When You Leave the Party Early

It starts when your heart stops. There’s a certain moment when you are between beats and the breathing stalls…even your brain takes a break. The computer screen in black print declares your best friend is dead. On Facebook. Twice in a month. I lost my two best friends in a month—their deaths were very sudden and I discovered both tragedies on social media. With no mutual friends on either side, do I thank Facebook for letting me know why no one will ever respond to my texts and calls again? Or do I get pissed by how I was informed of their passing?  I think it would be just as hard had I been told in person–the situation just sucks all the same.

Some nights I cannot help but break down. I have survived the unimaginable: I lost the ones who held my heart together. My two best friends. My demon cat. There was a comfort with Stephan…a warm knowledge that he was always in my corner—he always had my

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Tattoo #7 For Stephan Cherkashin who lived for music 12/14/2016

back. Adam was the friend I spoke to 50 times a day. He brought up gossip when I needed a laugh; he relayed dreams he had of us living in Italy and described my designer wardrobe; he told me I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen—he had a way with words…to make you believe them.

They left me alone. I feel so selfish but it is all I can comprehend: I am now alone. I have a super bad day and who do I reach out to? Who can I gossip/cry/laugh/pee on the phone with? When your two best friends die within a month of one another, there is no time to begin rebuilding your friend base…you’re not even halfway through the grieving process of the first when the second is found DOA a few weeks later. No one writes a book for this…even a manual. My sister asked my mother, “What do I say to her? What can I possibly do? I’m speechless.”

In my experience this past December/January, 99% of those left to pick up the pieces avoid you because it is awkward and sad and no one likes to place him/herself in awkward-sad situations. Even my cat…my cat died in between it all.

My heart is crushed…shattered. There are no pieces to glue back together. The only positive thing regarding the terrible depression following Stephan’s passing is that I was

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Tattoo #8 for my Queen Adam Paladino. My other half. 01/17/2017

already on that level when my cat and Adam died. I was already having a difficult time sleeping and thinking and not punching things. Only, I now have no Adam to sob about Stephan and Suki to.

Pottery and memorial tattoos have been amazing crutches through this process. Pottery gets out the aggression and the energy usually spent scream-crying and the tattoos feel like I have a piece of our stories with me. Such amazing men in my life who meant everything in a world with so few friends and fewer bright moments. I’m flailing midair, grasping at anything in the wind tunnel I’m spiraling down.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to be learning here. I’m not even going to try to figure it out. All I know is it hurts like Hell and they deserved better.

for this loss of mine these past 5 weeks

I’ve been avoiding writing this for a month, but just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it did.

On December 14, 2016 one of my two best friends died. He fell down a flight of stairs and was on life support until his father could fly in from Belarus a week later. I loved this man since he was a boy. For ten years he was the kindest soul I’d ever met…still is, I guess. But he left so suddenly it hurts to breathe when I think of the accident. It was unfair but it was life. I just wish it hadn’t been his…of almost everyone I’ve ever known, he deserved to live an amazing life.

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On the 6th, my cat died. She was 12 ½ years old. I adopted her when I first moved to New York and didn’t know anyone and needed affection. She had different plans. She was wild and completely insane and scared the shit out of me. I would wake up in the middle of the night with her on my chest and her eyes staring into mine with her mouth open…leaned right over my face. Despite the issues we had, her death was torture to get through. I still cannot really talk about it.

Last Tuesday my other best friend died suddenly and unexpectedly. He got me through the other deaths. We met at summer drama camp when I was 16 and he was 17. He was gentle.  He was wonderful. He trusted me with all his secrets through the years. The world has no light anymore. He was the most talented person I ever met. His drawings and prints sold for thousands. I’m numb at this point…it feels so odd to not cry more…but it just feels normal now. I can barely accept what has happened and who I have lost.

My ex seemed to take advantage of the situation and has been kicking while I’ve been down. His behavior is vile and despicable and is a severe contrast to those I have recently lost. I think he made me love them and miss them more because I see the way other men can behave.

Do not settle for mediocre friends. Only the best deserve one’s love. Thanks for the outpouring of support. I appreciate the love.

RIP Stephan Cherkashin, Adam Paladino, and Suki. I love you.