Sunday, May 17, 2009
OH MY GOD! Has it really been 20 days since I've last typed in this screen? Is anyone still reading it? Are you shivering with an tis a (SAY IT) pation? Well I'll remove the cause, but not, the syptom!
Yes my mind is a tangled mess of musicals and lyrics I can't help but at least I'm here. Sorry It's been so long I can't tell you all how UBER busy I've been with school and other commitments I have but I'm here now! Plus My Monitor died and I had to replace it so my keyboard was rather useless for a week.
Ok where were we? Fall of '97 now I'm working at an icecream store I have my first car and of course I've rekindled things with Doink. I realize now he was my Autumn version of S.A.D. You know seasonal Affects Disorder. Well to follow suit Doink stood me up again after a date or two and that was the end of it. At this point I just expected it. It didn't matter anymore I found a new love. My 1989 Ford Probe LX was the best companion an 18 year old boy could have. We (Sharon Dianna and myself) christened her K.I.T.T.Y. she was black had a red sports trim gray interior with hide away headlights a digital dashboard and some advance computer system in the dash for trips and weather and various other forms of data collection and communication. I loved her.
I still was heartbroken but now my lonely aching heart could drive around all of NYC & Westchester County in the middle of night listening to what ever music I wanted as loud as I wanted! I would drive up the Hutch late at night going north and watch the city melt away. It was so exciting these little adventures, KITTY would say we were traveling NNW and that at my current speed I had 310 miles before I'd have to refuel and I'd test her. The urban sprawl would would reduce to suburban sprawl and then it would just be the road me and trees and trees and trees. Oh then they're be a sign! I'd be dangerous and keep going. Then I'd see a piece of road kill or a dear and I'd turn around at the next exit. That was enough country for me!
Now like any good New Yorker I love leaving the city, but there is nothing I love more then coming back. If you've never been to NYC or never had the opportunity to see the city skyline from a distance at night you are truly missing the 8th wonder of the world. I think the architects and city planners felt that we should challenge the night sky and so Manhattan was chosen to be the battle ground. We build building after building some the most beautiful in the world and we clad them in glass and incase them with light and from a distance it looks like yellow white and blue jewels scattered around almost like a tennis bracelet just relaxing above the horizon. And all the really tall building that make the city up are crowned with a bright red ruby to say ha! top that monochrome sky.
Ok back to Anthony. Well returning to NYC wasn't always a relaxing occasion. At this point In my life I'm 18 a full time student and I work 60 hours a week to cover my bills and take care of my grandmother. So enter my first and foremost addiction. My name is Tommy and I'm a Workaholic. The peace I got from those drives really kept me sane for some time. Inside I was still heartbroken and distracted. My family life became very unmanageable and I started having panic attacks and other nervous disorders were forming. I was smoking at least a pack of Marlboro Reds a day and never had time for anything.
I could tell you about the countless straws that broke the camels back and I will but never the less I dropped out of school and moved to Lehigh Acres Florida to live with my dad and his wife Toni. I love Toni she has the soul of an angel and a face to match. Her eyes are so bright and her smile is contagious. My dad is a drunk. I moved to Florida to get away from all the stress I was going through but I didn't understand what I was getting myself into and after six months of Florida I move back to NYC. I had a good rest but a bad taste in my mouth especially after Toni caught my dad smoking crack! (We'll get there I swear) So It's been 9 months since I've had a nervous breakdown, dated some kid named Romeo, moved to Florida, found out my dad is a crackhead alcoholic, move back to NYC, and oh since I've seen Doink.
So its summer in NYC a nice summer too I might add 85 and humid you just wear shorts and feel sticky I love it. I love Florida for that too. I just jumped into my car on Williamsbridge Rd and Astor Ave. after getting something in some store for Nana. And I see him cross the street from my rear view mirror. Bless Kitty's revving heart for always putting me where I need to be. I hang a Uee. (thats bronx for a U-turn also known as flip a bitch)
"Need a ride?" I yell out the power window as it reaches halfway down.
"Oh shit" as he approaches the car. "I'll be right out getting my mom something from the store"
I put kitty in park and wait wishing I could idle as well as her. Shockingly I as I think this I hear the engine rev a little. What do I say to Doink? I'm happy to see him I'm a little more grown up now at least. He approaches the car.
"I just need to go down to my grandmothers and give her this" he raises the yellow plastic bag with a smiley face in his right hand.
"Hop in" I hit the unlock button "Are you sure? its not a far?"
"It's hot and by car its faster and we can catch up" I say and my reason is unarguable, sounding as grownup as I felt.
He reaches over and give me a hug hello and his tan cheek brushes mine (not to mention he's about 15 pounds heavier) and it feels cool and I'm instantly recalling the last time I saw him was in my car and us kissing and that ecstasy feeling in my stomach and I just want him to tell me that he missed me and that he loves me and that we should run away and that I've always been the one that he wanted and and and and and...
"Long time no see!" he says as he draws back to his seat.
"Yeah it has!" not sure what else to actually say to Doink. So I start driving north on Williamsbridge and make a left on Waring Ave. acting like I know the way back which I recall.
"Yeah it must have been a month or two since I've seen you" Anthony says as we start passing the projects on the right.
I slam on the brakes and Kitty screeches to a HALT. "WHAT!" I pull in to the curb to let traffic pass. "Anthony I haven't seen you in" counting on my right hand the left white knuckling my steering wheel wishing it was his throat "nine months" I take a deep breath how can this person that I care so much about not know I've been gone long enough to have a baby! "I just moved back from Florida I was there for the past 6 months" I spit.
"Yeah I thought that was you but I saw Florida plates" acting as if nothing was wrong he replies. And I unlock the door. "Get out of my car!" I growl through gritted teeth. I can't turn my head to look at him. I feel the impact of the door shut and look at my dashboard to make sure it's closed properly. Doink stands between the 2 parked cars and leans down to see me and begins to say something but I had already put the car in gear and made my little 2.2 liter 4 cylinder engine peel out as I really flip a bitch.
I almost made it to Pelham Parkway on Williamsbrige Rd when I break down crying in the car. I'm sure I must have been played Fiona Apple's "Shadow Boxer" or something as piercing. That summer I drove away and I left Anthony on that sidewalk and hoped to leave him in my past. I had no idea how messy my life would get.
So here's where things start to get gritty. A few boyfriends later and a few more non-drug induced geographics later I find myself again living in south west Florida but now I'm 22. And I can tell you that 22 was the worst year and the most fun of my life.
Ok I'm 22 I have a 31 inch waist and a perfect tan I live in Ft. Myers Florida I have a big bunch of friends (Hi Patrick hi Forest hi Ft Myers) I'm out partying every night I discover Coke Extacy Acid Shrooms special K. and Tequila. What could be wrong? Well 9/11 happens and my step father perishes (he's a firefighter) Then that January my Nana dies terminal brain & lung cancer. Her illness honestly triggered my addictive behavior well more the side effects of her cancer. I say that cause I never wanted to get out of myself until Jan of '01 when the tumor in her head made it difficult for her to remember who I was by voice. (Not getting into that right now its way too painful) I had started to notice that my drinking and drugging was getting a little crazy before Nana died and so I decided to slow down after she died.
I returned to Ft Myers and my job at Applebee's and I was very depressed. Not to mention it was a week before Valentine's Day. I'm closing up my section putting chairs back after vacuuming under the class extended enclosure when I look up and who do I see sitting across the bar in the smoking section? One thousand four hundred and twenty one miles away from the sidewalk in Waring Avenue sits Anthony. My jaw lands somewhere on top of the vacuum cord I was raveling up. I run into the kitchen cause I knew everyone else in the place had drugs but me that night. In fact I planned to just go home and go to bed and take a Saturday night off from dancing on the bar at TBL. None of my girlfriends with coke were there. I walk over to peek at Doink. HE'S WITH A GIRL! I tell my apple buddy that was my first love. She lets me know he's on a date.
I walk up to the table. What the fuck do you say after three and a half years? "Hi you're one of the few people I love left alive please call me?" I don't say that. I re-introduce myself to Anthony like I've been renovated and proud of my paint job. I tell him "I'd love to talk and catch up!" so I give him my number on a napkin. He introduces me to his fiance. I didn't care about her. I just wanted tell him about everything that had happened in the six months but most importantly that Nana had died. I was really hoping we could just be friends. "Hi nice to meet you" I say to the girl sitting across from him. It turns out Doink now lives in Ft. Myers and works at the furniture store across the street from Applebee's. I walk away from that table feeling feeling so excited that an old friend from the Bronx is so close.
Anthony left my number balled up in that napkin on the table and like every other time before it got thrown out. I Flip out and hold back tears of anger. Tears of rage. I go home. I got home and managed to call every drug dealer I had and so it began. I would like to tell everyone reading this that five hits of extacy melt away a broken heart but they don't. And I had good E in Florida never ever had E as good as what I found in Florida and that night was no different. I chewed the first 2. I snorted 2 more and then a swallowed one more for good measure. I brought my problems to the dance floor. I brought my problems back home. 6am I'm still crying. I call Dianna. She's still awake back in NYC. She never goes to bed and she's not on drugs. "You will never guess who was in my restaurant tonight" I tell her as I squat down on the floor cause the E was still making me roll. "No fucking way!" Dianna and I have some weird psychic connection. "What the fuck is he doing down there? Is he on vacation?" "No" sweat rolls down my face and tears from my eyes spill on my lap. "he works across the street from me at some furniture store"
"Get the fuck out of here!" She can tell I'm fucked up and that I'm crying. "Listen I gotta go to bed call me tomorrow. I love you. That little bastard." tomorrow means as soon as I'm sober and for her it means later that evening. I hang up the phone. I love that Dianna loves me and hates Doink.
So that's it. That was the last time I saw Anthony on a balmy Saturday night in an Applebee's in Ft. Myers Florida February of 2002. And here I am 7 years later writing about it. Well at least now you guys all know why I'm an addict named Tommy. But this is just the beginning of my drug career. I've got tons crap to fill you guys in on. But I hope every time you think of Applebee's you think of me and my broken little heart balled up in dinner napkin that got dumped in the trash.