Monday, September 19, 2005

Where Are Your Ghosts?

"I follow him up the steps to his building, climbing over the ghost of me from last night, up to his apartment on the top floor."

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank

I just finished reading this book, and the above excerpt got me thinking. Jane is referring to the drunken ghost of herself sitting on the stoop of Andrew's apartment complex, wondering if she should ring the doorbell and explain all the ways she fucked up their happily ever after. Instead, she waits until tomorrow, and finds herself, Andrew in arm, climbing up the stairs, stepping over last night's Jane.

Ghosts of me are all over New Jersey. That's kind of why I opted to move 2,000 miles away. I couldn't stand to see the hazy visions of me anymore. Everywhere I went there was the 'Fucked Up' Zube Girl of years past. The shadow; traipsing along I-95 in her genie costume on Halloween blubbering to herself about what the result of the HIV test she'd taken that morning would be and why in the hell did that asshole have to rape her anyway...or puking in the bathroom at McGuin's wondering if she'll go to hell like the priest said that one time in church about women who had abortions.

Sometimes, in fact many times, she is not alone. Zube Girl is accompanied by the most beautiful friends imaginable. Friends who cared enough to be human ponytail holders as she hurled up the Medori Sours she loved so much. Probably because those drinks were such a happy color, and happy was an emotion she sought with the ferocity of an addict pursuing her next high. These friends would whisper to another that someone should go get the car started because she needed to get home.

They'd mouth as though they were in the presence of a child "She's upset about the rape." And keys would fly out of pockets left and right. She was going home. Or I was. Because she was me. And I was her. Together, we were the fucked up girl. The girl who was raped.

When my ghost isn't surrounded by loving friends, she is alone. Those are the worst of the visions that haunt me. I had a brass set of sad balls that convinced me to walk home whenever I felt undeserving of friends. And I felt that way often. And I probably didn't deserve them. I'd suck the happiness right out of them, however unintentionally. Then I'd feel guilty as all hell about it. I wasn't good for them; for their happiness. Ergo, they weren't good for me. You know, guilt and such.

Afraid that if I announced I wanted to leave, someone might protest, or care, I'd silently slide out the back door of a party, and put one foot in front of another. Five miles...twenty six miles. No distance scared me. Usually because I was under the influence of copious amounts of alcohol, and felt as though the strength of my sorrow could carry me anywhere.

Even now, as I prepare to embark on another trip to Jersey, I'm thinking about where I'll see her. Most certainly I'll see her on I-95 because you can't really go a damn place without getting on that highway, especially if you want to buy some cute new clothes at Quakerbridge Mall. Which I do. So I'll have to pass her.

It's always bittersweet to see my ghost because I love her now. I didn't then. And I know that that's why she was so fond of fucking up and of getting fucked up. Because I hated her, and I was all she had.

Maybe someday I'll get close enough to give her a hug and thank her for getting me through those years. I'll tell her that she needn't feel bad that she was imperfect about it. Because here I am, years later, quite okay. Thanks to her.

Until then, I'll just love her for who she was. Who I am. However imperfect.

23 Leg Humps:

Amy said...

That is so bittersweet and beautiful. You have such a way of putting down these emotions that I can almost feel as if I were there watching.

We all have our pasts... our skeletons. You are so much braver than I am. I am still hiding mine, out in the open.

I hope someday, I can look back on my ghosts and love them even with the obvious and painful imperfections. You've set an awesome example.

Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

That was incredibly introspective and insightful. Not to mention beautiful.

I hope you have a fantastic trip and if you meet your ghost, give her a hug from me too, because I am grateful for her getting you through that awful time, which resulted in the Fabulous Zube Girl I read about everyday now.

Chickie said...

What a haunting post. Reading this makes me feel a bit better about my own ghost.

kyknoord said...

You have ghosts, I have skeletons. I really appreciate your introspective entries, because they often help to put things in perspective for me.

DelBoy said...

A very powerful post that would make any one of us out here in cyberspace think about our past, ghosts and skeletons. Thanks Zube Girl.

PS: I've only just noticed that you changed your profile pic too!

PaintingChef said...

Who you are is one amazingly incredible woman!!

P.S...check your email.

Zube said...

Amy- Thank you. Really. I don't feel any braver than anyone else 99.9% of the time. I do think it's important, though, to love all of my selves. Even the ones who didn't handle things in the best way possible.

Librarian- I will do just that! :-) However many years it's been, she could still use all of the hugs she can get. Thanks.

Chickie- I'm glad you feel better about your ghosts. We all should. :)

Kyknoord- I really appreciate your comment. Sincerely.

DelBoy- Thank you. :-) And, I changed the picture, but when it's all small I look like a hick who's missing a couple of teeth. Which at first annoyed me, but now it kind of amuses me!

PaintingChef- You too, chica!

Anonymous said...

Wow- that was great,

I usually refer to my old self as "back when I use to be a raving asshole." I think your way was better. :)

Storm said...

isn't it amazing, looking back to see a person that we once hated, but are now grateful for....

that was a great entry.

Phil said...

Wow. Powerfull post, Zubegirl. I don't think I have the words to say more than that. Librarian said it well--give your ghost a hug from all of us, and thank her for helping you become who you are today.


zazzafooky said...

Wow. Sometimes a post is so good, so emotionally charged and well written that it leaves you speechless and in utter awe of its author.

Chris & Cheryl said...

Zube Girl you are so awesome. You have the ability to look back at your paiful past and see it for what it was and for what it has made you into today. You live your life as a survivor, not a victim. You have strength and power and conviction and those things usually come from being wounded. They are your battle scars and you wear them proudly to proclaim that you have survived.

Julie Marsh said...

Cheers to you, ZG. Indeed we all have our ghosts. Worst case, they haunt us. Best case, they remind us how we've become who we are.

I hope that you can enjoy your time in the Garden State.

Blog ho said...

mine all live in my memory.

Anonymous said...

Umm, this is Zube Girl. For some reason, blogger won't let me log in on my comments. Weird!

Bonanza- Oh, I refer to mine as 'the crazy bitch' now and again. Usually in a fond way. :-) It all depends on my mood I guess.

Storm- It is amazing. Thanks. :-)

Phil- I can only hope for the opportunity. Thank you.

TJ- Thank you. I'm glad I could repay the favor, because you've done the same for me on a few occasions.

Anduin- You are so sweet. I think it's important to honor our battle scars.

Mother Goosemouse- I am going to say 'Hi' to the Garden State for you! I can't WAIT to pick up some pork roll to bring back here!

BlogHo- Mind hide there, too. And YOU are the most cunning of Ho's. You always visit me when I'm being all serious and shit! Heh. I promise I'm funny sometimes. Or at least I think I am!

junebee said...

Very well put. Not alot of people would admit having those ghosts in the past versions of themselves. You went through a very bad time, no doubt. You have enough insight to write this but enough wit and optimism to keep going. Great combination.

Zube said...

Junebee- Thanks. I've learned in the past that pessimism breeds bad things. I've got no choice but to be optimistic. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, and I put on makeup today! I am pouring tears right now....everything you just said, goes DITTO for so know how to say things....I swear we are so is so refreshing. I am so glad I found you when I did....our experiences, or 'ghosts' are so similiar...big kuddos and hugs to you Zube Girl, I love ya!

Crazy Lady said...

Poetic, beautiful, and so wonderfully written. It has me thinking of my own ghosts, some distant, and some not so distant. You give me strength to face those recent ones, and hope that I, too, will come out ok.

Al said...

Holy sheeeit! That was a powerful and beautiful post!

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