When I was in my early twenties, I lived with a man who broke my heart. After my heart was broken, we were stuck in the same place together for a short while, and I thought I would die from the grief. I could be found lying in bed more often than not, blankets clutched under my chin, and weeping inconsolably.
One morning was worse than all those preceding it. Rather than stay in bed to mourn what I thought to be my one true love, I stayed in bed to avoid the knives in the kitchen drawer. I felt that there was only one thing for me outside my bedroom, but I was not entirely ready to butcher myself in a pathetic basement suite with a beetle problem without showering first. I might have wanted to die, but, dammit, there was no reason for my corpse to smell any worse than it had to.
It took me a couple of hours to talk myself down from my psychological ledge before I felt that it was safe for me to get out of bed to even use the toilet. To be truthful, the situation had changed from "I'll kill myself if I get out of bed" to "I'll wet the bed if I don't get out of it". I did not want to be the woman who wet the bed out of heartache.
As had become customary, I wept all the way to the bathroom, I wept while I peed, and I wept while I looked at our shared bathroom items on a shelf. Then, I turned to look in the mirror. I decided that I was going to face myself. I had not looked at myself in days, and I was starting to warm up to the idea of a shower. I mean, really, there had to be something in the world beyond this man who, frankly, I had not been happy with for at least six months. I brushed a matted tuft of hair back from my eyes and OMYFUCKINGCHRIST.
My face was liberally spotted with red, open sores, each of which was seeping clear liquid. It was not only tears that were dripping from my jawline. I was uglier than I had ever been. I looked downright leprotic in a heavily medieval sort of way.
I decided to go sit by the living room window upstairs, because it was the postion furthest from all the knives in the house. From there, I contemplated the loss of my one true love, my abject hideousness (what sores kept dribbling into my lap, by the way), and called my doctor for an emergency appointment. Suicide was no option now. My corpse would be far too disgusting.
After several swabs at her office, the doctor was stumped. I did not have the usual impetigo, and there was no definite sign of necrosis, so we ruled out the flesh-eating disease, necrotizing fasciitis. We both agreed that I was just simply quite disgusting. She sent me on my way with a prescription for antibiotics, a tube of antibacterial gel, and the advice to quarantine myself to the extent that my roommates should not use my bathroom, touch doorknobs I might touch, and prepare food in the same area as me. Whatever I had, the doctor thought that I was likely highly contagious.
Heartbreak, ugliness, and physical isolation did not bode well for any sort of circumstance of which I could think. I figured that if I could only grow a hump on my back, I could play a Quasimodo type and possibly fake some romantic charm.
The hump, thankfully, did not come to pass, the weeping sores stopped dripping onto my shirts and eventually dried up altogether, and I later dampened my heartache in a season of one-night stands that I have not once regretted to this day, because, wow, those were good times. Really, really good times.
I feel like this story should end up with some sort of moral, because it had so much of the physical, psychological, and emotional growing pains of my early twenties in it, but the ones I come up with are all kind of sketchy:
Oh, I know. I've got one:
IT IS BETTER TO BE UGLIEST WHEN YOUNG IN ORDER TO DISCOVER GREATER BEAUTY WHEN OLD.
Geez. That one's almost plausible.