Hangin’

By the time you read this I will have reached my destination, but for now I’m on a plane. Love, Simon is playing in this bullshit airplane with no personal screens and old-school outlets that don’t work. No one around me is really watching it – nobody’s got their earphones on – but that kiss is coming and that ought to catch an eye or two. I’m low key excited to see how the old farts sitting next to me will react, although they’ll probably pass out before it happens. Ugh, who the fuck cares, my whole life is in shambles. Literally left on the side of the curve. I’ve kept it together thus far, but as reality sinks in so do I. Deep.

Departing from Dallas rather than directly from New York has helped a bit. I don’t give a shit about Dallas so watching it unfurl below me feels… like nothing at all, like no place at all. And I was in too much of a hurry to even notice I’d left New York in the first place. Dismantling my life took longer than anticipated and it was touch-and-go for a minute. I spent the whole car ride to the airport kicking myself for leaving shit ‘till the last minute, panicking I’d miss my flight. Panicking is exhausting! When I finally did make my flight, I passed out almost immediately.

I came to somewhere over Texas, just in time for a sip of sparkling water and the stale cookies American Airlines consider an appropriate complimentary snack. All I wanted to do was get off the plane, fix my hair in the men’s room and maybe get a drink before my connecting flight. I did my hair first, then washed my hands compulsively. More often than not, whenever I have to handle luggage – and pockets and zippers and locks a million times a minute –, my fingers bleed from the cuticles. The nail folds get swollen and rip, it’s painful and mildly gross. This was such a time.

Blood had dried on my middle finger and it hurt too much to thoroughly rub it off so I had to quit after a few attempts. I walked out of the restroom and through Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport only to realize I’d have to take a train to reach my gate, which meant I was, again, already late. My mom always hassled me about leaving things ‘till the last possible moment, but that is quite literally my nature – and at least partially her fault.

I was supposed to be born on September 4th, 1984. If anyone here knows when my actual birthday is, you’ll know I definitely held out for as long as I could. “I was born two weeks late, is that why I hesitate”. I wonder if Gwen Stefani was also a C-section baby. Although I guess that’s not being born as much as it is being forcefully removed from the premises. And my birth was the equivalent of an eviction where authorities are called.

My mom had birthed my older sister with considerable ease and, although growing impatient with my free-loading ass, she figured I’d perform the same and she could wait it out. But the weeks rolled around and so did I, finding new and exciting ways to prevent my delivery. See, the circumstances surrounding my birth are so ridiculous and dramatic I like to believe these were conscious choices I made. I can absolutely picture myself using all that extra time on my tiny hands to come up with this gruesome plan.

They say it’s quite common for umbilical cords to loop around babies’ necks, once or maybe even twice, without compromising their safety upon delivery. Of course, for that to happen, the baby would need to come out as most babies do: head first. I however wrapped that sucker around my neck three times, effectively creating a noose, and stood on my mother’s vagina for gallows. Think you can kick me out? I will literally hang myself, mother!

Alas, being a fetus and all, I was unaware that she could call someone to come in and get me, which on the morning of September 19th, they did. But it’s still a cool story. I love that I’ve been threatening to kill myself since birth. It’s just like me! And it makes the actual recurring fantasy less menacing. Because truth be told, I always think about it. It’s the very first place my head goes to when shit gets rough. But fret not, because I also think I could never go through with it. Not necessarily for fear of pain or the unknown – both very loathsome dreads to me –, but merely because I’m too damn stubborn to quit.

So now, as I face the inevitable return to a city I’ve only ever wanted to leave, this story keeps me slightly amused and safe from self-harm. Although I’m still on a plane. There really isn’t all that much I can do here, is there…

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