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6:04 p.m. - 2021-09-08
First attempt
My first attempt, I remember ate a lot of oranges pacing, back n forth, made a few new friends; bailing themselves out of similar boats.

My attempt was a mistake, but it wasnt just the same.

I found out then, that my mom's friend had died. She told me on the communal pay phone. I felt so sad for her, losing her friend, sad for his partner losing his spouse. They adopted a cat from us, I even felt sad for the cat.

He was kind, sweet, and caring. I barely remember what he looks like to be honest. He wasn't a big man, dark hair, dark eyes, fair-ish skin (I think) and a mustache. Cant go wrong with those magnum p.i. mustaches (and sockless Miami Beach shoes).

He loved to act, mom and I saw him in South Pacific once (I only remember the washing the hair bit of the play). Prior to the play he came to say "hi" to us while we were wating.

The first thing he said was "you look so beautiful, you look like Audrey Hepburn!" (I think it was Audrey Hepburn or one of those pretty ladies) He just instantly filled my heart up!

I was wearing this funky pink with grey marbling outfit (it was the 80's dont judge) and long dangly earrings. Gaudy 80's earrings/jewelry was my jam back in the day. He said I was beautiful?!

I struggled with body image issues, and poor self esteem. I'm certain looking back he probably sensed that in me.

My body had really started to change, I gained weight, started developing etc., I was really insecure. He made me feel so special in just minutes and I didn't have to do anything in return. He was the only person who made me feel worthy beautiful as a kid.

Clearly I'm no Audrey Hepburn. I knew he was lying but I didn't care, he made me feel so darn special. He has no idea how long that stayed with me.

He had such a charming way with people that you couldn't deny his humanhood, his love, and light.

I was a kid so I didn't completely understand what he was going through. I didn't know him very well. But the few interactions I had with him made me feel like I had known him forever.

Skip ahead some years later, I'm on the psyche ward communal pay phone. I ask what the fuck did he "die from?" and she said "aids." It just made my heart sink even more. I think he kept it to himself (if memory serves). He was gay and was probably too scared to tell anyone.

Well I was just heartbroken knowing this poor man probably went through a lot of shit all the way till his last breath. Fucking tragic.

When I hung up the phone I walked to the end of the hall and stood there staring out the window, staring at nothing and everything.

I thought to myself as I was looking outside that "it should've been me, he should still be here, he wasn't a waste like me, he should still be here."

Then I thought about my mom and how sad she must've been at home while I'm locked up in the looney bin.

I pictured her sitting at the table sad about losing her friend, heartbroken her son newly diagnosed and talking to himself in his room, and me, the fuck up who couldn't handle the hardships life had dealt.

I was still numb, and powerless, pacing up and down the mostly brown hallways. All I could do was pace and eat my oranges.

Mom brought some in and I shared with my roommate we kind of bonded or those darn oranges.

There was something so refreshing and enlightening about eating fresh oranges in a dark, mostly brown, pediatric psych ward.

Later on my roommate and I remained friends. She introduced me to a guy I ended up losing my virginity to. But that's a whole other story and experience to discuss another time.

I was so grateful for my mom bringing me oranges, and a stuffed dog named Charlie (believe it or not)! I was grateful that my mom was finally there for me (briefly, but still there).

I was traumatized by my brother talking to himself, ever since that first night he starting exhibiting his symptoms.

I couldn't take it. Neither could my mom and I tried so hard to be strong for her. I tried to take care of her, she was devastated. Every night she'd come home from work balling/ sobbing, calling herself a failure etc. I didn't know what I was supposed to do so I cooked dinner. I rubbed her head because it was so tight from stress. I hugged/held her etc.

Who was there for me? My mom was so upset I didn't want to be a burden. So it just all built up till my first attempt.

Maybe I was supposed to be sacrificed so that my mom could deal with her pain and my bro. She's still pretty clueless when it comes to him. She's either in denial or she's really that "checked out." In a lot of ways I don't blame her. She's been through a lot of shit too.

I get my strength from her. Which I'm grateful for. I'm also grateful for a parent who is mostly kind and generous to the world around her. I'm grateful for her harmless naivete as it's taught me to laugh and never grow up.

I'm grateful that she raised me under shitty circumstances to still be a decent human being, or at least try to be. Even after all the humans hurting us, she raised me to be open to all humans.
My experience with my brother just solidifies this to be true. You never know what kind of hurt someone is going through, even if you think you do, you dont.



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