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I am now officially broke.
Between the 160 Euro SkyEurope flight to and from Schiphol, the hostels, the coffeeshops, the expensive-ass food and the public transit, I am almost completely out of money.
I think Amsterdam might be the greatest city on the earth.
I took a train from Graz to Vienna on Friday with a long weekend of no classes until tomorrow (combination of Austrian holiday, well-planned weekly schedule, and the absence of some professors) and spent the night in the lovely and accomadating Vienna airport. At one point I had a really nice bench to lie down on, and tried to offer space to passers-by as I knew it was one of the last free ones in the entire building. But when I got up to go pee, I came back to find that somebody (to whom I had actually offered some of the space) had replaced my stuff with his, laid down, and fell asleep. Eventually I managed to doze off, but suffice it to say this really pissed me off. So I wake up around 4:20 AM (the irony of this was lost on me at the time), check in for my flight, and wander around the terminals until I board two hours later. As soon as we're off the ground, I passed out and didn't wake up until the wheels touched the ground in the most ridiculous goddamn country on this planet.
Much of the Netherlands is recovered land, meaning that at some point or another, somebody looked at the patch of land you're standing on (covered in ocean) and said "Y'know, fuck it. Let's push it back." The train station I came into in Amsterdam, Centraal, is apparently built on artificial islands and woodpiles hammered into the earth. The Dutch, to put it simply, do not fuck around.
As soon as the trip from airport to train station was complete, my only desire was to meet up with my friends and get to exploring. It wasn't even 10:00 AM when we walked into our first coffee shop, and that was pretty much what set the tone of the trip. Smoke a joint, go to the Museumplein; smoke a joint, take a canal cruise; smoke a joint, then smoke another joint. I know that I'm taking advantage of the lax legal situation and ignoring the sometimes negative view that locals take to all the tourists who come to their city to smoke pot, but in my defence, I would have gone to the city without the marijuana. It's like a weird combination of Chicago, Boston, and New Orleans, with a few dozen museums scattered all over the place and a constantly reoccuring smell of something burning. . .
I think the van Gogh museum was the best, since I really didn't know that much about the man and didn't realize how much there was to his art. As far as favorite coffeeshops go, that might be a tougher call, but there was one we found called simply Coffeeshop Reefer that was out of the city center, really comfortable with a nice selection, and (a rarity) not filled with overly loud dance music.
It was really cool to look at all the buildings in the city since, being built on a marsh, they have all begun to tilt to one side or the other, and some ingenious bastards have filled in gaps where two buildings have tilted apart with yet another building. These people never cease to amaze with their prowess in cramming more people into this country and making do with what they're given. I remember wondering how, exactly, anything of that magnitude gets done with the language they speak. Written, Nederlands is really not much farther away from high German than the Styrian/Graz dialect I deal with daily here (Gebau becomes Gebouw, Straße becomes Straat, etc). Spoken, however, it might be the most beautiful and bizarre language I have ever heard, like phrases spoken in sing-song English and then played backwards. I think it might go onto my list of languages I want to pick up a few choice phrases in; my friend studying there assures me that it's a fun one to swear in.
(PS - any of you German-speaking folks out there know some good ways to dog-cuss somebody? Because I've got some noisy fuckers who linger right outside my window all the time blaring their music, but I don't think "dummer Schwein" goes far enough . . .)
So I don't really much care for the idea of seeking out help in these matters, I've always considered it a private affair, the solutions of which one should seek out alone or with those involved. I just don't know what to do. I'm abroad (Graz, Austria), my closest friends are almost entirely on a different continent.
So I've been dating this girl for a year and a half, and she's really something else. She's incredibly sweet, she has the biggest heart of anybody I know, she's beautiful, she has a great sense of humor, and we just sort of fit (not just emotionally but physically). About seven months ago, she told me that she had cheated on me twice some time prior. She had a good friend who I knew was really in to her, and there had been an on-again/off-again relationship between the two. When I asked her if it was him, she said that it wasn't. She told me that it was purely a physical thing, and that she still loved me. We broke up a little while back, because we were coming to the same university here in Graz (we had both intended to before we began dating), and we thought it would be better for our social circumstances to not be together here, for fear of using each other as crutches and not meeting folks. However, it didn't take long for us both to realize that we have very strong feelings for each other and got back together.
In the time when we weren't dating, she spent a lot of time with her friend from before, and she has explicitly told me that they were together over the summer. I think it's safe to say that she loves him in some way, and that she loves me too. And as safely as I can say such a thing, being only twenty, I feel that I love her a great deal as well. But she's been more distant since we got back together, and I know she's thinking about him alot. I feel like I have been very understanding and very patient, but last night she told me that it was the same guy she cheated on me with. He's in the States and I'm here, and I'm afraid that she's with me more because of geographical circumstances than emotional ones, and it's been bugging me a lot that she might love him too. I always told myself I would be as reasonable as possible in these situations, to keep a level head, but I really care about her and it hurts me to know that on at least some level she misses being with him. It seems silly to say, but we used to have sex with quite some frequency (the best I've ever had, in fact) and now it's like she doesn't really care, and the paranoid, spiteful side of my mind keeps telling me it's because she loves him more.
I don't know what to do, I really don't know how to feel. She tells me she's in love with me, and I believe her. I love her incredibly, but how can I know she'll be faithful to me when she just told me she's only had one boyfriend she hasn't cheated on? I love to be around her, but now I don't know; it's like whenever I'm with her, I keep thinking about Ben and I wonder if she's thinking about him, missing him. I didn't want to post this in the Love section because I recall all the times that I just breezed through those posts begging for guidance thinking "better you than me," or just brushed them off as people seeking help in the wrong place. Maybe I'm hoping that nobody really notices this, I don't know. I don't really want to leave her, but I'm worried about thay being the only reason why I'll stay - fear of being alone. I don't want to become some whipping boy who takes everything she'll do, but I don't necessarily think that's what will happen (that is, I don't think she's quite the type to go on leading me around).
I haven't been sober in a week.
Even now, I'm sitting at my desk with a glass of whisky, but not trying to get drunk. I'm trying to go back to enjoying liquor, not cut myself, because I know that if I try to restrict myself and make it alluring and far away, I'll start drinking even more heavily. But I haven't been sober in a long time, it seems like. Maybe more than a week with all the pot, ambien, and liquor. On Thursday, I drank half a handle of vodka in one sitting.
2006 has not gone well so far, and I pray to God that it gets better soon. A couple of my friends, who were really really close, are no longer that way because the guy fell in love with the girl, but because she can't date him (she feels he is too close a friend), he's cutting himself off from her. The same night he told her, after holding it in for so long, that he loves her, she came to me. We talked, and got really close, in a mutual drunken stupor. That night, I had sex with somebody for the first time where I wasn't dating them, where I wasn't committed to them wholly, emotionally. We both feel that there might be more here, but I think we're both afraid of going into a relationship, especially right now. I don't feel that I am emotionally stable enough for one, and I still have some hang-ups from previous relationships that I haven't dealt with appropriately. She feels the timing alone is pretty dangerous, with our friend feeling the way he does about her, and because we've been friends for six months now and doesn't want to lose another close friend right now.
Two of my friends who were dating last semester now essentially fear seeing each other at gatherings. My roommate hasn't been here all semester because he overdosed on morphine and xanax over the break, and was put into rehab in california as soon as he was out of the ICU. I've had to take one friend to Family Planning to get emergency contraceptive, and was afraid I'd have to take another in the same month. There have been a few incidents this month where I started cutting myself again, not as a cry for attention or because I'm suicidal, but as an act of atonement for the things I've done. I'm still not sure how to feel about the action, because some people seem to think either that I'm doing it because I want to die/want somebody to save me (I don't), and some who think it's unhealthy to do this to myself simply because I'm very pissed at myself for the things I've done (which I am).
So I've been drinking. I've been trying to escape my responsibilities; not just in that social circle, but in the classroom (when I'm even in there) and with friends that aren't even involved. I have showed up to two play practices, where I am supposed to be the responsible one as stage manager and keep the actors focused and make sure everything is taken care of, stone cold drunk. It's not even that I haven't been able to get the job done, it's the fact that I'm turning my back on the things I care most about, like I'm losing my grip on them all and falling back into my hermetic apathy. There have been times where I eat one meal every other day, and I must have lost somewhere around 15 pounds in the last month (my belt that I've had for about four years now doesn't even fit anymore). I'm praying that after the dust settles from this things start looking up, because I don't know if I can handle seeing so many people I hold dear getting hurt like this, and I don't think I can put up with myself the way I've been going.
It's thanksgiving break, I've had a couple of days to sit down, be with myself, and think. I came home to Memphis on Tuesday and saw some friends, then left for Louisiana with my family on wednesday for thanksgiving at my grandfather's house. Everything since Tuesday night has been downhill.
A long time ago, I wrote an entry called "because the truth could break us both," about a girl I dated for more than a year. Not too long after I wrote that, we got back together for a brief period of time before going off to college. I've spent a lot of time, I guess, subconsciously Pavlov-ing myself into thinking that I don't feel the same about her anymore, possibly a defence mechanism against the fact that we're living six hours away from each other and will be leading very crazy lives the next four years. I saw her on Tuesday, with the new guy. He came with her for a day from college before going back to who knows where. About a week prior to this I had found a few pictures of her that I forgot I had taken with me, and just seeing her face hurt more than I could have imagined. I had planned to talk to her when I got back, but this threw a wrench in the whole deal.
So here I sit, some 400 miles from what used to be home and another 130 or so from what's my new home. I go back to Memphis tomorrow, Conway on Sunday. But at some point, I'm going to see her, and I don't know what I'm going to do or say. It took me months to realise that I really do love her, and not in some hokey high school way. She understood me, she stood by me, she put *up* with me, with my on-again, off-again depression, my borderline agoraphobic hermit-like behaviour, everything. And now she has somebody else. I know I should let it die, let her move on and be with somebody else, somebody who can offer her stability, but this is the girl that would get pissed off when I didn't tell her about how I was feeling. That's another reason why I love her, too; she'd call me on my bullshit and forced me to communicate when I would have just pushed it all down until everything I wouldn't say just bursts out uncontrollably.
There are times where I'd just as soon not be living. . .
Every morning I wake up, it's the same. Even with the rotating schedule, the hustle and flow of college, it's the same. The alarm goes off, I slam the snooze button. I'm tired of getting out of bed. It's like every day I go through is another day wasted. I want to do relief work, to volunteer and help people who aren't living the life of undeserved comfort I've known since birth. It's a sad statement, but even that desire has done nothing for the fact that, as of late, I've just gotten tired of living. I'm not suicidal, I'm just sick of doing nothing important, day in, day out. I've found myself drinking more, and smoking a lot more pot, just so that I don't feel so shitty about the fact that I'm living a contradiction to what I believe. I don't think college really matters for me because what I want to do is go out to places like Pakistan or the Mississippi delta when something bad happens so that I can help people in genuine need. I'm staying here because my friends and family want me to, but it's maddening trying to crawl out of bed, waking up to the filth-encrusted pigsty my (our) dorm has become. My roommate is a depressed alcoholic who is an on-again off-again meth addict who lives at a sub-human level for the greater part of any given day. I'm tired. I'm bored. I'm depressed. I need a way out of this before I go insane or, even worse, lose the drive and desire to do what I want. I don't want my own selfish nature to draw me away from what I know in my heart is the one thing I can and should do.
Healing came slow, and she was there every step of the way. I hate that, though. Was. After more than a year of dating a girl who I gave all of myself to, it's over.
Thinking about it is like a knife in the chest.
There's nothing left here but the darkness, the weak, deep-chested sobbing, the merciless onslaught of memory.
"Of course I understand." (Why? Why here, why now?)
"I'm ok with this. I guess it just makes sense." (A lie. Bold-faced, unabashed lie, not just for her. So I can keep my composure for the 38 seconds it takes to start my car and drive out of sight. A lie to keep it together, because the truth could break us both.)
This post was edited by Magnifico on Jul 25, 2005.