Sarah McLachlan - Angel
The accompaning piece for this Memoir
In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find
some comfort there......
Near the end of our relationship, Justin and I found time was almost stained with the madness, almost lost in the sadness. We barely had time for explanations of what was happening so apologies seemed futile. I made him search the streets for food and beg for spare change.
It was a new low, to beg for our supper. We had no shame left to offer, we just needed a miracle - nothing that we didn't pray for every night in the gutter.
Brimming with death and curse, our toxic love heralded daily casualties ..Pain, betrayal and devastation as our addiction became all of us. How fluid the lies could flow now, how easy it was to be cruel and cunning. The journey of self has proved to be the hardest detoxification of all. I was pure poison, I looked in the mirror and I saw a strange shadow fall over my face.
Shame was staining me as I faded to black, ready for the end credits.
I was so lost, not so much afraid anymore. I was so sad, not so much brave anymore.
Things had reached an all time low for my self-esteem, long ago sold to the highest bidder.
All the while, the love of my life watched on keenly. Hypnotised as the needle drew back the memories and pushed forward with fresh pain.. Zombie nights and ghost days, we used each other to feed our veins, losing our human touch and losing love between us..Once so precious.
Let me touch your face one more time..feel the wetness of your smile on my fingertips.
We stopped smiling, stopped touching. We stopped remembering why we are alive.
This Glorious sadness
brings me to my knees...
I remember sensing a feeling that an end was nigh...Maybe it was Marcus ?Maybe it was all I could take. Leaving Justin seemed the only viable option but remained the biggest challenge of all. Together we were soldiers on the battlefield of bad decisions but my arms ached with the burden of it all.
My heart sagged from the squeeze of the selfish... we both were tired.
I will never forget one of the last nights we spent together.. In reflection, I almost could taste the goodbye, lingering in the singsong of a final kiss..
I remember the backdrop was poolside of the mote we were living in for that month. The only sound that cut through the crickets was the vacancy sign, hissing into the midnight space as the palm fronds swayed gently in the summer breeze.
Together we sat against the white wall, barefoot and contemplating the lost heavens as we shared our last cigarette. Words sometimes fail to summarize a lifetime of regret, so we remained quiet , merely throwing pebbles of subconscious over a stone cold wall of internal pain and confusion. How did it ever get so bad? I thought I would end up graduating from University this year and traveling overseas... Why was it justice that I was hooking the highway, junkie justice supreme. I knew why - I had traveled down the wrong path and now I was deep into the woods and I was so very afraid. Afraid, for my own life as it was no longer possible to feel Justin's presence. The trees of finality entrenched him as the spirits laughed lush insanity, poison blossomed from the green and blinded him forever ..
A shooting star sprinkled through the sky, the tail suspended in glitter. I smiled and so did he.
I looked at him and tears brimmed in his eyes...I reached for his hand even though we both knew it was time to let go. It tore my heart out as blood seeped from my soul..
No kind words could stem the warm gush of release, I was bloody and I was hurting.
Without a single word spoken, I tore myself from his fleshy bonds of co-dependency and looked down to my side to were he used to be holding my hand....Only to see a gaping hole.
I look to him as the memories flow between us like spilt blood. It's enough pain to form a crimson tide...Some hopes and dreams that simply will never be now.. Oh lord, how it hurts.
He looks to me with his sapphires and I drop my hands to the floor, for one final surrender.
"Tell me your sorry" I breathe to him. His face is inches from mine, barely through a hot stream of tears as I kiss away our future, as though it may lessen the sting of losing the love of my life.
"Tell me that you never stopped believing that we could survive" I pleaded.
He looks right into my soul and something shatters with the simplicity...
"I will always , always be sorry" He closes his eyes as we sob beside the pool in the midnight the strange calm of the palm trees, still swaying ever so softly..Motel guests blissfully unaware of the planets falling from the skies above.
"I just never ...Knew.." He falters but I understand.. It's how it is.
Images of all the clients I had let roam those hands, all the times we had both agreed to sell my body and its pleasures for cash to put the needle in my arm. All the Johns and Peters shuffle ghost-like amongst us, sleeping in the corners of our shared bed. All the time I had managed to befriend my clients and make sure that I was ok with selling my body, I always knew it may be harder for Justin to accept. As much as we never spoke about what I did behind the closed doors we would never forget that beautiful time when it was just us - no drugs and no prostitutes for miles.. When we had the world at our fingertips, just for being in love.
I can't describe the air of finality about that night - but it's one of the most haunting moments I will ever experience. It's hard to share, the moment is so deeply private.
The reality of what we had become had finally arrived on the back of the shooting star - massive fade in a brilliant burst of shimmer. I was giving up him, in order to go on. To leave Justin to fend for himself went against everything I believed in. In fact, my own Mother abandoned me at the age of six so all my life I had felt pain that Justin had been through as well. I had promised him that I would never let him down.
I had promised him so many times. I remember them all, like the haunting melody of a broken heart symphony.
But, I knew unless I "cut him" away from my life, we would kill each other.
In front of me I see a haunted man. He still sees me as that eighteen year old girl with the ponytail...He still sees me laughing with his Mother in the sunroom pouring over photos, he still sees me as the girl that kisses so good and smells like apples.
He also sees the deathly gaunt and purple eyed junkie with matted hair and rotting teeth, hunched with him by the motel pool. I know it breaks his heart and the guilt from this would always mean he would rely on Heroin to deal with it..
I know he wanted so much more for me, and he knew that I would trade all my dreams to just stay with him and be loyal to our fate.. He knew long before me that I would fly away.
I gave him the final gift of absolution as I leant over his his ear and as I spoke a single tear blossomed from my eyelash, staining my cheek.
"I forgive you."
It was barely a whisper but it was the price of my world and my heart paid forever ..
We held each other for a final embrace and I moved in with Marcus the following day to begin my detox as arranged. His future was unknown ..and we both knew that in that moment.
I was no longer able to decide if he didn't mean to cause me harm, I had to face up to my own ruined life and find my own way to the stars. I knew that was were I would always be..
I wasn't so sure if he was destined to heaven.. I had lost the faith in our love ..
It was the end of faith for Justin as well...
He died six months later.
Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There's always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight