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Stoppage time

Tuesday 2/22/22

Sunday marked 2058 days, or 294 weeks, without a drink. Yesterday was the closest I've come to drinking in 5.5 years. Things are bad. They only get worse. I have no one, I have everything against me, and even the people were are nominally on my side treat me differently than they would anyone else. The recent entry on here from Sunday detailed what is an ever-living nightmare, and a theme that blankets my existence. It's doing a number on me. It has done for a long time.


If I drink, I don't think I'll survive this time. I'll give in and I'll die. I've been obliterated in all of these other areas, lost so many different kinds of ways to function. The brushing of teeth is an ordeal. I pass out from stress and torment, I vomit daily, I cry, I beg the universe to stop whatever is happening here. I have these areas where I fight, and it's like there is a solar system on top of me, this huge edifice of a solar system. And that solar system that is just over my head, with me in this crawl space, is kept from collapsing by three or four pieces of wood that I've wedged between ground and ceiling. My ability is one of those pieces of wood--the biggest. Everything else has come down. If just one more of those pieces of wood go, that will be it.


There is no one who will help me or even respond to a text if I share this with them, save one person. The others think I'm invincible, and I'll just always find a way. They take me for granted. There is no love in my view, because love is concern. There isn't that. About a week ago I sent the most desperate, heartbreaking text, saying just how bad things were, how much I was struggling to keep going, to the person that I think most people would say is the person who ought to care the most about you in life, or close to it. They didn't even respond. That's how it usually is. They wouldn't have thought twice about it. Wasn't done out of animus, cruelty. That's just how it is when it comes to me. And it's that way with just about everyone. I texted a couple people over the weekend asking them to do something very simple for me,l which could be done in two minutes. I don't ask a lot. I space it out. I had asked quite a while ago. Ignored. Not even a response. I'm already dealing with an industry that wants me dead, because of what I am and what I do and the level I do it at--all of it at. But my family and friends, or whatever the terms are, all but drive a stake through my heart. And the better I've become, the more of a model for everything that I've become, the better a person, the better an artist, the better a force of nature, a model of strength, the worse it has become with them. The worse it has become with everyone. With everything


Can you imagine what it's like to pray to God or the fates or something you can't put name to and beg not to get any better, because that makes everything worse? Makes people dislike you more, turn their back on you more, continue on in treating you as they'd treat no one else? Certainly not even people they dislike. Or people who are bad people. But even if the wish was granted, I still have come as far as I've come, and I still am what I've become. I can't undo that. I can't undo myself.


I have one person I can count on at all. And we had a very unpleasant conversation the other day. Something else had gone wrong that I can't afford to have go wrong, and even now I still haven't checked in on it again, because I've shut down just above save for creating and the stairs. I was outside not far from the stairs, and I asked them to level with me. Because they'd tell me the truth. I asked this person if he'd be surprised if he got a phone call like in a week from my sister saying I was dead. That's where I am at. I know that. Everything has a breaking point. The sun has a breaking point. The universe. The people I know think of me like the sun. This force they take for granted, only they also begrudge me on a level that I don't think they consciously articulate to themselves.


But I live this. I know this. And my friend said he would be surprised, which was like a punch to me. That sounds strange. Like a punch to me because everything has a breaking point, and how long can I be expected to endure what I endure? With it only getting worse. As I get better. He said he'd be heartbroken. But he expects me to win. He expects and believes in the deepest part of his being that I will change this world like no one ever has. That I will find a way to keep going until I do. I just sat down on the ground by the Holocaust memorial after I hung up and cried. I just sat there and cried. We've talked about the sun and the universe and breaking points. I talked about stoppage time. How you come to the end of the soccer match, and the game is over but it's not over. They're going to play on for a bit, but not for long, in this game after the game that is still the game. It's stoppage time. I feel like I'm in the stoppage time of my own life, and how much longer can it go on? There have been 110 billion people who have ever lived. And there isn't a single one of them to touch me as an artist. I know this. I would have once thought that would be the hard thing, to have that be true, not not being hated and feared and all of these other things, and shunned, and cast aside, and discriminated against, and not understood even as a concept of a person, because it was true. But that was the easy part.


I forced myself yesterday to go the Brattle. They say that they're having a Bugs Bunny film festival, and in the bimonthly program they list the characters one will see at this program, which runs for a week and a half or something, with each showing being eighty minutes in length. I went on Saturday, and then again yesterday, but when it started, I realized it was the same program. So the info was wrong. They just show the same thing--the same seven or eight shorts--over and over again, which isn't really a festival, is it? Nor are all of the characters the program mentioned featured. So that was just wrong, too. I just left and went back to the cafe I'd already been in like four times yesterday to read Michelle Paver's The Dark Matter: A Ghost Story, a novel from 2010 which I think is pretty good.


On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I ran 5000 stairs each day. I started an op-ed about Nosferatu for its 100 anniversary, and one for St. Patrick's Day about my drinking. The other morning I wrote a 4000 word story and also worked on two essays and ran 5000 stairs that day, and it was all the morning. I stupidly put that up on Twitter. People hate that. The essay subjects were about these two completely different things--and I also mentioned that someone else had assigned a feature about another completely different thing--and I didn't even go into the stairs, but you know what? No one wants that. People hate someone who can do that in a year, which isn't even possible for someone else in a lifetime if we're being realistic about this, because it's all so different, and who can be an expert on all of those things? The 4000 word story in one morning was bad enough.


As for the 4000 story: I am changing what a work of fiction can be, what story can be. I'm creating new forms of narrative constantly now. I'm changing what story itself is. I need to go back into that one, and see where it's at. I'll describe what it is in these pages later. Over the weekend I wrote another story, too, and started one more.


***


It's about twenty past ten now. I worked on the 4000 word story some more. It's now 5800 words. That was filling in a few things. It's called "The Parable of the Woodpecker."


I'm going to run some stairs.