It's three am on yet another Wednesday. I'm wailing in pain while the TV screams in Samantha's extasis to the voice of Aida. My mind blocker works, it must be the nth time I've seen this episode and yet I don't remember the details. I close the plastic bag trying in vain not to breathe the last whiff ranking of blood and body fluids. It now sits by the door, ready for garbage day. I hastily put away the instruments of torture, back to the sealed bag and out of sight for twenty four hours. I grab the kitchen pot and wheel myself out of the living room to dump the rest of the boiled water, by now cold, in the sink. Now I am finally free to sink into the sofa, grab my aching freshly re-bandaged leg by the ankle and let my mind wonder off into the world of glamour and ten dollar morning coffees. Soon it will start hurting like hell.
This has been my routine for the past several months, for what seems like eternity. Forced to do to myself things I had never thought I'd will on my worst enemy. Forced to go through the pain, one more day, time and again. If I think about it I go crazy, so I try not to think. And so far the best opium has been Sex and the City, with Wonder-Year like episodes for women. Wonder Years epitomised men's nostalgia for a lost boyhood. For myself, Sex and the City, with all the promise of health and youth and a professional status, epitomises my younger-self 's expectations, ideals, and an ever so fleeting reality. A nostalgia piece for my forty-something self who would've, could've, should've.
My past seen through the Sex and the City lens looked wonderfully on the edge of a cliff, from which I've fallen irremediably to the bottom. I should've watched that series when it first aired. Perhaps then I would have learned something. I was on my way to becoming one of them. Healthy and eager thirty something on an ascendant career path, badly in need of fashion sense and relationship advice. Had I watched Miranda working fourteen hour days only to give it up for baby and marriage... Had I watched Samantha breaking up with Richard in a confident "I love myself more" move... Have I watched the unforgettable episode where they all sing "Memories" in a crowded cafe while Carrie's dream man gets engaged...With each episode I become aware of my past mistakes, of the mistakes in thinking and the lack of confidence that brought down my soul, and then my body, to this pile of dirt in which I currently sit. I could've avoided this or THAT. I should have seen this relationship disaster coming. I could have done that to stay on top of the game at work. But I didn't. I didn't know, I was too naive with no cynical, aware friends to say it like it is to my face. A Charlotte without a Miranda. Trying to work it out with a Tray who really just wanted to be a Tracy. Unwilling to see through the thin veil of lies. Putting up with... but never mind. Here I am, a decade later, all promises shattered, all possibilities lost. There's only the everyday mean task of surviving the pain.
So I try one more time not to think of my stinky, bloody present. I turn on the TV and watch, and the images and the sounds drown my screams of pain and the inaudible screams of regret in my mind. I can't go that route forever. I can only survive today. With yet another five episodes taped back to back. In censored and uncensored versions, just to keep it interesting. Did I space out or did they cut that scene out? Fast forwarding through endless commercials for deodorant, chocolate and luxury cars. Wishing I could somehow fast forward through the healing.
Once upon a time, in another life, I wished I was them. Never happened, never will. So at least for tonight I pretend I am in their world and escape to a nicer reality.