The Purge Part 7: Back in Black Part 3

This is a post about purging the past.

Two Sundays ago, as I do every Sunday, I took a bath, shaved all my unwanted body hair, scrubbed all the calluses from my heels and painted my toes. My toes are important to me! Some people understand, some think my quest for constant toe perfection is a bit silly, some have mentioned that it may be a flat out waste of time--but I love it. I love how my toes look when perfectly groomed into ten little perfect glossy canvases coated in la couleur de semaine.

From 2004 until late last year I only ever painted my toes one color: black. Always black. Every week the same; and if you look at any given picture of me from those years that includes my feet you will see ten perfect black toenails. It's true, just look at the header on this very blog.
Then one day in Boston I picked up a bottle of red nail polish at the pharmacy.
Then grey.
Then pink.
Now my nail bag looks like it might belong to Rainbow Brite, and the only color I haven't used since December was black. That is, until last Sunday.

I was feeling nostalgic, I guess. I went off one of my meds and was feeling rather like my old self, and I guess that's why I slicked three coats of black polish on each of my clipped and groomed toenails, laid back to admire my handiwork, set my alarm, and went to sleep.

Then I had the craziest week ever.

In the last week I missed a psych appointment, was 15 minutes away from being homeless, was late for work twice, was early for work twice, rolled a joint, ran out of toilet paper, cried in Times Square, worked two triples and three doubles, and then capped it all off by having three drinks and ridiculously perfunctory sex with someone wildly inappropriate.

Yup, back to my old self. Black toes and all.

But really? I just can't do this anymore. I mean, last week was exhausting at best, and at worst it left me shaken and overly emotional and then drunk and naked. It's just so hard to believe that I used to do shit like this every week--and furthermore, I enjoyed it. What the fuck? How in the world did I live through my twenties?

There are a couple of stories here.

There is one that begins way back when I was a twenty-something San Franciscan, and after happy hour at Nick's Crispy Taco's and two or three of a two-foot-tall-and-treacherous drink called The Sasquatch, I walked my very best friend in the world home because he was too drunk to go by himself. I propped him up with one arm while I fit his key into the front gate of his building on Geary, helped him up the stairs, through his front door, and into his bed. I checked my email on his MacBook in the kitchen, brought him some water he screamed at me for.

We did this all the time. We only lived a few blocks from each other; our little Edwardian studios in the Tenderloin that we had both lovingly painted green and ran between constantly as we could barely stand to spend time apart. He all but carried me home many times--me in one arm and my heels in the other--and this time was not unlike the rest.

Except that twenty minutes later I had locked myself in the bathroom and felt the hard and cold of the tiled wall on my naked back as I slid down to rest on the floor.

And I know what you're thinking: "Isn't this post about purging the past? This sounds like pretty old news to me." Yes, you're right. This night was in May, 2007, almost five years ago now. But I remember the two weeks I spent crying while Shaun apologized over and over, I remember when he finally got fed up with me and left me chasing him down Geary, then the month that followed that we fought bitterly. All told, I didn't really get my best friend back for almost two months all because I slept with him one time. One time.

So I'm telling you that although repeating those two months are one of my greatest fears, I'm letting them go. I'm simply not going to participate in that, not that I think I would have to, anyway. Some people are just better cuddlers than they are lovers, and some people have to find that out the hard way, and yes. Yes, I'm telling you that I just found this out the hard way, but correct me if I'm wrong: isn't the alternative wondering whether it might have been good forever?

Consider those old regrets purged.

And the other story?

The black toes have got to go immediately. Seriously, you guys. Call me superstitious, but I fear who they make me.


p.s.-- The first five or so years I wrote this blog, I was so intimate with it that I could remember how many times I had used every title; the point of this is that I didn't have to actually look it up before I named a post 'part 2' or 'part 3', as I already knew what number part it should be. I made a pretty grave mistake with this post as there actually already exists a Back in Black Part 2. I am sorry. I am fixing it now, but know that my mistake will live forever in the URL for this post. --M

No comments: