Two Kids From Tumblr
Two years ago, I was almost completely wasted away. A scrawny 130 pound kid with a penchant for booze, pills, and an insatiable appetite for self-destruction. In my own mind, it was my one true skill. When left unchecked, I put my own body through the whole gambit. How many drugs can I do? How many different combination of pills can I take? What will four Adderall and a couple Xanax feel like when mixed with half a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey?
I was pretty good at hiding it, for the most part. I’d lock my bedroom door after a long day of band practice, trying so god damn hard to maintain interest for the sake of my friendships. My computer setup consisted of two broken coffee tables, surrounded by pop cans and cigarette butts, and they both were stuffed to the brim with various narcotics. I had discovered very quickly that it was incredibly easy to fake various illnesses and get prescriptions that I did not need.
This was a rabbit hole unrivaled by anything else I’ve ever experienced. The sun would go down and I’d start the process of intense intoxication. I wasn’t seeking a high as much as I was seeking total oblivion. Take me out of me. Get me out of myself. I pushed the limit too many times and woke up covered in piss, vomit, and frothing lips more often than I’d like to admit.
Then she came into my life.
I’d only known her from Tumblr, and only as the hot girl that would occasionally leave snarky, condescending comments on various posts I’d make. She lived in Michigan, which might as well have been Jupiter to me, so I never even thought to talk to her. After all, I I knew that I had this tendency to fall head over heels with intangible concepts, and I knew right away that she could pull me into something terrible if she really wanted to. Plus, hot as she was, I kind of thought she was a fucking jerk. Whenever she’d leave a comment, I’d roll my eyes and think to myself, "God dammit. I fucking hate this girl so much." For some reason, though, I never blocked her. You can call it fate or chalk it up to coincidence, but I never did it (and I have a real solid no-bullshit policy, so it’s always been an odd reality for me).
I was in the process of a fundraiser for the band I was in, a live webcam show where we’d solicit donations and get overly excited when somebody would choose to help us. For some reason, one that I’ve never quite understood myself, she showed up there and introduced herself. Eventually, she would donate $50.00 to the cause and I would end the night with her Skype information.
Everything happened really fast from there. We discussed the possibility of meeting up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and at first purely for artistic purposes. She was a model and I was a photographer — it made sense. Sure! Get me the fuck out of this bedroom for a week or two.
Things started to get intense one night when I put her on the spot and asked if she was developing feelings for me. I have always had a good sense about that, noticing when somebody starts to look at me differently, and I felt like she was definitely doing that. When she admitted that she was attracted to me, the idea of going to Michigan became my mission. It was going to happen one way or the other and I wasn’t going to fuck this up.
That version of me had experienced nothing but failure up until that point. Some of it wasn’t my fault, and a lot of it was, but I felt like I could at least learn from them somehow. I felt compelled to hit the ground running, and I always felt so guilty talking to her while getting progressively fucked up through the nights.
Two days before I was supposed to board the train, I threw my pills away. All of them, just like that. I was going to be sober for my entire trip because I knew that I had to be. There was no other choice to me, it was either that or fuck up my chance at a solid relationship before it even had a chance.
I silently dealt with my sudden withdrawal symptoms, and they grew in severity with every day. Inside, I was a nervous wreck, a hodgepodge of different personalities that I hoped would outplay the fact that I was grinding my teeth so heavily that my gums would routinely bleed.
And yet, that entire first week was magical. We shot photos every single day and waxed philosophy at night. She’d passionately kiss me and we’d lay on a halfway broken futon for hours at a time. It was the first time in what seemed an eternity that I felt completely at peace.
When I returned to Iowa, I missed her infinitely more than I missed the drugs, and I just knew that I had to be with her. My eventual exit would tear a hole in, essentially, every friendship I’d built up until that point, but none of that seemed to matter as much to me anymore. I had complete tunnel vision. I was hopelessly in love. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. That futon was the closest I’d come to paradise. This was going to be my future. I knew it.
Two years later and the passion has not left me for a moment. There are times where I reflect at the person I was before we’d met, and it’s actually kind of terrifying. If it wasn’t for that initial conversation, that first night when we Skyped until the sun peaked just above the horizon, then where would I be today? How much worse could it have possibly gotten?
I get to wake up next to this girl every single day. Who needs oblivion when you get that?