i was looking over the list of prompts that alexis sent me, and honestly, none of them were inspiring anything today. but i think as long as i write a post a day, i’m fine. and i think i’m back in a groove right now, so that’s good. for whatever reason, i was looking over some of the ideas and i guess i got to thinking about loves gone by, and i thought i’d write about my first love. for all the work i’ve done around 12-step recovery, i’ve never been under the delusion that drugs and alcohol are my first addiction. i know that love and relationships have always been my first achilles’ heel. in fact, i’m pretty convinced that once i found drugs and alcohol, i found an elixir that took me away from some of the pain of love lost.
i definitely was not a fan of alcohol — i knew instinctively that my father drank too much, although in high school i couldn’t and wouldn’t have said that he was an alcoholic. i subconsciously knew that our family was whipped up into a cloud of dysfunction, but consciously, i thought we lived a pretty “normal” life. no one was getting beaten, food was on the table, and i had enough weird-ass neighbors to compare myself to to really think anything was too effed up.
i also was a really good student and wanted to do everything by the book. i actually bought into nancy reagan’s “just say no” shit, and was pretty convinced if i drank or did drugs, 1. bad things would happen or 2. i’d get caught and *really* bad things would happen. so, i didn’t drink or drug during high school and proceeded to head off to a very small liberal arts college where a lot of people were pretty christian-y — or at least those were the kind of goody-two shoes people i found and gravitated toward. or even the ones who weren’t all up in the god business certainly weren’t partying ass.
when i first became friends with KC, he was mooning over another girl, mickey. him and all of our guy friends, it seemed. there wasn’t anything wrong with her, but i just didn’t get the allure. i couldn’t figure out what sort of special spell this girl was weaving that had all these guys mesmerized by her. it was completely confusing, to say the least. but in perfect smussyolay fashion, i’d sit and listen to him lament about this or that. and to be perfectly honest, i don’t remember much of it. that’s where my memory blackouts leave me in the dust. sometimes, i wonder if i got hypnotized, if i could come to remember most of the rest of my life. seriously.
cause i can’t even remember how we got together. first kiss or any of that. i mean, at some point, it must have gone that way. i *do* know that i developed a crush on him long before he was contemplating me as some sort of romantic prospect. but eventually, something must have gone that route. again, i couldn’t tell you how that went. seriously. that’s weird, right? i can’t remember our first kiss, i can’t remember any of that. anyone got a hypnotist willing to do some pro-bono work?
this was the beginning of 1992, and i turned 18 in march. in april of that year, i was more than willing to get to losing my virginity. the timeline was all propelled by me; there was no pressure from his end and i think all things considered (doing it in a college dorm room when your roommate’s away for the weekend), it went pretty well. but if any of my nascent codependent tendencies were slowly working their way to the surface, they were surely fertilized by that romantic act. i was going to marry him, right? why else would we be doing this? he most definitely was THE ONE.
i don’t know when things started falling apart. probably that summer. i know i was possessive and jealous of his time and i’m sure that couldn’t have been great for anyone, much less a young college boy. i know we went through various and sundry machinations of breaking up, finally settling on something that wasn’t very satisfactory to me (read: if we weren’t going to be together, it wasn’t going to be satisfactory to me). the next year of school started and things didn’t kick into terribly high pain gear until he started dating a foreign exchange student.
let it be said that i now was going to enter into my first 1. major depression, 2. major round of stalking, 3. major acts of pure evil. i don’t know if i knew i had the capacity for such a razor tongue. i also didn’t know that i had the capacity to feel so fucking sick all the time. just devastated. nauseated. completely overwhelmed by sadness and anger and lethargy, all rotating turns like clicks on an old TV channel dial. furious. click. terrible grief. slick. want to lay down and die. click. do anything to get you back. click. want to scream and yell and tell you what a horrible person you are. click. beg you to get back together with me. click. tell you all the ways in which you’ve failed me. click. crumple and retreat and wither. click.
awful. terribly, terribly, awful. i was horrible to him. i was horrible to her. i was a nuisance to his roommate. i was spiralling out of control, head-first into a major depression. two weeks in bed? one? i don’t really know. at some point, i ended up picking up the book “codependent no more,” by melody beattie. at 19 years old. oh, if that doesn’t scream “PROBLEM,” i don’t know what does. what’s even more ironic, is when she would talk about 12-step programs and alcoholism in the book, i would roundly skip over those parts or relate them to my relationship with my father. at this point, i hadn’t even taken a drink. i was subsisting on my addiction to relationships alone.
at some point, i left that relationship behind, and eventually got into *another* codependent relationship that didn’t look a WHOLE lot different than that one. except we drank and smoked cigarettes and smoked pot together. and i wasn’t the one losing my virginity. but, in all other respects, i ended up the one at the other end doing the TV click wheel, going round and about, cycling through emotions — completely unable to control them, wondering how i was here again.
here’s where things get a little bit interesting and why i wrote this in the first place and why i still think of KC and why i think he still comes to me in my dreams. i had dropped out of college and was living in town in my own apartment. i don’t remember if he called or dropped by or what. but he asked if he could come over and see me. i told him he was more than welcome to do so. i remember him coming by and talking to me. he was broken up over his girlfriend — the same one he had started dating after me. i don’t remember the details. she was moving to san francisco. he still loved her? she didn’t love him? something to that effect? i was curious why he was asking me for advice. it seemed so strange. it seemed so out of place. why here? why now?
i’m not sure of the timeline or the chronology — but it was maybe then that he and my friend, s, and i started hanging out again a bit. there was nothing romantic there at all. we would just hang out and talk the three of us. sometimes get a meal. sometimes, just walk around the town. *okay. just confirmed with s. i guess that time was more like a “one-time get-together, rather than a really big reestablishment, I guess.” anyway, there was that brief reintroduction.
then, years later … again, my memory is so very vague … i remember these connect-the-dots things. i remember him coming to hang out with me at my job at crown books darien. maybe then he asked me about his girlfriend? maybe he told me she was moving to san francisco? and then s and i ended up at a strange get-together at our college friend’s house where KC was. he was with a new girlfriend who ended up to be his wife. as i recall, they had met at church and it seemed like from the time they met to the time they ended up married didn’t seem very long.
oh. did i mention that at the beginning of our friendship, i was still hanging on to remnants of my high school friendship with my best friend who was a pentecostal christian? i was attending fellowship of christian athletes meetings (primarily because i had crushes on several of the boys there) and sussing out what i thought about the values i was raised with, the values i had pressed upon me in high school and the values of all the students around me. i remember talking to KC about some of this at the beginning, and having him seem quite appalled at what amounted to ‘jesus talk.’ long after we had broken up, it turns out he had a change of heart, and not only checked out christianity, but really had an honest-to-goodness “come to jesus” moment. and by the time all that happened, i had jumped off that bandwagon, and off the water wagon entirely.
the funny thing about all of this is — i don’t want to get in the middle of his life. part of my dilemma is i never quite figured out why he tracked me down and then sort of slipped away again. the other thing is that i truly owe him amends for the terrible way i treated him. i trust if that is supposed to come to pass, it will and in the universe’s time. i do wonder why he comes to me in various ways in my subconscious dreams. i always wonder what would happen if we would ever run into each other; in fact, that’s often what happens in the dreams. we run into each other in some form or fashion.
regardless, i hope he’s doing well. i don’t know where i was going with this. i stopped in the middle of writing this and came back to this and i don’t even know why i started. i have no clue. there’s a random story. i hope he’s doing well. i don’t know.