G is for Gallivant

G

gal·li·vant
galəˌvant/
verb
1. go around from one place to another in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment.

When I was 14, my big rebellion was sneaking out from my Children’s Home with my foster-brother and riding our bikes around downtown Ft. Myers Florida, in between the nightly rounds done in the household by the staff. I didn’t drink, or smoke pot or do much of anything fun. I spent most of my youth in a state of “grounded” in one way or another. It was suspected that I was doing drugs plenty of times, but the tests always came back negative. Most of my rebellion was in the form of terrible poetry, a vicious tongue and sexual exploration.

I moved to NJ when I was emancipated and started classes at the community college, got a decent job and moved into my first apartment. I paid my rent on time, walked my dog and hung out with my boyfriend, learning about German opera.

I was doing what I was supposed to, I was traveling a road as far as I could manage, away from my past. My mother was a prostitute in a house of fellow prostitutes, and she was managed by violent men that shaped what I perceived as normal. Needles, blood and alcohol  became the lens I knew my life through. I watched her die of those sins and had scars and nightmare to prove it; I lived every day trying not to be what the statistics predicted.

I gave up The Boy, left a gentle, kind man and gave up any pretense of trying. It didn’t matter what I became.

pierced girl

First I got my license, blew my savings on a car and met a girl, which is the way it always go downhill for me.
Kat was pierced and just at the tail end of her goth period and I was a few days past 18 with a new beater, a small amount of money to burn and a desperate need to get the fuck away from myself.

 

Three weeks after we met, two weeks after I got my license, and one day after Christmas we packed up my Honda hatchback and headed out to Ostrichcloseupsee my foster-brother in Billings Montana. On that trip I found out that when the car stopped, I needed to learn how to put gas in it. I slid off the road in a pin wheel formation and landed us in snow embankments, I learned about the kindness of strangers with tow lines in the back of their minivans. When we finally arrived in MT I realized that beatnik poetry was alive and well.  We stayed on Sioux reservation and I saw poverty that gave my own history some much needed perspective. At my brother’s holding, where he lived with his mother and two siblings, I found out that I hated ostriches, nothing that big and violent should have such a tennie tiny brain.

 

drugs 2 (1)

Most of all I learned that I really loved not being able to recognize the person in the mirror.  I smoked pot for the first time with Kat and never really stopped for the duration of our time together. I took acid, reinvented the world around me and decided that I never really needed to be sober again. Ecstasy made everything joyful and I felt good in my skin for the first time, in what felt like forever. I tried most things once and established new favorite pastimes. My hair changed colors, my face gained silver adorned holes and I chose some colorful scars to decorate the skin, I didn’t want to see anymore. I fucked and drugged and played like I had never allowed myself. I didn’t have toys or pretend play or dreams when I was little and later I abided the rules, knowing that there was worse out there, and I never wanted to be hungry again, but now? It didn’t matter if I had a home or morals, or love. There was some kind of freedom in not giving a shit. I tried to squish all of the fun into the gaping holes like some maniacal inmate with a caulk gun.

 

I couldn’t keep pursuing the roots I had been trying to build, I wanted to be gypsy and gallivant without ever touching the ground long enough to make a mark.  Kat loved me and I loved her as much as I was capable of, which was never enough. She wanted me to stay forever and I responded by cheating and proving that I wasn’t worth the trouble. The drugs helped.

tattooed

 

I kept climbing down the ladder to deeper depths but couldn’t find a way to care.

“I know this is not a very popular idea. You don’t hear it too often any more … but it’s the truth. I have taken drugs before and … I had a real good time. Sorry. Didn’t murder anybody, didn’t rape anybody, didn’t rob anybody, didn’t beat anybody, didn’t lose – hmm – one fucking job, laughed my ass off, and went about my day. Sorry. Now, where’s my commercial?”
 Bill HIcks

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