I once wrote to you explaining the depth of my love is equal to the span of my hate. And I still believe this is true. I believe that love and hate are the same energy, but they split in two different directions.
There was a winter night during the Christmas season. I was young, numb to the world and neither angry or afraid. As I saw it, I felt the way I preferred to feel; impenetrable, callous, neither enthused nor uuenthused, and whatever happened—I suppose this is what clinicians would term my way of self-defense.
I was waiting in a fast food restaurant on Old Country Road in the town called Mineola, New York. This was a busy time on that road. Aside from the rush hour traffic, nearby, the mall was flooded with shoppers and the traffic was congested more than usual. Meanwhile, I sat with a partner of mine.
We were waiting for the manager to come out and speak with us about a job. And by job, I do not mean flipping burgers or anything legitimate like say, counter help or perhaps a chance to work the arcade stand in the game room in the back of the establishment. No, at the time, the job we waited on was an offer to receive money of we helped the manager regain his financial loss due to a poor business decision with the wrong partner. It was unclear what this man wanted from us; however and either way, whatever this man wanted, he was willing to pay us for it.
We sat by the window. My partner and I were eating and laughing about the job we were looking to take with the store manager. We were laughing about the different requests that might be; whether the job was physical, brutal, or simply destructive—either way, neither my partner nor me cared. It was just business.
This was long ago during the time before the cell phone craze took off to the level of today’s standards. People still used pay phones then. I was much younger, callous, and unconcerned. Of anything, I was remorseless at best.
Out of nowhere, I tell slender man came bursting in through the side door to the fast food restaurant. He was extremely feminine and hysterical.
“She’s dead,” he screamed.
There was an accident on Old Country Road.
A Mexican girl with almond shaped eyes, soft brown skin, and black hair, which was long like I would envision of an Aztec princess—she was anxious to make her way across the street from to deliver her very first pay check that she had ever earned. She was dressed in a uniform, worn in another fast food chain, which was one of several that lined either side of Old Country Road. She had earned her first check and was on her way to cross the street to proudly deliver this to her husband, also a fast food employee, a short order cook to be exact and working in the place where my partner and I waited.
I suppose blinded with pride, the young girl ran to proudly submit to her love her first paycheck; however and coincidentally, this was not only her first pay check. It was also her last.
I suppose she thought she could make it across, I guess in her excitement, she never saw the car coming when she was struck and tossed in the air, only to come down and be struck again, tossed again, and then landing on the glistening blacktop pavement, which brightened beneath the streetlamps and glowed across the double yellow lines that ran up the middle of the busy road.
“Please, someone help,” screamed the feminine man.
“She’s dead,” he screamed.
Without any emotion, I pointed over towards the cell phone that hung on the wall a short distance away behind him. And I am not sure of this was morbid curiosity or if mine and my partner’s ego took place as if to say, “Let me be the judge of this.” Both he and I stood from the table and exited the side door. We walked down to the street and there she was—her face was beautifully still with her last facial expression still intact.
Her eyes were wide open and mouth slightly opened as well —she looked shocked, as if her facial expression represented her last living thought.
Beneath the young beautiful girl’s body was a mess of blood and bits of brain. There were pieces from her head spilled out from the back as she lay face up with a large halo of blood seeping out like deep purple fluid, spreading out, and increasing in distance around her head. The young girl’s stomach was pancaked and flattened, compliments of the limousine that hit her last.
I stood above her, feeling nothing. I was neither moved nor unmoved. I was neither concerned nor hurt, nor afraid of the sight of death. I did not have an opinion of this in either way, shape or form. Looking at the gross display of unfortunate death—I felt the same as I would if looking at an empty soft drink container. It just didn’t matter.
As a matter of fact, after looking down and seeing what I saw, I went back inside to finish my meal.
I recall the limo driver waited for the authorities to come. He was sitting on the hood of his car, weeping uncontrollably, which was odd to me. He felt something for the young girl. Perhaps the limo driver was a family man. Maybe he was a father, or perhaps he knew the poor girl. Who knew? Either way, his display of emotion was so foreign to me.
Meanwhile, I ate a slice of pizza, which in fairness to the description of cheese and sauce, this was not too far away from the sight I had just seen—but still, this meant nothing to me.
I recall a girl standing by us asking me, “How can you just sit there and eat and not even think about this?”
“How can the two of you laugh and just carry on conversation after something like that just happened?”
“And you guys ran out to see it of all things?’
My answer to this girl was short. “It’s not like I knew who she was.” And what I meant was that girl on the street was no one to me.
This angered the girl and she charged at me with a loud yell, “Well, what if that was your mother out there, or your sister, or your girlfriend?”
I paused to think about this for less than a second. But in that brief pause, perhaps I realized just how far the pendulum swung and where I was, although loveless, I was protected from emotion and protected from loss.
My partner, however, answered back quickly to break my chain of thought by explaining, “Honey, you see that guy sitting on the hood of the limo crying? If that girl was any of those people to him” (meaning me) “that limo driver would be dead right now.”
The girl upped and walked away. And me, I was proud of my heartless status. I was fine to be that cold, to be that untouchable, unconcerned, and free of pain. Meanwhile though, I cannot recall a more tragically painful time in my life than this.
In fairness to truth, I was always in pain; so much so that I grew accustomed to the pain. I knew what pain was and I understood the rules of its engagement. I knew what misfortune was. I knew about loneliness and rejection. I knew what self-rejection was and fear, and taken in combination, I allowed this to burn into hatred an anesthetize me, essentially, like an emotional Novocain, suspending my feelings and transferring all my pain, anguish, fears, and insecurities into an unobjectionable mask, which I used as protection.
I didn’t have anything in me to differentiate a good person from bad. I didn’t think any differently about a good girl to a bad girl. To me, a Nun would be no different from a whore and like a butcher to his slaughter or a fisherman to his catch—none of this meant anything to me.
I never thought about love. Then again, I never knew the glory of what it meant to allow someone to rest in my arms and feel truly happy. I never sat in the company of others and experienced the joys of just being me. Put simply, as a means of protection, since I did not and could not like my life or be happy with life on life’s terms—I neither cared nor was I concerned about anyone else, other than me.
This is an accurate description of my hatred. Psychopathic, at best and sociopathic at worst; I was alone, but I was protected this way. At least, I thought so. There were other times when I saw violence, and still they meant nothing to me
Decades later, I can still see that girl’s face as she lay flat in the blacktop of Old Country Road. I can still hear the cold wind as it whipped through the town. I can still smell the aromas from the chains of fast food places and I can still remember the revenge I felt when the girl asked me how I could be so uncaring.
I know who I was then, same as I know who I am now. Thankfully opposite and gratefully understanding that one thing remains true: The depth of my love is truly equal to the span of my hate. And although I feel more than I ask sometimes, although I experience bouts of pain and fear; instead, I open myself to this and humbly, I take all that I feel and expose this as truth. For one, I owe for my past, which is why I allow my pain because I can now celebrate in my rebirth of being me in true form
The truth is I am capable of love. I always was . .
was just too afraid to feel it
I am still afraid sometimes, but the victories I’ve experienced with love outweigh the losses by far. This is part of what keeps me sober. This is what keeps me clean and more importantly; this is why I am capable of loving.