“So off I went with this stranger whose name I had learned earlier in the night but had already forgotten. It isn’t like I was going to sleep with him or anything…”
Spending 48 hours in the hospital under suicide watch forced me to do some much needed soul-searching. I had nothing better to do anyway since I was denied a writing utensil, paper, books, privacy or even a trip to the fucking bathroom. You can read more about my own Nurse Ratched experience here.
As I lounged in my opened-back hospital gown, I concluded that it wasn’t the rejection from a guy that had made me miserable enough to waste a month’s worth of Xanax in one night. My poorly guided stab at self-harm was about disappointment and the humbling realization that my life had already peaked. I was never going to meet anyone who could fill the void Jason had left in my life. All the dick in the world couldn’t distract me from his absence. There was a massive deep crater in the landscape of my future and I had no idea where to go. My behavior over the past several months had been a string of futile attempts to make something grow in that vapid desolate hole his death had bored into my heart.
I made the decision to remove myself from the toxic aspects of my current life, at least for a few days. I wanted to gather up the splintered pieces of myself and create something new and improved, or at least not make any new cracks in my fragile shell. I just wasn’t sure where to start, so I began with a hastily planned trip to the mountains. Mountains solve everything, right? Just my dog and I spending some quality time together, drinking craft beers on shaded patios and people watching from a benign distance. I was preparing for some serious mental tidying up so I grabbed my journal and plenty of pens. Surely I could write my way through this!
I was released from the hospital on a Wednesday and the Xanax had still not completely worn off by Friday morning, when I was set to leave my house and drive three hours up a mountain. Everything was in slow-motion as I glided through the curves and tried to connect the dots of the previous weekend. My head was pure fuzz and my eyes rolled lazily around in their sockets. I probably shouldn’t have been driving…but we made it. I outfitted my dog in his service-animal vest, tossed the car keys to the valet and checked into the modern and overpriced hotel, which was the only place I could find at the last minute. I figured the epiphanies and self-discoveries I would stumble upon over the next two days would be totally worth the cost. I had no idea I was going to be hit with a $1,800 medical bill the following month.
The first thing we did was have lunch at my favorite pretentious vegetarian café. I ordered a fancy organic beer and a bottled water for my dog. The faint smell of Asheville weed hung over us as I enjoyed my Buddha Bowl. I was relieved to be away from the bar and the humiliating memories of my public meltdown.
Service Dog catching contact buzz
We walked around after lunch and ended up at the Asheville Yacht Club which is a dive bar not unlike the one I was trying to escape three hours east. What can I say, I have a type. I enjoyed a very tall lukewarm PBR and tried to act like I belonged there, which is really challenging when you’re as awkward as I am. Just going to the grocery and having to interact with cashiers gives me hives. I kept checking my phone and pretending to be on high social demand, laughing at texts I had already read days ago. It didn’t take long before two beardy and long-haired hipsters with guitars slung over their backs wandered over and tried to start up a conversation. Were they homeless street musicians, or just street musicians…or maybe just homeless? I couldn’t tell but they had that dirty look I go for, so I figured why not?
The more attractive of the two asked me about my service dog and I explained to him that he was not allowed to inquire about my disability due to ADA laws, but then I explained he was technically a counter-fit service dog and all I had to do was pay $150 for a legit looking vest, certificate and ID card. So he accused me of being morally disabled. I thought that was a clever enough comment to warrant further conversation. We talked for over an hour and I downed a second very large and lukewarm PBR, trying to hold in my burps like the lady that I am. Hipster #2 left us to go beg for change or something, and Hipster #1 invited me to another bar to watch some friends play highly forgettable singer/songwriter crap. So off I went with this stranger whose name I had learned earlier in the night but had already forgotten.
2am finally arrived and a decision had to be made. Do I walk back to my hotel room alone or do I invite him over for an after party. He said he had some contraband on him and that was all I needed to know to make an informed decision.
We polished off the vodka I had smartly packed and ended up naked not long after…so much for my weekend of self-reflection and life-tidying. All was well the first night and we ended up hanging out all day on Saturday too. He followed me around like a well-behaved puppy but by dinner time I was ready to see his knotted man-bun walking away, becoming smaller and smaller until he finally disappeared. But I’m too fucking nice so I let him orbit the rest of the evening.
We ended up back at my hotel room Saturday night with extra beer in tow. My dog was clearly not pleased with this interloper taking up half of the real estate on the bed. I wasn’t thrilled either but I didn’t know what to do with him. He obviously had no job and no particular place to be, so I was stuck.
My weekend of “me” turned into a weekend of “we” and I just wanted him to stop playing his guitar and get out of my room. All I desired was to curl up with my dog and regret the last week of my life in silent pain.
We fucked again because I didn’t know how else to shut him up, and I figured if his face was planted in my honey pot, then at least he’d be quiet long enough for me to conjure up a masturbatory-worthy image of Ryan Gosling so I could get off and go to bed.
And then shit got real creepy…