“Brave New Me” | #EatADick

By Andersen Richards

February 18th, 2016

Since Valentine’s Day, my night clinging to the buoy, things have been different.

I crawled out of the water alive.

And I don’t say “crawled” simply to be colorful. I was hungover and swimming against the current. I was beaten. But I was so happy.

It wasn’t relief that whatever it was that had bumped into me didn’t eat me. There was a simplicity that I never expected to feel. Nothing was different. I was just no longer scared. My heart was still.

The sensation that my intestines were collapsing and sticking to each other, a sensation I didn’t even realize I had felt until that moment as my breath bounced against the matted surf, was gone.

I turned over, looking up at the pink sky, with a grin that made itself at home on my face.

What have I been doing? I kept asking myself. My lungs opened more widely than I realized they could.

I didn’t mention any of this in the last post because I thought it would go away. But all week, life has come more easily to me.

For months I have been parking the Bronco in the neighborhood where I grew up, not far from my mother and sister. It just seemed like I was safer there. But I was never happy. I was always afraid of being seen by someone who recognized me, of being embarrassed.

That’s on top of being afraid of being seen by someone who recognized me and tried to eat me.

But why have I been hiding there? I really don’t know what will happen in the future and I would rather not think about it. Since Monday night, I’ve been parking the Bronco and sleeping in different beach communities. The coastal clouds keep the sun from baking in the inside of the car so I can sleep well after the sun rises. It’s a shorter drive to my job at the museum.

There’s even something about the salty air and the sound of the surf that keeps me locked in the present rather than the future.

I’ve been working this job a couple weeks now. In a month, maybe two, I’ll be able to have saved enough for first month’s rent and a deposit and move in somewhere. I’ll be back in a real place, I’ll have a job again, and I’ll just keep my head down until this Ratfanger’s stuff blows over.

On the plus side: Also! I realized that I have been whining so much lately about everything that I don’t stop to see the positive. So, from now on, every post I’ll try to end with “on the plus side…” or something. I see now I have so much room to grow and develop.

I really think I’m going to come out of all this a better person.

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