running on empty

The past month has been scattered with episodes from Hell. What began as a seemingly innocent and pleasurable journey to Southern California quickly spiraled into an incomprehensible mess. While the whole of my group stewed over the unannounced disappearance of a member, I was silently toiling inside, longing to be back home to battle with a dissolving relationship that I alone was aware of.

One moving violation and drive-by scratch later, I was once again in Northern California. I returned to work excited by the prospect of built-up assignments in my absence. Sadly, little else awaited me aside from the few menial tasks I had postponed for the end of May. My job has never failed to make my education feel like a complete waste.

My world shattered to pieces Tuesday night with my dear friend Angelina's passing. I can't recall a time when words literally blew the wind out of me like they did that mournful evening.

In the days that followed the heartbreaking news of her tragic car accident, I discovered that I had absolutely no means to deal with what had happened. I had never before lost someone so close to me, with the exception of my grandfather, whom I scarcely knew before his passing just two days before my fifth birthday in 1989. I didn't know how to grieve or whether to scream or cry or run away. I settled for staring blankly at news articles on my computer screen for the remainder of the week, alternately fighting back tears and urging them to come because I couldn't decipher what I felt or how I was supposed to be feeling.

Friday evening, I was shocked to hear two of my good friends from Berkeley were in a car accident on University Avenue, preventing one of them from flying home for the weekend. I demanded an explanation and full details of the incident, falling into hysterics when I heard the car was totaled. Though both survived the accident with little more than cuts and bruises, I couldn't help fight the feeling that I was facing an impending doom.

Angelina's memorial service and funeral at the beginning of the following week offered a chance to seek the comfort I so desperately needed. I was reunited with friends from a distant past, most of which I have not seen or even spoken to for years. Despite the circumstances, it was a happy reunion, sharing memories of a loved one and catching up on all the days gone by. We shared a toast in Angelina's honor and pinky swore to maintain contact because we now understood that life is too short to wait around until next time.

Two days after returning back to Oakland, I heard news of another student from my high school who had recently passed away from leukemia. Though I did not know him, I felt overcome with sorrow and wondered how so much tragedy could befall a community. As I read articles and messages about him online, I received a phone call from my cousin who informed me that my sister had spent the early morning hours in the emergency room getting treated for lacerations to the head resulting from a fallen trophy at a party the night before. I felt my heart jump into my throat, pounding harder than ever, as I frantically requested details and the status of her condition. She assured me that my sister was alright, that her best friends were with her, and that she was currently sleeping the injury off. She received staples and had a CAT scan performed, which indicated no injuries to the brain at all, and she would be fully recovered in a few days' time. Relief washed over me, but the knot of anxiety at the pit of my stomach held fast throughout the day.

At the end of the day, I answered an urgent phone call from my best friend from home. She informed me that yet another student from my high school, and a member of our graduating class, passed away that morning in a fatal motorcycle accident. I clutched my forehead at the severity of it all but felt little more than that. Though we attended middle and high school together, I did not know him well, and combined with the sheer amount of terrible news I had been receiving for weeks on end, the news left me numb and void of emotion. My best friend and I discussed the implications of the accident and made plans to attend his memorial service the following week.

Here I am at the end of it all, downtrodden and empty of tears. In the short time that has passed since the end of the school year, I have been changed.

Away from home, no one can comprehend what I have went and am going through. Life moves on, that is understandable, but what I want is a friend who I can stand still with for just a moment. Someone to tell me that heartache transforms into memories of love, and someone to ensure me that I will be okay. The lives of those closest to me have been put at risk and one has been taken away forever. My insides are shaking with the worst kind of fear imaginable. I need some sort of solace to calm me down.

I wish pain like this didn't have to exist.

1 comment:

Mama Jen said...

I love you sug. Call me whenever. The number is still the same. I'm sorry about all these things that are slamming your heart all at once. I wish you never had to experience this type of pain. But I want you to know, my chest is still around for you to lay on, even figuratively, anytime you need it. Let me know how the final interview went and holla at me love. Take care baby.