• Crysta

The Bottom

The fascination with the bottom. What happened? Someone wanting to know why my cousin’s husband went to rehab. What was the thing? The thing was he was/is alcohol and drug dependent. The thing was, he was living a tortured existence. The thing was he was in pain all the time. The thing was he needed help. There was no car crash, no violent fight, no arrest, no judge, no jury, no headline, no sentencing, no condemnation. Just years and years of pain and anguish. Just years and years of low grade agony with some painful and acute peaks. Dragging along the bottom for years.

And people want more. They want to know the details of the events, the dirty, shameful, ugly things that make us hate ourselves. The things that we compare our own pain to.

"Mine didn’t manifest quite like that and so I am still ok, he has a problem, not me. I did some stupid things but nothing ever like that. Wow, he must be so fucked up. Good thing I am not".

It’s salacious sometimes I think. Predatory. People combing through the garbage like vultures looking for something scintillating.

I could drink a bottle of wine and those who knew me best couldn’t even tell. Professional. Liar. You can’t see my pain behind this bottle of wine, transparent, diluted, fermented. Sad. Soaking in Shame. Just another Thursday. You want a bottom? I think that’s enough. I think that’s plenty. Isn’t it enough to want to escape from something so badly that you drink or drug yourself into detachment? Over and over again, even though you have the pervasive sense that the detachment is destroying you? That the disconnect is erasing you and eradicating you and rendering you completely fucked. Beyond numb. And then the high or the drunk isn’t enough. Can’t get drunk enough to forget. And it becomes the only thing driving you. That feral pain, that incessant wail, the ache that won’t leave.

The formaldehyde that preserves your heartache, in a jar, on a shelf, perfect and painful and grotesque. There is no way nature can take her course and heal you now. No decay, no dissolution, erosion, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Just heartbreak, preserved, in a jar, on the shelf. And you add to your collection over time. Specimens of varying shapes and sizes, all perfect and poignant and so. fucking. Painful. Jars and jars and jars, with dusty old lids and shadows and peril. Jars and jars and jars. Collected, fermented. Desiccated. And then you have a collection of heartbreak. A basement lab for your experiments in detachment. A bottom.