Once a Toy
755 words. A 4 minute read.
I was going to write about the time I spent on a ranch in California but, as I began to write it this evening, I realized that deserved more time than I want to give to this post tonight. So, I need to think of something else to write about. This is especially hard when thoughts feel like concrete being pushed through a sieve. And, I need to finish in a half-hour so I can veg out in front of MacGyver. The show reminds me of my childhood and I love Jack’s character. What can I say, it is my Friday night ritual.
You see, I don’t go out all that often. As I’ve written, I live in a small town near Walden Pond, about twenty miles from downtown Boston. My little downtown, if you can call it that, consists of a gas station, a grocery store, and an upscale restaurant, which is usually quite empty. Across the street is a small Catholic church and next to the gas station is the commuter rail station. There’s not much night life going on there.
To get anything close to a night life, I’d have to go into Concord and head to Main Streets Market & Cafe. They’ve got a live band on the weekends and it’s usually quite packed. But, I don’t have any friends that live close and going out means I have to drive everywhere. Between figuring out where to park, how long Pugger can stay alone, to figuring out the best place to meet, going out is a production.So, I stay in. Moving into Boston proper has often been on my mind and my bestie and I have looked at a few places to move in together but nothing has worked out. I almost fear moving out of my little place into an apartment in Boston…I may realize that I still won’t go out and it’s not the location that’s the problem but me.
For the most part, I’ve made dumb decisions when I’ve gone out. Gone home with people I shouldn’t have, shared thoughts that should have remained unspoken, regretted the walk home the next morning. When alcohol courses through my system and there’s a guy around, I drape myself over him like a sheer scarf. Looking back on it, I can laugh at that young woman and feel a little pity. I know it came from a place of longing, of wanting to feel wanted, of needing to feel touched.
Those feelings still exist in me somewhere. I still want to feel wanted, I still crave touch. But not at the expense of my dignity. Not if the relationship ends the following morning. I threw sex around like a dog playing fetch; it meant nothing to me. I was drunk for most of it. I didn’t have sober sex until well into my late twenties. Sex was a toy. I was a toy. They were toys. (I still can’t believe my luck in not catching anything. My friend from high school and I were both a bit promiscuous; we both marvel at our luck).
Do you know I was fired from my RA position in university because I was smoking too much pot and having too much sex? This is what the director told me when she let me go three days before the end of the school year. One of my fellow residential assistants had told on me to the director. I don’t blame her or have any contempt for her. And it’s not something I’m proud of (I can’t believe I’m writing this here but aren’t we all fallible human beings?).
I don’t think I have very many years of good decisions underneath me. I was a huge fuck up. I was dealing with some serious shit that I didn’t have words for or the courage to deal with. So, instead, I drank a lot. I did a lot of drugs (cocaine was my lady of liberty). And even when I started to deal with stuff, I still used the drinking, the drugs, and the sex to just feel something else.
There is a twinge of regret. I wish I had more strength and more courage when I was younger. I wish I realized that what makes me me is good. I wish I didn’t allow what I thought other people would think of me change how I felt about myself. It took too, too long to understand that everything—the good, the bad, the ugly—was what made me ME.