My Crazy Train
I remember when I was a little girl I went to the movies at least once a month with my dad; it was our little tradition. I was such a daddy’s girl, and I looked up to him. Whenever the song “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne came on, my dad showed his inner rocker. He would spin the volume dial all the way to the right and slam his foot on the gas pedal. He would sing in his crazy baritone voice. Then he would tap his hands on the steering wheel and the dashboard to the beat of the drums and purposely swerve to scare me and to represent going out of control. This is what the song meant to me as a little girl, but now the song is a metaphor for the troublesome times in my life.
“Crazy…But That’s How It Goes”
I am talking to Thomas on the phone again. It is now part of our daily routine. He’s my friend’s fiancé, so we have gotten to know each other over time. Most the time we talk about our mutual friend, Jess, and whether or not he will go to Homecoming with me. It’s my senior year and I need a date, so I can at least say that I had a date my last year at Susquehannock. He has finally agreed to go with me. We are talking about which restaurant we should eat at before the dance and when we should get together to pick out our outfits. We share intimate secrets with each other, like the problems I‘ve been having with Jose recently.
One day Thomas says something so crazy, I don’t know how to react. “I love you…Well aren’t you gonna say it back?” he says convincingly. This was not the first time that a guy has caught me off guard by saying he loved me, but this was different, I am shaking. “I…I don’t understand. I thought you were with Jess.” I reply confused. “No she left me for Chris, you know, the guy she cheated on me with at Liberty University.” he says confidently. “Even so, you know I’m with Jose. I can’t cheat on him.” I respond shaking. “Come on Shanypoo, it’s not cheating, it’s just three little words.” he was relentless. I do not know what to do. I am in love with Jose, not Thomas. So why can‘t I just tell Thomas to go to Hell? I can’t do that, he is my friend. The silence starts to become so overwhelming. It is obvious that Thomas will not let this conversation end until I return the sentiment. So why can‘t I just hang up on him? I can‘t do that, he is my friend. “OK, I love you. Goodbye.” I gave in to him.
“I’m Going Off The Rails On A Crazy Train”
I have a dress for Homecoming from DEB, a short, low-cut, tight-fitting black dress. When I was trying it on, Thomas said, “OK, turn around. Very nice. Now go take it off,” in front of my mom. I also got shoes with flashing light heels. Thomas got a white suit from Express Men, when he ripped the tag off and pretended that it was on the sale rack and got it for 200 dollars cheaper. We ordered each other the traditional Homecoming flowers. I got my nails done-white with black flower designs. He told me I had to make my hair curly for him. We decided to eat at a nice Italian restaurant in Glen Rock. He just pulled in my driveway in his shiny black Dodge Neon to pick me up. He knocks on the door. He’s drunk. He has an open bottle of Apple Schnapps in his hand and asks my mom if he can put it in my fridge. This pisses my mother off, but she finally agrees. My mom, like every year, wants to take lots of pictures of us in our outfits. Thomas is in a rush to get out of the house. He is in a bad mood and drunk. My mom takes two pictures, and we leave. The restaurant is so romantic, with candles and flowers arranged on the table. The food is amazing; we had bruchetta with Caesar salad and spaghetti with meat sauce. But none of this compares to the main activity for the night, which is the dance.
We walk in and say “Hi” to all our friends. Everyone seems surprised to see us to together; they thought he was still with Jess, perhaps with good reason. The music starts up, and we start to dance. Our bodies move to the beat of the music. He feels me up and down. We kiss intensely. Everyone around us is disgusted by our intimate dancing. The song “Run It” by Chris Brown comes on and our sexually charged moves increase. He touches my legs and grabs my breasts and pulls my hair and kisses me forcefully. In this moment, I am seduced. I have to have him. We go to my best friend, Jen’s house after the dance and her mom, Birdie, gives her traditional “if you hurt her, I’ll chop your dick off with this butcher knife” talk, and then tells us to go upstairs and use her bedroom. So we go upstairs and I give him my body. I cannot believe this is how I will remember my Senior Homecoming dance for the rest of my life. I always thought senior year was supposed to be filled with happy fairy tale memories.
“I Know That Things Are Going Wrong For Me”
Jen decided to have her eighteenth birthday party at her house, with lots of drinking. So, here I am sitting in Jen’s kitchen drinking. I did not eat dinner tonight. After my third Smirnoff, Jess calls Thomas. Jess is apparently on the bathroom floor next to a pile of blood. Thomas grabs his keys. Jen interjects, “you’re not allowed to drive, you’ve been drinking. That’s the rule in my house.” He is determined to go help his precious Jessica, “I don’t care. I’m 22 years-old, I’m responsible for my own actions. I’m leaving!” I try to stop him, “Jess will be fine. She probably had a miscarriage. I told you she was probably pregnant with Chris’ child. Please, just call an ambulance for her. You’re too drunk to drive. Please don’t go!” He looks me in the eyes and says, “If Jess is pregnant, it is my child. She told me they didn’t sleep together and I believe her. Don’t worry Shanypoo, I’ll be back later.” I start crying and drinking some more. I’ve done the math and there is no way that Jess could be pregnant with Thomas’ child because she was still in Virginia at the time and Thomas knows it. Everyone is trying to comfort me; everyone, except Jose. He’s pissed. I can see the anger in his eyes. He starts drinking heavily. He must suspect that there’s more going on between Thomas and I than I let on.
Thomas comes back at the same time Jose decides to go with some of the other guests on a beer-run. Birdie, who is totally drunk, tells me and Thomas to go use her bedroom. We go upstairs into the room and get on the bed. We are having sex, when we hear the front door close. Jose is back. He’s coming up the stairs. Thomas freaks out, he is afraid of what Jose might do to him. Brandy is coming out of the bathroom, which is the room next to the one we are in. I hear Jose say, “Hey, what’s up baby?” and then, I hear them kiss. I am so pissed at them right now. I think to myself that maybe Jose and Brandy are having an affair, but that‘s absurd. He kissed her to get back at me. Jose throws open the door and says, “If you want more beer, come downstairs” and slams the door behind him. Thomas and I are underneath the blankets, completely covered up, laying down next to each other with our clothes on the end of the bed. I start shaking, I am terrified; Jose used to be in the Army and he has quite a temper; he might actually kill Thomas. We get dressed and head downstairs.
Jose is chugging beer after beer. I try to tell him that nothing happened, that Thomas and I were just talking under the blankets. Jose looks at me with the scariest look I ever seen in my life and blurts out “whatever”. He leaves in a fit of rage. I am sitting at the kitchen table screaming, “What the fuck! What the fuck is going on?” continuously with tears in my eyes for about half an hour. Jen and Birdie and trying to calm me down. I start screaming, “I need a cigarette! Give me a fucking cigarette!” They look at me confused. “Shannon, you don’t smoke.” I sob and cry, “I know I don’t smoke, but I need a fucking cigarette!” Birdie offered me one of her Gold Coast menthols. Jen interjects, “Mom, she’s not used to smoking. She can’t handle full menthol.” She hands me one of her Camel menthol lights. “Here.” “Thanks.” I reply graciously. It tastes disgusting, but I don’t cough; it’s not the first time I’ve been stressed enough to smoke. It calms my shakes and makes me feel numb, but the taste is so bad that I have to drink another Smirnoff.
I stay up talking with them for hours about all of the events that unfolded tonight. Finally, we decide to head upstairs to sleep. I wake up in Birdie’s bed next to Jen’s dog. I go downstairs for breakfast and try to piece together what happened last night. According to Jen, before the drama with Jose, I was giggling for half an hour straight and I put a Strawberry flavored condom on an empty Smirnoff bottle and pretended to give it a blowjob. I don’t remember any of this. Why did I drink so much? How could I be so stupid to sleep with Thomas when Jose was only going to be gone for a few minutes? I feel so embarrassed. I swear I’ll never drink again.
“Crazy I just Cannot Bear, I’m Living With Something That Just Isn’t Fair”
I slowly walk up the concrete stairs to Jose’s apartment. I sit down on the fold-out futon couch and tell him that I have something important to say. My heart starts pounding furiously, and I can feel adrenaline flowing through my body. He looks at me with those kind, loving eyes and asks, “What’s the matter?” I take a deep breath. “Well…oh God, I think this is the hardest thing I will ever have to say. OK, here goes. I slept with Thomas, and now I’m a week late. I talked to Thomas, and he said that if I am pregnant, I have to get an abortion” Jose stays clam and tries to calm me down. “Look honey, it’s going to be OK. I appreciate your honesty. We will go to Wal-Mart and get you a pregnancy test. If the worst occurs, I will tell everyone that the child is mine. I won’t let you go through the emotional Hell of an abortion.” At this point, I’m in tears. “You are the most amazing man in the world. I don’t deserve you. Thank you.”
After dragging myself through Wal-Mart to buy the test, looking over my shoulder every few seconds to make sure nobody I know is lurking around; I walk back up the stairs and into the apartment and open the box. Jose reads the instructions and talks me through every step. I go into the bathroom, lean over the toilet and pee on the stick. I set it down on the sink and slowly walk back to the couch. Now I have to wait for three minutes. Three minutes-God it feels like three hours. I am shaking and crying hysterically. Jose is comforting me, holding me in his arms. I don’t deserve him. What possessed me to cheat on him? I don’t know, but I know I don’t deserve him. Jose looks at me and says, “It’s been three minutes.” I slowly pick myself off the couch and struggle to walk through the kitchen and the guest room, back to the bathroom. Trudging on the dirty blue carpet felt like wading through a fast-flowing stream. I walk in and pick up the stick with my eyes closed. I take a deep breath and slowly open my eyes. I look down and, to my surprise, see a minus sign. I fill up with excitement. I call for Jose. He asks me if everything’s OK while stepping in the room. I turn to face him and I have the biggest smile on my face. “Everything is going to be OK. I’m not pregnant!” I say jumping up and down. He looks as relieved as I am. I don’t deserve this man.
“Mental Wounds Still Screaming, Driving Me Insane”
I had a crazy dream recently that haunts me. I’m pregnant, and I look like I’m going to pop. I go to the doctor for the first time during my pregnancy, and the doctor tells me I’m only three months pregnant. This does not make any sense to me. I think back and realize that around three months ago I was on my Spring Break trip, which is strange because I have never gone away for Spring Break. I remember getting really drunk and blacking out. I woke up in some guy’s bed. The strange thing was that the guy looked like Thomas. I tell Jose about my blackout, and he does not look surprised that I cheated on him and he may not be the father of my child. I see a yellow Dodge Neon, which is the car my ex-girlfriend Katrina drives. I run up to the car and open the door excitedly, to my surprise, I see Jess driving. I call her name and try to make small talk. She slams the door and gives me the look of death and speeds away. That’s when I realize that the guy I was with on Spring Break did not just look like Thomas; he was Thomas.
I wake up in a cold sweat. I look over at the clock, it’s 3:00 AM. You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s been three years, and I’m still having these dreams. Why the hell can’t I get over this? The memories of him are like a demon that continues to haunt me. I’ve asked forgiveness from Jose, Jess, and even God. I’ve tried to cast spells to ease my mind. I’ve written poems and stories as therapy. What will it take for me to forgive myself? Maybe I never truly will. I just hope one day the guilt won’t be so overwhelming. I hope to get back on track. I hope my crazy train gets back on the rails and my life back under control. Sure, Jose forgave me and we are still together, but I cannot stop thinking about my infidelity. I need to learn how to forgive myself. I need to move on. Everyone makes mistakes. I learned my lesson; I have remained faithful to my man. So why do I still feel guilty?