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2004-12-15 - 8:19 p.m.

i like to think i am a nice person. i try to be good to people, i try to be pretty understanding. i do not get real uptight about stuff. overall, i think i am doing pretty well, karma-wise.

but everybody does bad stuff once in awhile... you have probably done a bad thing or two in your day... i've been pretty bad in the past.

like, when i was in high school and my friend and i took the money we earned at our summer jobs and flew to florida for a DAY, just so we could schmooze with some musician-type dudes who were, like, 3 times our age. and some of them were married. oh, and we did not tell our parents where we went, we just said we were staying at each other's houses. we flew the 1200 miles alone, and slept in the airport the night before we flew back. my mom did not find out about it until my wedding, 7 years later, when my friend spilled the beans.

then there was my middle-school shoplifting jag. or the time i worked in various retail establishments and basically kept myself in cigarettes while nobody was looking (wink wink.)

i've found money and been all like "yoink!" rather than even thinking for a split second, "gee, i wonder who's money this is??" but i think that most of the bad things i have done have been pretty run-of-the-mill. i mean, they are no worse than anything anyone else has ever done. i am not trying to rationalize, but i'm just saying. i know bad things i've done are bad, and that is why i do not do them anymore.

i think the thing that really takes the cake, though, is something that happened a couple years ago... something so heinous it has taken me this long to share it with the internet (i know you like my stories of general naughtiness...)

i ran away. i am a runaway.

i moved to columbus in 1998 from a really small town north of here to go to college. the whole college thing did not work too well, and i was out of there within a year or two (and those two years were off and on), but in my short time at school, i met this girl, and we became friends, and then later roomates.

i lived with her for about three years... but something was a little off. we started fighting within months of meeting each other. we were completely incapable of maintaining any sort of household. every place we ever lived in was a complete filth-hole. but that was fine, because we spent most of our time other places, bars namely.

but then things got bad. she quit wanting to leave the house... then she started giving me a hard time when i wanted to leave the house. she would give me a hard time when i hung out with other people. she gave me a hard time when i would bring guys home who she thought were the least bit desirable. she would give me a hard time when i would go to sleep before she did, because she did not want to hang out by herself.

then the TV started.

we got cable and she officially never left the house if it wasn't for school or work. it was TV from the time she woke up until she went to sleep. talk shows, soap operas, the same videos OVER AND OVER AND OVER. "Heat" over and over and over and over. "Fight Club", sometimes several times A DAY. i can not put into words how many times in a row she would watch the same movies. and Law and Order EVERY SINGLE TIME IT CAME ON (and you know that since it is in syndication, it is on like 8 times a day.)

by this point, i was hanging out at home a lot, partially because i was 100% broke, but also because the grief i would get for doing anything was bad enough that it was easier to just stay home. so i started just inviting friends to hang out at the house... but when the TV was on, she would turn it up over our talking, and get really pissy if we interrupted her programs. (the thing is, the place we lived only had the one room to hang out in.)

then the laziness started. laziness like i have never seen. have you ever seen a 22-23 year old incapable of going to the store herself? incapable of getting herself home from work? i made the mistake of offering to pick her up on my way home once, and it snowballed into her guilting and bitching me into giving her rides to and from work whenever i wasn't at work. every single day. see, she didn't have a license, and every time i offered to teach her to drive and use my car to take the test, she would decline because she only knew how to drive this one particular car in this one particular town that we incidently did not live in. besides, it was easier for her to just get rides off me. we lived ABOVE A CONVENIENCE STORE, and she would wait until i was home to make me go downstairs and get cigarettes for her. she would not eat until i drove her through Taco Bell. she would not go anywhere to get a haircut, she would just bitch at me until i cut her hair (an ordeal that always ended in her crying.)

then the real weird shit started going down. she started waking me up at night to ask if she could sleep in my bed. she started subscribing to indian mysticism and leaving food offerings to the coyote gods on the back porch. i was going to a concert, and she wanted to go so i got her a ticket, then she decided she did not want to go, and told me to sell her ticket to a friend. then, 5 minutes before i was going to leave, she starts in about how now she wants to go, but she can't. then i get home afterward and she went on a passive agressive rampage for DAYS. she started going NUTS at really minor stuff. like keeping my up until 4 in the morning, hysterically sobbing, because i ate the last of the ice cream. seriously.

friends of mine actually took me aside on occasions and told me they thought she treated me terribly. my own mother told me that she thought she was like a abusive husband.

towards the end, everything she did was like the last straw... she started dissing my then-boyfriend (who, by the way, had NEVER been anything but kind and agreeable, not just to me, but her too, even submitting to her ride demands, getting rid of the mice in the filthy apartment, etc.) i got my first art show, and the first thing she said to me was "I hope you don't think i am going to help you hang anything." i got a new job, and was working to five, and she went on a screaming jag because i couldn't take her to work at four, and it was MY RESPONSIBILITY AS HER FRIEND TO GIVE HER RIDES. really.

so i left. i started slowly throwing away just bags full of stuff. started paring down everything i owned to the bare essentials. if i had not used it in the past month, i got rid of it. i spent my days off work while she was not home just completely boxing stuff up and throwing it out. the only things i kept were my clothes, my computer and desk, and a box full of other stuff. i just slowly ferreted it all away. the saddest part of it, she NEVER EVER NOTICED. she was so self absorbed that she did not notice when i suddenly had nothing left in the house. i mean, i had a couple things around to throw her off my scent, but honestly. i went from having tons of stuff everywhere to having as many possessions as a monk. and she never even noticed.

then, the last day, we all went out to dinner, and she was all terrible and passive aggressive, and i was just like THATS IT. TOMORROW IS THE DAY.

i woke up early, she went to work. my boyfriend came over and parked his car outside the apartment, and i just started throwing stuff out the window. just garbage bags of clothes and bedding. he put it all in the trunk. then we threw my computer stuff in the back seat, drove over his house, unloaded everything and that was that. i was out. i completely left in a matter of 2-3 hours. i moved out, went to Target and the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner, and was home before she got back from work. i never told her beforehand. i never let on that i was leaving. i couldn't. not when minor everyday occurances would throw her over the edge, all hysterical-like. i was afraid she would assault me or something.

the best part was, she left a bunch of messages on the machine after i left... but she never came over to confront me. maybe that would not be unusual under different circumstances, but i could see her apartment from the one i ran away to, and her bus stop was on the sidewalk that ran past it. she was so lazy that she could never be bothered to cross the street the entire time i lived across the street from her, for more than a year and a half. i ran across the street, and that was as far as i needed to go.

i lost a lot of friends after it all went down, but i was kinda planning it that way anyway. i didn't want to trash talk her until everyone was on my side, and i knew what i did was pretty shitty. whatever. sometimes it is best to start with a clean slate. but in the time since i left, i got a job that pays more than twice what i was making before, i got married, i quit smoking, i lost 60 pounds, and now i live in a really great place that is always clean and smells like oranges. i do not think it is a coincidence. sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do what you gotta do. i don't think its a bad thing.

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