You know that thing where you’re sad, and maybe you’re lonely, and for whatever reason you would do anything to feel something, anything, different?

I’m so jealous of people that have other things to put on top of it, like a vice or an obsession, but besides caffeine and cigarettes I don’t really have any.

The last time this happened this ferociously I tried drugs. Nothing insane: a few pills, I did some molly a couple of times, smoked some weed every other day or so. Honestly my coming out of retirement with drugs was underwhelming at best and only lasted a few weeks. And that was years ago.

This time I really fucked up.

I fucked up in Egypt, yes. But maybe more importantly, I was still fucked up enough in the head to not have braced myself against the fallout of leaving, and it happened in my head so differently than I did when I got here that I don’t know how I could have prepared anyway. 

Like I usually do when I leave some place – wait, let’s be honest: when I flee some place – I tend to wrap that country up in a package in my head, seal the edges, and it can exist anyway I’d like it to. It doesn’t have to be opened or evaluated or revisited at all if that’s how I need it to be, and I assumed I could do it again.

But there were, instead, things in my inbox I couldn’t ignore, and my inbox made all that stuff in my head seem even more important rather than less.

So I put the exact wrong thing on top of it.

Back in Cairo, my friend Eri asked me, while I was describing what I was inside of in Cairo and what I’d be returning to in Istanbul, what exactly the nature of my relationships were here. And I swore up and down that none of that could possibly occur, because I thought it was absolutely true.

Until I got back to Istanbul.

Because, you see, the issue was never a single man. The issue is that this year has left me love-starved in a way I can’t seem to reconcile on my own, and rather than sit with that feeling I’m ready to turn anything into it.

And maybe that’s not so bad. Maybe this year gives us all a pass to put anything on top of anything. 

But maybe it actually represents a bigger responsibility to be better to each other, and maybe that’s a responsibility I failed at miserably. 

Miserably save that one brief escape.

So it’s time, I guess to clean house. None of this is working. I’m down friends, dollars, pounds; the latter especially has become increasingly troubling. Not that I know how many pounds I weighed before, but I’m pretty sure I’ve lost about ten of them, and it reminds me that the thing I used to put on top of stuff like this was nothing at all.

When I was a teenager, and 20 in Portland, and when I first moved to Miami, and all those other times throughout all of these years when I’ve watched day after day pass on the calendar while my ribs begin to poke through my skin and food feels more and more weird inside my mouth.

Like that winter in New York when I finally emerged from my cavernous apartment and placed myself across the table from a couple of my SF besties at a bar off the Graham stop and felt one leg fold over the other like a puzzle piece because my legs were so thin.

And this is becoming like that winter – I’m not sure my jeans fit anymore and I’ve been avoiding looking in the mirror – and fucking my best friend isn’t the thing that’s going to solve it. Any of it.

So in lieu of a vice or an obsession, I’m putting something drastic on top of all of this by turning my inbox into an outbox.


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