Sunday, July 26, 2015

Elliot's Turn

She sat in a dark corner with her knees drawn to her chest hiding her face behind a golden curtain of greasy hair. At this point, she could only wrap her arms around her legs, rock slightly, and marvel at the complete insanity of the predicament she had gotten herself into. She imagined life as a huge 8-legged monster covered in scales with fangs dripping poison. Everything that could go wrong lately had gone wrong. She lost her mom, the one person she had ever been able to count on. Her dog was missing. Her boss fired her for missing work for her mom’s funeral. She found out that her best
friend was sleeping with that bartender guy that she was crushing on. She didn’t have enough money to pay her electricity bill…or she wouldn’t be able to eat all month. Either way. And, the hits just kept coming, big and small. For the longest time now, it had been one thing after another.

The temptation was strong to follow that brick road in her mind that wove inside the labyrinth she had created in therapy so long ago.

If she could get to the heart of that maze…

When she was a kid, she saw her dad shoot her mom (her real mom not the woman who raised her, the woman she grew up calling Mom). That’s what they say anyway. “They” being everyone else really. Therapists who wanted to know all about her feelings, social workers reviewing her case, kids at school whispering in the hallways… She didn’t really remember it herself though. That’s the day Elliot first showed up, and Elliot saved her from remembering it. Elliot always seemed to know just when she needed him to take over, to rescue her from herself. She missed that about his presence more than anything. Right now, she is sure that Elliot would know what to do if she could just get to him at the heart of the labyrinth.

So, she sat in the corner in grave contemplation. It wasn’t ever really her decision to stop Elliot anyway. She loved Elliot. She needed him. But, it scared the shit out of Mom when he was there, and quite frankly, he wasn’t exactly nice to her mom. Or anyone for that matter. He was kind of a dick, but what do you expect from the person that saw all the fucked up shit in her/their life? He was the one who saved her all the time from the things that went wrong starting with her dad killing her real mom then himself…from Mr. Lancaster, the prick of a foster dad who spent his nights on top of her until Elliot showed up…from the Dunns, those psycho super religious folks who beat her until she bled for questioning the instruction she got from the “homeschool” lessons she got… He intervened and typically scared the shit out of whoever was hurting her or kept her shielded from things she didn’t want to see or hear or deal with. Whenever she thought about ending it all, he was there to take over and give her space and a break to retreat inside herself and hide.

But there was a flipside to that, too. Elliot was her savior, but once he was out, things quickly spiraled out of control. He was into a lifestyle completely different than hers. He wanted women. Lots of women. He drank. Smoked. Partied. Loved cocaine. For all the good he did, he was still a destructive force that left their body used and abused when he retreated back to that little cave inside her, and that often left her as mentally vulnerable as she was before he took control of things. The change gave her new things to battle and focus on, though, and mostly that was ok. He cleaned up her messes, and she cleaned up his.


Why had she ever agreed to lose that part of herself? It gave everyone else peace of mind, but what about what she needed and wanted?

If she didn’t have her mom, and she didn’t have Elliot, she wouldn’t last through all this stress. She could feel that desperation rising, threatening to boil over. A couple mornings already she had woken up thinking what it might be like if she never had to lay in that dingy sheet covered bed in her tiny, stale apartment ever again.

In her building sense of hopelessness knowing that even just one more thing going wrong might be THE THING that toppled whatever grip she had on life, she knew she had no choice.

She had no map and no memory of how to solve the maze she herself had constructed, and she had no idea how crazy Elliot would be after all this time locked inside her or if he would even still be there, but she found herself with her eyes closed picturing the opening to the labyrinth all the same.

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