me and january 21. 2018 – san francisco part three

i go through the motions – i print my boarding pass. i stand in a longer than expected security line. and this is just another ordinary flight until i began to remove my shoes, my belt, my sweater and then i have an absurd (yet completely rational at the time) thought that i’m going to be stopped by security. i’ll be stopped and led off to the side and they won’t even have to ask me why i’m traveling to san francisco with a one way ticket because they will already know. and they will hold me there until the houston police arrive to put me in handcuffs and drag me screaming from the airport while they try and calm me down by whispering in my ear that this is “for my own good…” and tonight i will be a short blurb on the local news and just another crazy airport story that other travelers will be tweeting about in moments. today is monday and instead of jumping from a bridge on wednesday morning like i have planned, i’ll be thrown in another psych hospital – a very involuntary commitment – and i’ll be forgotten about until one day years from now when they discover what’s left of my body – a heap of old paper skin and cracked bones covered with a gray lumpy cardigan sweater that is dust-stained in the corner of a long-neglected room.

and i’m thinking that i’m fucked now.

i start telling myself to relax and that everything is fine, and nobody knows anything and i tell myself that if i start sweating and forgetting how to breathe, then yes, i will certainly be fucked. they’ll be suspicious, and while they may not know the details of my plan, they are sure as shit not going to allow this sweaty, sad, hyperventilating asshole onto an airplane. i start freaking out and they will make something up. they can keep me off the plane. they can keep me safe until i end up eventually stuttering out the truth.

calm down, sean.

and somehow, i’m able to hold it together enough to push my one carry-on bag through the scanner, walk through the metal detector, and have the security guard wave me through with a bored and unaffected look on his face.

i make it through. i sit down on a bench and exhale.


and then i put my shoes, my belt and my sweater back on. i’m hungry. i eat a breakfast taco. i find my gate and i sit with my back against the window and do crossword puzzles with zero interest until it’s time to board the plane.

when i had booked my flight three days prior, i upgraded my ticket because i had never done that before. but since this would be the last plane ride i would ever take, i wanted to be comfortable. i didn’t want to end up sitting next to somebody who wanted to chat with me and i wanted a free cocktail.

it’s a long flight. i drift in and out of sleep and when we make our first stop in los angeles i remember to take out my phone and turn off my location tracker. if people start eventually wondering where i am they might trace my phone. i don’t want anybody knowing where i am. at least not yet. in the two or three minutes that i have my phone on i can see the messages from different people popping up from the past two hours:

“where are you…?”

“answer your phone…”

“this isn’t funny at all…”

“goddammit you asshole you better fucking answer your phone and -”

i can’t read these. i turn my phone off again and ask for my free booze.

and what people don’t believe, or what they don’t understand, is that this is not a cry for help and this is certainly not a “hey, i just need some attention” move. i have cried and cried until crying is just another foreign emotion. maybe i didn’t cry loud enough, or maybe i cried too loud, and it’s nobody’s fucking responsibility to “help” me or talk me down from a literal ledge. this is just my life. this is a part of what i am and what i feel every single day. this is what i feel when i’m burying myself beneath blankets on my couch in my dark apartment, and this is what i feel when i’m sitting at a bar with a group of friends laughing and talking with a phony confidence that i’m always certain is so obviously bullshit to everybody around me. this is my sick and my hurt and my fucking burden. i was born with this and it was fed and it grew and this is my thing that will eventually kill me.

and i’m too old to feel this guilt any longer. each day it gets worse.

and it’s okay.

and i’m flying through the air, having made up my mind to take care of this. to stop hurting.

and then i step off the plane in san francisco. i need to call an uber and i feel sick because i know i’m going to see the messages – the concern and all of the nice shit that isn’t going to change anything now.

i’m here.

and i see your messages because there were so many. from you. you said you had broken into my apartment because you were looking for me and my front window was unlocked. but i wasn’t there.

you say the police came to check on me.

you ask me where i am.

you say that you’ll drive and come get me, no matter where i’m at.

but i’m almost two thousand miles away now.

a twenty-nine hour drive from houston to san francisco.

i think i read that you say that you are sorry, and you had to go to a judge. i’m going to get put away.

i immediately go to an atm in the airport and pull out as much cash as i think i might need for the next two days. so i don’t have to use my credit card. yes, i know now that if they trace my card it will say that it was last used in san francisco. i knew that at the time. but i’m either not thinking, or i’m thinking too hard or whatever.

you ask me to call you. please.

please. i’m not going back to the hospital.

i see messages popping up from other people. my phone is ringing. my psychiatrist’s office is calling me.

i’m ignoring everybody.

i didn’t expect this. at least not this soon. i thought i had more time. i have a very detailed fucking plan and this is not a part of it.

i agree to call you if you tell the police it was a mistake and i am okay and that i just had to get away for a few days.


i have to get to my hotel.

i promise that i’ll call you soon. thirty minutes maybe. or an hour. and while i wait for my uber, i chain-smoke and start to cry a couple of times and hundreds of people pass by me with no idea.

~ by alltheavenueslookugly on 2018/01/22.

2 Responses to “me and january 21. 2018 – san francisco part three”

  1. Okay, I am confused. Is this happening now or at some point in the past? Should we send out the cavalry?

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