Cakes and Diamonds
Nothing good comes from wallowing in your failures at five in the morning. Regret eats away at life, making even the most opulent existence feel like squalor. What I want is ridiculous by most standards.
Romance a laughable snickering word for children and those of lesser intellect, but I look silently for signs of it everywhere. Does anyone have real passion in their lives, or is the concept of overpowering love kept alive to sell wedding cakes and diamonds?
The cold sheets on the opposite side of my bed reminded me to be thankful next time I find any measure of companionship. It’s been a few months since my last lukewarm lover left for hid new job in a new city. The silver lining of him taking half the towels was now I could look for someone new—the anticipation of the first golden week of freedom and excitement with a new lover helps me get over the loss.
My first encounter with love was unconventional. Being the object of someone’s obsession both smothers and ruins your reasonable expectations of other people. Nothing else in the world can compete with undying attention—good or bad.
My phone alarm began to sing—five-fifteen, time to greet a new day. I’ll be traveling, one of the things in life I hate and love equally. I value routine and the sense of wellbeing that comes from following a predetermined daily path. On the other hand, change and the excitement it brings is welcome in small doses.
This trip was planned for some time. My laziness and daily choice to ignore the situation is why I put off the problem for so long. Suffice it to say there was a family home, there was a death, and there’s a house that needs to be sold. A simple monetary problem keeping me from my life. I moved far away from the predicament, and the house sits empty.
My name was atomized across my bedroom waking me very early. It’s like a puff of perfume floating on the backs of the dust motes fluttering in the rays of sunshine. The sound hangs there tangible and full until enough fresh oxygen pushes it out of the room.
My mornings have been this way for as long as I can remember — at least today, it’s only the sound. I mean it was a lot... I probably should say worse, but I guess more, and constant, and indiscernible from reality would be more truthful.
Truth, a sharp pointy word with hot and painful edges—something my new therapist wants me to work on. No exaggerations, just facts and numbers and dates and times nothing extra. Feelings are chemical reactions to outside stimuli.
The truth she wants to hear exists solely within the confines of conventional, socially accepted experiences. I don’t have problems with mundane things. I need help navigating all the rest.
My investment guy wants me to take the sale proceeds and the saved expense from property upkeep and divert those funds into my portfolio. It sounds clean and easy—wave my hand, and the problem turns into money I can transfer at will. But I need to travel to the house to sell it. Usually, I would get “people” do it for me, but I left something there no one else can properly collect.
Roughly a year of my life was spent in and out of fancy institutions trying to convince medical personnel that this something really existed. Finally, I figured out that once they have you behind lock and key, you need to play the game to get ice cream on Thursday night and Jell-O on Sunday. After weeks of the dessert game, you get sent home with a bottle of pills and a big story about how their groundbreaking new therapy worked brilliantly for you.
Priests couldn’t help me, nor could the Shaman or the Reiki master. I dated a Demonologist for a while. He was un-cut and hung like livestock—cooked perfect vegan meals. I do miss him on occasion, but he couldn’t fix my problems either. Why I thought any doctor could help me, is beyond reason.
Finally, a tall, old man with a long row of framed documents nailed on his office wall made me so numb I couldn’t feel anything. The prescriptions keep the voices to a low whisper and the invisible people to a manageable few. I’m pretty sure this is the best I've felt in years.
This truth, I’m supposed to focus on, is not as straightforward as Haloperidol or Risperdal. There are voices in my head and dead people lingering in my bedroom, and it all started when I was a young girl in that God-damned house.
The gardener who takes care of the property for me called last week. He keeps finding dead, mangled birds on the backside of the greenhouse. He’s retiring before the summer heatwave hits—my time to procrastinate ends with the summer solstice.
The thing I left unattended is trying to get my attention.
There’s a quarterly finance briefing at eight, then a late breakfast meeting with my philanthropy group across town. Philanthropy sounds pretentious, but it’s better than coffee with my bored gaggle of evil bitches. Only a few of them are actually evil, but all of them are hardened in their own ways.
We gather a ton of charity money for some worthy causes. I think our collective karma evens out all our bad deeds in the end.
My flight is at two-forty-five this afternoon. I packed the single pair of denim jeans I own and some of my more casual linen pants. I’m not sure what the suggested outfit is for expelling a demon. I wasn’t able to find my Rosary, but I’m sure there will be a religious store in close proximity to a gun and ammo shop once I arrive.
Rural California is an odd mix of depravity and religion. Wealth and abject poverty sometimes share the same block. It took me years to wash the valley accent out of my mouth. I felt so stupid in my sophisticated New York office, I only spoke when it was necessary. I’m sure after a week back in Cali, the ridiculous cadence will coat my tongue again.
So many things bother me about this undertaking, it is not worth listing them all.
Several imaginary friends entertained me as a child, as many children have these friends it wasn’t considered odd at first. Mine didn’t fade as I aged, they grew with me instead. This situation gave me something to hide away from people and a good reason to be ashamed. As if a pretty young girl raised in the sunshine doesn’t have enough shame to sort through.
The information these friends provided made me seem like an extra compassionate person. The truth is, I am not the least bit sympathetic, and I really don’t care what other people need. I tasked one of my invisible friends with keeping an eye on my problem and the house. With the report of dead birds, I have a good idea where to look first.
This unique situation is entirely my fault. I wanted to believe my own bullshit. I wanted to ignore the fact my imaginary friends existed. I didn’t want to hear voices because that universally means you are a crazy bitch. So, I focused on lipstick and nail polish, eyeshadows, and eyeliners. I am not a waitress red and plum gasmic purple, bitch-slapped pink, and black cat ash let my brain focus on useless physical gibberish when I needed to ignore the really awful crap I could feel and see all around me.
People are quick to say you can’t take it with you when they talk about money and death. The issue they fail to mention is how long you will linger in your final moments, or how you will still crave your cigarettes and that first icy sip of whiskey long after your body is rotting in the ground. The caress of your lover’s fingers on your non-existent back is a hard desire for people to let go of. I can feel all of it from the dead around me when I don’t take my meds.
I’m not strong enough to get rid of my problem long distance, plus I bound the bastard to the land with my own blood.
I know, how stupid, how irresponsible, but it sounded like a really good idea at the time. I’m not proud of what I've done, but with enough time and effort, I think I can kill my demon.