I have to say that 2012 was not as good to me as I had hoped. I lost my job, got a not-so-great new job, had a lot of general anxiety, and to add more stress boyfriend’s car died. And then my car died on Christmas Eve, I got sick 2 days after Christmas, and I have been battling a recurrence of my still unexplained rash…thing…that I get all over my body while sleeping from time to time. It’s been a year, that’s for sure. I did get my internship, though. And, comparatively speaking, I am much less stressed out. So things are pretty good. I have a wonderful partner and a precocious rabbit. Such things to be thankful for!
I think what got me, though, was the way my year ended. I can honestly say that last night was one of the strangest nights I’ve ever experienced.
Thanks to not having a car I have the choice of either sitting at work, outside, in the dark, and after closing until my boyfriend can come get me. Or I can rely on a coworker to help me out. One such coworker said that he was having a small New Years get together after work and I should just come home with him for that and my boyfriend could give me a ride home when he got off of work.
I was iffy about this because of the age of the coworker, he’s younger than I am and I am usually less than okay with this. But, with little to no choice, I went along with it. It turns out that he lives up this crazy road way in the woods in an apartment complex that is much less desirable than it could have been. His apartment is this one room thing with a bedroom attached to the side. He did a decent job making it tolerable by painting the walls and adding accent lights and fun furniture pieces all over the place. But still, it turned out to be an odd background for an odd evening. All of the neighbors were drunk and loud. All the people at the party were drunk and loud. Playing top 40 hits into the dark room with purple Christmas lights dangling from the ceiling. Smoke filling every corner and champagne spilling on the floor. For the first little while it was alright because I knew three of the people from work and one of them is a reasonable guy. Of course he and his girlfriend left pretty quickly. After several interchangeable people came and left throughout the night, midnight struck.
I should have been gone by this time, but as luck would have it, the money was messed up at my boyfriend’s work and it would likely be another few hours before he could come get me. A cab wasn’t much of an option since I had no idea where I was and it would have been very expensive to get them out there and then out to my apartment. So, I decided to wait it out. The night got progressively more out of control until the big moment. That moment being the arrival of one “Crazy Mary” and her cohort who was yet again interchangeable and nameless to me.
Crazy Mary has stringy, blue, partially dreaded hair. She is thirty one years old, missing six teeth, pudgy, and somehow still alive. When she first started to speak I immediately thought she had a mental disability or was partially deaf. Then I realized, she was just that drunk. It was a level of intoxication unlike anything I have ever seen. Since she was this many sheets to the wind and still partially mobile I gathered that this was her life. She is this level of drunk every moment of every day. She made me very, very uncomfortable.
Crazy Mary depressed me, as well. Her life must be very sad. She clearly has no idea that her existence is flawed. That this is not happiness. That no amount of liquor can truly solve the issues that she so obviously has to deal with. It makes me sad to know that she will be dead, soon. There is no way her organs can keep up with the bottles for too much longer. And, failing that, there is no way she can avoid injuring herself very badly for much longer, either.
Crazy Mary told me that she is a star child. And that she lost her job. And that her boyfriend told her not to have sex with anyone else that night since he was too far gone to even move from the bed. Apparently she would normally go ahead and find a partner to engage with. But not tonight. She could barely walk or stand. She almost broke several things.
Then there came a time when I was deeply considering the fact that I had to leave, now, because she was probably dead and I didn’t need to be in the ghetto, with strangers, and a dying or dead alcoholic.
But, she wasn’t dead. Somehow. Apparently she had wanted to stand back up. My coworker went to pull her up and help her to her feet. She stumbled into him, managed to flip over his shoulder, and, with the loudest and most sickening CRACK I have ever heard in my life, smacked her head on the hardwood floor. I did not dare to even look at her. I was sure that she had brained herself and was bleeding everywhere. When I finally did manage to check, she was just laying there. No blood. But not moving either. She did manage to come around. She knew her name and the color of her hair and where she was. Considering her state this was quite an impressive feat, regardless of almost knocking herself unconscious. She left shortly after that. And so did I.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been so relieved to see my boyfriend’s name pop up on my caller ID. I literally ran down the road with no shoes on to meet his car. I felt like a child and I felt like an old woman. The child in me was freaked out. Scared. And ready to go home. The old woman in me was tired. And bewildered. And ready to go home. There was another absurd adventure on the way home, but this story has gone on too long already.
I have come to realize that at almost 26 my ability to deal with fiasco-adventures is dwindling. When I was younger and living in the dorms, last night would have been equally as disturbing. But I would have been drunk like the rest of them and probably remembered very little. I would have been able to file the night away with the other drunken escapades and moved on.
But I am not that young anymore and I was actually sober last night. I remember it all and I’ve been carrying around this weird feeling ever since. Something in my chest or in my limbs that won’t let go and is strangely heavy. It’s a weariness of the world that I am struggling to come to terms with. Meeting people like Crazy Mary has become much less interesting and much more distressing. Knowing that she needs help. But there is no help to give. She wouldn’t take it. She wouldn’t know what to do with it. She would hate it and keep doing what she knows how to do.
It makes me exhausted. And thankful for my sanity, my relative sobriety, my stability, and my quiet little life. Things have gone wrong this year. Nothing went quite the way I had intended. But, at least I’m not Crazy Mary.