Florida Stories: Identity Theft

What is there left to do after your identity is stolen and therapy rips you apart? What is left of me? What is there to do? Beyond all the effort to fix this heist; beyond the tedium of recovering what was stolen; beyond upholding an appointment – you go to the movies.

You escape into another world. One where no one judges how much butter you pump onto your tub of popcorn and how may refills of root beer that meets inside a large paper cup. Where a matinee turns into a much needed reprieve from the world at large. Where my identity is still bundled safe inside my body. Where I can be silent and melt into plush oversized seats. No need to be witty and create a fun atmosphere. Just sit, eat, and stare at a screen that is not my phone or TV. I can do that at home and with the added benefit of a pause button. But today, I took the trolley from Pasadena to the Sundial and sat alone.

The truth is that I’ve been doing this a lot: the alone thing. The movie watching and reading alone is all I can do. The solitary shuffle to cloud a noisy mind when all I can do right now is think and worry. I’ve been doing too much thinking these days. It’s a habit that is causing me to slip in my recovery indulging in self-pity and guilt. Replaying old crimes over and over again. I need to be distracted. This holding pattern is starting to wear on me. I am not present. I’m not in the moment. I just want the moments to pass so I can live the life I want for myself. That decision is out of my hands. I while away my days until an answer, or offer, is on the table in order to make my next move – I try to fill up the hours, I really do. However, I worry about the minutes instead.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve added another missive into the interwebs. You see I have one story left in me; one more travel story, and the end of my literary baring of my most recent journey is revealed for the world. The last story is a painful one: an experience that I’ve been mentally chewing on instead of sharing. I don’t come off clean. I epitomize a coward. I am ashamed of what I did and how things ended. I am ashamed of a single instance in a voyage that is otherwise brimming with joy. Even the lonely bits lack shame or fear. I am proud of all the ups and downs, but this down is the lowest of the low.

What would this blog be without me?

These are my thoughts and feelings out for the world to see. My blood is on the page. I am staying in my truth – good or bad – I have come this far, how can I stop now? The short answer is that I work through this rough patch. I work through this waiting period. For better or for worse, I am a writer. This is my craft and the last time I stopped, I entered into a deep depression, and lost all hope of ever getting it back. By some miracle, I was given another chance. I pulled through after seven years in the mental gutter. I made something that I am proud of and I never, ever, want to give that up. I don’t fool myself and think I’m the next great American writer. I am no Hemingway or Plath. But I get the internal push/pull of this gift. I know it in my bones. The compulsion to create and share is the North Star, lighting my path, just slightly out of reach. A pinpoint of bright light in an otherwise black sky is my guide. There is so much more that I want to do and see. There is a lot of life left to live. And if I am lucky enough to see another day, then I will wake to a glowing screen and the delightful tapping of computer keys. Stay with me, please, all of you out there in outer space and the world. I’m not ready to give up.

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One comment

  1. Cappie · March 13, 2015

    I have been in that dark, desolate spot you found yourself in. Being so far down that hole you fear there will never be but one way out, a permanent solution to end the sickness that has infected you. I was blessed 40 years ago with a gift that I will never let go of. When the world overwhelms me I know I can reach out and her hand grabs hold and doesn’t let go. When I need to vent, scream, cry, I can reach out and she grabs my hand. When I went into that hole and the black took over I reached up and she grabbed my hand and pulled me out. My dearest friend and most treasured gift in the world is your Aunt Laura. With all my heart I hope you have someone like Laura that you reach out to -knowing- their hand will be there. Know…know that Laura and myself will always have our hearts and hands ready for you, anytime, anywhere.

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