Be careful who you love. Love, especially unconditional love, can be one of the most dangerous emotions. I loved someone once. It was a one sided affair that ended in tragedy. Let me tell you about it.
After throwing my heart at Milagros and being rejected in a way that hurt more, by being faithlessly strung along in an endless delusion, I was wary of giving my heart to anyone else. I kept my love in a box, in a cage, in a fortress, inside of myself. I was impenetrable. After freeing myself from my delusions and building a wall where my shattered mind collapsed I had become stronger. I would let my emotions leak out in droplets, most of the time when I was drunk.
Drinking was my favorite thing to do. It let the pains of my past seem not so bad. But it also made me severely depressed when I wasn’t drinking or was coming down. I’d feel bad, then drink and not feel so bad, then feel bad again which lead to more drinking. It was a cycle of drunkenness.
I went to Europe at the behest of my father. He thought it would be a good thing for me to do with my little brother. He’s a little brother, but he is much taller than me. In Europe people could easily believe that he was of age and able to go out drinking. In some places, like France, drinking is available at a young age but in most parts of Europe you had to be 18. My brother was 16 and I was 22 when we explored the continent. We went out drinking and had a ball.
We met travelers and natives of all nationalities. I remember meeting people of Egyptian, Chilean, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, Belgian, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, British, American, Italian, Colombian, Argentinian, Swedish, Finnish, Iranian, Canadian, Ukrainian, Algerian, South African, Scottish, Polish, and Australian nationalities. There are probably more that I forgot to list. The world is a big place. It was neat seeing all these people come together in hostels and bars in Europe. I had drinks with lots of them.
When traveling you meet all these interesting people. They become friends for a day, before they go their separate way. The women were just gorgeous. And that accent! A woman with an accent is an attractive thing. Everyone was skinny. In Europe, and most other parts of the world, people are slimmer than America. I think travelers have to be fit in general. It comes with all the walking around. I got a lot of exercise lugging around my backpack and wearing out my shoes. I lost a lot of weight from walking from place to place, and general walking from being lost.
I got lost plenty of times in my travels. I had to find my way most of the time with a compass and a map. Every once in a while, when I was really lost and had WiFi, I would take out my laptop and check google maps for directions. I didn’t have a cell phone in Europe. American cell phone coverage didn’t cover Europe and I didn’t have a smart phone anyway. Because of this, I got lost a lot. Being drunk all the time didn’t help for the most part. I would always find my way eventually however. There were also always someone who would help a traveler out and give me directions. It was fun in a way, having to find my way around, if a little stressful at times. I felt in control of my direction, and not a slave to the internet and GPS. There were even some fun women who liked to get lost with me.
I met lots of interesting women in Europe. They would make your heart throb. It was also easier talking to them, you didn’t know them and they didn’t know you so you could just relax and be yourself. I was free from my past struggles, my past was just a bad memory, and I could forget them or talk about them at leisure. It is easier for me to talk to women, I think. Maybe I just like looking at them. I definitely like drinking better with women. And other stuff. There were beautiful women everywhere who were having fun. After being alone in misery for so long it was a breath of fresh air for me. There were also women for hire in the local red light districts in Holland. I was going to go to one of the whorehouses there, but I lost my way. Maybe next time I visit Europe.
I made a lot of friends from both genders. I made a few Facebook friends but lost them when I deleted my account. One woman who I really connected with didn’t have a Facebook like me at the time. You meet a lot of people when traveling, but all you get most of the time are fond memories, which is alright.
When I finally came home I felt a lot better. My small hometown felt a lot smaller. I would walk the entire distance of the town just going from one place to the next. I felt like I could go anywhere. The downside from traveling is that you have to get back into your old life again. I was back to not knowing what to do with my life again. To earn money and spend time I applied to a local grocery store.
It was easy work. It was annoying being told what to do and I wouldn’t listen if it was something petty, but it was nice getting out of the house and having something to do. I always liked it when it was busy. I could just get in the zone and get all the customers dealt with. I was a cashier. I had experience working as a cashier at the family restaurant. My dad didn’t need me as much in the winter so I was free to work elsewhere. Working at a grocery store is alright. It’s easy and doesn’t require much from you besides being polite. Looking back at my memories, however, I think working at a grocery store again would be my personal hell.
Whilst working I met a woman, let’s call her K. She was this cool person, I thought, who worked at the sandwich bar. I liked her. I don’t know why I did, I just did. I got nervous talking to her and tried hopelessly to joke with her and make conversation.
After a while working at the grocery store, at least four months, something happened to me. It was Valentine’s Day and love was in the air. I was writing a story. At first it started in my journal, as a pointless hope. I could write about anything in my journal. I added K to a story, as a what if I sent it to her. It felt good writing about another person, maybe for another person. I had difficulty writing previously. My words and the worlds I created would come out dark and scary. My past was ever at my mind, but I was avoiding it. Writing about this other person came easy for me. I had inspiration. I created a fictional bar that I ran in a fictional place. At first I wrote about the demons that would visit my bar, demons I would draw and create characters for. I had imps who ran my bar. I had a smoker demon who became my dog. It was a way to envision my darkest thoughts and deal with them personally. It was strangely therapeutic. Then K showed up.
I wrote her into my story. If I could go back in time I would end that story before it began. In a strange way I wish I never got into writing. My world was already fractured once, I couldn’t take it if it happened again. I retreated into fantasy. It was a dark world I created, The Land of Doubt. I recalled the name Balthazar again, after not using it for so long, and made that my main character in the book. Balthazar was me. I’d go on adventures with my smoker demon and try to find K. In the story I had stolen her heart and gave her my own as a replacement. It was supposed to be some strange romance adventure story. I made an ending that ended with a kiss. It was only for myself.
In the story, I angrily told K my darkest memories. I was wary of becoming obsessed about a woman, like what happened with Milagros, but K was always in my mind. I just wrote what I felt. Writing about my past experiences and about K started cracking my wall. The wall I built was crumbling. I finished my story, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I wanted to send it, but didn’t have the guts.
Previously whilst writing and I felt a strange sort of enlightenment. My words were coming into place. I was talking, while writing, to a fictional character I created. The Lord of Doubt. Otherwise known as Death. I came to a conclusion, after not thinking about truth or religion for so long, that Death was the one true god, because everything dies eventually. Death is an enigma, it has no real form, but I wrote it into my fictional bar as the Grim Reaper, the Lord of Doubt, Death. I talked to the creature, and realized that Life and Death are two sides of the same coin. I re-dubbed the creature Life, it grew skin and flesh on its features, and I had a conversation with it. It gave me a realization. This is what I wrote,
I still think of you as that skulled creature, Life. You’re smirking with me. I like talking to you. You make me sound crazy sometimes. People will eat that up. Thank you for showing me this.
I’m sorry I ruined your life. I was sick of you.
I needed a second chance. I really don’t mind living. It’s fun, although painful.
Life is pain, Balthazar.
I just want to take all the suffering away. I don’t want you to hurt and be hurt.
The gifts I give are two pronged, a double edged sword. You need it, to make the other half feel good. It can’t be helped… Though you want to. I wonder what you have in store for me.
Something good. You have something in store for me… I can sense it. What is it?
After writing that I felt itchy with anticipation for a while. I didn’t know why. I was getting something, I didn’t know what. I went out for a walk. Then I started hearing them.
K was talking to me, in my head. I thought I had gotten some sort of enlightenment. Again, this episode started with me believing I had gotten enlightenment, a theme typical to my mental illness. At first I was only talking to her, then I was talking to other people, and more and more and more until eventually I was talking to the whole world. It was megalomania in its prime. It felt great, there was no other word for it. It felt like I had cracked the code. It felt like I had reached the summit. I thought I had been given a gift from god.
The next day I was still hearing K. She was a voice in my head. The primary voice. She said nice things to me, loving things. It started to weird me out though. She was being so intimate with me in my head, how could I say anything for real? She was avoiding me in real life, she told me not to talk to her.
People said strange things to me in my head. I thought, again, I knew the truth about things. I thought everyone was talking to me in my head. I thought K was being raped by people, one of them being the owner of the grocery store. It made me so angry, but I said nothing, until one day.
One night when I drank a little too much, I cobbled together a lot of my writings into PDF format, and sent it to K. I said, “Here’s your fucking story.” I was frustrated with the whole affair. When I sent it, I heard a small little voice say, “I can’t believe you sent it!” I didn’t think much of the voice at the time, I thought it was just a strange random thought. Later this thought would become my own personal demon, Floyd. I asked K if she fucked the owner of the grocery store.
The next morning I felt completely see through. I felt like I had nothing. I went to work as normally, and didn’t say anything to K. I heard voices the entire time. Later, in the night, I quit the job. I went in just before they were closing and quit. I couldn’t deal with the supposed evil that people were committing in the grocery store.
The next day a couple of cops showed up to my house. They said K said that my story was grammatically correct. The cops asked me something, and I didn’t even catch it the first time. They asked me if I sent K a dick picture. I didn’t, and plainly said I didn’t. They said anyway the owner was angry that I insinuated that he had an affair with K and said I was banned from the grocery store. He couldn’t fire me because I already quit. I think K was scared that I sent her a book, or was angry at the content. Why the hell would she compliment it then? And why would she lie about sending a dick pic, to a couple of cops no less? I think she wanted me just to leave her the hell alone. And I did. The whole thing was just frustrating.
But I still heard her in my head. And other people. Lots of other people. They were always mocking me and insulting me. They told me to kill myself. Over and over again, K would torment me. She was like a splinter in my brain. I couldn’t get her out! I just wanted it to end. My love, again, turned to rot.
The next part is The Passerby, I. I will touch it up.