My Words: Intoxicated

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Since there are newcomers here (hello, hi, welcome!) since the last time I posted something like this, here's the deal: Every once in a while, if you don't mind, I'd love to share some creative writing, like this and this. I used to blog it exclusively, but I think it works better here as an occasional guest star. Feel free to skip this one if gratuitous metaphors and abundant navel-gazing aren't your things.
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I wrote this back in 2010 (I'm pretty sure...). It first appeared on my last blog, alyssagoesbang 1.0, the creative writing version. It stunned me by becoming one of the top five most read posts ever on that blog (which I kept running for a couple of years). It was picked up by another creative writing blogger and featured in a best-of-the-web roundup. It inspired comments from ghost readers and people I knew offline who I had never known read my blog.

But I didn't write it for any of that, and I really had no reason to believe it would get any special attention. It was written in response to a prompt in a writing challenge I used to participate in, Indie Ink:
“Most people would have found it grotesque, but when you're in love nothing is so abstract or horrible that it can't be thought of as cute.” — David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames
What I wrote below simply sprang to mind. I didn't expect this to make any impact, because it was just...the truth.

Back in 2010, I was heavily (clearly) in the throes of what is remains the most intense and tumultuous "heart matter" I have ever been a part of. It had started five years earlier, and would cycle through another two and a half more before I reached my breaking point. I wrote this during a period where I thought I would never be able to escape this entanglement. It was a dangerous entanglement only in the sense that I became an alien to myself and to everyone who loved me, all for this person who never really, honestly could or would.

As the clock wound down on the summer three years later, my patience — and very nearly, my sanity — snapped, and with more furor than I care to describe here, it was over. It was all over. In little more than 12 hours we cycled through seven years of madness and passion and came out the other end bleeding, broken, destroyed.

At least, that's how I felt.

And then, everything was fine. I survived, and I never, ever let that happen to me again. I learned so, so much in those seven and a half years, but it wasn't until they were over that I learned how to apply those lessons to my life and make use of them. I got better. I became a better person. I became healthier, happier, stronger, more passionate about my life. I made better choices in life and love. And within just a few weeks, I barely missed him at all. Within a few months, I barely thought about him at all. Save for a quick and dirty (and I assume substance-assisted) attempt one night, there was never any further contact.

Until eight days ago, when he broke the silence again, like I should have always known he would.
intoxicated (2010)

silence.

silence.  

the thing about silence is that it's never quiet. the entire concept is a paradox.

i have never heard anything as clearly as i've heard his silence.

it rings in my ears, makes them hurt, i contemplate pulling a van gogh.

his silence pushes through all the words in the world. all the words i've dropped on the floor at his feet are swept under the ugly red and beige rug stolen from the sidewalk down the block. 

his silence stomps on the words i've said with a pain in my chest and fills the room like a dark and heavy cloud. i'd rather have the thunder than the silence. say something. say something. say anything. say something.  

the last thing before the silence was a dagger. no, not one dagger, that's not true at all. a million daggers, sharpened and aimed precisely at my heart. vile daggers dripping with venom that stained my clothes and poisoned the air, my insides. the daggers could only be outdone with silence. i'd rather have the daggers than the silence.

one thousand six hundred eighty seconds of silence have passed. the air is toxic and it's getting hard to breathe as his silence weaves its fingers through my hair, over my face, around my neck and they tighten tighten tighten.

i will not be the one to break the silence.

he will. with another venomous dagger he'll ask me to stay. stay.

i'd rather have the silence than be asked to forgive you.

in a quick and muted motion, i slip out of my clothes and slide down to where he and his silence wait. i press my warmth to his and cry out. his smirk appears when my eyes adjust to the darkness he forces over the room and when i see that devilish smile, the one that knows he's won and will always win, the one that pretends to love me, i smile too.

you know i will always stay. 
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(unedited; written by a 20-year-old through and through. forgive me the excessive and clumsy hyperbole. I'd write much of it differently today, but I feel the unedited version captures my early-twenties naivete quite clearly ;))

Also, disclaimer to the masses: Don't let a writer fall in love if you if you don't want to appear in her writing. In fact, don't even kiss her if you are afraid of becoming a muse. Better yet, just know that if you know a writer, chances are she'll draw inspiration from an experience shared with you. (I've got plenty more of these pieces, many inspired by way less. #sorrynotsorry?) 

Comments

  1. Alyssa, I seriously hope you submitted this for some type of writing award!! Felt every single word you wrote!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  2. Yep, I love this. But dear, I also hate this! I hate knowing that you've lived through that feeling of knowing that you will always stay because you are always locked into this web of connection and abuse. Maybe not physical abuse but certainly emotional abuse and theft of the person you are and the person you're capable of becoming. I hope that eight days ago you were the strong woman at the top of post <3

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  3. oh to be 20 and be so awfully in love, lust and anger. and your disclaimer made me think of Taylor swift... "if you don't want to end up in a song don't be a jerk" hahaha, writers will have their revenge ;) (sorry if this double posts, I was having some trouble with the comments)

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  4. A younger Nadine can totally relate to every word of this post. Talent girl!

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  5. what a lovely piece, obviously a very emotional one, but I think it gets the message and emotion across perfectly. And you're so right about the writer crack. I do my best writing when I'm unhappy (what the heck right? lol) and always draw from those closest to me, sorry boys!

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  6. Wow.......I don't know what else to say. You are an exceptional writer.

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  7. Literally said 'oh shit' when I saw that he contacted you 8 days ago. Oh shit. Are you okay?
    Seriously, this was an extremely well written piece (duh) and gave me cold chills and sparked my own memories and made me want to hug you but I know you're not a toucher ;) I think I was much the same at 20, heck I think we all were - but no doubt you went through way more than I ever did, or most people did. I am so proud of you for walking away and becoming the woman you are today. You're amazing! Hope you know that.

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  8. I so love this-- and your last disclaimer reminds me of that quote about how people should have behaved better if they didn't want you to write about them- hopefully you know what I'm talking about. You should definitely be proud of your 20-year-old self for capturing something so painful in such a beautifully written way.

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  9. I love this!!! He broke his silence again??? SIgh seriously this is my stupid ex you're writing about isnt it! haha anyway you're spot on with never letting a writer fall in love with you if you dont want to appear in her work. One day when I hand you my poetry (of which there is a ton) you will see haha

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