Moon in Gemini

There was that November, the last one I had spent with Celia and Pandora before now, after that August when Brent had wrecked my car (sweet birthday present from Daddy Danny) filled with his big drug score and gotten incarcerated. The drugs were out of my system by then, but not the need for them. No physical addiction, but I lived in a fog jumping out of my skin. I felt trapped by being alive, stuck, nowhere to go, nothing to be done. What is it in us that picks us up and keeps us going, even thriving? I was more feral then, a wild creature in a cage.

Danny was good for sending checks for cars from afar when he was flush. Celia was good for my critical disdaining for her sanity while mine was missing in action. I wasn’t much good for anything. I mean, I had been putting my life together, so I thought, after the whole Mark massacre. I was taking classes, thinking about career paths, imagining a future that almost looked normal. It’s not that it snuck up on me. I did sad a lot. Crying myself to sleep was pretty much a nightly ritual. Pandora, bless her kitty instinct, would jump up on my chest, looking so curiously with those big green feline eyes.

Celia would talk, soothingly, about whatever happened to be going through her mind, current events, literary allusions, dissecting the meaning of a common phrase. She wonders a lot about connections, how things come to be as they are. I was having a life, slowly putting it together. Then I wasn’t. It didn’t matter anymore. It was so much easier to get high and let Brent make the decisions.

Not that this fantasy driven druggie was much of a decider. He had things figured out in simple terms: stay as high as possible, making it work by partying and selling drugs. I was the cool chic of his fantasies, supportively sharing his habits. Symbiotic we were, like AIDS and cancer.

I don’t blame him. How can blame be applied to someone so obviously irresponsible? He fulfilled my fantasies, which were admittedly dark. It was a nonrelationship based on needs we each had for self-nullification.

After he achieved ruining his life, putting it in the solid hands of the criminal justice system, I felt cheated. Not that I was adverse to freedom from legal consequences or even bitter at the loss of my ride. I felt I was being unfairly forced to confront myself again.

I had been arguing with Celia about some theory against her I had come up with, based on the occasion of the anniversary of Aunt Marie’s death. One of the guys Brent and I hung out with told me about the accident and subsequent arrest, which he had found out about the way people are always knowing things that I don’t. Yeah, I was wasted. Not on any one drug, mind you, but whatever combination Brent had lying around. He was eclectic in his distribution.

Why am I thinking about this now, dissecting my earlier years? Right, the last time I lived with Celia and Pandora, before I took off without a word. Well, I did leave a note:

“I’ve got to go. I’ll call you when I know where I am. Don’t worry. I love you. Persephone.”

It was shortly after my birthday, before Christmas. Danny had sent me a largish birthday check, a couple of grand, giving me travel money. It wasn’t enough for a cool new car, but a bus ride was a welcome moving through scenery while I avoided thinking about what was to come. I had the luxury of a lovely hotel room to start off in while I pretended to figure out how to proceed. Naturally, I ended up on the streets on Christmas Eve, ready to be taken in by some lonely single looking for holiday companionship. Yeah, it looks bad for me. But, bit by bit, I really couldn’t tell you how, tell me how, I got better. I found myself living a life I could enjoy, found people I could love, found work to stretch me and help me to see what I could do. It doesn’t always work out that way. Lots of people get lost forever. Not that my salvation is an ongoing certainty. I do understand. People get scared. We realize the vastness of uncertainty. We grasp at whatever looks like permanence.

My dreams have been disquieting, quick cut images that carry no sense of coherence. It is dark most of the time. Stark dark tree branches stand out against cloudy sky. Well past the big celebrations of harvest, it is time for somber thought, preparing for the coming winter.