I’m a rainbow sprinkles twist kind of girl, or BlackBerry Ice Cream straight from the dairy farm. So when exactly, at what precise moment did I grow a gaping sinkhole right above my sweet and bitter chocolate heart?
You can’t keep piling unicorns, puppy dogs, and positive affirmations atop the dark; the hole expands bigger with every stinking disappointment.
Trust me, disappointment and regret happens to us all.
Sam Shepard died recently, and I felt the familiar ache and pang in my chest.
The hole kept stretching and growing.
I didn’t know him, but like many, I’d admired him from afar.
I passed him on the street in Soho one biting December eve. It was late, REAL, REAL LATE when the city goes quiet, and the whole world is sleeping. The dusk hour is my favorite time to wander aimlessly, ingesting the vibrations and smells. I was a naïve; young model out with a hot, gorgeous, funny girlfriend. We were tipsy from too many Vodka Cranberry’s (Belvedere, of course), or Red Stripes, I can’t quite remember the scene. I can place him though, and the thump of my ice-cold heart beating fast. Who the hell knows or cares where we were coming from, or going.
I don’t. I remember the feeling. The elated, giddy girl, like really, really pure, full of joy and indescribable happiness inside my heart which was still vanilla, even with a whole bottle bunch of sordid, expired flavors life throws at you. I had finally unshackled myself from a bad man who beat me, and had lots of dough in the bank (well for a middle-class country girl like me it was a lot), was studying acting, had two or three different agents and was transitioning from model to actor.
Adulthood? Perhaps. Jetting between Hollywood and New York. It was one of those star aligned goddamn picture-perfect moments, and Sam Shepard was the cherry, the enticing, hot fudge sundae. He turned back and started coming towards us, winked at me, and I giggled like a silly, schoolgirl. We carried on.
Fast-forward twenty years, call that a missed opportunity. I just wanted to shake his hand. Okay, maybe I’m lying. Maybe I thought he could save me like in the movies. Of course, he was hot, and I’d had my share of bad boys. My favorite unholy, chocolate empty, vapid disillusioned heart craved the half-assed attention. Apart from the Catholic schoolgirl guilt, and the fact that Jessica Lange kept popping into my brain we walked on. Who knows what could have happened?
We might have shared a beer, or whiskey whatever. To be in the company of greatness, instead of living with a lifetime of regret forever carrying guilt along with needle and thread. Self-medicating, operating on the open wounds and gapes trying to stitch up the sorrowful void that I have always been.
You have to empty the dumpster first, or shit just keeps piling up. And the unhappy follows you; hell it lives inside your guts sticking wherever it can.
I had no clue then what his work, as a writer would mean to someone like me, with a chocolate melted heart and bleeding ink pen.
How about the time some big shot Hollywood agent begged me to come back to La? Would making movies, adoration, having millions of dollars made me just a little happy? I honestly cannot say, except I hated driving around in circles forever lost in LA, in a pure panic attack, and rage. So I said bullshit, splitsville, later and walked away. Or did I run, away?
Nah. I hate all that superficial bullshit even if the hole screams give me more. More fame, more freedom, more numbing the senses.
Maybe if you fill your days, overbook them with meditation, yoga, exercise, music, fucking, eating it will heal the vape.
It doesn’t; it just gives you heartburn and heartache.
Maybe living with sadness is okay, for now. Maybe I need to expand flavors, try something new, or maybe I just need to accept that the dark lives in me and embrace it.
Overthinking will blow your mind into the stratosphere, making you mean, bitter, angry and resentful when what you really are deep, deep, deep inside the caverns of the black is so afraid. Afraid of an even more busted, bruised gurgling heart with a great big, unfillable, gaping sinkhole.
Don’t try and fix it by stuffing more shit over top, just breathe like a pretty perch with gills on each side and remember.
It’s just a life, swimming against the current like any other. Sometimes, if you’re real lucky, you won’t need to breathe at all. You can forget. You just float. Like root beer and vanilla.
I still love Sam Shepard, bless his wild coffee bean heart even more, so much more for his no-nonsense words, Cowboy renegade style and homeward, however, raw family plotted, ugly, honest thinking. Reading “A Lie of the Mind,” while devouring mud pie sounds like heaven and truth serum possibility.
Some holes are just sad and not in need of any fixing.