Blog 2

On Being a Mom with Chronic Illnesses

Me & my little man on our only summer vacation before my flare-up hit.

I’m having an Epstein-Barr flare-up and I cancelled a cub scouts camping trip my son, husband and I had scheduled for last weekend. I was absolutley devastated.

I parked my tiny SUV, Frankie – my amazing all-wheel drive Nissan Juke purchased solely for future rad mountainy, activity-filled, supermommy expeditions – turned around and patted my 7-year-old son on the knee. I braced for impact.

“Buddy, Mommy is too sick to camp so I cancelled our trip. I’m so sorry.”

“Ok!”

He was completely unphased.

“But I’m going to text your BFF’s mom and see if we can have a playdate or maybe a sleepover instead.”

“That would be way funner than camping! Cool!”

After a grammatical correction and a big kiss, I dropped him off at day camp, got back in my car and burst into tears.

I felt like a failure as a mother. It could take another year or more to go into remission and even be able to exercise. He just turned 8. I’m missing his prime years while he still wants to be with me.

He was fine. No biggie. I, on the other hand, was devastated.

I went back home and crawled into my office/bed and started working – I’ve been freelance bookkeeping since Morgan was born. There’s no way I could work in an office in my present condition so it’s really a Godsend.

I started to cry again and then it hit me. Morgan was fine. I was fucked up. See, I’m a really good mom. We have a blast together. We laugh all the time. I teach him super important life lessons and we rock out, hard. He’s never been hit and VERY rarely has been yelled at and, bottom line, the kid knows he’s loved.

My tears weren’t about him. They weren’t even about the camping trip. They were about me having to give up the dream of the mom I want to be. The mom I expect myself to be. The athletic, physically strong, active mom I envisioned when we signed up for cub scouts.

And the truth – I promise I will always tell you the truth – is I haven’t been consistently physically strong since before my pregnancy. Four years of postpartum depression and 2 rounds of TMS put a toll on my body, not to mention my brain. Not to mention the undiagnosed Chronic Epstein-Barr I’ve had my whole life giving me chronic fatigue.

I’m a great mom. I’m a human mom. I’m a mom who models self-care for my child so hopefully he won’t push through and hurt himself like I have most of my life.

It’s okay to meet us where we are. Being a mom with chronic illness is really fucking hard sometimes, but I don’t have to make it harder by placing impossible expectations on myself.

At least for today.

The Importance of Strong Toes

We with chronic illness are badass warriors.

I thought I was done. I thought I was free. I thought a new chapter had begun.

I even made a (now) embarrassing YouTube video about how I “beat Epstein-Barr in 12 weeks.” I’m an optimist with bipolar disorder, can you blame me?

BUT I always want to be transparent and as disappointed as I am, this is simply not the truth.

I was mostly bedridden for around 6 months, made dramatic changes to my diet and supplements and became free of all EBV symptoms along with my co-infections in 12-weeks. This is true.

And I felt great for almost 3 months, until I had a flare-up last week that I blasted out in 3 days and was back on my feet with great pride and was just about to post a YouTube video about it when I got HIT HARD.

I’ve been feeling like I felt for those 6 months for 4 days now. I can barely get out of bed. I’ve had fevers, joint pain, a sore throat, phlegm, coughing, sinus and headaches and crippling fatigue.

I’m going to get an IV next week – I stopped getting them after I thought I was cured and chose to use that money on somatic therapy, (which is amazing and that’s a whole different blog post).

After all I’ve walked through in my life, I know this is only a speed bump. It’s not a wall. Surviving 4 years of postpartum depression taught me that – I hit many walls back then and I still managed to find a ladder.

This is clearly a speed bump.

I’m working on a memoir about living through postpartum depression and I dug this writing out from that time. I found it helpful for my current situation. Maybe you’ll find it helpful, too.

………….

I feel like I’m walking a highwire.

Some days, I wake up wobbly, but I have my balance pole handy. The elements still effect me – the sun can burn me, the rain can soak me, the cold can still enter my bones – but I manage.

Other days, the pole is nowhere to be found, but my arms give me the balance I need. I feel surprisingly confident on the wire, so I get brave and do some bouncing. Before I know it, I’m levitating just a few feet above the rope.

People start to notice and admire my lightness. Small crowds gather and I entertain them with my stunts. Above the rope, I’m free to do so many tricks I can’t do when bound to the rope. I’m having such fun that I flap my wings and, to my surprise, I start to fly!

Flying is the best feeling on earth. I feel invincible. I feel like all things are possible. Things that used to frighten me I now laugh at.

So I keep flapping, flapping, flapping and going up, up, up.

The crowd turns on me. What they once found amusing they now perceive as bazaar and unpredictable. They think I can control my flight. They want me back above the wire doing tricks for them.

Some sneer, others judge and many walk away. It no longer hurts me. Most people simply don’t understand the lure of the eternal sky.

I fly up, up, up until the sky goes dark and it gets cold. I start to lose oxygen. I know I’ll die if I don’t get back to the wire, so I finally turn around.

The next few days I spend fighting gravity to get back down. Upon landing, I collapse from exhaustion.  

I sleep the clock ‘round. I wake up confused, not knowing if its AM or PM or February or July. I’m on the wire, but my arms are tied behind my back.

And it’s been snowing. I slip on the frozen wire. I can’t get my footing.

Then a gust of wind knocks me down to the ground below.

I don’t have the strength to get back to the wire, so I stay down on the ground awhile. The snow covers me like a blanket and even I forget where I am.

Eventually a ladder drops and I climb back onto the wire, legs shaking all the way.

I fear one of the falls will kill me. I fear I won’t be able to get back on the rope. I fear I’ll stay down forever.

I’ve lost control over the balance pole. Some days it shows up, but there’s no rhyme or reason to its appearances.

So I only have control over my toes.

I grip with my toes as long and as hard as I can to stay on.

I take a step forward.

I stop people pleasing.

I take another step.

I feed myself.

I grip the wire.

I go to therapy.

Tight.

I go to work.

Tighter.

I listen to my body.

Tighter still. I no longer martyr myself back into sickness.

I hang on.

I show up for my son.

I stay on.

I don’t kill myself.

I live.

Some days holding on feels impossible, others it’s a breeze. It’s in the learning and the listening that I get to stay on the rope. The crowd has been replaced by a new one who doesn’t need tricks to love me.

Because I finally love myself.

We cleanse, we die, we are reborn.

Death & Rebirth

My phoenix tattoo. It’s impossible to get the whole thing unless I do a video.

I’ve lived many lives. Abused child, bullied kid, Semi-popular high school student, drug-addicted teen, actor, alcoholic, crazy-fun, crazy not-fun, sober, scholar, wife, playwright, mother, mental hospital patient…

There are actually too many to name.

My latest incarnation is health superhero and I’m loving her. But like the phoenix, it took suicide to rise and be reborn.

Yes, Suicide. Most people don’t know the Phoenix lights her own funeral pyre. Because death and fire aren’t negatives for her. Fire cleanses her so she can be reborn. She does this over and over again in her lifetime.

See, the phoenix is not a victim.

She knows when it’s time to get clean.

She is me.

After 6 months being bedridden most days with the Epstein-Barr Virus, I finally threw in the towel. I decided to kill myself.

But instead of lighting myself on fire – ouch, no thanks – I called my psychiatrist and my mom. My psych meds were adjusted and my 77-year-old mom drove 8 hours from Tahoe to give me a life-saving hug.

A few days prior, I took my health into my own hands – remember, the phoenix is not a victim – and I started a new health protocol that felt right.

My doctor is okay, but was missing the mark in quite a few areas. I followed my intuition & was led to 2 books: Medical Medium & The Epstein-Barr Solution by Kasia Kines. A lot of the Medical Medium resonated with me, but Kasia Kines is the medically researched version of the Medical Medium which definitely jives with me much more.

(BTW, I’m making no money off these links – I’m just sharing with you in case this will help you or someone you love.)

Her book, along with that hug and med adjustment have given me a new life. I’ve been healthy and energetic and haven’t been bedridden for 18 days as of today. The longest I went for 6 months was 3 days.

I still have the virus, but I feel like I’m kicking its ass.

I’ve risen again.

These small deaths will continue and I accept that’s part of my process.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy my newfound freedom of flight.

I’m Not Okay

A day in the life.

I blogged through most of my 4 years of postpartum depression. I call it postpartum depression, but really it was prenatal depression, childbirth trauma and postpartum mania, OCD and depression, but that’s way too long to write every single time.

Back to the blog. I locked it down years ago, but I can still access it because I thought someday I may repost some of the writing.

On Wednesday, I decided to take a bottle of klonapin and go to sleep. A wave of peace hit me knowing I’d finally not be living in this hell of illness I’ve been in since November 3, 2018. Then, as my son is wont to do, he ruined everything.

I pictured his face being told his mommy was dead and I couldn’t do it.

Fuck.

I reached out to my therapist and she said what only my husband has had the nerve to say to me, “if I had all the same lab work you’ve had it would probably look exactly the same.”

I couldn’t believe it. I told her I wanted to take my life and she called me a hypochondriac. Yes, I’m sure she has reactivated Epstein-Barr Virus, co-occuring infections, early stage Lupus and Hashimoto’s AND she’s running around with perfect energy.

She’s since been fired.

But I was talking about my old blog. Stay with me. I was looking for something to post about how fucking bad it was. About how much pain I was in. About how I wanted to die every single day.

But I couldn’t find anything. Every post glossed over what was really going on with me in massive solution and positivity. There’s nothing wrong with solution and positivity, but I wasn’t giving myself a chance to process the horror that was happening to me everyday being robbed of those precious early years with my son by insanity.

I wasn’t being fake. It was real. It was where I was at. I was so scared of my pain I just couldn’t put it on the page.

And that’s the problem. I realized why I’m sick. I’m sick because I haven’t dealt with the trauma of having postpartum depression for 4 years (see paragraph one for full explanation). See, I did TMS and got better and I was so scared to go anywhere near that pain again that I just moved on.

And now, 4 years after getting better, I’m absolutely crippled with illness. I am begging my friends for money for medical expenses. Most days, I do not want to be on this planet in this pain.

I am not okay.

I am not okay.

I am not okay and it’s okay. It’s more than okay. No more putting band-aids on amputated limbs. I have to face the darkness or it will kill me.

I have a little man to raise. I don’t have time for fear. I don’t have time for glossing shit over. I don’t have time to spend planning my own demise.

I have time to heal and that’s exactly what I’m about to do.

Sobriety & Psych Medication

Am I sober if I’m taking psych meds? A lot of people have a lot of opinions about this topic, as do I.

I try to share my experience more than my opinion, but after what I’ve been through from sponsors telling me not to take my meds to people telling me I wasn’t “really” sober because I was taking meds, I have quite an opinion.

It is possible to be sober and on meds and even without drama. I know this now because I know my truth now.

A big part of sanity is being able to let go what people think of me. I had to or I never would’ve made it to the other side of 4 years of postpartum depression.

Mental Illness and Addiction

I got a great question about mental illness and addiction – does one trigger the other? This vlog is about my experience with my co-occurring disorders affecting each other. Hint: they do, but balance is achievable. Never lose hope!

Postpartum Depression: Then & Now

I had postpartum depression for four years and it nearly killed me. I was hospitalized twice and I missed my son’s 3rd Christmas. It’s now been four years since my bottom and the difference in my life is nothing short of a miracle. A miracle and a lot of work.

Please share with anyone who will find this useful and stay rad!

Stark Raving Sober

I know, I know. It’s been a hot minute. I hope you’re having a most excellent new year!

Guess what I did? I started a vlog. I know I’ve attempted before, but this time feels different. It’s called Stark Raving Sober and it’s about being a badass with co-occurring disorders (mental illness and addiction).

Total transparency and I’m loving it. I hope you love it, too. My learning curve is intense so I can promise you that the quality of these videos will only get better.

Here’s the first episode for your viewing pleasure. Please share if you know anyone who would find this information useful. More to come… stay rad!

Love, Court

Another Storm

I’ve been hit by another storm.

It started with bronchitis and a sinus infection. Still coughing and barely off the antibiotics, I got the stomach flu. Not just the stomach flu, a 6-day stomach flu that turned into a 12-day stomach flu because of my lithium levels.

Right about the time I could finally eat a normal meal, my thyroid decided to get hyper. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in my 20’s and I’ve never experienced hyperthyroidism.

I lost 20 pounds and started having psychotic episodes. Did I mention I also have bipolar type 1?

I had to stop taking 3 antidepressants cold turkey, 2 of which I’ve been taking for over 3 years, and started taking an antipsychotic medication.

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The last time I took an antipsychotic I lost my ability to eat and sleep, I chewed the inside of my cheek bloody and I ended up on a locked-down psych ward, so I was a little nervous about hopping back on that bandwagon.

But I did it. My son went with my family up North for 2 weeks because I was unable to care for him. I even missed a week of work, (which never happens). The antipsychotic side effects have mostly been major weight gain and sucking on my tongue and roof of my mouth (but not eating my cheek – huzzah!).

These are all natural parts of a storm. I know this now, and I accept it.

I’ve been in this storm for 4 months. I could be in it another 4 months. Or longer. And I’m actually cool with it.

All it took was a shift from OMIGODWHYISTHISHAPPENINGTOME into acceptance.

A few months before this storm hit, I realized that my life operates in 2 stages: smooth sailing seas or waves-slamming-against-rock storms. This is how my life has been for 44 years and I will never find peace if I can’t accept that this is how my life is.

And I don’t have to waste my energy trying to find a reason anymore.

I used to feel that God* was punishing me when the storms wouldn’t let up become I believed the storm was happening for a reason. After barely surviving 4 brutal years of postpartum depression, I no longer believe that everything happens for a reason. But I can find meaning in it.

After the storm has calmed.

When I’m in the storm, my job is to weather it. To accept it, to be in it, not to run from it, but to know it will eventually pass. My job is not to analyze it or try to figure out the big picture meaning of every fucking raindrop.

I have no control over the timetable of a storm; last time I checked I’m not God. It’s not a personal attack. It’s just the weather.

And there is a beginning, middle and end to every storm.

*This is me using a universal term out of pure laziness. God to me is just something bigger the my finite self. Animal playing a drum solo, the waves of the ocean crashing ashore, magical belly button lint. Whatevs – just not me.

Carrie

I found my best friend in the direst of circumstances. In a layer of hell that Dante couldn’t even fathom. She was the light in the darkest of dark abysses an awkward freshman could ever imagine even existed.

PE.

. . .

PE was the killer of all coolness. No matter how hard I worked on my badass looks in the halls, PE was the daily reminder of that pathetic loser I was at Sparks Middle.

I wasn’t good at group sports that involved balls – with the exception of kickball, but I still had PTSD from the humping incident of 5th grade – nor was I good at singular sports involving balls.

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I hated running, jumping, sprinting, relaying, racing, speed walking and the like. The only thing I actually liked was stretching, but not in the standard issue too short blue polyester gym shorts with hairy white legs and the world seeing my underwear.

The stupid glory-day-holder-onner-to ex-jock who “taught” PE would make us run laps until we sweat. Now this wouldn’t have been an issue if PE “class” was always last period, but lucky me, I had PE second period, so all that hard work doing my hair and makeup every morning was a tragic mess after only one class.

The school’s brilliant answer to this dilemma was having showers in the locker room.

Yeah, right. Like I was going to do the following in the whopping SEVEN minutes the school allotted for repairing the damage of Physical Education:

  1. Get naked in front of everyone. Sure. Sign me up.
  2. Shower. Naked. In an OPEN shower where everyone can see me.
  3. Shampoo and condition my golden locks and soap up my nubile flesh.
  4. Dry off.
  5. Get dressed.
  6. Blow dry my hair – completely.
  7. Curl, tease and Aqua Net said hair.
  8. Apply makeup.

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Me. After PE. On a different planet.

Now, I was pretty awesome, but you’d have to be a goddamned superhero to pull that shit off in seven minutes. And it would have to be on a planet where I was totally cool with showing the world my vagina.

If being locked in a closet with a boy was seven minutes of heaven then this would be its evil seven minute counterpart.

PE was invented by some asshole jock who wanted the 90 percent of the non-sporty-spices to suffer excruciating humiliation.

It was a Monday morning, the most depressing day of the week. I was in the locker room spending my allotted seven minutes attempting to change out of my gym clothes without showing the popular girls one inch of my white flesh and – God forbid – a nipple, when I heard perhaps the largest belch in the history of the universe.

“Ewww, gross!” cried Katie Morgan, the most beautiful, popular, perfect girl at RHS.

I looked over to find the source of that glorious burp.

There she stood. Muddy colored boy hair. White skin. Tiny nose. Huge eyes. Even huger lips. Chubby. Standing there in her underwear, Denim jacket and tube socks.

Unapologetically.

Then she did the most amazing thing. Where I would’ve apologized profusely and blushed, she put her ginormous lips together and blew her burp breath right in Katie’s face.

Punk. Rock.

I peeked my head around my locker.

“That was awesome!”

“Really? You think?” Her big blue eyes looked up at me.

“Totally!”

“No one else thinks so,” her eyes were sad. I felt her pain.

“Wanna go to lunch?”

“Sure!”

Carrie eyes

Then she smiled the biggest, most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. Her whole face lit up when she smiled – it still does.

“I’m Carrie. Like the girl who got covered in pig’s blood at prom, only I haven’t been to a prom yet and hopefully that won’t happen to me if I ever go.”

And that was the first day of the rest of our lives.

Thanksgiving, 2014

I wasn’t going to go, but I didn’t know how to take care of myself yet. Then there I was, November 27, 2014, in a beautiful house full of mostly strangers, taking care of my 3-year-old while my husband had fun with his co-workers.

I was jumping out of my skin. Every minute was an hour. All I could think of was death.

The day before, I had finally made the decision to overdose myself into final sleep. I was done. I couldn’t take one more day, one more minute, in my body – in my mind – in my life.

I got in my car and headed toward death. The relief I felt was so great that I laughed out loud, which was a mindfuck in itself. Knowing I was going to die made me feel alive.

Then I saw it. The fucking Christmas tree lot setting up at our local community college. All at once the weight of 3+ years of postpartum depression, triggered PTSD, perimenopause and mismanaged Hashimoto’s came crashing back into my for-a-split-second-in-time light body.

The weight was unbearable. I stopped eating a few months prior because an antipsychotic had taken away my appetite completely. My body was so frail I feared my bones would crumble from the weight of the returning depression.

You will ruin every holiday for him for the rest of his life.

That was the crushing truth. My plans for freedom were destroyed. I had to stay here.

So I dragged my weak and sick body to Thanksgiving. For my husband. For my son.

The next day, November 28, 2014, I made the hardest decision of my life. I left my husband and son so I could get better.

My big sister bought me an airline ticket back home to Reno. Two of my dear friends came over, packed my bags and drove me to LAX. I was so weak, I don’t know how I got on that plane.

But I did. My sister picked me up at the airport. I had black circles under my eyes and all of my ribs and spine showed through my skin.

The next day, I was hospitalized for the second time that year. After I got out, I stayed with my sister and mom and they made sure I ate three meals a day.

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The biggest smile I could fake. 12/25/14

I stayed for 5 weeks. My husband was considering divorce. I missed Christmas with my son. So many people were mad at me. I didn’t know how I would ever be a mom again.

But I was going to stay alive and be the best mom I could be.

My plan was to get an apartment. I was going to try TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Therapy) and if that didn’t work, I was going to try ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) and long-term residential treatment.

Even if my son had a permanently hospitalized mentally ill mom, he would have an alive mom.

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At another comedy show laughing my ass off. November 16, 2017.

I’m going back to that beautiful house tonight for Thanksgiving for the first time since 2014. I’m finally well enough to return. My husband and I have been married 14 years and we’re best friends. My son is 6 and in kindergarten.

And I’m a great mom. 

To say I’m grateful today isn’t even skimming the surface. I’m not supposed to be here. I’ve been given another chance at life.

I’ll probably get triggered tonight, but I have the tools to walk through the feelings and have a good time. And I can always leave if I’m miserable. No one is responsible for taking care of me, but me.

And that’s true freedom. Happy Thanksgiving to you all whatever headspace you’re in. I love you.

 

When Hormonal Rage Meets Mental Illness

I was really fucking angry yesterday and Thursday. I wanted to hurt people. I wanted to punch and kick and make people cry. For those of you who know me, I’m all about peace and love. So this feeling is fundamentally against everything I believe in.

I acted on this feeling a little bit and I owe an amends. I used to get violent before I stopped drinking 20 years ago and I never made amends for the wrongs I did during my rages. There has been a lot of improvement in this area.

At first, I assumed the few things in my life were not going the way I think they ought to was the cause of my anger, but then I started my period Friday morning. I rarely have had periods in the past few years, but when I do, they’re brutal.

See, I entered the lovely world of perimenopause at the young age of 39. Perimenopause is so misunderstood that spell-check doesn’t even recognize it. Basically it’s around 5-10 years of hell, (Scary Mommy describes it much better than I do), until we finally hit menopause, which means we haven’t bled for an entire year.

And then that’s a whole different joyride, by the way.

Some women don’t experience perimenopause symptoms at all. Some women die by suicide because it’s so unbearable. The rest of us are overweight, angry and randomly hairy.

I take low estrogen birth control pills to regulate my hormones. I took bioidentical hormones for a few years, but found synthetic hormones to be less activating to my depression and mania since I have bipolar disorder.

I also have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which is another huge factor in this whole hormone game and should not be a side note, because it’s no joke.

Yeah, and I also have PTSD, which is by far the largest mental challenge of my life and I’ve never written about it, but I will. I promise.

Thankfully, I rarely experienced PMS or gnarly period symptoms for most of my life. But the second I was pregnant, my bipolar, Hashimoto’s and PTSD did not play well with my hormones. It took four years of painful trial and error before a balance of synthetic hormones, psych meds, DBSA meetings and TMS finally got me stable again.

And I stay stable by working my butt off in therapy and an entirely new 12-step program. And routine: going to bed and waking at the same time (almost), taking my meds at the same time (good friends are very aware of my 10am lithium alarm) and taking care of myself when I am not okay.

And I’m still not okay sometimes even while doing all this maintenance. Sometimes my thyroid is being funky. Sometimes my PTSD gets triggered. And sometimes my hormones attack me.

I experience manageable mania, depression and fatigue on a somewhat regular basis, but I don’t experience anger very often.

I used to love my anger. I mistook it for strength. It was an emotion I could handle.

Thursday night I was so angry I wanted to cry. And scream. And go on Facebook (nooooo!).

But I can’t cry. I wish I could –  the release of a good cry heals. But I can’t – mostly due to my psych meds and disassociation from my childhood trauma.

I just get to the point where I really want to cry, but I can’t. It’s like crying blue balls.

When I was sick those four years, I cried a lot. The problem was when I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I’ve cried for three days before – I literally had to take breaks at work so I could go to the bathroom and bawl. I thought it would never end.

And yes, it feels like my body and brain chemistry are out to get me, but that thinking pattern is only going to lead me to self-pity and even more anger.

So this is how I stopped myself from going down the rabbit hole of rage (that would be a great band name) and doing some real damage to anyone within my screaming range:

  1. I paused. I admitted to myself that my body and mind are sick right now.
  2. I stopped the Facebook rampage I was about to go on that would only make me much more angry and would hurt people.
  3. I texted my husband and let him know what was going on.
  4. I happened to have a tattoo session scheduled so I showed up and am honest about where I am.
  5. And as the pain of the needle into my skin began, I thanked the Universe for putting me in the right place at the right time. I focused on moving the pain in my heart to the pain of the art.
  6. I asked her to stop after two hours because when I could no longer take the pain.
  7. I ate a healthy dinner and watched HBO with my husband.
  8. I went to bed on time. I took my night meds on time. I got a great night of sleep.
  9. I made amends to my friend who I hurt.

This morning I was woken up by my 6-year-old son and we’ve laid around in bed the whole morning, him playing on his iPad, me writing. I haven’t given in to the perfect mother in my head who knows too much screen time is bad for him because so is a screaming mother.

I still feel the anger lurking around me, but it’s not in me. I’m about to publish this blog that is way too long, but if you’ve read this far, comment “I LOVE CARROTS” and I will send huge love rays your way.

I feel release.

I know the rage is right there, waiting for me to get tired or frustrated, so I asked my husband to take our 6-year-old for the afternoon so I can take a big nap.

And that’s it for now. I love you with all of my heart. Thanks for reading.

 

20 Years Booze-Free

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November 15, 1997 was my first day without a drink. I haven’t had a drink since.

There will be no celebrations. No cake. No friends singing. No applause.

See, I’ve relapsed twice on drugs. At 9 months, I did a whip-it. It was a knee-jerk reaction to seeing my roommate’s can of glorious Reddi Wip in the fridge.

(I still can’t have a can of whipped cream in my house as I don’t trust myself with it. I blame my first job at Dairy Queen. More on that later.)

My last relapse was at 15 years sober on a hit of pot. Yes, just one hit, but that one hit gave me a yearlong obsession to drink again.

And I was suicidal at the time so I know I wouldn’t have survived a drink.

A drink.

That’s hilarious. I’ve never had a drink. My goal was always four. Just have four and leave the bar.

I succeeded maybe twice.

People ask me if I can have just a glass of wine. I see no point. That would be like waiting in line for a roller coaster for two hours and then going down a kiddy slide instead.

I want to ride the roller coaster. And once I’m done, I want to ride it again. And after that – well why stop at two? And then I don’t know where my clothes are and why my boyfriend just broke up with me.

I’m a member of a 12-step program – it’s how I got and continue to stay sober. I’m very grateful for the program. But a lot of members are very wrapped up in “sober time.” As in how many days, weeks, years IN A ROW you’ve been sober.

I was proud of my years. My friends threw a huge 10 year party for me. My mom came into town. It was a big fucking deal.

By the time I turned 15, I was so depressed I could only stand for 5-minutes at a time. There was still a cake, but less friends and celebration.

The problem was I became more impressed by the years than grateful for the days.

And the only amount of time any of us have is today.

That’s it.

Just today.

And that’s how I live my life now. My sobriety date is the same as any day sober, but I reflect on where I was mentally, physically and spiritually however many years ago the decision to live (yet again) was made.

And the reflection brings gratitude, as it should. But here’s the flip – now it brings humility of how powerful alcoholism is in my life instead of a feeling of accomplishment.

I’m not proud of my sobriety. I’m fucking grateful and humbled by it.

That was NOT my attitude when I had many years sober. (Even saying “I had years” sounds weird to me now. I have today. I don’t “have” yesterday or the guarantee of a tomorrow. It just seems cocky to “have time.”)

Remaining sober for many years made me cocky and complacent. I believed all those the years “I had” were a safeguard against relapse. Alcoholism is very patient and it waits for us to think we’re safe, immune or above a relapse.

I thought I was safe because the most common reasons people relapse are:

1. They stop working with other alcoholics.

2. They stop taking commitments at meetings and then stop going to meetings.

3. They think they no longer have alcoholism.

Here’s why I was totally fine:

1. I was sponsoring four women and had a sponsor. And a grandsponsor. And so on and so forth.

2. I went to four committed meetings a week (all while I had a baby at home).

3. I have never, ever – for the past 20 years – ever thought I didn’t have alcoholism. I’m so clear that my body and brain chemistry does some funky shit when I ingest alcohol. And that ending up naked and peeing in public is not what normal drinkers do after a glass of wine.

Why did I relapse then? I was in year three of a four year battle with crippling postpartum depression and I wanted relief from the pain. Every waking moment was pure torture mentally and physically and I was at my breaking point.

I ended up taking the wrong medicine for my ailment. And it wasn’t prescribed to me.

But I didn’t drink. And I wanted to with every molecule of my body. And I wanted to die. All of the time.

What I didn’t know was that I didn’t want to drink or die – I just wanted relief. For me, when my pain gets so great for so long, I want out.

I am celebrating quietly today. With every breath. Because I’m alive. I have today. It’s all I have and I’m so grateful for it.

Because we all just have today. If we’re lucky.

5 Years Ago (Sucked)

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Me, 5 years ago, trying to find a reason to live.

I had crippling postpartum depression for four years and for two of those years I blogged about what I thought was my journey to wellness. I went off my meds for Bipolar Disorder, did Crossfit, ate nothing but meat and vegetables (Paleo Autoimmune Protocol because I decided my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis was the cause of my deteriorating mental health and don’t you know, food is medicine!), did tons of yoga, meditated like a motherfucker and took 800 million supplements a day,

Surprisingly, that journey ended up being a highway to hell. I ended up in and out of mental hospitals and almost killing myself in 2014. Everyday was torture.

I just turned 44 and I’m stoked. I feel great. I finally get to enjoy being a mom. I can get out of bed. I’m a stand-up comic. I laugh all the time. I have amazing friends and family. Life is better than I ever, ever could’ve imagined.

So I decided to take a look at my old blog to see if I made any birthday posts. I present to you where I was mentally and physically 5 years ago.

. . .

My 39th Birthday

My 39th birthday is tomorrow and I’m in day 3 of a very heavy bipolar depression. I love my birthday. It’s my favorite day of the year. My own personal holiday.

And I’ve never, ever been depressed on my birthday before, which makes me even more depressed.

Poop.

And I’m getting a sore throat. Not shocking.

Trying to get out of this one feels like trying to pull a huge wet comforter out of the washing machine – no matter how hard I tug, twist and pull, it’s too heavy and twisted to rescue tonight. Maybe in the morning, when I have the strength.

Mornings are better. Waking up is never lovely for me, but I have enough energy to get to about noon before the tingles come – then I know the morning was a lie.

I hate the tingles. They feel like the shivers feel on the outside of the skin, only just under the surface. Tingles are from the inside out. I haven’t met many other people who get tingly depressions, but individuals with different brain chemistry have their own separate internal experiences. Perhaps depressions are like snowflakes, only a hell of a lot less pretty.

And my brain chemistry makes me tingly for some reason.

My severe depressions are just as physical as they are mental. That’s why even if I can force myself to exercise – which is very difficult in a depression – I have to take it easy because I have injured myself badly in the past. Mental injury is bad enough, adding physical to it truly blows.

I really don’t want to share what I’m about to share, but I feel compelled to do so. Super ugh. I’m not a big fan of being vulnerable. Although my life seems to be an open book, I’m well aware that I choose what I want the world to see.

Here goes:

I feel defeated.
I’ve worked so hard and here I am again.
I’m doing everything right and here I am again.
It’s been almost 2 years since I was well.
Maybe I’ll never be balanced again.
How much longer can my husband handle having a sick wife?
Everyone has their breaking point.
Why bother?

Because I have hope and faith and a big, fat carrot. If I believe the 3 week remission I had in September wasn’t an accident and the 3 year remission I had a few years ago wasn’t an accident, then this depression, as much as it sucks, isn’t an accident as well.

Now, my everything hurts so goodnight.

. . .

Afterthought:

I no longer believe in remission from bipolar disorder. Being stable for the past 2+ years doesn’t mean that I’ve been in remission. I’ve still had mania and depression, but I’m out of the bog I was in for four years. Living with bipolar disorder is a day at a time and takes an incredible amount of self-love and acceptance. And work.

Also, I’ve learned that “tingly depression” is actually an Epstein-Barr flare-up, but I wasn’t diagnosed with CAEBV until early 2019, so I mistook it for depression. And it does coinside with depression as well so there’s that. Let’s just say, it’s a balancing act. A delicate, complex balancing act.

Back when I wrote this post, I was in the middle of postpartum depression which is an entirely separate beast, in my opinion. I wasn’t just fighting bipolar disorder. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time.

44 Years

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No makeup, no filters, no bullshit.

I turned 44-years-old today and it hit me. I’m still here.

I’m. Still. Here.

After three hospitals, an outpatient program, the countless support groups, the alcoholism, the bone-crushing depression, the grandiose manias, the coma fatigue, the suicide plans, the suicide plans, THE SUICIDE PLANS, the deaths of so many I love, that fucking childhood, the trauma on repeat… on repeat.. on repeat, the rapes, the molests, the bullying, the drugs, the alcohol, the sex – I’m still here.

I don’t know why I’m still here and Lindsay isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Shaila isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Diane isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Dan isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Liz isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Dorothy isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Doug isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Guy isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Linda isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Amy isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Steve isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Eric isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Greg isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Stan isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and Tony isn’t.
I don’t know why I’m still here and my own father isn’t.

But I do know I’m not here to hide. I’m not here to be quiet. I’m not here to be inauthentic, pandering or afraid.

This year I’m more fearless than I’ve ever been. I’m finishing my tattoo. I’m being an awesome mom to my son. And I’m auditioning for America’s Got Talent not because I want to be famous, but because I want to tell my story of hope to as many people as possible and be as helpful as possible to those suffering with invisible illnesses like mine.

Oh, and I will make you laugh. I will definitely make you laugh.

And I’m going to keep laughing. And not just chuckling, doubled-over-crying-maybe-even-peeing-a-little-bit laughing.

I will not become who I think I need to pretend to be to further my career. I will bow to no one. And no, I won’t suck your dick.

I am showing up for my life because guess what?

I’m still here.

All I Really Needed to Know I learned on LSD

Most of what I really need to know about life, love and waterbeds, I learned on LSD. Books are neat and everything, but I’ve learned more tripping balls in outer galaxies to Bauhaus than I ever have cuddling up with a novel with some random orange cat.

Seriously, whose cat is this?

Triplog: Stardate, Tuesday, 9/22/1987:

8:00am Mom hands me $40 in cash (in case of emergency) and goes out of town for a week.

11:30am Deem purchase of 8 hits of double–dipped Blue Lightning fry* an emergency. *1980’s Reno for LSD

2:40pm My best friend Sandy and I take one hit each on the public bus ride home.

3:25pm Transfer station. Still feel nothing. Take another hit each.

3:27pm Transfer buses.

3:28pm Decide dealer sold us bunk fry. Eat all of it.

3:45pm Bus driver turns into a pterodactyl.

3:46pm Ponder how a pterodactyl can hold a steering wheel.

4:00pm Pterodactyl squawks at us in some strange pterodactyl language we don’t speak.

4:01pm Pterodactyl stands up, screams and hops toward us pointing to the doors that have been open a very long time. We turn into liquid and pour onto sidewalk.

4:02pm Attempt standing. Legs clearly have stopped working.

4:05pm Woah, cars make rad tracers.

6:00pm Woah, look at our hands.

7:30pm Woah, look at ALL THOSE DOGS! Our legs magically, yet very awkwardly, work again. We run. If that’s what you call it.

8:00pm Can’t get in front door. Fuck. It’s not Sandy’s house.

9:00pm Can’t get in front door. Fuck. It’s not Sandy’s house.

10:00pm Can’t get in front door. Fuck. It’s not Sandy’s house.

11:00pm Found Sandy’s house! Front door bush monster hits the key out of the keyhole over and over.

11:30pm Go around back. Did Sandy’s mom start a rabbit farm? At least 700 multicolored rabbits in backyard. Bunnies are rad!

11:50pm Loch Ness Monster blocking the back door.

Triplog: Stardate, Wednesday, 9/23/1987:

Midnight Defeat Loch Ness Monster with help of magical, yet surprisingly violent, rabbits.

12:03am Thank bunnies.

12:05am Finally get in house. Walls are breathing so heavy they squeeze Sandy and I into each other on an inhale. On next exhale, hightail it to Sandy’s big sister’s room.

12:15am Walls inhale again and push us onto magical bed made of water.

12:16am Determine waterbeds were invented for drug use.

12:17am Everything makes sense. I am one with the universe. Just don’t move.

12:20am “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” comes on. On repeat.

12:21am I am melting into the bed. I’m in the universe. Stars surround me. The music envelops me. I’m the only person in the world and it’s rad.

12:45am The sound of screaming harshes my mellow. It’s coming from inside the waterbed. Peel back all bedding. SCREAMING BUBBLES.

?am Bubbles speak. “We’re trapped! We can’t breathe under here!”

?am Why must I always be the superhero?

?am Search for something sharp. Wet n’Wild black eyeliner pencil. Yes!

?am SET BUBBLES FREE! A huge stream of water shoots out of the magical bed.

?am Uh-oh.

Time slows down. Everything in slow motion. Screaming. Coming from out of Sandy’s face.

Shame courses through my body. I look in the mirror. I’m a monster. My eyes are black. I am going to die tonight.

A tube of Bright Red lipstick jumps into my hand. It’s a sign. I open it all the way up. What is this mysterious substance? I smash all of it into my hand and rub it all over my face.

The door opens. Kittens fill the room. An 8-foot tall neon green electric eel with red hair screams at us. “IT IS 4 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING, WHAT ARE – ARE YOU DRUNK? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WATERBED? COURTNEY, ARE YOU BLEEDING?

4:00am We could barely hear her over all the meowing, so we repeat, “We’re on fry! We’re on fry!” over and over again.

“I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE ON, YOU ARE CLEANING THIS WATER UNTIL THERE IS NONE LEFT!”

2:00pm We finished bucketing and siphoning out all the water. Sandy’s mom made me walk home.

?pm Somehow I found my house all by myself. My face was still covered in bright red lipstick.

?pm I found my bed. Everything went black like a coma, not like sleeping. I don’t know if my eyes were open or closed.

Triplog: Stardate, Thursday, 9/24/1987:

4:00pm Red lips start ringing. All is black but lips. I want them to shut up. I pick it up. I can hear my mother. I tell her one thing only, “I’m on drugs.”

?pm My brother-in-law picks me up and reminisces about past LSD trips. I am not of this earth. I will die because of the waterbed. I want to die. I am dirty in my blood.

?pm I watch TV on sister’s couch. Two very small humans stare at me. My sister tries to remove the red lipstick from all over my face.

Triplog: Stardate, Friday, 9/25/1987:

            10:30am I miss my pep rally because I was still tripping balls.

Everything I need to know is in that one trip. Like don’t take four double-dipped hits of acid unless you plan on tripping for four days. And if you do, you will miss most definitely miss your pep rally on Friday.

I also learned that bright red lipstick stains the face for approximately two weeks when left on for three days straight. I learned that waterbeds grow back (okay, not really, they bought a new one) and my family loves me unconditionally, even though they’re still laughing at me.

I think the world would be awesome if every single person took a stand and set their own personal bubbles free. Or if we all took four hours to find our front door and played with 700 bunnies before defeating the Loch Ness Monster.

Or if there was a policy in our country and all countries to say, “I’m on drugs,” when everything just gets too heavy. It’s okay to show your cards when you’ve eaten serious dong.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to go with your best friend and stay away from pterodactyls.

*originally published by Below the Fold in 2017

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Where is the Youth?

 

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Peter Murphy, the ultimate Goth God. Frontman of one of my favorite bands to this day, Bauhaus.

 

I watched Christie climb on the hottest guy I’d seen in my life so far. He was tall, blonde and Peter Murphy skinny.

Christie handed my new dream man 15 bucks and he slid a tiny piece of tinfoil into her back pocket. Everything was five bucks. Five to get into the club, five for a hit of fry.

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And then, in perfect Christie fashion, she did a full-on Bill the Cat “ACK-THBPPT “followed by an “Arp!” and hit her arm across her body, (which was her cruel imitation of someone with a developmental disability), then grabbed me and ran us toward the bathroom.

It was so curious how she was always her weirdo self, yet was pretty popular in the Goth crowd. It reminded me of school – I had to study for hours to get an A on a test, while my friends would barely study and ace it. I mean, for fuck’s sake, I practiced my serious face for hours in the mirror only to be dragged around the club by Bill the Cat.

She (fittingly) locked us in the handicapped stall and perched herself on the back of the toilet. I hovered awkwardly as she unfolded the tiny foil origami only to expose three very small pieces of paper, each with a tiny dragon printed on it.

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Courtesy of erowid.org

Fry was paper? All this anticipation for paper?

“Stick out your tongue.”

I obeyed. She placed the small piece of paper on my tongue.

“Hunter bought five sheets of windowpane double-dipped Dragon in The Dead parking lot last week. This shit is so pure – you’re going to fry balls!”

I longed for a drug jargon-to-English interpreter; instead I just smiled and nodded.

“Don’t swallow it for 20 minutes. Just let it soak in, then chew it up before you swallow.”

This was meant to be. Little did most know, but I’d been eating paper for years. I was practically built for fry.

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When I was a kid, the dog didn’t eat my homework – I did. I also loved books. They were delicious. I ate half of The Velveteen Rabbit.

I loved the taste of paper and the process of eating paper. I eventually graduated to pants and it got ugly, but it was like corduroys were meant for eating those little rows just like corn on the cob.

Someone walked into the bathroom and knocked on the stall.

“Courtney? Are you in there?” Christie’s eyes got huge, but I knew that voice.

I threw open the door and hugged Sandy for days. She was meeting us there, but with all the paper eating I completely forgot.

Christie suddenly burst out of the bathroom, put the foil with the last piece of fry in Sandy’s hand and ran onto the dance floor. She didn’t like attention wandering anywhere beyond her.

We met her on the dance floor but before we could talk, Front 242’s Headhunter came on. Christie freaked the fuck out and hugged both of us. I guess she was no longer mad.

“ONE YOU LOCK THE TARGET!”

And we all started to dance. And didn’t stop. Nitzer Ebb, Tones on Tail, Sisters of Mercy, and Alien Sex Fiend later, I stopped. In the middle of the dance floor.

Goosebumps shot up my arms. The warmth started in my knees and spread throughout my body and I broke into a sweat. I thought I might be thirsty, but I couldn’t tell.

(Press play and listen while finishing this post for maximum impact.)

Bella Lugosi’s Dead came on, as if on cue. The music vibrated through me as if there was no beginning or end of my body and the song. Where did the song stop and I begin? Nowhere. We were one.

The people, pain, music, high school, my father, mom, drugs, this place, this time, the planets, gravity, dimension travel, past lives, the meaning of it all – each piece fit into an intricate puzzle and it was right in front of me. Of all of us everyday really. We just couldn’t SEE it because it was right there.

It was all so simple. If I only had a pen and paper to record the answer to everything, but that would require I get off the dance floor and that was never going to happen.

We danced until the club closed at 2am, piled into David Byrne’s* beat-up 1973 VW Bug and ended up – Sandy, Christie and me – all laying on the floor, chain smoking and watching David Byrne make enormous shadows dance on his cottage cheese ceiling with his very large hands hovering over a single candle – the only source of light in the room.

Bella Lugosi’s Dead came on. It all came back to me – the answer. So I decided to share what was in my brain with my friends and David Byrne, but my voice sounded like a swallowed warbled echo and I wasn’t quite sure about the shape of my words anymore.

David Byrne hovered over me. His face was much more liquid than solid. He smiled wider than the Cheshire Cat.

“Is this your first time riding the LSD train, little girl?”

It didn’t hit me until 36 more plays of Bella Lugosi’s Dead (David Byrne had a cassette tape with nothing on it but that song for this very specific kind of incident), five packs of cigarettes and five hours later (remember, everything’s in fives now) that I realized that I’D TAKEN LSD.

I’d finally crossed the line in the sand. A line I never drew, but a line I was familiar with – that step from minor escape to full-on hard drugs.

I was not scared.

I felt dirty from the inside out.

And I couldn’t wait to do it again.

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*I found out later that David Byrne was 20-year-old named Peter Pow and was not actually David Byrne, but he was just as tall and thin and was the front man of a local, very strange band. So I wasn’t too far off.

Title Song

Murderous by Nitzer Ebb, Album: That Total Age, 1987, addt’l info

Lyrics (repeat several times)

Where is the youth?

It’s time to live
It’s time to know
Shout golden shouts
Lift up your hearts

Much better now
We’re stronger now

Don’t be lazy
With the pleasure of sin

Where is the youth?
Where is the gold?

Think of the beauty
Think of your pride

Don’t back away

It’s there, it’s there for you

Hear, hear what we say
Said hear, hear what we say

Let passion spend
Let your passion spend
(Youth)

Better now, stronger now

It’s time, it’s time to know
It’s time, it’s time to live

Shout golden shouts

Fryday Night

 

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Me. Yes, I’m wearing black gloves.

 

Christie was a parent’s worst nightmare. She put the “wrong” in “wrong crowd.” Of course, my attraction to the wrong crowd was no accident. It was due to a perfect mix of a shitty childhood and horrific bullying.

Saying that I slipped and fell into the bad crowd is like saying Bobby Brown single-handedly destroyed Whitney Houston. Trust me, Whitney was looking for her Bobby, and if it wasn’t that Bobby, there would’ve been another one to flash her the perfect gap-toothed come hither by the glow of a crack pipe.

That being said, I sought out the wrong crowd like a heat-seeking missile. Once I hit Christie, I exploded.

I couldn’t wait for Friday, or shall I say, FRY-day. I’m quite certain I was the only human more excited to do something that she had no idea what it was than anyone ever had been in this particular position.

I went home with Christie after school on Friday, all packed for a sleepover AND a night at the club.

Christie lived in the nice side of town on a small horse ranch. Her mom drove a BMW. But most impressive was the fact that Christie had a Nintendo.

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We ate dinner with her mom, dad and younger brother and then played Super Mario Brothers until it was time to get ready for the club. For fry. The butterflies in my stomach flittered up to the top of my esophagus.

I followed Christie into her bedroom. Her walls were a mix of Robert Smith posters and horse riding ribbons. She pressed play on her tape player. And This is What the Devil Does started and she threw me on her bed.

(For a more authentic experience, press play on this song while reading the next section.)

She hopped on me – full Tigger style – and started fake fucking me. This would be a portent of what was to come like nobody’s business.

“I’m going to hug you and squeeze you and call you George!”

I struggled my way out of her attempted rape. I barely trusted her; she was the second most unpredictable human I’d met behind my bio dad.

She heated up a black Wet n’ Wild eyeliner pencil with a lighter – oh high, of course – and started applying thick HOT black eyeliner to my eyelids. I tried not to flinch.

We began comparing notes.

  1. We both weren’t virgins, but she was a downright whore. I’d done it once with one guy and she’d done it hella tons of times with hella lots of different guys. And one of them was over 40 – awesome!
  2. We both drank alcohol, but she’d already had her stomach pumped once. I was so jealous.
  3. We both smoked cigarettes and weed, but she smoked cloves and she didn’t get paranoid when she got high.
  4. We both went to Premier, but I only went once and she went 8 zillion times and knew everyone.
  5. We both went to Rocky Horror, but she most certainly didn’t go with her mom. Let alone two moms.
  6. We both felt Goth, but she was brave enough to wear it on the outside. I was too chicken to look Goth anywhere other than the Premier and I hadn’t even done that yet, so I was really only Goth in my heart and in my super deep poetry.

I was living the song Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better) – in reverse.

She was so many steps ahead of me on the badassedness scale it was like I got to the party after everyone was already drunk so I had to do 12 shots to get on the level STAT.

My competitive nature kicked in and my drive to become Goth was now at the top of my priority list. That, and keep a 3.0 GPA. Oh, and try out for drill team. And stay in French Club, Ski Club and Students Against Drunk Driving. And have everyone like me so I could stay on this planet.

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Oh, baby, look at you, don’t you look just like Siouxsie Sioux!

Three hours later, we were dropped off at Club Underground. I don’t think my own mother would’ve recognized me. I looked like Siouxsie Sioux with blonde hair. I was nervous, but I felt almost as if I was on stage. Like I was acting. My outsides were protecting me from any rejection because it wouldn’t be me who they were rejecting. It would be this facade.

I mean, Jesus, I had Christie’s thick leather jacket on. No one was penetrating my wall.

My hands shook as I held up a clove for Christie to light. The fucking hands – they’re the only traitor on my body. They are incapable of being cool.

We walked in the front door smoking and posing, half of Woolworth’s Wet n’ Wild black makeup on our faces. Christie scanned the club for her connection, then jumped up, grabbed my hand and we ran into a crowd of underage club kids who hurt just like me: some were being molested at home, most were addicted to drugs and all had a story.

And a common solution.

Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything) by The Dead Milkmen gives a somewhat accurate portrayal of the Goth club kids of the 80’s – by totally ripping us a new asshole. It’s basically the punk perspective of the Goth subculture. It will help you enter the world we’re going to be in for a few years…

. . .

Tune in next week to find out what fry actually is and what it does to walls! 

 

Sabbatical

Hello amazing readers!

I am going on Sabbatical because I’ve always wanted to say that and it sounds way more cool than I need to make some money. But don’t despair, I’m going to actually get paid to write. It’s just not about teenage sex and drugs.

This blog is my soul. On a platter. If you find yourself jonesing for a fix, just start from the beginning again. I bet we’ll meet up right at the perfect time.

I shall return once I learn to balance my new gigs. Until then, I give you the last beat of my heart.

Christie

It was time to shop for a new, rad friend. A boss. One who would propel me to new social heights. And she had to be Goth; I made up my mind that my future was going to be black.

Oh, and it was. Just wait.

I met my best friend Sandy where the smokers hung out, so I threw my badass on and moseyed over to the sidewalk across the street where we smokers got our 10 minutes of nicotine meditation on.

Christie said she was 5’ tall, but she was lying. She was 90 pounds kitty cat wet, but she rode horses so she was all muscle. She could jump horseback hurdles without the fucking horse.

And she was Goth. Openly. At school. She didn’t give a fuck.

The second I met her, I knew she was trouble. It’s what drew her to me and eventually tore us apart.

I watched her flail around as she excitedly talked to a small group about the probability of aliens. And the probability that they had probed her anus. And she was literally bouncing.

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Christie was like Tigger on crack. With a dark side.

She bounded up to me and did one of the best Bill the Cat impressions I’ve seen TO DATE.

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How did she know about my obsession with Bloom County? That I had all the books and read them over and over?

My drawings of Bill were as good as her impersonation. I drew Bill the Cat on everything including the notebook I was… holding.

In hindsight, it was quite fitting that the mutual love of a derelict drug addict cat was our bond.

She grabbed me by my notebook and spun me around with great force.

“Cut with me. I have cloves.”

She had me at “with me.”

We walked two miles to the cemetery. It was obvious we were cutting for the rest of the day. Christie sang some song about dead poets the whole way and I realized that I was going to have to bone up on my literature to become Goth.

Christie took me to an unlocked tomb and we crawled inside. It was empty. The sun streaming in through stained glass made it feel like a tiny church. A sense of calm pervaded my senses. When my family lived in Mexico, I used to hide from my abusive father in church. It was the only other time I felt that all over body peace without using drugs and alcohol.

We sat on the stoop and Christie handed me a clove cigarette.*

“Hold the clove between your fingers and then make a circle with that hand and cup it with your other hand. No take a huge hit and hold it as long as you can.

I’d been smoking pot long enough to come off overqualified.

The promise of distorted reality was always a carrot I would chase, even if it meant possible death.

I exhaled and I had a sweet buzz on. The cloves tasted like strawberry. It was a perfect cemetery day.

Signature Christie, right in the middle of my buzz, picked me up and spun me around and around and around. Like a record, baby.

The only predictable thing about this girl was that she was completely unpredictable. And hyper as shit.

“Now lay down, take a power hit and listen to this.”

I lay where Mary Buford made her final resting place. I imagined her 6-feet under me in a coffin. Decaying. I felt so Goth.

I was beginning to feel like a slave to her whims. But of course I would do what she said rather than face the consequences of standing up for myself. This girl was my only touchstone to the world I wanted so badly to belong to. I was no victim in this scenario; I was definitely a volunteer.

The only other person I knew in the scene was Ethan, but he made me want to puke and he wasn’t even Goth.

She put her headphones over my ears. I took the hit. She pressed play on the Walkman. It was My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult – I’d never heard them. The song was A Daisy Chain 4 Satan. Right when the song started, I was floating. I was in the music. I was the music. I felt that peace wash over me again, but this time it stayed.

I knew this was going to save me. I was going to reinvent myself. I was going to be untouchable. No one would break my heart again. No one would know about my deep shame of losing the Brie Lesbian Attempt.

I tried vulnerability. It didn’t fucking work. I suddenly understood why punkers wore those thick leather jackets. I was in need of a shell.

I felt breath on my face.

I batted my spider legs open. Christie was an inch away from my face studying me as if I was her very own science experiment.

“Stay over at my house Friday night. We’ll go to Club Underground and do some fry.”

I felt like Charlie getting the golden ticket to Goth. I had no idea what fry was, but if it was half as good as cloves, I was in.

*Clove cigarettes were illegal in Nevada, but Reno is only a 45-minute drive from the state line. It wasn’t as rad as having weed, but it still meant you drove or kicked it with people who drove, which made you badass.

First Love

The good thing about sleeping until Saturday afternoon and being promised sex that night was at least we slept the first half of the day away.

It was still a zillion hours until my parents went to bed. Which was strange, because they went to bed at 7:30pm.

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Brie and I distracted ourselves by watching my VHS tape of Terms of Endearment on the couch. I pulled my comforter off of my bed and put it over us. I sat so close to Brie that our complete side bodies were touching one another.

Then I put my hand on her thigh, more than halfway up her thigh. She didn’t move away. About 23 minutes later – just an approximation – she put her hand ON MY UNDERWEAR.

There was no way in hell she was going to pass out on me tonight.

Approximately 10 seconds after my parents went to bed, we were in my bedroom.

“What should we do? Where should we do this?”

Brie was concerned with practicing bisexuality correctly. Before I could answer, sheer brilliance danced out of her mouth.

“Let’s take a bath. With candles. Lots of candles.”

“I’ll get it ready. You just relax.”

I was clearly the dominant in our relationship. It seemed pretty obvious that the person who wanted something from the other (sex) is the dominant one. That whole “she’s the man, she’s the woman” thing is like trying to organize clouds. There’s no point and they’ll just blow away and change shape anyway.

I drew a bath. (Courtney Rule of Life #35: if you ever have the opportunity to use a fancy phrase, do so.)

I put candles all over my boom box; after all it was as high as a small table. I already had two handcrafted mix tapes ready to roll – my boom box had a double tape deck, of course.

The first song was Somebody by Depeche Mode. Right out of the gate, I laid my heart on the chopping block with this song; after all, it was used to destroy me at one time. I was weak then; now, I was unafraid.

The only fear in love for me was and still is regret. I offered her my pound of flesh. It was hers for the taking. If she rejected me, then at least I wouldn’t regret not showing her all of me. Heartbreak is a painful enough event without bringing feelings of regret into the ring.

The bathroom was transformed into a lesbian paradise. The bath was steaming, the candles glowing.

Before I knew it, we were facing each other in my small linoleum and wallpapered bathroom. We took off our clothes at the same time, piece by piece, while looking into each other’s eyes. Approximately 47 days later, we were naked.

It was heaven to truly take in her naked body – without fear of getting caught. I had full eyeball freedom. I felt the freedom of a bird for a split second.

She was the most beautiful a human could ever be. Every curve was perfection. If she saw what I saw, Brie would never have been insecure again.

We got in the tub, slowly, staring at each other. I was unsure of my body. My mom and sister had anorexia, so they always called me “the stocky one.” I was solid. I was extremely unsure of my small, incredibly perky breasts. I wished they would just calm down – they were practically around my neck they were so high.

I knew my face was beautiful but I was totally out of touch with my body.

We sat cross-legged, staring in each other’s eyes. Then she leaned in toward me, lips slightly open. Everything was in slow motion, but it was all going far too fast. I wanted tonight to last forever. I was trying to stay in the moment, but it was so sensual and such a dream come true, that my inner addict wanted to schedule at least three more play dates in pen.

This couldn’t be the only time.

When her lips touched mine, electricity ran through my body. And then her tongue. I could barely breathe it was so intense.

Even in hindsight, this was possibly the most amazingly sensual experience of my life. Her lips were so soft. Her touch was softer.

When we came up for breath, she opened her eyes and smiled.

We kissed and heavily petted each other until the water was cold, then I took her to my bed and made love to her.

I hate the phrase “made love,” it’s so cheesy. But it’s what it was. It wasn’t fucking. It wasn’t just sex. I was deeply in love with her and showing her with my body.

Every single part of it made sense. My body knew what to do; so did hers. There was nothing unnatural about making love to a woman. Comparing it to the one time I got fucked by a guy was like comparing Oingo Boingo to Mozart.

Of course, after that night, I thought every night would be the same. Ends up the experiment was truly only an experiment for her. The next time I spent the night I assumed we would make love again, so I started busting my moves and she stopped me. Her face held the look of disgust and judgment.

She stood up and said, “I’m not gay. I like men.”

Somewhere off in the distance on a foggy knoll, I can still hear the sound of my heart shattering into a zillion pieces. I would have future sexual encounters with women but none, and I mean none, ever compared to Brie.

Her tone of the word “gay” was ugly. I felt deeply ashamed for my wants. I didn’t even know if I was gay or not, but I knew if she said “yes,” I would’ve been proud to be her girlfriend.

Our friendship became distant. Our long weekends were less and less. Her insane mother accused me of stealing her diamond earrings.

She found them a year later. By then, Brie and my friendship was nothing more than passing each other in school halls.

We never launched our clothing line.

And we never went to Paris.

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And… Action!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Logo #5

Brie recounted her conversation with Ethan approximately 453 times on the car ride home. So many times that I still remember every word.

Here’s how it went down:

Brie walked right up to Ethan, cigarette between her moisturized and cuticle-free fingers.

“Can I get a light?”
“Sorry.”

Awkward moment. Ethan wiped his coked up nose as Brie begged the universe to give her a sign of what to do next. Then it came to her.

“Can I use your cigarette?”
“Huh?”

This guy was brilliant. I could totally see why she wanted him.

“To light my cigarette.”
“Oh sure.”

Then he did something beyond magical… he SMILED at her. This smile alone kept hope alive for poor Brie for approximately another two years.

He handed her his smoke. She used it to light hers. Where did she learn this technique? If you guessed “her amazing friend, Courtney” then you guessed correctly.

“Have I seen you at Rocky?”

Oh Lord.

And that’s how we ended up at Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight the following Friday night with not only Brie’s mom, but my mom as well.

I couldn’t make this shit up if I wanted to.

I was expecting an Italian man in boxing shorts, not a transvestite in fishnets. And talk about feeling like everyone was in on the joke but us. Everyone yelled back at the screen, in unison, throughout the film as if they’d been practicing for years.

Ends up they had been.

I got up to sneak a cigarette in the bathroom and two girls were going at it FULL ON in the stall next to me.

From what I could see through the stall cracks, one of them was the prettiest Goth girl of them all – the one who lit Ethan’s smoke.

She was beyond cool. Well beyond. Like if cool was Saturn, she was Pluto. Like that. Only slightly cooler. And we all agree that Pluto is the coolest planet in our solar system. Duh, it’s the only controversial planet-moon-no-longer-a-planet-yes-it-is-no-it’s-not around.

I ran into the theatre and grabbed Brie. I finally had a method to get my point across right there in black lipstick and panties-on-the-ground. I dragged her into the bathroom and pointed to the stall.

“Tres chic.”

Yes, that is what actually came out of my mouth. Again, I wish I was making this up.

She was enthralled. Thank you God!

“Bisexuality is very common in France,” she whispered to me.

Why yes, Brie, it is. Of course, so is not wearing deodorant, but I wasn’t about to bring that shit up.

“Do you want to try it?”

Please oh please oh please oh please say yes. I just handed her my vulnerability on the chopping block. My heart was racing. This was the do or die moment.

I didn’t want to die, but if she waited one more second to mull it over, I might have perished right then and there in that grimy ass bathroom.

“Yes. We should try everything French once.”

And with that, we planned to practice bisexuality when we got back to my place.

Rocky was waaaaay too long. I feared I’d die before I could kiss that mouth. Those lips. The anticipation was too much to bear.

That damned movie was 870 hours long.

We finally got back to my place at 3:30am and Brie’s eyes were heavy. And then she yawned.

And then she passed out on my bed.

Epic fail.

Over French Toast (yes, really) the next afternoon, my heart started pounding really hard. It still does this to me when I better say something or live to regret the hell out of a missed opportunity.

I’m not a fan of missed opportunities.

“Can you stay over tonight?”

“I have to ask my mom.”

Dammit. Brie’s mom was never a huge fan of mine. I secretly thought she saw through me. She saw my lust for her daughter. But it was just a feeling.

Her looks made me feel ashamed. That’s all I knew. I knew it wasn’t OK to have these feelings for my friend, but I couldn’t fight them even if I tried.

And, of course, I didn’t want to fight them because I wanted Brie to be mine.

But it was OK in Paris. I think that’s what made it OK for me. Because when we were together, we weren’t in Reno. That’s why they call it “gay Paris,” oui?

Her mother said yes. I took back all my nasty thoughts about her right then.

Yes…

Yes.

Yes!

 

The Math of Lesbianism

Brie hated smoking. She thought it was gross. Whenever she caught me smoking, she’d pluck it out of my lips and stomp it out.

Thankfully I smoked generics.

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Back when he showered.

I tried and tried to convince her that smoking was trés chic. I pointed out smoking in the French films we watched together. Johnny Depp from “21 Jump Street” smoked and he was my new number one and her number two, behind George, of course.

But nothing, I mean nothing, could get that girl to smoke.

Then, at that very moment, at the other end of the club, Ethan put a cigarette in between his perfect lips and, as if on cue, the most gorgeous goth girls of them all pulled out a lighter and lit his smoke for him.

And yes, it did all happen in slow motion if you were wondering.

Here’s the math:

George Michael = G, Ethan Johnston = E, Brie = B, Smoking = S

G ≥ E, E=S B=S

Brie had a cigarette between her pouty lips quicker than I could throw away every colorful item of clothing I owned and buy a box of hair bleach.

She made her way to Ethan and asked him for a light, knowing full well that he didn’t have one, but that’s how we rolled. I don’t think I would’ve ever gotten a boyfriend if I had a lighter. Or at least pretended like I didn’t have a lighter.

So now I was alone in the club wearing pink and chain smoking. I studied the girls glaring and laughing at me knowing that next time I came here, I would look just like them and they wouldn’t recognize me as the Betty from the week before.

Then it happened. Another defining moment in my life. A moment that changed me forever.

Never Let Me Down Again by Depeche Mode blasted through the nightclub speakers.

The dance floor grew thick with kids. I knew this song and all the lyrics which made me super goth. I sang along, loudly, and smoked at them. The song was about betrayal, a subject I knew all too well.

My despair intensified with every flip of Brie’s hair. With every fake drag off her cigarette. With every word Ethan spoke to her. The pain that she wanted him and not me coursed through my blood.

My face got very serious.

I now had two things going for me:

  1. Smoking
  2. Serious face

I was already Goth on the inside, now my outsides just had to catch up.

The music pulsed through me. I fell in love with at least 12 men on the dance floor. I studied the dance style so I could practice once I got home.

I could do this. I could be Goth. No problem. I knew pain. I knew sadness. I looked forward to stop pretending like I was happy because I hadn’t really been happy since the horrible day we moved to Sparks and before that I was only happy for about six months.

My life before we moved to Reno was hell. My biological father was a violent alcoholic who tried to murder my mother on a nightly basis. And we lived outside a fishing village in the middle of Mexico. Now I was excited to delve into my sadness with other people who understood. I could tell they understood. That they were like me.

If these Goth kids wanted to have a sad-off, I’d wipe the dance floor clean with all I’d survived.

goth hand1

Then, in the middle of my smoking sad-a-thon, a ray of sunshine broke through the smoke clouds. There they were – beautiful, fantastic and trés chic.

TWO CHICKS WERE FULL-ON MAKING OUT ON THE DANCE FLOOR!!!!!!

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-CELEBRATIONS

My sad face was totally destroyed. I was grinning from ear-to-ear. Let’s go back to the blackboard:

Brie = B, Goth = G, Courtney = C, Trés Chic = T, Kissing Chicks = K

G=T, C=G, B=G, G=T, K=T ∴ B+C=K!!!

It. Was. On.

I’d even let Ethan watch if that was a stipulation.

The Club

The only thing I thought of when Brie said “let’s go clubbing” was how much I loved baby harp seals and how she found the one thing I wouldn’t do to win her love.

“Huh?”

“The Premier. Everyone’s going. It’s tres chic.”

Yes, we overused the term. We were branding trailblazers.

The Premier was a nightclub that had an underage night every Sunday. The reason she wanted to go was because Ethan was going to be there.

Ethan Johnston.

Ethan was a Junior at Reno High. He drove a BMW. He wore nothing but Ralph Lauren – hell, he played water polo. He wore fucking pastels.

But he had a striking resemblance to – guess who?

george
Grrrrrr.

Yup. George Michael. My nemesis.

I was a freshman and Brie was still in eighth grade when her psycho mom took her to tour Reno High so she could get a variance just like me and there he was, leaning on his Beemer, just like Steff in Pretty in Pink.

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Hi Steff.

I think he was the only other human on the planet who really saw her. Who undressed her layers of baby fat and insecurities and saw her true beauty underneath. Not enough to actually date her, but definitely enough to lead her on for the next, oh, four years or so.

“Were you at Premier last week?” he asked her as she walked by without actually looking at her, which I know from experience is a cool technique.

She stopped, dead in her tracks. The color drained from her perfect face. Was that George Michael leaning on a Beemer?

“Yeah, you. With the brown hair.”

I already hated him.

Somehow we managed to talk Brie’s mom into letting us go to Premier on a school night. The mind still boggles.

The only fact we knew about the club was that Ethan went there. He was a prep, so we assumed the other kids would look like him. After hours of wardrobe changes, Aqua Net and important lip gloss decisions, we finally deemed ourselves club worthy.

We were nothing short of an epic fail before we even got through the front door. Brie’s mom decided to wait for us in her car PARKED IN FRONT and read a book.

We pulled open the front doors and smoke billowed out. Lame, party of two, nervously stood by the door front door to find a subculture we never even knew existed. Once we adjusted our eyes, it was obvious that no shade of lip gloss was going to save us.

Everyone was goth.

goth feet
We were so fucked.

The protocol was black clothing, powdered white faces, black eyeliner, black or dark red lipstick, and smoking. Everyone smoked. At least I had that going for me.

The only color allowed was saved for hair. If it wasn’t dyed black or bleached white (not blonde, white), it was purple, blue or fire engine red. There were a few Oranges, greens and yellows (again, not blonde, Martin Gore yellow).

us
We looked like this.

goth dolls 2
They looked like this.

We weren’t the only non-Goth kids. There were other kids that mixed in:

  1. SHARP’s (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice).
  2. Nazi’s (Skinheads for racial prejudice).
  3. Straightedge (Skinheads who were violently anti-drug).
  4. Rich kids with money to blow on, you guessed it, blow.

Ethan had a full head of hair. Do the math.

Nitzer Ebb’s Join in the Chant came on. I’d never heard anything like it. It sounded nothing like Madonna or 2 Live Crew. The closest I’d come to this sound was Depeche Mode, but after The Blue Banana Incident, I no longer went over to Jan’s house and listened to Depeche with her. Backstabbing bitch.

The longer I listened, the longer I realized Nitzer Ebb would’ve eaten Depeche Mode for breakfast.

The song pulsated through my body. It made me want to fuck someone dirty, even though I’d yet to actually fuck someone, I’d only been fucked. I wanted to do drugs. Hard drugs. I wanted to dance. I wanted to hurt people. And myself.

I got on the dance floor and started moving to the music. I didn’t care that I didn’t look like everyone else. I didn’t care about the past. I didn’t care.

I just didn’t care which was the one thing I had been searching for all these years. The ability to NOT CARE.

I felt powerful. I pulled up my rage and showed it. I pulled up my shame and told it to fuck off. I pulled up my tiny khaki skirt because my ass was just about to make an unwelcome appearance. Not again.

I’d wasted years trying to fit in when the real way was to not fit in at all. Brie’s stupid crush led me to the Holy Grail. For a second, I was almost grateful for Ethan Johnston.

Ends up there was another subculture of kid that hit the club, very rarely and usually only
once:

  1. Betty (A girl who tries to fit in with the goth subculture without wearing black or listening to The Cure and smiles when she should be frowning. A poser. The most disliked person in the club.)

And this was going to be the last time I ever looked like a Betty again.

My 1st Orgasm (with Another Person)

I was single. Sex was awful and my last hope for a boyfriend almost ate my face off. There were no prospects on the horizon, until…

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Brie was in 8th grade at Sparks Middle, but we still spent every weekend together on her dad’s 80-acre horse ranch.

I originally took Brie under my wing to save her from bullies, but our roles reversed as she grew more and more confident. She introduced me to worlds previously unexplored by yours truly.

Her goal in life was to be chic – tres chic. We decided to move to Paris and start a clothing line the second we got out of Sparks called – you guessed it – Tres Chic. We had pages and pages of designs. I invented the sideways zipper ankle boot and let me tell you – it was a fucking fashion revolution.

One particularly magical Fall day, Brie and I were prepping our horses for our longest horseback ride to date. As she put the saddle on her horse, she turned around, her perfect brown hair swishing as she grinned at me and said, “Are you sure you’re ready for this? You won’t be able to walk for days.”

And then she winked at me.

A lightning bolt tingle shot my downstairs taco like nobody’s business. I longed to squeeze my legs together to orgasm immediately. It was over. There was no way I could continue denying that I wanted to be so much more than friends.

She had opened a window and I was not going to let it shut until those lips were on mine.

The horse ride helped. We rode English, which involves basically dry humping the saddle the entire trip. We rode for hours and fantasized about our lives in Paris. How chic we would be. How we would leave this horrible place behind us.

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I fantasized about kissing her in Paris in the rain.

We returned 4 hours later, sweaty and exhausted. Her dad and stepmom had gone into town for the day. Once we got the horses untacked, we went swimming in their above ground pool. We always swam after a ride.

“I like to swim naked when no one’s home.”

Yes, she said that to me. Yes, I decided I was a lesbian after all. Yes, I was naked in 30 seconds.

She wore a “D” cup. She was 12 and I was 13. Her breasts floated in the water. I couldn’t turn my eyes away. I wanted to touch them. I wanted to lick them. It felt so natural I didn’t understand why people made such a big deal out two girls together.

She swam and floated and I stared and squeezed my legs together for over an hour, and then she said, “I want to show you something in my bedroom, a secret.”

My heart beat so hard I don’t know how she didn’t hear it. We wrapped towels around our naked bodies and ran into her bedroom. She closed the door.

And she turned on the TV.

And there he was – George Michael. 

Sigh.

George Michael was her dream man. The only thing she talked about more than Paris, was George. As her boyfriend. I hated him.

“Get in bed.”

This still wasn’t weird. We watched Wham videos in bed all the time. We fashion designed in bed while watching Wham videos. We kind of did everything in bed watching Wham videos.

My heart sank. At least I had skinny dipping to hold onto for classroom fantasy.

“Grab that pillow and put it between your legs.”

What?

“Pull up on it and grind yourself into it, like this.”

And then she showed me what I’d been doing to pillows for a year now. Only now I was doing it with a friend. Okay.

Okay!

And we both climaxed while watching George Michael dance around on stage. How we didn’t know he was gay is a complete mystery to me in hindsight.

There was no kissing, no nipple licking, no fingerbanging. But there was an open window and there would be more. It was time to strategize my way into her pants.

 

Alejandro

 

Just like Lady Gaga, I had my very own Alejandro.

There was no virginity checkpoint at the front door on my first day of high school. And better yet, a week later, I bumped into Rob – after some light stalking – and he pretended like he didn’t know me at all.

So much for my senior boyfriend. I was heartbroken… that he wouldn’t pave my road to popularity.

I was invisible, which was a step up from being bullied. I didn’t realize I’d be the new kid for the 12th time in my life and that most of these kids went to school together since Kindergarten.

At first, I was annoyed that Marie got a variance to Reno High because I thought she’d cramp my style, but now I was relieved to at least have one friend. And then we made two friends in Math class – Asian sisters who were as sweet as could be – so now I had three friends.

Three very nerdy friends.

We ate lunch in the cafeteria everyday, even though we were allowed to go off campus.

After about a month of whining, I finally coerced Marie to go off-campus for lunch. As we rounded the corner of Great Western Bank, I spied a cute Filipino guy wearing crazy pants, a red bandana and Oakley’s sitting all alone on what most definitely was the largest boombox in the great state of Nevada.

And it was playing It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, which I must admit, was a pretty dope ass song.

I was wearing the tightest mini skirt I owned. I glanced back to confirm what I already knew – Alejandro was totally checking out my butt. I didn’t know his name yet, but I could tell that he wanted to scam with me and that’s all that mattered.

On our way back to school, we walked past the bank again and he was still there, in the same position and playing the same exact song.

I assumed it was a particularly long song.

I devoted the rest of that week to stalking. I had to find out more about my soon-to-be-new-man.

This guy was methodical:

  1. Everyday before and after school, and at lunch, he’d perch himself atop his ginormous ghetto blaster and play It Takes Two. It was never a different song. Once it ended, he rewound the tape and played it again.
  2. At 4pm, he’d lift his boombox up onto his shoulder, which was a feat in itself since it was so high that his arm had to be totally straight to reach the top without dropping it.
  3. He’d walk to the Burger King on by the railroad tracks, tagging various walls and street signs along the way.
  4. He’d order two Whoppers with no onions and extra ketchup and an extra large coke. He always took it “to go” and didn’t eat it until he got home, however, he did sip on the drink.
  5. He’d walk along the railroad tracks from the Burger King all the way to the trailer park where he lived.

He was always alone. Maybe it was because he only played one song on his boombox.

After a week of stalking and eye-fucking, he still hadn’t even said “hi.” I began to realize he probably didn’t have any friends because he was horribly shy.

It was my duty to save him from his loneliness. His fortress of solitude. I would be the light in his dark life. He’d tell me things he never told anyone, like how his parents died in a mining accident just after he was born and that his mother’s health was failing.

Now I just had to work up enough nerve to speak to him.

The lunch bell rang on Monday and my heart leapt into my throat. I did what every nervous teenage girl did to calm the fuck down in 1987 – I pulled out my tin of strawberry Lip Lickers and clicked it open and closed approximately 28,000 times.

I approached the bank, alone this time.

There he was, in his same exact spot, playing the same exact song.

I walked toward him, but my knees betrayed me. They were shaking so hard that I was sure an astronaut could see them from space, so I made a beeline for the curb and ended up sitting awkwardly about 15 feet away from him.

He looked over at me and nodded. I smiled at him. It was now or never.

“I like that song,” I shouted.

He nodded in agreement. He was a man of few words. Mysterious. Damn, I had to have him.

“You a freshman?”

How the fuck did he know that? Was it that obvious?

“Yes,” I said without shame.
“I’m a junior.”

Then I heard the lyric: “Take it off the rack, if it’s wack put it back / I like the Whopper, fuck the Big Mac”

Oh. My. God. This guy didn’t just like this song, he lived it!

Then he picked up his boombox, put it on his shoulder and started singing along, but it was rap, so I guess he was rapping along as he walked toward me. It may have been one if the most awkward moments in my short life, I mean, what do you do when someone stands in front of you rapping along to It Takes Two?

Then, when it couldn’t get any weirder, he held out his hand to me as the chorus played.

“It takes two to make a thing go right / It takes two to make it outta sight / Hit it!”

We held hands all the way back to school, neither of us saying a word. Once we got to the front door, he lowered his boombox and hit stop on the tape player.

“I be chillin’ at BK by the tracks 4:30 if you wanna.”

And with that, he was gone. If I wanna…what? Make out? Get married? Exchange pot brownie recipes?

Nevertheless, I was filled with excitement. He liked me. We held hands. I was going to keep our love a secret until we were officially “going with” each other because I wasn’t quite sure if he was the coolest guy on earth or a major dork.

I got to Burger King way too early, so I got a Whopper with no onions and extra ketchup and an extra large coke so my body would be nourished with the same stuff of his.

I finished the rest of my meal just as he walked in. He ordered his usual and then noticed me sitting there.

“Hey.”
“Hey.”
“Let’s jam.”
“OK.”

And with that, he grabbed his Whoppers and we walked up the railroad tracks toward his trailer park, It Takes Two blasting all the while.

“Aren’t you going to eat your food?” This was a tactic I frequently utilized – pretending like I didn’t already know every last detail about the Neanderthal I was desperately needing to validate my worthiness.

“I hate BK. It’s for my mom.”

Hmmm. Curve ball. Perhaps the song was not, indeed, his creed.

“I have to be home by 7,” I lied because I really wanted to get to the good part before walking a fucking mile to his trailer. He put the boombox down and it automatically turned into a loveseat. The song was now drilling into my cortex, especially the “yeah/woo” part that repeated over and over and over the entire duration of the song, like hey Rob Base, not even a bridge reprieve? Come on.

He then turned down the music enough to still be annoying, but able to speak to and hear each other.

“I spin records.”
“Cool. Can I watch you sometime?”
“Yeah, I don’t got any gigs yet.”

smarterthan

Uh-oh. I could tolerate a lot of male stupidness, but bad grammar was a deal breaker. I started to reevaluate our wedding colors.

“I got two turntables.”

Again with the improper usage of “got.” I was done. Just as I started to plan my escape, he leaned in like he was going to devour me. His huge lips parted and his ginormous mouth opened wider and wider as it moved in for the kill.

MOUTH

I’d made out enough to know that that kissing shouldn’t involve the nose, and especially not the cheek or lower eye area. All of these facial regions were slurped upon in a most upsetting way. For a moment I actually couldn’t breathe and feared my destiny was to die at the lips of a Filipino man with bad grammar.

I couldn’t figure out a way to leave gracefully, so we made out for another two excruciating hours. At the end of the ordeal, I literally ran away, telling him I had to catch a bus. A few seconds into my stride, he yelled to me.

“Hey freshman! What’s your name?”

I turned around, still jogging, feeling safer the further I got away from those big ass lips.

“Maria!”

Yes, I’m white and yes, Maria was the only name that popped in my head.

“Alejandro’s my name, scratching records are my game!”

I couldn’t stand it any longer. It was one thing to have my face sucked, but I just couldn’t withstand his horrible grammar.

“Alejandro, scratching is singular therefore the correct verb is ‘is,’ not ‘are.’”

And then I ran. I ran so far away. I just ran. I ran all night and day.

And the only things chapped longer than my ass were my lips and nose. For weeks my face bore the reminder of Alejandro. Alejandro.

Now that I think about it, perhaps Lady Gaga and I did have the same Alejandro…

“Don’t call my name / Alejandro”
(because you think my name’s Maria)
“I’m not your babe / Ale-Alejandro”
(because you tried to eat my face)
“Fernando”
(huh?)
“Don’t wanna kiss / Alejandro”
(because my face will probably be scarred for life now, you douche)
“Just smoke my cigarette and hush”
(totally rad)
“Don’t call my name / Ale-Alejandro”
(please, please, please)

Sincerely,
Maria

Not Pretty & Not in Pink

During my epic summer between 7th and 8th grade, besides turning into a lobster, my mom dragged me along to help install her artwork in a gallery in Salt Lake City. Did I mention my mom was an artist (still is) and I was her slave labor?

Yes, I learned to crawl under an A-Frame at the Polk Street Art Fair. Yet another detail that made me completely non-relatable to the popular girls and therefore would be expunged from my public biography.

IMG_0938
Proof. Mom’s work is behind me. Pretty sure I’m working on a poop.

My mom was terrified of Mormons, so we spent all our free time at the most amazing place I’d been to in my life – the four story Super Mall at South Town – that had super high speed Ms. Pac Man and who do you think beat the high score within 10 minutes? Duh, me. I’ll still challenge any of you to a Ms. Pac Man off and I mean it.

But the best thing about the mall was it had a movie theatre. And that is where it happened. My life would never be the same.

I saw Pretty in Pink.

(If you have somehow lived this long without seeing Pretty in Pink, I feel super sad for you and jealous of you simultaneously. Watch it. Then rewind it and watch it again. But if you really must, this blog may be the best summary I’ve ever read.)

I felt like John Hughes gave me a roadmap. To world domination. Most girls saw that movie and longed to be Andie, the pouty outcast girl who bit her lip a lot and made her own ugly ass clothes.

pretty-in-pink-granny-chic
Kill me if you ever see me dressed like this. Even when I am 90.

Hi. I’d spent my whole life as an outcast – why the fuck would I want to attract attention to my weirdness? This girl made no sense to me.

I wanted to be Benny Hanson. Steff’s super popular mean girlfriend. She was the best!

Attention must be paid! Note that:

  1. Benny’s so gorgeous she doesn’t even need a girl name.
  2. Benny looks even hotter when she’s being mean.
  3. Benny has an amazing sense of humor. I mean, Jim? Who thinks of that?!?
  4. Benny’s hair is amaze-balls.
  5. Benny’s make-up is super amaze-balls.
  6. Benny wears rolled up blazers with shoulder pads like no one’s business.
  7. Steff is her boyfriend.
  8. Steff is so hot all he has to do is speak one word and I’m a tinglefest.*
  9. Steff is approximately 8 million times hotter than Blaine. Puh-lease.
  10. Steff has cocaine, weed and alcohol.
  11. Did I mention Steff has cocaine?
  12. Steff would never make her have sex in a horse stable. As if Benny would ever put up with shit (literally) like that. I mean, has anyone ever thought about Andie’s first time being to the smell of horseshit? And I thought my devirgination sucked.

Andie got the boy at the end – after high school was over. When being popular doesn’t even matter anymore. I mean, what was even her goal in life?

I think it was to frustrate every teen in the 80’s by making the world’s ugliest prom dress after a long built up and completely misleading montage.

pretty-in-pink-6ed50b8b-01c4-4474-9764-073d9c220ef9
Only genius can make a dress to eliminate both your boobs and waist.

Come to think of it, I didn’t want to be pretty in pink. That wasn’t even putting the bar high enough; it was burying the bar. I wanted to be supermodel in anything but pink. I hated fucking pink. I wanted to be the opposite of pink – tough, bitchy, invincible.

Pink was stupid and weak and vulnerable. I would never be like Andie. I don’t even think she cared about being popular. She just walked around pink all the time. That would never be me – again.

I laid out my outfit for the night before my first day of high school. Special attention was paid to emulate Benny. A blazer with shoulder pads, big hair, pegged pants and all three Swatch watches with swatch guards.

Drumroll please….

9thgradepic
Nice chameo brooch, Andie.

There is was – my failed venture at a resting bitch face. Yes, I was as anti-climactic as Andie’s trash bag prom dress.

My best attempt at Benny replication was about as pathetic as Andie’s entire stupid life. But don’t take my word for it, let’s see what Benny herself has to say about my attempt:

 

pretty-in-pink-gif-pretty-in-pink-21191524-400-233

*I refuse to accept that the man who calls himself James Spader is actually the same actor that played Steff. And if you bring it up, I may pull out my inner Benny Hanson.

Operation Devirgination

op dev final
I was on a mission.

Sandy and I heard the sure fire way to be deemed losers in high school was to still be virgins. In hindsight, this reasoning had a few holes – no pun intended.

I imagined a virginity checkpoint that all freshmen had to pass through before even being allowed to go to homeroom. We’d have to drop trow and a white-gloved senior, perhaps even the senior class president himself, would do a rudimentary pelvic exam.

If he felt a hymen, you had to go back to Middle School. Forever.

Determined to have a start fresh at my new school, I was ready to give Skater Boy the time of his life. After all, we had already practically lit our jeans on fire dry humping and personally tripled the price of Carmex stock from making out so much.

images_1-1471928We had a duty to Wall Street. Hell, we had a duty to America.

Roughly two seconds into my no-longer-affiliated-with-Middle-school-in-any-way-shape-or-form self, I jammed my hand down SB’s pants knowing the magical moment was about to occur.

Tragically, there was a hitch I could’ve never anticipated – SB had morals.

Dammit. Three months of dry humping down the tubes. So I dumped him flat. A burgeoning whore’s gotta do what a burgeoning whore’s gotta do. And I needed the next level – I couldn’t keep humping pillows forever.

Ends up, the answer was in my own front yard. Literally.

My house was the third house off a rather steep dirt driveway. The house below us was Gary’s. We’d known each other since the tragic day we moved from Reno to Sparks. He was a super nice 17-year-old in dire need of an Accutane prescription.

Sandy and I were sitting on the front deck letting the Sun-in and lemon juice do its magic when we heard the thump thump thump of 2 Live Crew’s We Want Some Pussy coming from Gary’s backyard followed by a SPLASH and the sound of girl’s laughter.

A few hours later, the laughter turned into moans. Sandy and I found a peephole in the fence.

And there it was with an audience of empty beer cans – sex. And not just sex – hot tub sex. And not just hot tub sex – group hot tub sex.

Jackpot!

The next day, I stalked Gary for three hours to accidentally bump into him mowing the lawn in dolphin shorts. And yes, I was wearing full make up and a very short skirt.

“Hey Gary!”

He shut off the mower to greet me, always the gentleman.

“Did you have a party last night and not invite me?” I said, ever so coyly.

“Nah– just kickin’ it with the MGD crew.”

MGD… MGD…. Manly gigantic dildos? Midget gorilla dancers? I had enough working knowledge of cool by now not to ask, just nod like I’m in the know.

Which is exactly what I did. He squatted to meet my eyes.

Side note: their lawn was terraced so I was looking up at him. This information will come in useful very soon.

“You’re a good girl, right? You don’t party, do ya?”

“I party all the time!” I squeaked, failing miserably at trying to contain my enthusiasm.

54d3c0d7b8f49_-_q-10-things-you-need-to-stop-wearing-to-the-gym-072114-xl-3
It’s just too easy.

His smile grew. He leaned in closer to me, at which time one of his balls AND the tip of his penis slid out of his dolphin shorts. His junk was directly in my line of fire. It was like that time I saw a dead body fall out of a burning car. I shouldn’t have looked, but once I did, the image was burned into my memory forever.

So there we were, just me, Gary and his junk. The exchange that followed was totally Charlie Brown’s teacher. All I know is that Sandy and I scored an invite to party with the MGD Crew that night.

We waited until my parents fell asleep and snuck out. Ten minutes later, we were guzzling MILLER GENUINE DRAFT (duh) in Gary’s hot tub with his BFF, Rob. Rob was super hot and went to Reno High. He was my new boyfriend, he just didn’t know it yet. Start new school as a rad mysterious freshman with a senior boyfriend? Check.

I was going to rule.

I slid in close to Rob and got my flirt on full-tilt. At first he was a little fazed about the minor details… like that I was 13 and he was 17, but that was nothing 2 or 12 more MGD’s wouldn’t fix.

He would be mine, oh yes, he would be mine.

By the end of the night, Rob and I were totally making out in the hot tub and Sandy had disappeared with Gary.

It. Was. On.

I motioned to Rob with my prunified finger to follow me into the house. I led him to Gary’s bedroom and onto his twin bed. We fumbled around awkwardly until we both somehow ended up naked.

Then the door opened – and there stood Gary and Sandy, half-clothed and sweaty.

Now, under normal circumstances, in a five, yes five, bedroom house, if one bedroom was occupied with a couple about to make magic, one would assume the other couple would simply relocate.

But no. They laid a sheet down on the floor right by us and proceeded to do the nasty. And the best part is that it made perfect sense at the time.

cherry 2

Yes, Sandy and I were devirginated in the same room at the same time.

I assumed after how horny I was and how good dry humping felt, that actual sex would only feel way better, so I was surprised when it felt like I was being stabbed in the vagina with a dull knife.

Why did people look like they were enjoying sex in movies and hot tubs?

Sex sucked.

And that’s when it hit me, as he stabbed me repeatedly – I could’ve just lied. It would’ve been far easier to lie than lay.

1263208763smokedrinkwhore

 

My Skater Boy

The spring of my eighth grade year was the stuff of John Hughes movies. That is, if John Hughes movies took place in lame-ass towns with mostly unattractive people.

skateboy

I spent most weekends on Brie’s father’s 80-acre ranch riding horses and falling in and out of love with her. I had to protect my Inner Core – even from myself. Was I gay? What did this desire mean? Why was I still so boy crazy?

I vowed to just be friends with Brie. I was already too weird to also be gay. I mean, I was starting my life over in less than 6-months, there would be no point in being a pariah out of the gate.

But as much as I convinced myself I didn’t like her, the more tingly I got. Downstairs. You know the kind of tingly of which I speak.

I had to distract myself. Chain smoking, soap operas and getting fucked up with Sandy only took care of a small portion of my carnal desires. I felt a kinship when I’d watch a little weirdo dog hump the shit out of her special bear.

Because I started humping my pillows. Full-on. Oh, if those pillows could talk.

pillowsoft_1411794762
Hello, gorgeous.

I met my pillow replacement at a skate jam. Yes, a skate jam. And not just a skate jam – a skate jam ALL BY MYSELF. I overheard Scooter and my molester skaters talking about it, so I decided to go. Brie had a horse show and Sandy had weekend detention. Guess Sandy’s life really was like a John Hughes movie.

Skater Boy (SB) was super tall and super skinny. His bangs covered half of his face. He had freckles across his nose from long hours skating half-pipes. Sometimes he wore eyeliner. I could die.

He went to the OTHER middle school, Dilworth – aka The Dill Pickle, Dildo, etc. – so he had no idea who I was at Sparks Middle and he didn’t care. When our eyes met through strands of bangs, all we had was physical attraction with no bullshit in between.

I was so stoked that I didn’t fold to Tina’s threat to hack my bangs. Short bangs would’ve ruined my destiny.

We had a good hour of eye fucking before he finally popped up his skateboard and walked my way, as Toy Doll’s Nellie the Elephant came on. Epic.

“Hey.”
“Hey.”

And then we were making out and dry humping. On his bed. On park benches. On my bed. Under jungle gyms.

We made out and sprayed Sun-in on each other’s bangs and then we made out some more. We made out until our lips cracked. We took Carmex breaks and made out some more. All I wanted was to be with SB, watching him Ollie, listening to T.S.O.L. and The Violent Femmes and, of course, making out.

An entire spring of endless kissing and dry humping to punk rock climaxed perfectly. He looked me deep in the eyes, as he applied more Carmex.

“Let’s go to each other’s proms.”

Bam. All my dreams came true.

I only had to endure one more week of middle school with all the assholes, bullies and frenemies – because Marie and I got variances to totally awesome Reno High. What made RHS totally awesome? It was the farthest away from Sparks Middle, that’s what.

So prom was my final FUCK YOU to Sparks Middle School and every last person there because I was about to become a Reno Husky while they were all becoming lame-ass Sparks High Railroaders. I mean, what kind of mascot is a train?

Losers.

SB skated circles around the three asshole skaters from English. They knew of him from jams. SB was a legend, like Tony Hawk, only not famous or rich or as good of a skater.

I couldn’t wait to show up with him on my arm. Then they’d see. They’d see that they missed out. That I was rad. That they missed their chance to be with totally awesome badass me.

Too bad suckas.

Mom took me shopping for my dress. I picked out the tightest one she’d approve in FUCK YOU red.

Skater Boy
Yes, that is SB’s hand on my arm.

I went to SB’s prom. It was fun, but the true triumph was MY prom.

We showed up late because I saw in movies that cool people did that and I was about to find out why. When we walked into the cafeteria-converted-into-dance-hall with SB on my arm, everyone I needed to take notice took notice.

I looked hot. And SB was always hot. I figured out fast the people I hung with said volumes about me.

The cafeteria still smelled like Ore-Ida crinkle cut fries and tater tots. We danced all awesome and shit under the disco ball and got busted making out by the chaperones.

We left early because that’s what cool people do to let the world know that this shit was boring.

SB was really good at being bored – a tactic that I soon mastered.

The next day, the three skaters groped me in English and I was too bored to care. Tina called me a whore in History and I yawned. My frenemies talked smack over lunch, but I was too distracted to pay attention.

Fake boredom was as powerful as vodka and much more attainable.

Score.

I made sure my bored look was the stuff of great art by the time I hit high school. The only other thing I needed to do was lose my virginity and I would officially be hot shit.

The last week went by with no fanfare; it just ended. No caps, no gowns, no ceremonies. It was just over.

Now Sandy and I had an entire summer to lose our virginities.
PS. Please don’t mistake my Skater Boy with Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8ter Boi.” My SB didn’t need numbers and misspelling to be rad.

PPS. Someone please tell Avril that she’s about as punk as a pink Gucci handbag.

How to Win

fontcandy

Instead of being a victim or trying to kill myself again, the blow job and blue banana incidents gave me an outside layer of protection that no one, except Sandy, would be allowed to penetrate.

Marie was my friend, too, but she was totally against me drinking and smoking. She liked Sandy, but she worried about me. We would always have Duran Duran, but I remained that girl with her. She was my first friend to belong to the Mantle Layer.

I now placed people in layers. Or strata. Rings. Whatever. It looked a lot like Earth:

struktur-bumi
The earth’s layers in English and Indonesian. You’re welcome, my fantastic Indonesian readers!

I started labeling people by layer, so I knew who I could trust. Everyone started as Crust and would be treated as such until they proved themselves worthy to get closer to my core.

Only Sandy was in my Inner Core. And sometimes my mom. But that was it.

I studied like I’d never studied before. It was hard, but not impossible. Moving to third world countries spontaneously as a kid made me adaptable.

My first report card GPA was a 3.14.

It was clear that I was never going to fit in at Sparks Middle, so I quit trying to fit in. I turned 12 in November and being that much closer to 13 gave me even more strength. I was practically a grown-up.

My second GPA was a 3.50.

I didn’t give a shit what all the assholes thought of me because I was already better than them in my mind. I picked Reno High as my next school. Yeah, this time I did the picking. It was the coolest, richest school in all of Reno that happened to be the furthest away from Sparks High.

I upped my game. I started making friends with the outcasts, the bullied and those who couldn’t afford to wear Benetton and Guess Jeans. If I could help just one loser become a badass like me, I’d done my job.

I was walking down the school hall one crisp morning, when the perfect opportunity found me.

“Horse fucker! How do you like that horse dick?!?”

mighty-mouse-magnet-700x700
Captain Save-a-ho to the rescue!

I turned around and saw the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in person, running down the hall and crying. I threw on my invisible superwoman cape and chased after her.

She was huddled on the very same concrete bird shit stoop where the blue banana incident occurred. Full circle, man.

I came close to her and she flinched, like an abused animal. The warmth of our breath gave our words shape.

Brie looked like a mix between Marilyn Monroe back when she was Norma Jean and Bridget Moynahan. Her lips were full, she wore a D cup by the seventh grade and she had a mole in just the perfect spot above her lip. She even looked beautiful when she cried.

I was a year ahead of her. She was a bit too voluptuous, a little too pretty and a touch too smart. Ugly ass bullies hated chicks like Brie. Her name alone caused those gargoyles to glow red with anger.

Brie was a fancy cheese that no one living in Sparks had probably ever even eaten, not a name. But her real problem was – she told the wrong person that she lived on a horse ranch (on the weekends) and rode horses.

lesbi 1
Help?

Thus – she was a horse fucker.

Once they sniffed out uniqueness of any kind, the bullies would find the stupidest thing to brand on us. (Like when I was a dog fucker and a dyke.) She was the perfect project for me. I’d experienced her pain and broken free. I was older and wiser.

 

I also felt like I wanted to kiss her the moment we met. And I’m talking make out, not peck. On this very day, on the poop stoop, I realized that I might be gay.

 

 

 

The Blue Banana

I jumped out of bed with childish anticipation. Today was the day – the day I would finally become middle school royalty. Today, I was to become POPULAR. Invincible. Seen for the awesomeness I had always been, yet few seldom noticed.

goat_2d00_list_2d00_3_2d00_final
Sorry, kid.

My sacrificial blowjob was about to launch me to a level of existence I’d only ever fantasized about. Hell, I would’ve murdered a goat if it meant popularity. A BJ was nothing!

I threw on my backpack and faced the freezing-ass Sparks morning air. I lit up a smoke, extra careful not to ignite my extremely flammable hair. For about half the year we smokers-who-didn’t-know-how-to-inhale-yet paranoically checked our cherries to see if we were actually still lit, as the cold ass air already made our breath alone look like smoke.

The Reno/Sparks winter made everyone a smoker – kids, your grandma, my dog. All smokers.

I stomped out my smoke and entered the grounds of Sparks Middle. As I got closer, Dana and Jan came into focus. They were looking in a brown paper bag and laughing hysterically. Sandy was standing awkwardly by them.

Once I reached the concrete stoop covered in bird shit, Jan and Dana started singing one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs, Somebody. Only they’d rewritten the lyrics. And memorized them.

But when I’m asleep/I want Bones Brighton/To put his legs around me/And fuck me tenderly

img_3049
No way this was a good thing.

Then they bequeathed me their offering – a brown paper bag. Sandy shook her head and stared at her feet.

“Look inside! Look inside!” my lead bully and (now newest) frenemy pleaded.

If I had a do over, I would’ve thrown the bag in their ugly faces and walked off with drag queen confidence. I simply gave them more power by looking in the bag.

But I looked. Oh, I looked.

My first thought was simple; paint and bananas don’t mix.

This small fact didn’t stop these two assholes from taking the time to smother a perfectly innocent banana with bright blue paint, place said banana in a brown lunch bag, and gift it to me the morning after I gave Bones a blowjob.

In hindsight, they should’ve painted two oranges blue rather than one banana, but I don’t think they understood the notion of blue balls yet either.

The baffling thing was not their cruelty and betrayal, as I’d grown accustomed to that, but that none of them were even at Misty’s house the night before and the dirty oral deed happened at approximately 9pm.

This means they had to:

  1. Learn news of blowjob before the existence of cell phones and the internet.
  2. Assemble.
  3. Attain banana.
  4. Attain blue paint.
  5. Attain brown paper sack.
  6. Rewrite song and rehearse.
  7. Paint banana and allow ample drying time.
  8. Place banana in brown paper sack.

All of these events had to take place after 9pm on a school night, which took quite a bit of planning and effort. The level of sacrifice that these two evil girls endured to properly and efficiently humiliate my efforts of social evolution before the first bell rang was nothing short of impressive.

I expected this shit from Dana, since she was the underdeveloped spawn of Satan, but this was the first time Jan showed her true colors. That’s what made my blood drain down to the bottom of my feet and fight a sudden urge to ugly girl cry. I mean, I’d slept over at her house and our common love of Depeche Mode was cementing our friendship.

Or so I thought.

Now she was just another one of them. Another frenemy bully. I thought I’d seen the last of those. I thought I was starting over in the 8th grade. The problem was that I was still at Sparks Middle.

IMG_2222 (1)
The banana incident happened in front of the green doors on the far right.

 

The only thing worse than fucking your way to the top is failing at fucking your way to the top. I ended up not only a slut, but a slut who wasn’t very good at being a slut.

Sandy grabbed my arm and we walked into the school. She had nothing to do with it and she thought it was awesome that I gave Bones a hummer – even if it sucked.

I made two very important life decisions on this day.

  1. I would get really, really good at blowjobs and sex before I ever attempted it again. I would have to study. It would take sacrifice, but I could do it. To be a true badass, you had to rule in bed.
  2. I was going to rule at school this year. If I got above a 3.0, I could get a variance to ANY high school in Washoe County and never see any of these dicks again.

And here’s the take away: if you want your kids to get good grades, suggest they attempt oral sex with a fellow schoolmate. Worked for me!

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