I was twenty two and the circumstances were and still are bizarre to this day. But he changed my life-more for worse than better, but still, better as well. It is those better ways that keep me loyal to him in the small ways that I am. I don’t hate him, no. I don’t. In fact, a part of me will be forever deeply in love with him because he was the first man, even before and more thoroughly than my own father, to advocate for me, to push me-my limits, my buttons, my levels of absorption. It was him. He was the first man who told me that my personality, my brain, my everything; I just blew his mind. He’s not the only one that’s said it but to this day, he’s the only one that counts. He was my first and my most powerful muse. He told me that I could do anything I ever wanted to and that he was proud of me, that he believed in me. He told me I would get an agent and I would be one of the best writers ever read and he was the first one to say it and the only man that meant it without any reference to himself and he took no credit of any kind from it and he was the only one who knew what the fuck that meant when he said it.
When I speak of him with anger or hate it’s not pointed at him, not entirely. Because really, what could he do? He and I were too different. He broke me and he knew it. He owned me; him saying those things to me, he loved me, and that he wanted me to be his wife if only his dog Rupert could be the best man. That I would look gorgeous with the heavy weight of his diamond on my left hand. He knew that when he wrote out ‘Mrs. Rana Esposito’ and said softly that it had a beautiful ring to it… he knew that it took the fire and indifference about me that he loved away. His love, for the first time, and forever after, made me completely weak. He was the one that showed me that true love was a drug and I needed it more than heroin. How could I ever blame him for losing that spark-even when it made my light go out for good? Do I miss him? Yes I do. I still miss him every day. Our cranky chats, when he’d hit me up when he needed me, when things were shit and he needed someone to help him work his kinks out and go back to being Mr. bad ass rock star… I miss that. He only ever apologized to me once. Only once. I felt like he owed me a lot more than that. Many, many more apologies because he said and did a lot of shitty things to me, but I’m glad that he didn’t hand them out when he didn’t mean them.
He was and is a man with very few regrets. If I am something to him at all, I need to find comfort in the fact that I am one of those few regrets that he has. I know that he regrets that he hurt me. I know he does… Or he wouldn’t have come back like some sort of revolving refraction of my past… pop his head in over and over and try ‘us’ all over again… Because like me, there was always something for him about me that stuck with him, that left some sort of mark on him, even though it was much smaller and more shallow than mine.
I’m most angry and insane about not his loss, but about what it did to me. The night he broke my heart, I remember it perfectly. I was at our beach house in Florida. We had been on the phone and he let the hammer swing down and I hung up, the phone just barely clicked on the receiver, a tiny, quiet end of a conversation and a life… and I got up off of the canopied bed and walked out onto the balcony overlooking the beach and just looked out at the black ocean feeling this warm/cool breeze, hearing the heavy surf and I remember the screened in area, the tiny squares and metal smell of them. I remember the black metal railing that I fisted until my knuckles went white. I remember the perfectly trimmed hedges just beneath the balcony, framing the concrete parking lot. I remember the shade of yellow that the paint distinguishing the parking spaces became underneath the street lights in the parking lot. I remember the moths and mosquitoes that flew around those lights… The halo around the lights that was blurry by both the contrast of the light against the night sky and my quiet tears… I remember the exact and huge, heavy, all-encompassing feeling of succinct and final loss and devastation and the harsh realization that it would never, ever be the same for me… It felt like I had a mass grave of bodies packed in rows on my chest and I couldn’t breathe. If I inhaled the sobs would explode and I would shatter. For days after, I sat in a corner with my arms wrapped around my knees-barely speaking. It’s so damn easy, just thinking about those nights, those weeks, those months, those years, to have it come back to me… not a mild reflection of the misery, no… but that same horrible deep, ripping agony, the kind that you hear your own fascia around your guts and your heart tear in your ears, the kind that is way, way too fucking real…it comes back as fresh as it did that very night, after eleven years… so easily.
He broke my heart every single time after when he inevitably would lose interest and leave again. But, because it never fully healed after the first time, it didn’t hurt quite as much… But all of that pain still belongs to him. He was the toggle switch that changed my fate. He inadvertently pushed me down the path towards the cliff that I jumped off of. The one that led to the abuse and the rape and the complete and utter destruction of everything that I could have ever been before.
What is perhaps the hardest is that he was the water that mixed my creative process into a seething, raging, beautiful thing and now, after all of this shit, my creativity-the very essence of me, the entire point for my being on this fucking planet: my writing, my art, my music-my first nature, is the most difficult thing for me to face. I dig my heels in and back pedal away from it with emotional violence, a beaten horse. I only find the opposite of solace in it now. It’s fucking beyond painful to try and work; to knead and push and callus my hands and write and draw and play. It’s all agony and uphill for me because I judge my work not on its beauty because that has disappeared. I judge it on the pain it causes me-by the memories. The reason my novel has taken these long years to even get towards half way complete is because it is, in truth, about him. Him and me, and all of the what could have, should have, would have… and it hurts to go back and work on it, even though it’s such a fucking worthy and beautiful story, as much as it’s morphed and moved into different spaces since. Because still, whenever I see my main character, it’s Anthony’s face, his tattoos, his eyes, his hair… his life. His life… and the complete barrenness of mine.
My most favourite song that he co-wrote with his first band Lynch Mob, he played bass and did back up vocals. This was from their first album, when I discovered him at 14. I had pin ups of him on my wall. Ironic, this song being my fave. In the extreme.