Alcohol is a drug that’s arguably gateway,
but at least the government lets us abuse it.
Love is a drug I’ve tried once or twice,
but I’m building a tolerance and it’s not worth the hangover.
Marijuana is a drug that makes me look like my mother
when I stare into the mirror for far too long.
Fear is a drug that makes every single move you make
look like you’re reaching for the door.
“Dopamine is a hell of a drug,”
said an inexperienced mouth
with no brain attached, but
Ignorance is a drug that induces bliss in the abuser.
Heroin is a greedy drug that steals
fathers from their children, and
Money is a drug that drives people apart –
in its presence and absence alike.
And if you asked me, I’d say we blame people
a little too much for substance abuse.
Because it’s everywhere.
It’s how we cope.
It’s here to stay.
You said I was the first person you could talk to in a long time
You said talking to me was like therapy
You said I was your best friend
You said this was the best relationship of your life
You said you stopped wanting to share your secrets with me
You said I don’t help you when you need it
You said you weren’t sure if there was a future for us
You said it was over
I’ve had the same conversation with a couple of people – and maybe I brought it up each time, but maybe they all did independently (and that case is far more interesting). It’s something along the lines of: what if I wasn’t actually real, and you’re just going through life with a sort of, imaginary friend. I think it’s a conversation that only happens when you’ve become so close with someone, and you believe so strongly that they understand you, that you almost can’t believe that they’re real, because there has been so much misunderstanding in the past with so many people. This person who finally does understand you, they must be some creation of your mind – some inner part of you.
The thought (that you imagined them) it doesn’t go away when they do – it gets stronger. If someone who understood you so well, and who you in turn understood, decides to up and leave, then they must never have really been there to begin with. They must have been part of your fiction, and the bond you had must have been fabricated. Because a bond that strong couldn’t have broken with such a quick snap – unraveled and frayed as if there was no cosmic force holding it together.
But maybe that is exactly what happens. You push and pull and add more weight. Testing the tensile strength. Giving more and more of yourself to another person. Letting them in. Showing them you. It weighs on them. It strains the relationship – eventually, it does become too much. The fabric of the bond changes, and it does snap. And it is that very understanding – the understanding you jokingly swore you had to have made up to be true – that causes it to snap. No one person can take on someone else’s baggage completely.
I want to preface this by saying that I am an optimist, and as long as your definition of optimism isn’t divorced from logic, you may agree with that assertion. I also feel obligated to tell you that you are dealing with an unreliable narrator, and that it is quite likely that you would get very different stories if you asked anyone mentioned hereafter to share their side of the story. But don’t go doing that. Don’t bother trying to fill in blanks and put pieces together. You’ll never be able to get a full picture from second-hand accounts anyways (objectivism is dead), so you might as well just take my word for it.
What follows floats somewhere between memoir and fiction, and at this point, even I am wondering which stories I’ve recalled, and which I’ve created. But what even is the difference, and what does it matter to you? Point of view is a powerful thing, and I plan on using it to the fullest extent of my abilities.