The sun was shining, a nice breeze was blowing, and I was vomiting into my roommate’s plastic witch cauldron.
This is Rock Bottom.
I don’t know if you know Rock Bottom, but she’s fickle. She leaves a bittersweet taste on your tongue. The hopeful flavor of things can only get better from here accompanied by the cruel tinge of you know this isn’t over. She doesn’t accept a breakup. She doesn’t let you sleep. She crawls right into your ear and up into your brain and she sets up camp. She’s got a pup-tent that fits her and her friend Shame comfortably. They’ll light a fire. You’ll feel it back by your spine, burning hotter and hotter and you'll think you can ignore it. But it will burn until it lights your brain on fire. And suddenly you’re gone, a pile of ashes where a person used to be.
I tried to outrun her. But she kept catching up.
Rock Bottom ruined my favorite Mexican cantina. She ruined my favorite shirt. She ruined 2015. And a bonfire in my brain wasn’t enough. She unzipped my skin, crawled in, and stretched out until she was at the tips of my fingers and toes. And then she touched everything she could and wouldn’t let go until it burned.
Rock Bottom told me she was everything. That she was past, present, and future. That she was the red in my eyes and the ache in my body. She’d say this was her last visit. And then she’d turn around and laugh. And I could hear her. And we both knew she’d be back.
There was a time when I was drowning in the open air. I’d wake up choking on the day, unable to breathe, afraid to get out of bed, to open my door, to walk right into her again.
But slowly, like the winter months, the Rock Bottom days became shorter and shorter. The sun caressed her face less and less, until she was merely the silhouette of what once was. The plastic witch cauldron resumed her duty as decor. Bottles of liquor started gathering dust. Nights no longer sleepless, days no longer filled with regret. Rock Bottom put out her fire and picked up camp. I could breathe.
They say time heals all wounds. I don’t know that that’s true. But time softens hurt. We exist with it forever, our bodies covered in burn scars, invisible, permanent. But they won’t ache. They become the landscape of our bodies. A part of the self, something for new fingers to graze, your hands to caress, a good lover’s lips to kiss.
This is Rock Bottom.
This is me now.
Anna Snedden always surprises us with the great pieces she writes. We hope you enjoyed Anna's piece about Moving On.