Journal Excerpt: August 28th, 2018
I can't believe what I'm about to agree to and inflict upon myself. It's not strength driving me, though-- from the outside, this seems both brave and stupid, both logic and alternate non-logic, but... it's honestly just fear doing the steering. I'm trying to cover my bases, but I can't tell how well I'm doing. I know I shouldn't make important decisions based on fear, but in this case, the ends have to justify the means. Some things are so damned precious, you have to let them go to save them. If I'm lucky, this will be my way back to me, back to us, when it's time. If I'm unlucky, it will be for nothing. I've turned my decision into the strong, capable hands of others now. They make the details. It's too late to change my mind. And the waiting... the waiting is ripping me apart.
Journal Excerpt, July 9th, 2018:
It's my birthday. I'm twenty five today and Chloe turns five next week. I'm here in Vegas visiting her because Jamie is allowing it, but now I'm starting to see the ulterior motives in his so-called generosity. I should be used to this game of control and ownership he likes to play, but right now, it just seems infuriatingly petty. And honestly, it's little wonder that he seems so... small now, as a threat, compared to things in Haven. I can't let that pull any wool over my eyes, though-- he's still the one with custody of Chloe and he has a lot of sway to keep things that way.
I've been adoring every minute with this little creature I made. I can't believe she took so long for me to love. I'll always have that guilt, and I've forgiven myself for measures that were outside of my control, but I can't forget. And damn, does it have me scrambling to make up for time spoiling her this week. It's the best present I could have.
However, the longer I'm around her, I'm starting to notice how much she's like me, and not just in looks. And that's disturbing for a few reasons. I don't want her to live like me, questioning realities, seeing or feeling too much. She has not one, but three imaginary friends. We had a tea party with them and though I didn't see them, I got a little afraid they were actually there as ghosts. My skin was crawling, but I had paranoia clouding my senses so it's hard to tell, and the air isn't as charged here in the desert as it is in Haven. That's the one thing that has abated some with age, seeing the spirits of the dead so directly, and usually I don't mind at all. She's so damn imaginative and creative, though, it's entirely possible the whole thing is a ruse of entertainment. Jamie probably doesn't let her go out and play with other kids as much as he should. She's normal, right?
Journal Excerpt, June 2018
Everything I knew was a lie. Or was it really? Our lives, no matter who we are, they're just a series of coping mechanisms and perceptions, starting with developmental lies. When we're little, we get the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny. We get all these fictions to serve as allegory and delights that cloud the reality. We're given storybooks with heroes and cartoons with jokes to balm, then when we grow up, we don't have these things. We have the memory of how it should be based on the stories that came with the fictions and when it's time to fill the gaps, sometimes we fill them with terrible occupying things. We can't help it. We're made with holes. Holes that lies can fill. I want the lie back. Even if my way of seeing, thinking, feeling told me it was a damn lie to begin with.
Journal Excerpt, May 2nd, 2018:
You learn a lot about people working as housekeeping in hotels. You learn more dancing in a lap. Eventually, you learn that people are shit and don’t expect a lot from them. But because you’re human and malleable, you keep hoping. You don’t break, you just bend and go with it, waiting for the next thing to knock you straight or high flying… and then you’re back down again. It’s a pattern, the ebb and flow of life. Sitting in a cloud of pot haze, it’s easy to work through these things, tell myself these things, plow into anything and everything… in practice? Logic catches up. And when it does, you find ways to turn it off when it tells you the things you don’t want to hear.
I’ve never been to the East Coast. There’s a lot of trees and it’s kind of nice when you come from a desert. Soothing? No, that’s not it, the forests around here are too dark for that, misty in a way I didn’t quite imagine when I thought of it in my head. But there’s a certain wild quiet about it that’s easy to fall into, an odd substitute to the wild bright lights of Vegas or Reno strips. And people are a little novel and strange here, even though it’s only been a day to compare. It’s interesting when you come from a city that draws all manner of tourists, where you think you’ve met all kinds.
It’s odd to remember
I’m married while setting up this new house. Why the hell is property so cheap? It’s amazing. We can even see the ocean from a bedroom window. In a sense, this place feels like some kind of well-kept secret, away from the rest of the world. It’s backhanded and I can’t explain it. It’s one of those funny feels I just get, like deja vu that comes with some of my dreams. When does it all start feeling real? It might not. We met in April, wed at one of those horrible Vegas chapels, lit like campfires, spun out on a high and damn the consequences. He was from here once, but he doesn’t talk about it much. We were broke and it was his square one of fallback promise. And since I went and hitched myself to him, it’s mine too. I’ll make it mine. Ours. Whatever. Set up a club, make something work, save money… and then… maybe Chloe.
I don’t want to think about Chloe, but I ache for her at the same time. I feel like I barely know her and the distance might be a mistake. I’m an awful mother. I wasn’t even twenty yet when I had her and the pregnancy was so hard, it almost killed us both. Post partum depression isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s normal they say, but the drugs were my fault when it was time to cope. Jamie wasn’t understanding. Didn’t even give me a chance. He took her because he could, because he had the money and leverage and badge. Now I’m off on another whole coast racked with guilt over it. But I had nothing there that was my own. Nothing for her. But maybe soon. I’d kill to see her out back on the swing, looking at more water and trees than she’s probably ever seen. It’s whimsy. What was that thing MLK said about hope?
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.