a victoria p

birdiebirdbird@gmail.com
brooklyn

23 January 2008

More Living, Loving, Ice Skating-- Less Shaving, Mindless Fucking

I am not terribly excited about how the new year has been going, thus far. I had high hopes for 2008-- I realize that this is just the beginning but I'm still in no mood to be optimistic at this point, as I sit slumped over my desk.

But still, I try.

Some weeks ago, my ex-boyfriend called me and asked me if I was playing some twisted prank on him, right before he delivered the news of one of our best friend's overdosing. Honestly he never calls anymore, so I right away assumed that something had happened. I also had been paranoid after receiving a few phone calls in the very early morning a couple of days prior and not having heard back from her, upon many yielded attempts to get in touch. I knew something was wrong-- I could just feel it-- which freaks me out because you hear about people being able to sense stuff like that all the time and I had never been capable of understanding them until then. It wasn't before long that I found out she was in intensive care, facing a potential liver transplant and possibly death itself, from an overdose involving pills.

Now mind you, this is one of my best friends, who used to live with me. My most inner circle, if you will. I have cried many nights drunkenly and embarrassingly to this person-- she helped me get through a very tough breakup, with said exboyfriend some years ago. We had most recently, just days earlier, shared a new year's eve kiss. We have had multiple six-hour phone calls, from one side of Brooklyn to another, on pitiful Friday evenings. Most recently, only days before her overdose, she had slammed the door of a cab she hailed for me and with utmost sincerity and a slight tremble in her voice, told the cab driver to "take good care of me".

I couldn't help but wonder if she had this all planned.

I broke down sobbing and shaking, in my gym clothes on the foot of my bed after hanging up with my ex. I found myself pulling at my hair, with all of my fingertips holding at my scalp. I rocked back and forth for a moment before I called someone to calm me down. It was right then where I remembered the delicacy of life for the first time this year, even while hopped up on endorphins. I resented that I was forced to remember just how fragile life is because of Meredith.

I haven't cried like that since before I "found" myself or rather, since I started to (basically) date myself, sometime this past fall. Nothing has really disappointed me that much since I started to take myself out for dinner and read myself bed time stories-- decided for myself that it was time to go back to college, started eating healthy for myself, cleaning my apartment because I had to live in it not because some guy was expected to come over. I started writing to get a reaction out of myself-- that reaction being career success-- not to get a reaction out of a man or friend that had recently wronged me. And basically, I started shaving a whole lot less and quit smoking. You would be shocked at the time I used to waste shaving-- literally years of my life, it seems.

Heath Ledger's overdose is an absolute tragedy and now for the second time this month can I feel the pull of life in its frailest of states. I didn't know him, I never shared a room with him, but it certainly hits close to home, as I imagine it does for countless people, let alone the people he collaborated with (so, so many people), his friends, family, his daughter who is probably too young to even understand. It hits close to home because he was young, talented, and sort of reminds me of someone I have recently dated and am losing touch with as the days go on, a whole country between us. That specifically makes my heart exceptionally heavy, my breaths very deepened; today I am sad and will stay sad.

I don't have to elaborate on Heath's talent as it speaks for itself. I'm certain we will never know what happened in the last hours of his life-- what he was thinking of, if he was aware of what he was taking, blah, blah, blah. I have no actual take on it. I have no actual concern in it because it's not my business and the media will talk on it's own-- it always does. Whatever happened can be concluded the same way-- he's gone. And to honor that, we should mourn silently and not speculate. It's a sheer tragedy that reminds me of the many talented people I know and love and it scares me to think of life in a way where it can be taken with such speed. A wake up call. Cliche, if you will but people will always say the same thing about a tragic death; there is no real way to emphasize just how much it effects us other than to take some time off and disappear in mourning, I'd take a guess to say.

The high I have been on with life lately and the motivation that I have been floating on and the aspiration I have been thriving on-- all of that can actually be taken away momentarily, so I suppose what I'm trying to say is that having a healthy balance between incorporating what's important into all aspects of your life-- work, art, being addicted to going to the fucking gym, whatever-- is absolutely necessary. As if all of those things, all of our talents and the reason why we work-- all of that comes full circle to whom we choose to sleep next to at night, who we choose to share a simple dinner with, who we choose to call, just to check in on.

We work for the people in our lives and the people in our lives work for us. Let us not forget the underlining reason and let us not get too caught up in our day-to-day that we forget why we go to the gym or why we go to work or why we write, dance, paint, act, and breath, in the first place.

No, not money. That's the bonus, not the truth.

Fucking love, dude. I wish I could say it better. Or in a way that it has never been said before. But, that's what makes it what it is. Simple, simple love and simply not taking it or anything good, for granted.

And I'd say that's what my new year's resolution is. Appreciating the people in my life, ridding the negative and quite obviously so, all while keeping focused. Healthily and balanced.

I've been doing this, to my knowledge, since early November and I plan on keeping at it.



It was this silly little excerpt that broke me down this morning, taken from this article at CNN.com:

Dan Bova of Larchmont, New York
Once when I was driving in Brooklyn, I got a flat tire. As I was jacking up my car, this deep voice from behind me said, "Need a hand?" It was Heath Ledger. I couldn't believe it. He helped jack up my car and change the tire. He was really good with tools!



I suppose a few dear friends should, at this point, expect a letter from me, as I am currently descending from my latest high and remembering the fucking fragility of fucking life, yet again.

2 comments:

asher said...

i like this bird. if you can like something like this. we don't realize that we are all porcelain really. and my favorite part was the bit on love. remember the bracelet in the loft apartment? i do.

Jerry said...

Thanks for this, Bird. While each of us have our own way of reacting and coping with the news you described, the comfort comes in knowing that we share the same process, if not the same method.

Thanks, too, for your directive for silent mourning. T'is a much better way to honor those who have passed than to burn their names and situation into short term memories for 72 hours before discarding them as "old news".

 
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