rock bottom

November 15, 2008

You have never, ever contemplated suicide. But today, the thought occurred to you that something has to be done to get rid of yourself–  there’s no option. It has to be done. But how? You don’t own a gun. You don’t even have aspirin in the cabinet. Most important, you love life! Screw, death, you say. You’ll leave the country. Problem solved.  With your kids, of course. Marrakesh, maybe. The south of France. You’ll leave word with close friends. Send for family. Cash in what little savings you have left and simply abscond. Traceless. You’re on your way to exotic lands…

But before you go, take inventory. You are currently “under the terrible burden of destiny…”

The moment you’d been waiting for arrived, or so you thought.  About a month ago. You dropped to your knees and held your hands up in surrender to the light and said, “I am finally here, Lord. Finally at the bottom!” What a relief. You thought for sure you had done it. Fatefully and systematically  arrived at the bottom. “Rock” bottom, that is. You were thrilled. You craved the bottom for a change. It was time to get spiritual. Time to raise the dead. This would be your chance to show the world that you were a survivor. You’d been so high on the hog for years that it was inevitable, simply a matter of numbers. And your number was up. You crashed right along with the economy.

  • Your lovely boy friend dumped you
  • Your favorite Uncle died
  • You had to pay twentyfivethousands dollars in taxes on money you earned but never saw.
  • You took a 75% cut in pay
  • Your fifth-grader started to suck big time in math
  • your ex husband refused to pay child support and wanted to make sandwiches every day for the boys instead.
  • You had a bad cold that lasted weeks

Could it get any worse than that? Surely not. 

But it did. Unbeknownst to you the very nature of “rock bottom” is that it’s an illusion. Just when you think you’ve hit, the ground turns Alice in Wonderland on you and falls out from underneath you. Surprise! You’ve got farther to go.

  • Oops, you forgot to calculate the oil bill into your expenses.
  • The IRS says you still owe EIGHTY grand in taxes.
  • G pulls his typical disappearing act, just when you thought it was safe to trust him again. 
  • The phone doesn’t ring
  • There’s a leak in the roof
  • Firewood is wet from the rain and it’s cold inside
  • Your kids are screaming for attention and ripping the house to shreds
  • You can’t afford your cleaning lady anymore
  • You didn’t tell the ex you were going away on business. You’ve ruined his plans. He calls you a selfish bitch and says, you’ll never change.
  • Your favorite person in the whole world doesn’t have the guts or perhaps the desire to email you
  • The prozac isn’t working
  • You gained five pounds eating left-over Halloween candy.

And if all that weren’t bad enough, you haven’t been able to rub one off in months…

When you’re at the bottom you begin to dream.

You need an escape of startling adventure. The Island of Santori perhaps. No, too touristy. The IRS would find you. What about Cozumel?  Same thing. Your only option is to live life like a bedouin lost in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. It’s a little colder than you expected, but you get to paint henna tattoos on your hands and feet and wear black. Your children can run around naked. And you don’t have to use toilet paper. Eating couscous all day could be a problem. But there’s always the bus to Tangiers or Casablanca where you can pick up American provisions. Peanut butter. Pancake mix. Spaghetti O’s. Advil.

Sure. You’re having a blast. Sure. You’ve managed to pick up the pieces of your shitty life. But occasional, dirty sex with nomadic tribesmen has stripped you of your dignity. You miss home. You miss your people. You miss spaghetti and meatballs on Sunday. You miss humidity. And the king-size, pillow top BeautyRest you slept on and loved even in your darkest days.

So you and the kids  pack up your bags, kiss the desert goodbye and go back to Jersey. Back to the turnpike and the mini-van and the crappy American bullshit and the bills and the ex. And you pay your dues to the IRS and feel a little better about yourself. You love life, remember? And so, rock bottom doesn’t seem so bad after all. Especially once you’ve have sex with men that smell like camels.

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One Response to “rock bottom”

  1. sevenperfumes Says:

    Disclaimer:

    I have taken creative liberties that I now wish to retract. My ex didn’t “dump” me. It was mutual. But to be dumped sounds more exotic. I didn’t have a bad cold. My phone, on occasion does ring. I didn’t really gain five pounds, I lost four. And I can still rub one off, sans problem.


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