I woke up one morning and realized I was alone. Shit, he must’ve left in the night. I hate it when that happens. I really don’t like waking up by myself to deal with all the thoughts in my head alone. I really don’t like being alone – it’s okay sometimes. I suffer from mild insomnia. Sometimes I’ll stay up for five or six days just because I can’t seem to go to sleep. Sometimes I’ll be watching a movie with friends and won’t be able to keep my eyes open so I just kind of nod off. I’m kind of weird like that sometimes.

Anyway, I don’t like waking up alone – or falling asleep by myself. I get nervous, I can’t breathe, I can’t handle laying in bed by myself with nothing but my thoughts swarming through my mind, nothing but my mind awake and nothing to do but reflect on who I am and all the things I have done in my life.

As I said, I woke up alone. I couldn’t really remember what day it was. I think it’s Tuesday. My god, is it Monday? Shit, um. Is it still last week or is already this week? I can’t keep track. I don’t want to keep track but I know I should. I have to find a job, I have to get my shit together. I kind of rolled out of bed, walked to the mirror in the bathroom. Mirror in the bathroom please talk free, the door is locked just you and me. I can’t relax unless I brush my hair. My hair is always tangling up in a big mess after waking up and I can’t stand it unless it looks semi-decent. Put on my face, all that makeup that I use to hide myself. Deodorant, brush my teeth, wash my face – something like that, just not in that order. Put on clothes. First my socks, my underwear, bra, shirt and a skirt… then with the shoes. Now what? I walked out the door.

Gotta find a job. Gotta get my shit together. Why’d I quit my last job again? Oh yeah, boredom. I always hate finding a job. I always take it kind of personally when they don’t call back, when I get turned down. I take it in strides. I walked down the block from my house, I must’ve turned in my resume to every fucking business in this god forsaken town. Bastards, all the stupid college kids take all the jobs.
When I figured I’d already applied everywhere I made my way downtown. There’s always something going on there, or someone I know there to hang around with. I went to the coffee shop where all the scenester kids hang out, all the art fags, the faggy punk kids who think they’re so cool. I fit in there real great. I saw some kids I knew and went over to say hi. Ah, these kids are pretty cool I wonder what they think of me. They probably don’t like me, but I know them. I know them okay – I remember I got drunk with that one girl that one time a couple years ago, I wonder if she recognizes me. Ah, I fucked up my hair this morning, I just know it. I didn’t do it right at all. I should have used the curling iron on it. I wonder if they notice that my eye makeup is a little bit uneven. “Hey Marilyn, what’s up?” One kid said,
“Nothin’ much – how ‘bout yourself?” I said this in a kind of monotone voice. Sometimes I catch myself sounding like your typical stoner or surfer.
“Ah, not a whole lot. I’m just chillin’ with these kids. We’re gonna go back to the tracks in a few minutes and get some beer. Wanna come?”
“Yeah, sure.” Everything always seems to go back to drinking on the tracks with a big group of underage kids. Oh the memories.

I seem to keep repeating this same exact scenario almost every day, or at least every other day. First I’ll wake up with big plans, like finding a job. I’ll wake up with the idea that I’m going to get something done – the hope of getting anything substantial done. Instead it always seems to end up with meeting up with people downtown and going somewhere and drinking. Sometimes we go to a house somewhere, but either the kids are underage and we can’t go to their house, and the ones where we can go to their house… Well, they don’t know everyone; don’t trust everyone to be in their house. I wouldn’t trust most of these kids at my house.

I surveyed the group I was going to be walking to the tracks with to drink beer. Ugh, we’re probably going to be drinking Natural Ice. Natty Ice. Nasty Ice. They all looked about 16-20 years old. They were kind of shabby looking, a few of them were dressed up as punk kids, the rest kind of artsy weirdo’s. There were about twelve of them.

First usually someone has a bowl to smoke. Sometimes a couple people decide to match bowls and we all pass it around in a big circle and everyone gets nice and stoned. We all get a little stupid and babble about nothing for a while, waiting for whoever is getting the beer to come bring it to us. Usually one or two kids will go out and shoulder tap, or one person knows another person who is over 21 – sometimes we drink with someone over 21. Either way, everything always works out okay.

I got kind of nervous. I don’t know, I must’ve done this a thousand times. I told everyone I was feeling sick, started walking down the tracks to go home. I didn’t really want to drink, I just kind of wanted something to do. Maybe someone will be home and they’ll want to hang out. People are always at my house, I have a lot of room mates. We are kind of like a strange family made up of weird kids looking for cheap rent.

I walked the twenty minutes home. I always keep my head down a little, stare at the sidewalk. Sometimes I think I can read things in the cracks, but then I realize that it’s probably in my head or something – no one I’ve ever heard of has said anything about it.

I guess I’m kind of quiet and passive. Well, that’s what my friends like to tell me all the time. I don’t talk as much as my friends, I’m never a big part in the conversation. People always seem to turn to me for support, tell me their problems when they have no clue how petty they seem to me. I guess it depends on whether or not I like the person.

And I’m home… Where all the doors squeak, a few windows boarded up with cardboard because we’re too poor to replace the broken glass, the fence is falling over and slowly decaying. The yard is so over-grown that we throw things into it and tell people to retrieve it – they always say, “hell no.” There are always some kids on the porch smoking cigarettes, or in the living room smoking cigarettes. It’s a pretty big house, we all belong here. I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else.

I walked through the door, not bothering to shut it behind me. “Anyone home?” I called out. I was going to invite whoever was home to smoke a bowl with me. No one answered except a screechy voice that called out, “’eyyy, who’s that? I’m comin’ down!”
Who the fuck is that? God damn, I’m sick of people I don’t know hanging out at the house when no one is home. To my surprise it was one of my old friends that had been hanging around a lot lately. “Ahhh!” She let out a scream, “Fuckin’ Marilyn! What’s up girl?”
“Hey Birdie, how’ve you been?” I asked her.
“I’ve been good –but fuck… ha ha, butt fuck! Anyway, I’ve been hanging out here a lot lately. You live here, right?” “Uh, yeah I live here.”
“Right on, chick. Anyway, you know Michael? He lives here.”
“Yeah, I know Michael,” I replied, a little uneasy.
“Well we’re going out so I’m kind of living here most of the time. We’ll have lots of time to hang out and become good friends.”
“Ha, rad.” Why is she here? I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind, but it was replaced with the knowledge that there are always people I don’t know, people I know, people where you sit back and wonder, “now where the hell did this kid come from? How did this tripper find his way in this house?” Eh, it’s useless wondering why.
“Yeah, so… I’m going back up to Michael’s room. He’s not here, you’re welcome to come up and hang out,” Birdie asked. She sounded really sincere about wanting to be friends.
“Sure, I’ll come up.”

Michael’s room was covered in posters. There was a Misfits poster, a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas poster, Bad Brains poster, Blood for Blood poster, Cock Sparrer poster. I sat down on the bed. It was a really soft bed, I could feel myself sink into it. I tried not to think about Michael and Birdie and what they’ve done where I was sitting. It was just kind of a disturbing thought.
Birdie walked over to the record player – everyone in this house owns a record player. I swear, there are more of them than CD players. Birdie was a skin girl. She claimed to be a traditional skinhead, she had half of her head shaved, leaving just her bangs and the little bitch locks on the sides, framing her face. I decided she looked really good as a skinhead.

“What are you putting on?” I asked her.
“I’m just looking through Michael’s records. Gawd, all he has are these stupid fucking tripper records, and old punk records. Ha, Look! He’s got a fucking Sex Pistols album. How gay is that?” Birdie tossed the record across the room.

“Uh, yeah.” I don’t think she heard me say that. Sometimes I have the habit of talking under my breath.
“You’re pretty quiet, eh? Oh well. I guess I talk enough for the both of us. Here we go! Fuck yeah!” Birdie found a record she liked, finally. She put it on and it kind of bugged the hell out of me. It was loud and fast, which doesn’t really bother me. I heard some racial slurs screamed out over the cacophony of sounds which struck a nerve with me. Then again I listen to Skrewdriver, I even dig the Romper Stomper soundtrack. I pretended to be into the music.
“Yeah, so how have you been Marilyn?” Birdie asked me, turning down the music a little.
“I’ve been good. How’ve you been?” I always give a bullshit answer when I’m around someone I don’t fully trust.
“Fucking shit! I’ve been trying to make rent, but this town is so fucked! Can’t find a place to live anywhere anymore. That’s why I’m here, so it works out. I like it here, I like hanging out with you. But yeah, my mom kicked me out. Did you know I’m still only sixteen? Yeah, what a cunt. I hate that stupid bitch, I want her to die. She kicked me out because she said I was on drugs. Maybe I was on drugs, but it’s not like that’s her fuckin’ business, and if it is her business she should love me anyway because I’m her daughter. I got really pissed off one day and threw her laptop against the wall and she fucking kicked me out like yesterdays garbage. Isn’t that fucked up?” Birdie looked down at the floor, ran her head across the back of her shaved head, “You want a beer?”
“I’d love a beer,” I said. Birdie smiled.
That’s my girl!”

My relationship with Birdie is a strange one. We went to elementary school together and some high school. We hung out in the same group of people, but we never hung out together on our own. We never exchanged phone numbers, never made an effort to be more than kids who know each other and have the same friends. We drank together often, but it was always with ten or more people. One time I pulled her hair (when she had it) up for her while she was puking. That’s about as far as our friendship ever went.

Birdie opened her backpack and pulled out some tall cans of Natural Ice. She handed me one. “Thanks,” I told her.
“Eh, don’t mention it.”

We drank our beers in silence for most of the time. We listened to some old records of Michael’s. I finished my beer, said cheers to Birdie and went to my room. I locked the door.

Sometimes after interacting with someone for too long I just need to go be by myself and calm down. I get nervous around others, I don’t like it. I can never concentrate on it for too long, but I don’t know. I just need a cigarette sometimes, and nothing makes me happier than listening to music in my room and smoking cigarettes, joints, and drinking. Always by myself.

I guess I need so much time by myself to really evaluate my situation, what I’m doing, why I’m doing it. I have to analyze everything about my life, but in a way that I don’t really realize I’m doing it. I don’t know if that makes sense. I find myself picking up things to prove I can, throwing things across the room to hear the sound, watch it bounce. I dance by myself all the time, sometimes with my buddy Billy Idol blasting through the speakers. Dancing with myself… Sometimes I sit around and mope about how pathetic my existence is, other times I tell myself I’m a baby for even trying to comprehend all of this, for getting so emotional. I’m a truly emotional person, I just don’t show it in front of other people. I’m really good at hiding, sometimes even from myself.

One thing I’ve noticed is that people tend to pre-judge me most of the time. Whenever I meet someone for the first time, they usually have seen me around before. I tend to hang out with really outrageous people who talk a lot of shit, people who are really obnoxious and loud, assholes so to speak. People automatically think that I am just like everyone that I hang out with, but I’m really not. I’m different! I swear! God damnit, I am different! It never matters.

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