After years of tumultuous marriage, Mom and Dad are finally splitting up. Mom has been apartment hunting and Dad’s all packed up. On top of that, they caught me smoking weed this morning and are furious about it.
“Where the money at?” The ringleader walks around the back of the couch, letting the barrel of the gun drag across the tops of the cushions and brush against our shoulders. The cold steel scares the shit out of me.
Lightning flickers around faraway mountaintops, thunder plays a sweeter symphony with the rain’s percussive accompaniment. Nature’s music overwhelms me; the beauty in it has escaped me for my first decade of life.
Nick was the Diablo to my Cain. Only the red skin, horns, and lordship over the underworld were missing. In their place was a skinny, hatchet-faced kid who was bigger and stronger than me and as mean as the Lord of Terror himself.
As the whacka-whacka guitar intro of Van Halen’s “Atomic Punk” fills my head, I pick up the pace and David Lee Roth’s shriek segues into Led Zeppelin’s strutting “Black Dog.”
I know there are depressed people who are tired all the time and ones who cut themselves and ones who may or may not think about ending it. But in pop culture, there is only one kind of OCD, and Adrian Monk is just the latest version.
In the mirror, I’m a barely recognizable 98 pounds — “Olsen-twin chic” as I call it. But there’s nothing chic about this at all. I’ve been self-destructive, chasing pretenses of glamour — and for what? I’m disgusted with myself.
The score thumps: a primal leg stomp, like a slowing heartbeat. A friend reaches over and places two comforting hands on my shoulders, as if the movie is a projection of what’s going on in my head.
It’s like waking up from a nightmare at its most terrifying moment. Your heart keeps beating, pounding in your chest. But once you’ve caught your breath and realized you’re safe, there’s an urge to dive back in, to experience the burst of fear again.