Every night past midnight I wake up for 2-4 hours. It is a purgatory of my mind and a dully pounding heart that seems to happen regularly in the deep winter. Mostly I spend the time trying to forgive my best friend. This continues to fail. I focus hard on how it felt to sit on the couch with her, and what I loved about her, and our past times with my other beautiful friends. I envision reuniting, and everything goes well and I am so classy until I lean over and, with a sparkling grin, spit in her drink. This is because I still feel emotionally broken. I hope it changes soon.
These thoughts fractal into the increasingly rehashed narrative and prospective future [of being ousted from my favorite people again by the friend-groping emotional cripple who will make things uncomfortable for a year or until he gtfo (though he's actually great fun/likable otherwise [see what I mean about spiraling thoughts])], whose wound-raking is so tired and ineffectual that I then have to focus my efforts on forcing them out. i don't want to feel this way; i don't know yet though that i won't just keep hurting others.
I am finding that whenever I am assertive I scare people. I wish my friends would be critical of me; take the piss out of me; advise me; engage me. I feel I have become a tiger among rabbits. I feel trapped in a room of taffy walls, like Yossarian punching Aarfy in the nose of the bomber.
I try not to think about work. Instead I walk into my earliest memories, seeking that which separates me from the others as though if the plot points align it will explain everything, My Life The Interpreted Text.
On the farm outside of Beatrice, NE my first six years were in the trees and grass. My dad and his friend shirtless and splitting logs. Goldfish that grew to the size of handguns on the algae of the cattle trough. The reverent smell of blood as my dad cut up a deer on our kitchen table, and the purple-gold swirls of it that he wiped and wiped in flowering patterns as the dead deer bled out. The kind of smell you taste, metallic and rank, at the glands of your tongue. Knifing the heads off dead mallards and pheasants and squeezing the corn kernels, still whole, from their gizzards and out their headless neck-holes. Holly the black lab, fast as smoke across the pasture, bringing back delicate fan-shells of rabbit ribcages. Locust trees with thorns bigger than my fingers. Bonfires bigger than my dad's truck. Yellow toad juice. Curling with my face in the sparsely-furred belly of Molly the black lab, feeling the muscles and tendons of her back legs and the rough leather of her paws, pretending I was her baby. Bloated beige ticks on the dogs, and the prickle of nausea upon locating one, the ticks bursting audibly against my dad's loafer.
When I finally sleep and dream again, I am in the zombie apocalypse. I live in my office on a narrow tower of furniture with my little black pit bull/shepherd mix. We are asleep on the tower, having just fought off an encroaching zombie herd. She leans over and kisses me with her dog-face like a person would. Then something is wrong, when I touch her my hand comes back crawling with fleas. I shriek and we descend the furniture-stack where the fleas are now ants, crawling up my arm and on everything. The dream dims out and back in and I'm on my knees sobbing, really crying hard, but I wake up suddenly with no tears to be found and the hot sweet tangle of the crying-relief dissipates like a fog.