That year (2007) I had been doing a lot of traveling. Not for any real reason other than to try to catch up to Brooke. That's what the traveling was about, that's what the fucking other people was about, that's what my whole existence was about was just trying to make me feel like my life stood up next to hers, which, if you're in that headspace you're already so far behind that catching up isn't even a possibility. And not that you can't physically go more places or fuck more people—of course you can do that—but if you're in a place where you feel that you've been cheated out of a life, or that you haven't done enough, or fucked enough people, or been to enough places, or grew up with shit parents in a shit town, or whatever it is that you are trying to catch up to and/or run away from—well, I could try to make up some more philosophical or psychological excuse as to what's wrong with the whole thing, but all it is, is that you're just too fucking pathetic of a person because of the fact that you're trying to catch up to anyone else's life.
With each place I would go it was never "exotic" enough to count. With every person I fucked it didn't really count because I was doing it out of revenge and for some reason that gave me some kind of terrible edge that made women sleep with me just because they themselves (the fuckees) needed that meanness that came from that... and the way they know they're gonna get fucked from it. And it also didn't count because I had a girlfriend. The whole reason was to prove to Brooke that I had had a life, but I could never let her know because then I wouldn't have her—and if you've never done it then you won't understand, but if you have you know it's the reason—but sometimes you cheat because you love the person you're with too much.
Reallyreallyreally. You have to cheat on them just to lessen their hold on you whatever tiny bit it does. You have to cheat to make yourself feel like you're still in control of yourself, even though you're doing all of these awful, and lots of times, dangerous things because the love you have for this other person has you made you feel the most out of control you've ever felt and it's fucking terrible.
Actually, so much of what I've done in my life most people would call being out of control, but only love ever made me feel that way in a way that I didn't want. The rest of it, the drinking and the drugs, the whole idea, the very foundation of why I was doing those things, and so much of them, was to lose control. Being out of control was the objective. Because every other moment of my life was so goddam contrived, so worked through and worked through in my head, like that thing about our frontal lobes being time machines, and how we can act out all of the outcomes of any scenario in our minds, all that shit, well, my head was just constantly evaluating every little movement I made. Every single syllable that came out of my mouth, so much so that my life had already been lived every millions of ways by the time I got to living it. I was so in control that nothing was ever a surprise—no way it could be. I had done of all of it before. All of it. And the only way for me to live that wasn't something I had rehearsed a million times, and evaluated and over-evaluated every single tiny little micro-second of was to get blanked out fucking time-warp harpooned wasted on pills and booze and coke just so I'd be even the littlest bit unpredictable to myself.
The other reason I was traveling a lot (a lot for me, as you know how I feel about traveling) was that the more places I could pretend to be, or tell Brooke that someone was paying my way to go, the less it meant I had time or money or time-off to be able to go visit Brooke. After her suicide attempt, she had done a rehab at a place that specialized in "love addiction" out in Arizona, which I'm sure I told you already, and then she spent another three months at a halfway house (thoroughly suggested by the people at the rehab of course, which, of course, cost about $2,000 a day, but that's what getting someone like me out of your daughter's life is worth to some people... and very rightly so), and when she got back to Chicago, she was there for a week or two before she came and stayed with me at my parent's place for two weeks, wherein I ended up getting her pregnant in the very first hour in reach of my sperm—but more on this later.
So she had come to visit me right out of rehab, but I felt like I didn't owe her anymore anything. I had maxed out my last of last credit cards to visit her at her rehab during family week, which, if you ever have an invitation to one of these things RUN LIKE FUCKING HELL THOUSANDS OF MILES IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION! Unless it's someone who is actually part of your family, then this should be a strictly family only event. I had endured Hell while she was out at some spa in Arizona getting massages, and doing sunset yoga, in the view of red-red mountain ranges and not working, while I was going crazier and crazier by the second, and, oh yeah, I was alone for the good part of that until I moved back to Dallas (this time), and even then this was still when my wonderful family was busy pretending that depression wasn't real, I mean, in Brooke's case it was of course real because she had tried to kill herself (with my suicide let me remind you), but I couldn't be depressed, I mean 1) I'm a man, and men don't get depressed, we get even (or some bullshit?), and 2) if I was so depressed how come I wasn't dead? I mean this was really my parents take on male depression. Really wonderful parenting I had received my whole life, and here I was having to live with these lunatics again and—yeah, why would I spend more money to visit her when I could spend money cheating on her and traveling to places where I could be cheating on her, all in the hopes of making myself feel better about not having fucked enough people when I was single?