I had a great sleep. For someone who does fuck all every day – apart from walking around the city and eating my weight in hamburgers – I was sure fucking tired when I got back to Brooklyn last night.
As with yesterday, both Greg and Michelle were out of the apartment by the time I woke up this morning. At least, I thought so. I had been in such a deep sleep that I wasn’t 100% sure. After responding to my own echo, I got off the couch, re-packed my suitcase, and gathered my life for the day.
The first stop on my adventure around Manhattan was actually a continuation of yesterday’s schlep. I went on the hunt for that damn H&M fur coat again. I don’t know why I’m obsessing over it – especially when you consider how often I write journal entries about not wanting to covet material possessions. I suppose a part of the constant searching is a result me not having all that much to do in New York City. Why do I come here for so long? Honestly, I think it’s because I’m convinced something incredible is going to happen to me again. Somehow, I’ll recreate my amazing trip from last year. Everything will be perfect again. But, it won’t. In fact, my trips to the Big Apple only seem to be getting progressively worse. More on that later.
En route to H&M, I went to the new World Trade Center site. I walked around outside, looked at the memorial stuff, the pools, the shopping center beneath everything, and took it all in. I would’ve liked to have gone to the museum, but I was too cheap for a ticket. What I saw outside was enough. While sad to admit, all I wanted to do today was chat with hot guys online and find that damn fur coat. Why the fuck I thought I had to visit New York City for either of those items is beyond me. A waste of money, really.
Dragging my tired, bloody, and swollen feet all over town, I checked out a few more stores before eventually hitting up Miss Lily’s in the East Village. Tito had suggested the restaurant yesterday, and I was getting hungry. It was also absolutely freezing outside again. With an overcast sky added into the mix, today was bleak as all hell. Imagine my surprise when I got to sit down inside bright and lively Caribbean restaurant.
I ordered a drink. My drink arrived. After my first sip, my phone buzzed. I’d received an iMessage from Aaron. A very long iMessage. I had only read the first few words of Aaron’s essay when I knew that something was wrong – and that it was going to be about my recent stay at his apartment.
Aaron: “Hey buddy, I’ve been trying to figure out how to say this without offending as I adore you and care for you SO much. I have told you countless times how much I appreciate our friendship – how it has changed me, etc.
“First off, I’m so sorry we haven’t been able to get spare keys. It is a huge problem that has been frustrating me enormously, and if that caused you any tension, my apologies. Truly. I was just glad to see you.
“But, when Sonny and I left you on Sunday, we assumed you were taking your stuff over to your friends. You went to brunch, yay, but then apparently rang all the buzzers in our apartment building, went into the basement, peed, then passed out in front of our door.
“We have received a phone call saying the board is meeting today to discuss whether Sonny and I should be allowed to stay in the apartment building, as this huge situation has happened and we haven’t even lived there a month. It has been brought to our attention that City government officials live in our building and actions like this are strictly forbidden, embarrassing, and will not be tolerated. Seeing as Sonny is sober and I rarely drink, we were ideal candidates. This weekend has changed that.
“I am telling you this full of support and love for you, but we might be kicked out of our apartment and lose thousands of dollars because of it. This is seriously troubling as I have no money and Sonny basically used all his life savings.
“We can talk about this later. But just want you to be in the loop and don’t want there to be a wedge between us....
“Regardless, I hope you are having a nice time in Brooklyn.
My heart sank into my stomach. Halfway through reading Aaron’s message, the waiter put my meal on the table. I glanced at the cocktail beside the plate. I wanted to throw up. My mind was racing in every direction. I don’t know how to explain the feeling I had inside of me in that moment. It was getting hard to breathe. I could feel my heart pounding inside of me.
I began responding to Aaron’s message immediately. During that process, I was trying to think of how I could fix things. That’s what I do. That’s where my mind goes. I was taught that when something bad happens, you need to find a way to fix it.
First things first, I apologized. Of course. How does one apologize for such behavior, though? The thing is, I don’t even remember peeing in Aaron’s basement. I also cannot believe – as a 26-year-old with a university education – that I have just typed those words. I peed in the fucking basement of a New York City apartment building. Who the fuck am I? Not that my other antics are exactly something to write home about, but buzzing numerous units and waiting outside your friend’s door isn’t exactly grounds for eviction. Don’t get me wrong. I am not excusing my behavior. That’s not what this is about.
Jesus. I just don’t even know where to begin. How do I process this? How has this happened to me again? How many times am I going to write these words, or think these thoughts? What’s worse, is that I have potentially ruined the lives of other people. It’s one thing when I harm myself. As much as self-inflicted wounds may pain me in the moment, those are my problems to deal with. Nobody else needs to be involved. But, this is next level. I don’t know how to fix things.
Sending Aaron a series of messages, I continued to apologize profusely while also asking how I could help. As someone who considers themselves to be fairly good with words, my idea and offering to Aaron was that I could perhaps reach out to this elusive board, and either speak to them over the phone or write a letter explaining myself and vouching for Aaron and Sonny in the process.
All of Aaron’s responses caught me off guard. His words seemed – calm? Perhaps it was an attempt at deescalating the situation. Aaron told me that he just wanted me to be okay, and that things would work out. Later, when I asked how I could help again – amidst more apologies – Aaron repeated the same sentiment: “Everything is going to be alright.” How? I don’t understand. You are on the verge of being evicted, and you’re worried about how I am feeling? All I wanted was to be able to help. I couldn’t.
With a cold plate of jerk chicken sitting in front of me, I ate my feelings. As I looked down at the watered-down cocktail still beside the plate, I thought to myself, “This should be your last drink ever,” before tossing it back. I need help. Although that is not something I am freshly admitting, it’s time to actually do something about this massive problem in my life.
God. I am so fucking embarrassed. Words cannot describe how I am feeling right now.
I still felt sick. Instead of going back to Greg’s empty apartment and sitting alone with my thoughts, I continued to wander around the East Village a bit longer. Once my nipples were sufficiently frozen, I took the nearest train to Brooklyn. Everything was rushing through my head.
I won’t be able to tell anyone about what happened with Aaron.
I can’t tell Mom. I don’t want her to know how I’ve fallen again.
I can’t tell Natasha, Kate, Dan, Connor, or basically any other friend of mine. They either know Aaron and/or Sonny, or they’re going to see me in such a negative light. Not that they haven’t all had their moments with me, but urinating in a basement is not something I want my friends to think about when they hear my name. I am incredibly open with all of my friends. When I choose not to talk about something, it’s serious. This is going to be a dark secret of mine. A very, very dark secret. Unfortunately, this disaster is also an even darker way to close out what has been a year of horrible decisions on my part.
I listened to Mariah Carey’s Music Box album on the train ride to Greg’s. Music Box has always spotted me when I am falling. Tonight was no exception. Sometimes, I feel so fucking helpless. Everything can be going so well in my life, and then I fuck it all up again. Think about these last few days. This week has been so great. Wasn’t I just writing about how excited I was to begin a new chapter of my life? Now, this.
Once at the apartment, I did a bit of writing before Greg got home. Since we were texting earlier, Greg knew something was wrong. I had mentioned that Aaron sent me a message about Sunday, and it doesn’t exactly take a genius to piece together that sloppy, urine-soaked puzzle. After settling in, Greg asked me if I wanted to talk about what happened with Aaron. Knowing Greg could give me sound advice – and that he was removed enough from my social circle – I told him everything that happened. I had to. I needed advice on how to deal with things. I also wanted someone to tell me that everything was going to be okay. Considering I had maintained a queasy stomach since Aaron’s first message, I needed some positive words to take my mind off the nausea.
We talked. Greg told me how he might have dealt with the situation. If he were in Aaron’s position, Greg said that he wouldn’t want me writing a letter or making any phone calls. He also told me some of the apartment co-op board stories he’s heard. A bunch of other stuff, too. Greg’s words really helped.
It’s 1:30 a.m. right now. I haven’t heard from Aaron since 4:40 p.m. I’ve basically been sitting around at Greg’s apartment all night, wondering what happened. Has Aaron received any news? Has the board come to a decision? Naturally, I could only think of the worst.
What happens if Aaron and Sonny are evicted?
Sure. The best-case scenario is that the board lets them stay – or that Aaron and Sonny are persuasive enough for them to change their minds. But, what if things don’t work out? What will I do? Where will this leave my relationship with Aaron? How do I make this right? Not only on a friendship level, but financially. Am I obligated to help Aaron with rent and moving costs? I know that’s an odd thing to think about, but I have literally been thinking about this thing non-stop since lunch. I still have no idea what to do.
Let’s be real here. The thing is, I can’t fucking do anything. I’ll have to check in with Aaron tomorrow. The coward in me is afraid to message him tonight. I don’t want to know the response. Right now, I am afraid that Aaron has received bad news from the co-op board and hasn’t told me.
I am so sorry. I am so, so, so sorry. I wish there was a way I could fix this. I wish there was a way I could fix myself, so that I didn’t find myself in these situations so often – or ever. I’ve potentially ruined someone’s life. I think this might be my rock bottom. Or, at least a new level of it. I am so disappointed in myself.
Greg and I watched a lot of Leah Remini’s Scientology series. The drama and fake nails helped to keep my mind occupied. I also cancelled on two potential Tinder guys I was supposed to see tonight. What’s sexier than sleeping with a guy while the thought of your homeless friends runs through your mind?
Please, God. Please. Let this be okay. I need this to be okay. Please.