Thank you, Barcelona.

It’s my last day in Barcelona. I never imagined being here this long. That changed when I met Petter, who let me sleep at his flat for two weeks and stayed up late talking to me during my premenstral breakdown and who hugged me tight when Laurent left me on the street. I have so much love for this kid, I can’t even begin to express it.

Seriously. I can’t wait to see the sarcastic, basketball-playing, Sweet-ish little shit again. He is wonderful.

 

petter giving his world famous tour of the gothic neighborhood

 

I have another list for today, but it’s a bit more serious than yesterday’s. Okay, a lot more.

Things Barcelona has taught me about being a human being: 

  1. I am not so much addicted to sex as I am obsessed with finding and feeling love. Unfortunately, the two concepts have been rolled into one.
  2. I am plagued by the sick belief that men will only love/like/care about me if I have sex with them. This means I have a lot of sex with a lot of people I don’t like. Prostitution and abuse left me feeling like sex is all I am good for, like “no” isn’t an option, like I am an object. I have learned to use sex to my advantage — to essentially prostitute myself for things like safety and comfort and a place to sleep instead of for money.
  3. Because of this, I am generally terrified of girls. I feel/fear that I have nothing to offer them — that because I can’t give them sex, I am nothing and no one. I can’t act around them. I can’t be objectified and use said objectification to “thrive.” And maybe they understand me too much. Maybe I don’t want to be understood like that. There are certainly exceptions to this — I have my fair share of girlfriends — but most of my abandonment issues revolve around women. So, ladies, sorry if I’ve been weird to you. I wanna be your friend, but you probably intimidate me.
  4. I am in love with love. I love love. But it SCARES THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF ME. And so I find men who don’t love me, who treat me like garbage, who, like Laurent, don’t even remember my name. In some insane way, that feels safer because I don’t have to be vulnerable. I don’t have to show them who I really am. I am afraid of who I really am — of the mental breakdowns and the deep-rooted impact of trauma. It is easier for me to be a sexual deviant, a borderline porn star, than to look someone in the eyes and “make love.”
  5. There are people, like Petter and the French boy, for whom sex is not the focal point, but a secondary phenomenon. At the risk of embarassing the shit out of Petter, there was a morning when we almost slept together, but he could see in my eyes that I was distant and broken and he pulled away and said, “You don’t want to do this. You don’t have to.” I told him, “There are so many times I’ve wanted to say no, but no one has ever told me I could say so.” I cried in his bed.
  6. Freedom really isn’t free. And true freedom is nothing like what I thought it was. On the first night of my last trip to barcelona, I wound up at El Puerto (the port), where the same group of people drinks and smokes and plays music and dances until the early hours of the morning, every single night. The first night was magical. I had never experienced anything like it. I thought, “this is freedom. Europe is so open and unrestricted and beautiful.” And then I went back the next night. Same people. Same songs. New beers and joints and MDMA and cocaine, same results. Find a girl, take her home. Get trashed. Watch the sun rise with bloodshot eyes. And then again and again and again and you realize that these people aren’t free, they are broken. They are afraid of the dark. They are trapped in a time warp. The party  becomes a day job, an addiction. In fact, Laurent actually used those words: “I am addicted to the port.” True freedom is learning how to say no, how to be alone, how to ride the waves of emotions, how to feel whole when it feels like everything is falling apart. I want that freedom, nothing else.
  7. I am not as crazy as I often think. I do crazy things and have crazy thoughts, but I am leif, a dynamic human being, and fluidity is immune to labeling.
  8. I am broken, but resilient.

It’s been eight days since I’ve done anything stupid. Eight days since I last saw Laurent. Eight days since I sent this text message:

“Two things: First. don’t call me. Second, if you see me on the street, keep walking. You don’t have the patience to make me cum and I don’t have the patience to be treated like a whore. Au revoir, Laurent.”

I am strangely proud of this. And if that’s TMI, you’re reading the wrong blog 😝

 

On a somber note, today would have been my wedding day. I am thinking of Dustin, hoping he is okay, that he is holding Clover and playing music with Andy and eating brats with his friends. I hope he goes to Lake Superior and swims.

❤️


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