It was after I had already decided to leave. I was living in a closet and having tiny breakdowns throughout every day. Kev and Nate had some friends in from out of town, and I wasn’t feeling that well, spiritually. I sat on the countertop in the kitchen by myself, drinking and thinking and stewing. Why, I don’t know why. I had just broken up with a man I didn’t love and it had my head twisted up bad. Kev and Steph came in to try to talk some sense into me and I shook my head, saying “go pay attention to your friends” and they rejected that idea. I cried like a bitch. I was so fucking unhappy it hurt to be alive. It reminded me of that time Matt and I drove to North Carolina from Chicago on four hours of sleep a piece and when we finally got there, he was so tired I really thought he would die regardless of whether or not he got some sleep at the end of it. I left, not knowing what else to do. Grabbed a beer and just bounced out the back door, wanting to be alone. I walked in the snow until I got to a park I liked, sat in a swingset and in a big plastic ship. Met a nice jogger who was jogging with his nice dog in the snow. Cried the rest of myself out. Walked home and realized I didn’t bring a coat with me. Drank on a stranger’s porch until I was done with my beer then whipped it into what seemed to be a doorway into nothing. Got closer and closer to the gallery and realized that I didn’t have what it takes to go back inside. Stood outside, looking at the yellow light on the glittering snow and wondered what was wrong with me. Decided that I was living too much in other time periods. Decided to quit. Charged in with the spirit of an animal lookin for a fight. Found my targets. Grabbed them out of their chairs and pulled them into a tight hug, without saying anything else. Told them I was sorry. Meant it, even if they didn’t know what at the time. Apparently somebody took a picture of that embrace, while I wept into my then-friends’ arms without shame. This is what it looks like when I’m about to leave you.

westside

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