“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call Melanie’s Life Online. ”
I’m laying in bed watching old black & white episodes of The Twilight Zone on Netflix. It’s almost 3pm on a beautiful Memorial day and I’m spent. Completely spent. And that goes double for my savings account. My savings account is out working the streets in the red-light district of Bangkok, selling itself for company. Esmeralda, my slutty 95′ ford escort is there with my savings account, flamboyantly flaunting her dents and leaky pipes, coughing up some god-awful emissions.
While they’re there yucking it up, I’m here in my room. Alone with my laptop, my blog and The Twilight Zone – waiting for the Gods to throw me another big chunk of Italian loaf before I drown in my dormancy.
I would like to send out a Thank You to all those dear Veterans for providing Me, Melanie, a proud lazy American, a day to lounge around and eat my Mothers left-over dim sum she brought home to me in a doggie-bag. And thanks for giving me the opportunity to let the dim sum sit untouched by the side of my bed in the hot, muggy air of my bedroom for hours while I debate whether or not I should take a nap. Thank you soldiers for keeping Americans well-fed and exorbitant. I really mean it! Thanks Dad.
I am truly a wretched mess. Lying here sweating in my purple sweatpants and eating soggy dim sum from five hours ago.
I tried again to talk things out with Holly, but she was just as hard on me as when I met her at El Sombrero’s. She blamed me for everything again, sat like a stone on the couch next to me while I cried mushy tears and flopped around her couch in tired aimless exhaustion. I just wanted to shut my eyes and have it be over already.
She brought up the things I wrote to her about in my letter. How I wasn’t welcomed to visit Delilah, Becky and Becka anymore.
Holly – “I’m sorry, but are they your friends? Do you call them? No. You don’t call them. They are my friends.”
Me – “But I used to see them all the time, can’t next time you ask them if I can join you guys? Because I miss them?”
Holly – “No.”
She brought up how shitty I feel when she doesn’t invite me over on Holidays, and I’m left to sit alone in my room.
Holly – “What am I? A mind reader? How am I supposed to know what you do on Holidays?”
Me – “You never ask. You always ask me after, what I did.”
I was crying, and felt ashamed of myself.
She opened up her laptop to my Nepal post and went over it with me, pointing out all the wrongs I did. She went over the parts in my post where I sounded mean and angry towards Kristina.
Holly – “I would never have ran away. NEVER! That is such a childish thing to do!”
Me – “Can’t you just try to picture being me. Try to understand where I was coming from? I didn’t want to relive the night before all over again. I didn’t want to get kicked out again.”
Holly – “I would have done the adult thing and told them what I was doing instead of running away.”
Um, okay, I was in a third world country suffering from shock of all sorts (mind, body and spirit), sleep deprived, ganged up on and just been booted out of a travel group, forcing me to spend a month entirely alone in a foreign country.
And Holly was yelling at me, judging and criticizing me for running away from people who wanted nothing more to do with me. She wasn’t there, she’s not the one it happened to. But apparently she doesn’t need to be.
Holly – “You called Kristina a ringleader?”
Me – “She was! She orchestrated the whole thing. She’s the one who kicked me out!”
Holly – “You called them the ‘abandoners’.”
Me – “They abandoned ME, what else was I to call them?”
I was falling apart, pathetically crying my eyes out.
Holly – “Do you want me to keep going?”
Me – “Keep going. I can take it. Keep it coming.”
I said this in-between sobs and gasps of air.
Holly – “No, I’m not going on. It’s obviously upsetting you.”
Me – “Keep going! I want to know!”
Holly – “That comment you made about wanting to be in Thailand instead. I wouldn’ve EVER have said that! No wonder why Kristina was upset. She spent so long planning the trip.”
Me – “I never said I wanted to be in Thailand instead! I said I was planning to go to Thailand but somehow ended up in the Himalaya’s! It was true and Kristina already knew all that.”
Holly – “It was still the wrong thing to say. I would NEVER have said that.”
I was trying to explain myself so she would understand, but it was no use. She didn’t want to understand, and instead just criticized me up and down like a hell-fire merry-go-round. I explained myself as simply as I could, I had to repeat myself, talk slowly and deliberately, but it was like talking to a wall. She didn’t want to hear me. She was unable to hear me. It was like communicating with someone who been brainwashed.
I cried and cried some more. I had to drink two pints of water while sitting there.
Holly – “Shall I go on?”
Me – “Yes keep going.”
Holly – “I’m not going to. It’s obviously upsetting you.”
This wasn’t said in a comforting way, but as a matter-of-fact-way.
Me – “Do you think I deserved being treated that way by everyone?”
Holly – “I think you did things to frustrate and annoy them….annoy is a bad word…”
She wasn’t there. She know’s nothing that happened. She wasn’t there to see me be kind to everyone, to be thoughtful, considerate and understanding. I put the best parts of myself on display for these travel companions. She wasn’t there when they all turned on me. She wasn’t there to hear Megan tell me I couldn’t barrow her book to read (which she already read), or Kristina telling me she wanted to leave me in Muktinah. She wasn’t there. And here she’s telling me that I did things to frustrate and annoy them – that I brought it on myself – that it’s all my fault and I deserved everything I got.
Me – “Do you think Kristina should apologize to me?”
Holly – “I think you and her need to sit down and talk.”
Me – “But do I deserve an apology?”
Holly – “You two need to talk.”
But Holly wants me to apologize to Kristina (which I already have), not Kristina apologize to me.
There was no comfort, no trying to help me understand what went wrong in Nepal, it was all one-sided. It was all Kristina-sided.
Holly – “I’ve done nothing wrong. NOTHING!”
Me – “Can’t you see how you’re hurting me? Can’t you see that you taken her side?”
Holly – “I’m sorry for being honest and telling you what I thought of the Nepal post. I’m sorry!”
Me – “Why do you have to say it like that? Why do you have to say you’re sorry for being honest? Why can’t you just say you’re sorry and leave it at that?”
Holly – “You wanted my honest opinion and I gave it.”
Me – “I came home from a traumatic experience, Kristina destroyed me in Nepal, ripped me apart and I come home and hear from you that I was being mean and angry toward her. Out of all the possible things to say to me, you picked that one. Why? Why did you say that to me?”
Holly – “I was being honest.”
Holly – “I did NOTHING wrong!”
She kept saying this over and over that she’s “done nothing wrong”. She did everything in her power not to comfort me, not be there for me. All I wanted was a friend, but I got this creature in its place. This person with an impartial authoritative tone, a hard-stone look while I wiped my tears on my sleeve. She became an apathetic stranger, someone who I don’t know – someone I wouldn’t care to know.
She’s mad at me for not apologizing to her for sending her mean texts, I’m upset at her for not being a friend. Which one of us do you think this fight is harder on? The one who lost a friend, or the one who wants an apology for angry text messages?
Me, It’s harder on me. I retaliated in annoyance and threw her own words back at her, “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
This clearly upset her. She was pissed. She can dish it out, but can’t take it.
Holly – “You need to take responsibility for your texts messages. If you don’t see how they are mean, then that’s a problem.”
Me – “You only see that they are angry, but you don’t bother with understanding why I sent them. I sent them because I was hurt.”
Holly – “You need to take responsibility for them.”
Everything she said was shallow. There was no depth to any of it. She said the same things over and over, bringing up and regurgitating what’s already been said. My words fell on deaf ears. There was no understanding, no nothing. Just superficial, surface speak – nothing went passed that surface. Nothing slipped underneath her superficial understanding. Just more of the same. She said more of the same, unrelenting.
Because she was so bent on repeating herself, I said her words again to her, “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
She was so upset by that remark, that she told me to leave. She wanted me out. I sat there for two hours listening to her defend Kristina, tearing my insides apart and how she’s not doing anything wrong, but when I throw her own words back at her, she wants me to leave. She calls me childish for running away, but now she’s the one running.
This all happened on Thursday, now its Monday and I haven’t heard from her since.
So that’s what’s happening in that arena of my life.
The fucked up thing is she still reads my goddamned blog. Prying into my privacy with VIP front-row access to this personal freak show that I call my life. My life is wide open on display, painfully vulnerable like my savings account and Esmeralda the escort down in the red-light district of Bangkok. I’m open for business and that business is bloody painful to write, so it must be satisfying for my foe’s to read.
And for the record, my texts WERE NOT MEAN! They were reactions from hurtful things said and done to me. One such text she referred to was the one where I called her a poop stinker. A POOP STINKER! She mentioned that text repeatedly. It was part of the revolving door of no-escape.
Holly – “It was a childish comment! You need to grow up.”
Me – “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
It’s my new favorite saying. And I will continue to say it as long as she continues to say it. Oh how it pisses her off. Just before I sent her the poop stinker text, I text her how much she means to me and how much I care about her and that I wish she would only be there for me and talk to me, but when she didn’t respond, that’s when I called her a poop stinker.
After she told me to leave, she texted me saying she was glad we talked, but we haven’t solved anything. We haven’t solved anything because I refuse to apologize for calling her a poop stinker (it’s so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but smile ever time she angrily mentioned it) and she refuses to listen to me and take on the role of a friend. The worst part is, she doesn’t even see this happening. To her, she’s done nothing wrong, no need to go any further than that. In her shallow way of thinking, everything is my fault. I’m the one who needs to apologize and to “grow up,” not her. What kind of one-dimensional world does she live in? How can she not see this happening? It’s so in-my-face obvious that I want nothing more than to scream at an on-coming train. Doesn’t everyone know the steps of conflict resolution? Isn’t it common knowledge?
After getting my insides scrambled by her jabbing wire-hanger words, I went home and went to sleep at 10:30. I was starving, completely hollowed out. A stiff breeze could have blown me over, and sleep was all I could manage to do.
The next two days are a blur, but basically I fell apart and fell together all at once. These past two days I slept with not one, but two men. One for each day of the weekend. If you’re new to my blog, I spent these last two years celibate. I don’t sleep with people I don’t know or don’t want to be with. I don’t validate myself, or seek power by using sex as a tool. Believe it or not, I’m a good girl. I’m decent. But everyone’s entitled to a few slip-ups, right?
The first boy I slept with was Matt. It was Friday night, the day after the talk with Holly, and I just wanted to get shitfaced. Kristie called up Matt and about five or six of her girlfriends and we all went out dancing together. It was fun, really fun. I got applauded on the dance floor for my way-cool moves, hustled a biker dude in a game of pool, and had a heart to heart with Bosco, a gay man whom I call a kindred spirit.
Bosco – “Your friend you’re talking about, would you do anything for her?”
Me – “Yes.”
Bosco – “Would you always be there no matter what?”
Me – “Yeah, absolutely.”
Bosco – “And she’s not there for you, is she?”
Me – “No. No she’s not.”
Bosco – “I’m sorry but some people call me an asshole, and I’m going to be an asshole right now and just say it. The girl aint your friend. Sorry honey.”
I was drunk and having fun, so hearing this news didn’t break me. It just made everything a little clearer, well, clearer and fuzzier all at once.
Matt bought me a shot – it was my fourth one. I downed it and let him kiss me on the mouth. I was obliterated, stumbling everywhere, slurring my words. I sunk into Matt’s big arms, and let him hold me.
Matt – “You can’t drive, you know that don’t you?”
Me – “Okay.”
He drove my car to his house, taken me up into his room and shut off the light. It was pitch-black. He’s an obese man, has acne scars in places where other people don’t, he didn’t want me to see him. But I really wanted to see him – everything about him. I was drunk and blind to everything – I just wanted to see him and touch him, but I didn’t tell him this. I knew he was self-conscious, so I let it be.
As for myself, I now weigh less than I did when I was 21. I’m 5’5 about 122 pounds, and I still dress like a scrub. The only time I feel sexy is when I take my clothes off. I stripped down and flopped on top of his soft belly. He cradled me like a delicate flower. Before any of this conspired, I told him how I never stay the night and prefer my own bed – I was flat out honest from the start, so I didn’t feel guilty about leaving shortly after.
He wanted me to go to his Memorial day BBQ today, but I told him I couldn’t make it. I really can’t, I smell like a swampy bog and look like one too.
Yesterday I accompanied Dave to a wedding. I didn’t have to pay for a damn thing, just show up in a dress.
After we ate, drank our fill of free rum and cokes, danced like careless kids in a candy store, we went skinny dipping in that lake. It was dark out, all the guests went home, the banquet staff were busy cleaning up and stacking chairs while Dave and I snuck out the back door, into the woody, tree-lined pond and taken off all our clothes.
It was hot out, muggy. Toads filled the stagnant night air with their loud croaks, faint thunder roared off in the distance. The sky lit up every few seconds with lightning. The water felt tepid, like a bath. It was cleansing after sweating and dancing all night. We did it in the lake.
That was yesterday. This is today. A very hot, lazy day. I napped, watched tv, did a whole lot of nuthin’.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand life. It’s a mystery. A scary, lonesome mystery at that.
I’m reading a preparation book about the Camino de Santiago. It says in the book that a pilgrimage starts the minute you decide to embark on one – before the actual journey takes place. It starts in the moment of calling. That’s what this feels like. People around me are changing, I’m changing. I’m hurting inside, and feel I will never cease to hurt, but it’s part of the journey. I somehow feel it. I feel that this burden of pain is a necessary evil for growth and understanding. It’s necessary as long as I can find a way to overcome it. I sound so stupid.
Everything I do henceforth is a preparation walk. Starting my business, saving for the trip, reading and studying about the 1,000 year old trek, physically preparing – it’s all part of the pilgrimage and I’m planning on taking you with me every step of the way.
Pray for me!
Now I must finish eating five-hour old mushy dim sum and play video games.