remind me of just how completely and utterly alone I am. The silence builds to an ear-splitting crescendo until I’m tempted to scream. If only to hear a human sound among the oppressive void, one last time.
I throw half of my cigarette out the driver’s side window and turn my gaze to the center console. I sit there, just looking at it while I mull over the consequences of my actions one more time. It doesn’t matter—none of it matters at this point. So, I open it and take out the contents.
She’s just as beautiful as ever.
Her light, tan skin brings back memories of when times were better, and she was much more fun. These days, my feelings toward her are not so rose-tinted. She is my Heaven and Hell. My muse and the source of infinite loathing. She is my only friend and my worst enemy. And despite all of this, I do love her.
She and I perform the rituals that have become second nature at this point—and before you know it, she’s gone.
And I’m left feeling more alone than ever. It is like waking up to an empty bed, with only the fading smell of her perfume to remind me of how my lover has abandoned me, time and time again.
And like the fool that I am, I invited her back over and over until she stole everything from me, right before my eyes. And the worst part? I let her do it.
Another smoke. Several more minutes spent in expectation of that stretch off into infinite lifetimes across vast universes. Long enough for me to really appreciate what I’m trying to do—and it makes me hate myself a million times over.
My head continually gains weight until my neck can’t support it anymore. I rest it upon the cool car window. The ambient light from the full moon is enough for me to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the driver’s side mirror.
Revulsion. Abhorrence. Disgust. Hatred. These feelings crash upon me, and all I want is to look away.
But I simply cannot. She has started to arrive. She takes her time covering me in a warm blanket that washes over me from head to toe. My vision begins to form into a tunnel, and I become fixated on the reflection of my bloodshot eyes.
And in those eyes, I see the past:
I see the 18-year-old kid who was just out of high school and already had the world in his hands.
I see the son who was a source of pride for his family—the person who had dozens of friends and never once had felt completely alone.
I see the past when things were much better than they are right now, and every single mistake that led me to this.
And most of all, I see the pain that one carries when they are well aware of who they have become, and it is not who they should be.
My tunnel vision begins to constrict and the deep ecstasy she so willingly provided becomes continually more intense. I know what’s happening—and it’s exactly what I want.
Almost everything in my field of view turns black until all I can see are those pain-filled eyes reflected back at me. And with that image burned into my essence, I tumble into the depths awash in moonlight, hoping only that I won’t wake to see the sun’s glare.