“What do you mean she never got on the fucking plane?”, I choked the words out to my best friend who works a fancy enough 3 letter agency job he could help me out with this not-so-public knowledge information about my girlfriend. “She never checked in. At all.” His words grew distant in my ear as my heart beat louder and louder. “I’m sorry bro”. You know that feeling. If you don’t, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. There’s no escaping it. The coldness envelops you until you wish you could fucking die right there just to release yourself from the feeling of panic and hopelessness that has grabbed you by the throat and just won’t let go.
Rewind just a week before (cue the rap song lyrics “it was all good just a week ago”), and I enjoyed the view of my girlfriend’s divine body as she tried on outfits. New Years was just around the corner. Let me tell you my friend, I fucking plan out my New Years like it’s for a White House inauguration. Everything has to be perfect. Everything. “How do I look? Do you find me beautiful Christian?” She twirled around like a ballerina outside her dressing room door and pierced my soul with those oh so beautiful smokey blue eyes of hers and a playful smile escaped her oh so perfect mouth framed by her oh so perfect pillows she called lips. “What do you think doll? What do you think?” I grabbed her by the waist and kissed her hard. Fuck those lips are perfect…can this be real? My gut kept telling me something was off, but who cares about red flags when you have a perfect Playmate sucking your cock twice a day?
I drove her to the airport as happy as a dumb fuck can be who ignores red flags being waved in his face like that stripper you just can’t get enough of who keeps flopping her jumbo jugs around your face hypnotizing you into stupid decisions and an empty money clip. Ahhh…being in love is great! I thought, but wait…what is it love or infatuation? Didn’t matter. I was under a spell and it was about to be fucking shattered.
“Listen you piece of shit, I don’t give a fuck if it’s David Fucking Beckham who reserved it you promised me that Dj table and you better fucking deliver or I’m going to cut your balls off and shove em so far down your throat you’ll be shitting them out!”. I really am nice to my ‘friends’ I swear. “Jesus dude, alright alright just chill out, but the table minimum is going up probably a stack”, my promoter ‘friend’ tried to appease me, but fucked that all up by mentioning that my New Years Eve bottle service table was going to be bumped. In the club world this means that unless you pay more for a table you already negotiated on, they’ll simply ‘bump’ you off and replace with a client who will pay the new minimum. All due to demand baby. Supply and demand at work. “Fuck it, just keep it under my name you fuck”. I didn’t care. This was New Years Eve remember? It had to be perfect. Perfect plan. Blinded.
“I love you baby. I love you so much that I know that I couldn’t even live without you in my life”, my girlfriend rocked my world with those sweet nothings the night before New Years Eve. If you’re not into referencing calendars this would make it Dec 30th. Her voice broke on the phone for a second and she started to cry. “I just want you to know how much I love you Christian and I cannot wait to see you in a few hours”. She continued to rock my world with sweet nothings. “I love you too. See you in a few hours.”. I meant it. She didn’t.
I went to the video store (yea this was when those still existed) and picked up a film off the shelf that I had seen staring back at me for years, but had never rented it. It’s called Two Lovers, starred Joaquin Phoenix who is a pretty good actor in my opinion and seemed like a decent flick to pick. I was notorious for taking at least 45 minutes when finding a film to watch, but tonight I wasn’t in the mood to dick around. Find a movie, go home, watch it and go to sleep because tomorrow was the big day. The sooner I went to sleep the sooner she would get to LA. A kid on Christmas Eve didn’t have half the expectation and excitement that I had. My girlfriend was flying in to Los Angeles to celebrate New Years with me and…move in with me. We were going to get married. Big fucking day. Big fucking plans. Big fucking red flags I continued to ignore.
I watched the movie as I stuffed my face with Kettle Corn popcorn, a bag of Sour Patch Kids and smoked 3/4 of a pack of cigarettes. Real healthy right? Didn’t care. Tomorrow was the big day and holy hell if it wasn’t after midnight so that meant she would be arriving today!
The movie struck me as odd. No happy ending at all and for Hollywood to not have a happy ending in a film that’s pretty damn unusual. In fact, and if I’m spoiling this for you, then my bad, but it is what it is, Joaquin’s character is essentially left by one of the chick’s in the film who actually had professed her love for him the night before and then stood him up when he went to meet her. Pretty fucking odd. Pretty fucking weird indeed that I would pick this film the night before my girlfriend arrived to start our life together on a whole other level. My gut kicked me gently and I felt off. Something isn’t right, I thought, but pushed it out of my mind and went to sleep.
“The person you are trying to reach cannot answer the phone right now. Please leave a message”, her voice-mail kicked in instantly as I frantically purveyed the airport searching for any sign of her while pressing my phone against my ear hard enough to leave a red mark. How come we always push the phone harder against our ears when we’re trying to hear someone like smashing our fucking ear will help us hear better? “Where the fuck is this chick?”, I said out fucking loud. People waiting in the airport gave me a odd look like, ‘This dude is losing his fucking mind, but I’m going to get the hell out of his way because he has a crazy look in his eyes’. Yes, I was stressed the fuck out. Yes, I’m sure I looked crazy. Yes, everything everything everything and all things that hit you at once when you now know something is wrong, but what can you do has hit you so incredibly hard in the gut that you are paralyzed.
“It’s fine man. Thanks for helping”. I hung up the phone. My best friend who works a fancy enough 3 letter agency job had just dished the goods to me about the not-so-public knowledge information about my girlfriend having never gotten on the motherfucking plane. I didn’t cry. I couldn’t move. ‘The fucking film is happening. The motherfucking film I rented last night and watched is literally happening. I’m living that damn movie. I’m going to fucking snap.’ My mind raced in a loop that wouldn’t stop. I turned the key in the ignition and revved the car out of the parking lot. You know how when you’re pissed and you use your accelerator to channel your rage as though the car will make a fucking statement to the universe? That’s how I drove.
I walked into my house still numb, but not numb enough that I didn’t pick up the Two Lovers DVD and smashed it against the wall. I was numb but not enough that I didn’t pick up the two pieces of the broken DVD, line them up on a table and proceeded to take a aluminum bat to them. Fuck this motherfucking movie and fuck Blockbuster fees.
I never spoke to her or saw her again.
I called her mother and found out that she recently had gotten engaged to another guy. There literally were two lovers: myself and another guy. Her mother seemed genuinely apologetic, but who gives a fuck in the moment? I cursed the day she conceived her daughter and hung up the phone.
I fell onto the carpet and started to cry. Not big tears creeping slowly down your face style, but full on coming from the gut like when you’re at a funeral and you see a relative holding onto the casket and moaning with grief. I could not breathe. I could not think. I could only feel pain. I fucking knew it. All of the red flags started to run through my head like a film reel looping and looping and looping intertwining with my moaning like a sick slide show of happy memories mixed with confusion and now tormenting me. Clockwork Orange didn’t have shit on me at this moment. “Son I need you to take a deep breath”, my Dad spoke through the phone. My Mother and him were on the verge of full on panic. Over 3,000 miles away from me they couldn’t really do a fucking thing, but try to calm me down. “It’s finished Dad. I don’t want to live anymore”.
I hung up the phone and went into my kitchen and selected a sharp chef’s knife. This should do it.
I walked into my bathroom, closed the door and sat down on the toilet with the lid down. I was numb, but not numb enough to run the blade gently across my wrist. The knife dropped from my hand. I went numb. Not just emotionally, but physically I could not move. Oh my God, I’m having a heart attack! And on New Fucking Years Eve of all days…my mind still had a sense of humor despite the very real moment I was having. I tried gasping for air because I couldn’t breathe, but my mouth wouldn’t open. It’s cliche to say, but my vision began to blur and my vision became blinded by a bright white light. I’m fucking dying. I’m fucking dying. I vaguely remember falling onto the floor and then…
“Christian! Christian man wake up!” God? Why the fuck does God sound just like my neighbor? My neighbor who I’d frequently party with and raise havoc in the neighborhood with loud parties and drunken strippers running between our houses, or ‘expressing themselves’ as they would say, was shaking my shoulders. “I’m calling an ambulance”.
The doctors all had an opinion on what happened, but one thing was mutually agreed upon by their expert opinions: I came close to Death’s door. The cause? They couldn’t put a finger on it. I knew what it was, but I’m not an expert and who will listen to the guy who the neighbor found laying on the bathroom floor with blood on his wrist and a big ass chef’s knife beside him. My opinion meant shit at that moment. It wasn’t the loss of blood that caused it, because I had lightly ran the knife across one of my wrists just enough to break the skin, but not cut an artery. I almost fucking died because my heart literally broke in that moment. That’s why. I had let a relationship get a hold of me and take control of my every being to the point that I lost sense of who I was, what I was and had the worse case of oneitis since Romeo and Juliet.
It took me a very long time until I was over her. A very long time, but I can say with purity in my heart if she knocked on my door at this very moment, I wouldn’t react with anger. I wouldn’t react with sadness. I would react with indifference. I moved on. I became better, stronger, more accomplished and most importantly, wiser. I almost feel pity for her, but not quite. If it makes any sense at all to those of you who have gone through a similar situation, I almost feel thankful that I met her, because it was the catalyst that took me from being a boy and transformed me into a man. I had to change. I had to recognize the world for what it really is, not what I fantasized it to be.
I shared this dark story about a part of my life so you know that I feel your pain. I know what it’s like to have your heart torn out of your chest and not want to live. I share it not for us to throw a big fucking pity party for ourselves, but to give you hope. I survived. You will survive and you my friend will be stronger and better for it. Those aren’t some feel good words to help you slide some rose-colored glasses back on your face for you to put your head in the sand and not see life for how it really is, but instead for you to see the truth.
It was my fault that I let myself be blinded by a relationship that should have never existed. It was my fault that I ignored red flag after red flag and continued in ignorance that almost cost me my life. It was my fault that I didn’t take the wise words of mentors far wiser than me and apply it to my life. I only hope this helps you wake up if you’re in the middle of a relationship where your gut is telling you something is off, something isn’t quite right and something has to change. Let my story serve as a warning so that you don’t have to experience the hell I went through. If even one of you wakes the fuck up now before it’s too late then I will be eternally grateful. If I made it, then you can too.
This has been an excerpt from my memoir, If These Balls Could Talk: The Hedonistic Life and Times of Christian McQueen, coming who the fuck knows when.
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