We’re not supposed to be here. I realize this quietly as we drive from here to there, and I try not to dwell on it too much. I try not to talk about it either, lest we backslide into another dialogue on why we don’t want to be here and how much we’d rather be gone and how we would do it. I can’t let myself slip back into thinking like that, lest I slip back into wanting to do something about it. Lest I slip back into doing something about it.
Every time something bad happens, he tells me, “Well, I didn’t die.” Which is supposed to make me feel better, but I know that those words carry a different kind of emotion: disappointment. Not gratitude. Disappointment. Which is starting to worry me, because falling short of death isn’t cause for a celebration. There are so many horrors that fall just short of death, and I don’t want him to endure those, either. But I don’t know what to say. I rarely know what to say.
I remind him that we don’t get to leave this place. We’ve tried so many times to get out, but we’re still here. He sighs in frustration when I suggest that maybe we should just make the best of it in the meantime. He doesn’t like that. He wants to leave. Now. But life isn’t letting him leave – and for this, I’m so grateful.
I’m glad he’s here. I try to tell him as often as possible, even though saying it out loud seems to only be a reminder of the fact that he’s still stuck here. I’m trying not to build resentments, so I try to think of a better way to say it. I can’t think of anything clever, but I can think about how devastated I would have been if he hadn’t made it this far. I wonder if he would have been devastated if I hadn’t made it this far either, but, then again, I’m trying not to dwell. I’m trying not to camp out inside of my morbid fantasies. If I become too comfortable here then…well. I’m not thinking about that right now.
I’m trying to have a good time while I’m here. Or at least make it look good. This life that I have very little interest in. This life definitely doesn’t feel sacred, despite what they say on the news. I look at all the other lives that have crossed paths with mine – all these decimated, decaying, faded lives. Why do they want to be here, and if they want to be here, why do they make it look so dull? If I have to be here, I’d like to be swathed in beauty. I want decadence. I want the best that life has to offer me. I deserve the best, and I don’t want to try at all – I think that having the best for free is a fair consolation prize for being forced to be here against my will. I’m not going to live a half life while I’m here.
I do not love life, but life loves me. I tell him, “Life loves you, too, baby. You don’t even have to love it back. All you have to do is love me.” He nods his head. I don’t know if he heard me, but we bury ourselves back in bed and booze. I am determined to win this game with minimal effort, and I hope he’ll win with me. Probably not today, because we’re not leaving the house, but perhaps tomorrow.