Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Liz Does Some Guessing

“Fuck.  My lungs are beat.”

“Quit smoking.”

“Weed is worse for you than cigarettes.”

“Which makes cigarettes better by the transitive property of you’re a douche bag?”

“Shut up.  When you stop getting high every day, I’ll stop smoking my Lights.”

“Guess it’ll be a while then."

“I don’t want to live forever anyway.  Pass it.”

“Here.  How old do you want to be when you die?”

“I don’t want to be old.”

“You know what I mean.  How many birthdays do you want to have?”

“But, what does that mean?  I can’t decide off of that.  After I do everything I want to do.  That’s when I want to die.”

“Wow.  I want to do so many things.”

“Not me.  I’d say there are ten left.  Then, goodbye.”

“How can you know that now?  How can you possibly make a count?”

“Easily.  I know what I want.”

“Tell me."

“You sure you want to know?”

“I am.  I mean, yeah.”


“And you said ten.”

“No, nine.”

“You just said ten.”

“I changed my mind.  Okay.  One is that I want to spend a day at every beach on the east coast.  Two, I want someone to love me who I don’t love back.  I want to, like, break someone's heart.  Three, I want to learn Tom’s guitar part for Mic Check.  I want to live outside for a month, is four.  I want to go in a hot air balloon.  I mean, I want to touch a cloud and I feel like that would be a good way to do it.  So that’s five.  I want to save someone’s life, is six.  Seven is I want to write down every lie I can remember telling and give the list to my brother.  Getting an abortion, is eight.  And nine is to tell all of my secrets to one person.  Nine’s got to be the last one.  And then I’m done.”

“You could do all of that in less than a year if you timed it right.” 

“Yes, I know.  But it’s not about timing.”


“I mean, it’s about doing them when they feel like they should happen.  You can’t time it or its suicide.”

“I mean, that’s what’s at the end though.  That’s what’s after nine.”

“No.  After nine, if you do it right, is just, well, kind of ten, I guess.  And ten is to know that you’ve done what you wanted.  Kind of like quitting while you’re ahead.  You see less death that way, I guess.”

“What is wrong with seeing death?  I don’t get it.”

“Don’t worry about it.  I’m so high.  I can’t really explain it.”

‘Then it doesn’t mean anything.  If you can’t even explain it to at least one other person what is it worth?  Don’t say that shit then, Liz, it freaks me out.  I don’t want to hear you talk like that.  You want to get an abortion?  You’ve got to remember all the lies you’ve told?  Do you lie to me?  What the fuck Liz?”

“That’s everyone’s reaction when you tell them you lie.  ‘Have you ever lied to me?’  And the answer is always no.  Which either means, 'Not yet, but I've lied to everyone you love,' or, 'Yes.'  And having a kid isn’t on the list.  Being pregnant is.  Thus, an abortion.”

“It’s fucked to have a list, Liz.  It’s fucked up to check things off and, and, and it’s fucked to get pregnant so you can get an abortion.  You sound crazy, man.  You’re fucked.”

“I know.  Just hit this.”    


Anonymous said...

Kay, so this is weird, but, I thought as a writer you might enjoy this story.
So, my name's liz, and my life is in this bizzare upheavel period where I'm homeless for the time being because I have to decide real fast what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. And I was doing this dumb myspace survey where you put "your name does something" in a google search. And this was the result I got and it was poignant and moving and all that stuff and I totally decided what I was doing with my whole life... so... that's my story for you from a complete stranger about my life... and the moral is thanks for being kick ass I guess.

SITMF said...

What? What are you going to do with your whole life? I'd really like to know. And thanks.

Anonymous said...

So - I'm 21 and I've been half ass going to school for forever almost because my folks want me to. Going to school for accounting at that. Which I am not down with. I told my folks, whom, until now, I'd lived with, that I was moving out and not going to college and moving to Portland to live with the love of my life (who I ironically no longer talk to and pulls in with your story as well). They told me they wouldn't talk to me until I had a degree. So I told them to fuck themselves and started "camping" (aka being homeless). And I read your piece and decided I was going to school, but they could still fuck themselves because I'm moving across the state and going to go to school for what I want... that was the best list of what to do with ones life that I've ever heard, and I'm a big believer in signs, and so I find it ironic that, in the middle of not knowing what to do, I'm sent to a list that exactly outlines what to do in life... And I know this isn't overly eloquently explained, and I apologize for that, but this made me decide what I'm doing, so it was good writing... go ahead and e-mail me if you'd like.


Anonymous said...

So - I don't know if you ever check this anymore but I hope so 'cause I've been thinking about it a lot lately (I'm the gal from above). So - the plan had been go to school and be all responsible and it would have sounded great to my mom, right? And then I finally realized that I am (luckily?) just not one of the people that has it that easy. hadn't really thought about this piece in a while and then I went through an unfortunate period where - despite extreme caution my partner and I ended up pregnant 3 times in 2.5 years - once with triplets (one of my doctors didn't believe me until he got copies of the ultra sound) and had miscarriages (which I know now what a blessing that was) and I spent a lot of time thinking about how it felt to be pregnant. Throughout these last few years I've given CPR twice (I work with people with developmental disabilities and in retirement homes so it wasn't a freak accident). Once that worked and once that didn't. And then I stumbled across this again in some saved things... I realized my brother, despite some things, is an amazing person - and it might be therapeutic for him to have a list of every lie I've ever told. I feel like I would rapidly excel at living outside after, in recent years, becoming a pretty decent hippy. I got an offer recently to move from Idaho to Mass for school and work (in special education- it's my calling), I've had a *strange* soul connection with a boy who pilits hot air balloons, through this boy I learned that, despite my previous notions, it's not me that always gets my heart broke - I'm always the heart breaker and never even knew it (which kind of shames me as a person). I guess what I'm saying - is you preemptively wrote my list - and I find that incredible. I very much believe in signs... and I think I might follow where this list takes me a little - I guess I only have 7 things left - and that's it.