It took an even more bizarre turn. What a strange life I lead. I’m partly happy for it, proud of it. For not being sheltered and normal. But at the same time, I have a lot to mourn.
The last I left off, I was still recovering from the enormous blow this drama has been to my psyche. I spent all of that time lying in bed. God, I just realized how much time has really passed. Has it already been a week? If not more? Coming upon more. No, not quite. Wow, thought. It has just been a blur.
I was doing semi-well for myself. I went from wanting to kill myself “a little bit”, to celebrating one of my best friend’s engagement over ice cream. It was a nice filler, I think. Little victories to keep me moving. But I could hear it in my voice, the things that I was saying. Even my own face. It could read off of me that I was paranoid and breaking. Cracked. Dark thoughts that day, dark thoughts. They were validated by one of my best friends. She gets me on that level.
I think we were all exhausted by the sudden excitement, especially now, in a time where everyone is generally getting pretty anxious and things getting dark. Both literally and psychologically. We ended the night early. Not too early. Early for me. I’m nocturnal. So I went downtown. Maybe one of the best and worst decisions of my life.
It was such a strange night, all of the bars were filled with people from out of town. I felt like I was in another city. I didn’t like it, not one fucking bit. It made me very uneasy, I think it made the rest of our skeleton crew nervous too. There is, and has been, this feeling of impending doom coming. I feel like almost everyone feels it. I think something good and something big will come out of it, but something is coming.
But I met up with Peter. Peter is my drug dealer. Also, a friend. But the detail just happens to be relevant. I arrived at Kaz’s, dropped off by the sweetest cab driver ever. A very intelligent man with good business sense. Totally worth the ten dollars it took to get to Kaz’s. Peter was there with some friends, an ex-girlfriend and some of her friends, I believe. They were sweet, we spoke about make-up and tattoos. General small talk for me these days. Chantelley walked by in a shiny red wig, with bangs. Little tiny webs of plastic hair floated all around her. Almost like the daintiest of piano wire. Or razor wire. Her eyes were lined with matching red liner. Pin-stripes ran along her thin frame, down to her tiny shorts with tiny little garter belt clinging on to equally delicate stockings. Very cabaret. Very unkempt, but it worked for her. She joined us and we rounded into an alley to smoke a joint. We meant to go in one direction, but we were met with Sandor and his strange parade of ne’er-do-wells. So we crossed the street, farther away but still in full view of the vultures. It was unnerving. It felt like there was a pool of piranhas at my feet. So many people were going by, it felt like a really poor choice of drug-taking location, but nothing bad happened. So yay. Peter pulled a little dime-bag out. Cute, it was definitely a neon colour. I couldn’t place what colour because every colour seemed so appropriate for it’s contents. It might have been baby blue, hot pink or maybe even yellow. Highlighter orange. Electric purple. E. At first I was confused because he presented it without comment. I asked him what it is and why he gave it to me. I was worried he would have me take it by myself, I didn’t have the money and didn’t want to be rude. I didn’t just want to assume either, but I found myself doing it anyway.
“It’s E. I was thinking we could both take it.”
No. The MDMA made me crash so hard. Wasn’t that just pure ‘E’, essentially? That means that this must be terrible. I shan’t. I can’t. I won’t. I did. Peter crushed his between his teeth, gagging. I had the foresight not to do that. I know how my antidepressants taste without water. They stay in your esophagus and just burn into you. So, I held the pill in my hand, hiding away in the sweat between my palm and my ring finger. We decided to venture but as I made it across the street I began hallucinating. The street and the street lamp looked so beautiful. My shadow changed directions and I was slipping in and out of different dimensions. My eyes were welcomed and overwhelmed by the large orange building of the pita place. I walked myself through opening the door. This is a door handle. Now, you’re going to open this. Yes. Good. Now, step through. Nailed it. I somehow managed to handle speaking to some of the downtown crew. I held it together and we escaped. As soon as I came out of the building I took my pill. Fuck, I thought, It absorbed into my skin. I’m already feeling this. I like this. It’s so beautiful.
Layla is the owner of this sketchy tattoo shop on the rougher side of St. Paul. It popped up with the rest of them after the boom of Kat Von D and Las Vegas Ink TLC phase began. But, I think it may be the most recent. I witnessed a friend get her nipples pierced there. It was a terrible experience with terrible people. I remember pitying the fools who get tattooed there. People from high school work there, they think they are so hard. Part of tattoo culture. They haven’t even scratched the surface. They are outcasts.
Layla had rented out Rockford’s, a bar beside a crack house on the other end of St. Paul from her store. It was “rockabilly themed”, though I went looking rather punk. It was a visual trip for sure. The white light washed all of the rockabilly kids out as they smoked and obsessed outside. Layla was excited to see me, but too involved in some drama that I cared not and wanted not to get involved in. I was stopped by this man who I had ran into a few weeks earlier, with Travis. He asked me why I never came to his show. I barely remembered, but if I am correct, I was too busy waiting for Travis while he was with some other girl. Like a fool. I was honest, I apologized. He began to obsess about it, desperate, he told me that was his last chance for a show. He was so fucking angry, at me, especially. As if I had that entire organization on my back. It was too overwhelming, too overwhelming from a practical stranger and to be dealing with on E. So, I wandered inside.
The first thing I saw was Dahli, with some guy. Something was wrong. She didn’t expect to see me so her guard was down. It felt like she panicked because she was exposed. She excused herself almost immediately, asking her male companion to come with her to the bathroom. Most likely to tell him to hide whatever she was hiding. I was shocked, I still am. Really.
As I waited, this man came up to me. I couldn’t read him well, I couldn’t tell if he was trying to be my friend or trying to hit on me. I wanted neither of these things. The conversation is best described as painful. It was so dry, so humourless and uncomfortable. At one point, we both realized this and ceased talking. But stayed in each other’s presence. As to not be rude. We stood there, waiting for something to happen. Waiting for Dahli to get back. Staring in different directions. I eventually just moved. I slide up against the bar. Feeling so uncomfortable and so exposed. Where had Peter gone? Chantelley was being circled by a group of basement dwellers wearing all black. It was sick to watch, made me sick to my stomach. She revelled in the attention but at some points it was very visible that she was worried and she felt in danger. I stood there, watching like a hawk for a while and then Peter appeared at my right. Like clockwork, Dahli appeared at my left. They were both so uncomfortably in my personal space that it felt like their sharp words were going to catch me in the cross fire. There was a plan. Someone is going to be hurt tonight. This is all part of an orchestrated plan that I am literally in the middle of. I could not handle it. My chest began to well up and fear and dread. “No,” I started muttering, “this is bad, I cannot be a part of this…” Their conversation stopped. Peter disappeared. Dahli stood square in front of me, placing her arms on my shoulders so that she was all I could see. She had such an innocent look in her eye, “What’s the matter?” I started to unleash. I began ranting and telling her about how she had “No idea.” She dragged me to a booth, filled with colours in different shades of neon lights. I started to unfold, spill. I was wringing my hands so tightly, speaking so quickly. My breaths were panicked and manic. My eyes darted between the floor and the ceiling. Someone just sat down with us and instantly set me off in fear. This is too personal for a stranger. WHY are you fucking here? This is real, this is serious. But he listened. I started to rave and he cut me off. He asked to speak. I allowed him to but was so terrified that he would say something so overwhelming hurtful that I would snap again. But he told me the story of his own rape. We bonded over it. He felt so many things that I too had felt. I calmed down a bit and we exited the building. I tried to calm down over a cigarette but everything had taken such a negative turn. I asked Peter if he wanted to leave, he said he did. So, we went for a short walk, within the safe warm arms of the orange pita building.
I asked him, now that I had his confidence, “Is it just me, or are my friends a lot more sinister than they put on?” Yes, he confirmed. Thank fucking god. I learned some dark things. Borderline prostitution, drugs, manipulation. I felt lied to. Abandoned even. But released from their judgement. They cannot judge me now. They cannot judge me now. I then explained to him in full circle, the weight that this Sandor situation had. He finally saw it. He understands now. Our short parlay didn’t last long because one of the members of the fight crossed by us. Peter told him, “Good luck.” He needed it. We realized we didn’t have Chantelley so we headed back to find her. She was inside the near-empty building surrounded by those vultures still. Peter and I waiting, standing by them, doing our best not to listen to their conversations because they were enraging us. Ages went by. We wasted so much fucking time on where everyone was going. We really did not want to leave Chantelley alone and they REALLY wanted to get her alone.
We walked her to the park. It was cold and I was so afraid. I’m not safe right now, I cannot be in these places and such times. I was wearing my MISANDRY vest. This could easily start a fight with drunk guys filtering through downtown after last call. With these guys. We sat, on the edge of the swings. The men took their turns swinging with Chantelley. Each one was rather rude to her and she called them out on it. They began to be rude with myself. I became increasingly hard to bite my tongue but I did my best. While one man sat on the swings with Chantelley, the others would disappear into the park. Hiding quietly behind the jungle gym, conspiring. At least that’s what it felt like. It was horrible. Drunken people started to draw to the park and Peter and I became increasingly uneasy. I whispered to him, “I don’t want to be here anymore.” He agreed.
They followed us back to Peter’s which wasn’t too far away. Peter made it clear they weren’t welcome in, so they left together. They left after spending way too long on deciding what to do with Chantelley. Eventually they left, under the condition that she call us when she is home safely.
Finally, I was home safe with Peter. Just the two of us, away from all of the terrible people. The E was long gone by now, it lasted about two hours at least. It was very enjoyable though, I like it. I raved to him all night. Just being crazy. Luckily he listened and kept quiet about it. I could tell at some points he was getting uncomfortable and I tried to settle down. As I was waiting for my cab, I was listening to myself ramble and obsess. I apologized. He said it was almost enough to want to kiss me. I told him I couldn’t handle that situation at this point in time. He stayed away. I hugged him goodbye.