Detox

by Sje

I think I’ve been so upset since that year because, honestly – and I’m being honest here – I’m a disappointment. If only you knew maybe it wouldn’t feel so dark and heavy. My personality is a fetish I must hide from you.

Be mindful of your habits…be mindful your habits do not become your character… Do you remember when I went away to volunteer for that year? It was October. It wasn’t too cold. I went away to help people and do things that made me sound like a very good person when I told you about them. Do you remember? The Mexicans in Texas whose houses washed away, and I rebuilt them? The people with broken bodies and pieces of brains whose hands I touched and made feel important? Anyway, I didn’t tell you because I knew you’d be mad, but I woke up in a detox clinic soon after you dropped me off because I drank too much. I lost my jacket and my wallet and my phone. They wouldn’t let me out for 24 hours. 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. They wrapped me in a paper gown and led me into the cafeteria to eat penne pasta and peas. People traded cookies for desert. I threw up in a trashcan. The prostitute told me it would be OK.

The volunteer organization sent people to look for me the next morning when I didn’t come back. I got a taxi from the clinic to the campus. I walked over the hill leading to the entrance and a girl I knew, I guess we were friends, ran up to me. “Sophie!” I felt like Shadow in Homeward Bound. I felt sick and tired, too physically shitty to let the mental shit in. I wanted to get dollar-scoop Chinese food across the street.

They made me see the therapist. I impressed her with my “self-awareness.” I knew it all. I drink too much. I smoke too much. Like a Chronic-era rap song. I don’t stop. They didn’t like me too much after that. I made a video for my team after our first project – the one with the washed-away Mexican homes and starving dogs. The dogs seemed sadder than the children, fat on Cheetos and ice cream, they had something, right? But the dogs. We stopped noticing the dead ones on the street.

Anyway, I made this video – It was great. I videotaped everything and put it all to music. I made the sad moments happy, and the happy moments last. They wouldn’t play it at the meeting where all of the volunteers came together at the end. They played another girl’s though. She didn’t take video. Just happy photos gliding past to happy music like a lie.

From then on, I haven’t felt right. Inside, I’m all soft, pink patches, blackened. I don’t deserve goodness. What Being showers someone with opportunities, someone who doesn’t take any of them, who throws them away? I take and I take and I expect more even when I don’t know if there is any, if there could be any, that anybody in their right mind would say, More! More more more more more more more! I will die writhing without more. Never enough enough enough enough enough. All I want is enough. Enough is enough. I love you. It’s not enough. I can’t love enough. I can’t be loved enough. Did you know that? Of course you didn’t. Because I didn’t tell you. I don’t tell anyone I am a disappointment. Because I want to believe it least of all. I don’t want it to be true more than you. Do you understand? I am the only person who can help me, but I can’t, so don’t, more, more, enough, enough, enough, if you tell me it isn’t true, I’ll believe you, but we haven’t spoken in a while.