Chapter 53: The Void
“I’ve been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures
Are all I can feel.”
– The Cure
I truly longed for the good old days of my old apartment but there was no vacancy. So I stupidly took the first place I got. Suffice to say, it was a train wreck. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking.
Far from an apartment, it was instead a room-house in the “meh” area of town. I got one solitary 12×12 room to myself. The other occupants were…interesting people.
It had no kitchen, so I got creative with a hotplate that looked like it was picked from a dumpster. There was also no shower, just a communal bathtub. Communal. More than once there was blood splatters in it which had me wondering what diseases they certainly contained. I had a few pints of bleach on standby to clean the tub before I ever used it. Most times I tried to bum shower usage whenever I visited a friend’s place.
Any sane individual would have bolted ASAP. Why I stuck it out for roughly six months I cannot fathom even to this day.
The old days of having my nice apartment during high-school were a sad memory. Even five guys stuck together in a Lake Louise closet was light years better than this. Things just seemed to be getting worse all the time.
Fortunately, I guess, a job opened up at a Shell gas station. I was now doing full-time shifts pumping gas. It was meaningless labor, but at least better pay than flipping burgers. But I wasn’t going to the Porsche dealership anytime soon. In comparison to the money I made out west, this was chump change.
Every day the regrets just kept piling up.
The loneliness of those days is something that if I close my eyes, I can still feel. I worked, came home, and tried not to encounter the drug addicts in the hallway. I would try to pass the time sketch-drawing or watching an episode of Star Trek: Next Gen on my 14” black and white TV. It was a painfully solitary few months.
As such, I am fully able to excuse the actions that would follow because all of this left me in a very vulnerable state of mind. One craving a grounding in something, or someone familiar.