Yes I had one of those.
It overlooked the beach and it had a tiny garden, and I filled every room with candles and Buddhas.
It smelt of oils and incense, and I would sit out on the balcony and drink my glass of wine and I would feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
And then someone pulled the rug from under me, and soon there was no flat or tiny garden, no buddhas, or incense anymore. In fact there wasn’t much of anything by the time I gave the keys back ...I had to sell all my things or give them away as there was nowhere else for them to go...because there are no drawers in homeless world, no shelves to hold your books, or wardrobes for your things...because there will be no books, and there will be no things.
And so you take yourself, some clothes and some shoes, maybe throw in a cat for good measure, and you become a homeless, rootless, petrified version of yourself, that either people pretend not to see, or that they don’t know what to do with...
And its sink or its swim, but it’s mostly a sink, because carrying all that fear and uncertainty around starts to get heavy...and you might start to drink a lot and you mostly dont eat much and everyday you sink further down, until you actually find yourself sitting in hell.
And then the devil says “ hi” and welcome to his pad, and to make yourself at home, oh and would you like a shot to take the edge off things? After all, it’s not like you’ve got a home to go back to...
And so he passes you a bottle and you take another swig and soon you give precisely no shits what happens to you as long as that drink is in your hand.
Years go by.
And you cry and you cry and you drink and you drink, and you grieve for what you lost...and then one day you come across some photographs... ones that the devil didn’t want you to see.. .Pictures that show you what you could have been, should have been, but never will be now unless you get your shit together.
And then the penny drops.
Right before the bottle does...as you finally realise that you’re in the last chance saloon here and that you really don’t want to die this way.
And the devil wants to keep you there, with his endless supply of booze and bad thoughts and absolutely no way out of this hell-hole unless you are literally willing to crawl over hot coals while his back is turned...and you are so emaciated and broken by now that he doesn’t think you have it in you and so he gets careless one day and forgets to lock the door...
You watch him leave...then start to crawl...
Bear is dead.
Bear is dead, and in an instant, the wobbly little scaffold that was keeping me together collapses and crashes in pieces all around me.
It's a week before my birthday and the only thing left in my life that I actually give two shits about is lying dead on a table in front of me.
I literally cannot bear it. I feel my head implode.
My phone starts to ring.
I ignore it.
It rings again... this time I answer, attempting to explain through my tsunami of tears to some poor, unsuspecting, faceless person on the other end, that “No, actually, I can’t talk right now, because my world is crashing down around me and so I really do not want to buy your life insurance, or phone contract, or whatever it is that you are trying to sell to me today”...
I hang up before they get a chance to draw breath.
I'm ushered into a side room. I’d like to think that it's because the staff care enough about me and Bear to want to make sure that I'm ok...but in reality, I think that they just don't want me scaring anyone else in here with my madness.
They make me cups of tea; a box of tissues appears. The staff tell me to stay as long as I like until I'm feeling better.
I can't bring myself to tell them that as of today hell will literally freeze over before that can happen now.
I stay for what feels like an eternity. I just can't bear to leave him here, in this place that he hated. It always used to scare him... His very own Room 101. I try to tell myself that at least he doesn't have to be scared anymore...although that's little consolation. None at all, actually.
The staff are getting twitchy now. They tell me that if I'm ready, they will take it from here.
Only I’m not ready. I'll never be ready for this day. So no, I don't want them “taking it" whatever that means, and I definitely don't want them taking him.
He's my friend, my wing-man, my everything right now; a furry, one-eyed ball of glue that was the only thing keeping me together and it's incomprehensible to me that the next time I see him he will be just ashes in a box. He doesn't belong in a box...He belongs here... with me.
I wish that I could tell them that, but I can't formulate the words, and anyway, I know that I don’t actually have a say in this now. He's dead and I'm grieving. I'm not thinking rationally. The staff have got a job to do. I need to let them do that.
I finally let them take him and then I'm shown out of the side door, and within seconds I'm alone and out on the street.
I cry all the way back to the caravan park, fully aware that I must look a bit deranged. I don't actually care if I'm honest, and so if anyone asks me I will say “Yes; yes, I am deranged actually, thank you for asking”... because as of this moment it's true.
Maybe they will console me, or take me somewhere warm, possibly give me a shot of something so that in my dreams this isn't actually happening... Then my life won't be a car-crash and Bear will not be dead.
Only no-one stops to console me. Or take me somewhere warm.
There will be no shot to take my mind off things. I simply walk on in the rain instead.
I literally cannot take this. It's too much. My heart was already broken...now it lies shattered, fragmented, in pieces.
An eternity later, I get back to my van and curl up on the sofa. It's raining outside. Floods, actually. My tears make it look like a drizzle.
I don't bother to change out of my clothes, I don't have it in me to care that I'm soaked. Instead, I cry and I cry and I rage and I rage... at the ceiling, a cushion, the walls and the sky. I tell God that he can stop now. That there's nothing left to take.
I don't think that he's listening. Or maybe, I tell myself, he just doesn't care...
I look at Bears bowls in the corner on the floor. I was hoping that he would be needing them tonight.
Only today has shown me that there is no hope now. There wasn't for him and there isn't for me.
And I realise with absolute conviction and clarity, that I literally give no fucks about anything now from here-on in.
I've had it with this shit.
I want out...
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