I feel broken. Chewed up and spit out. Chewed up and shat out.
It’s 2:17am when I started typing, technically my birthday. Not the best way to start.
“No, my brains and my bones don’t want to take this anymore…/So, why you being a dickhead for?/Stop being a dickhead./Why you being a dickhead for?/You just fucking up situations.”
I’ve been repeating Kate Nash’s Dickhead for the past hour. On the drive home. And now in my room as I sit on my bed and write.
I cried in the car. I wailed a little, but then made myself stop. I can’t wail in the house; I don’t want to wake my roommates.
It was like I was knocked over, drawn down my the undercurrent, wrenched off my feet.
It was suppose to be fun, different. Instead it felt like I was used, drained to my last drop, left with almost nothing.
Today I ran The Rebel Race.
Me and my friends were pretty excited. Well really they were excited; I was nervous as all hell. I hadn’t seriously ran since before Fusion. I’d never ran a 5k. Everyone around in the crowd seemed way more in shape.
But I had my friends. And we weren’t going to leave each other.
So the race started, and not ten minutes in, we were fucked. The only guy in the group slipped off the monkey bars, landed first on his left arm, and then on his right ankle. His elbow and ankle were in no way good.
And where was the on site medic? Where was someone to say, “Sorry, you have to stop.” Nowhere.
My friend, being who he is, kept going, hobbling his way along the rest of the course. I, being who I am, never let him out of my sight.
We’d already decided to walk the majority of the race, as there were bottle necks at just about every obstacle.
As we traveled along, we came to a rope ladder, wooden walls to climb over, but never any volunteer at the apparatus. Some in my group were afraid of heights. I was able to climb up and help to coax them over, staying at the top with them. But where was the volunteer?
And then there was the mud. Oh god, the mud. At one point I was fully submerged in it, multiple times. But no water to wash off my face until I trudged through a few hundred feet of a thick muddy path. I was blind, almost panicking. I wiped my face in the grass just to try and see.
There was no traction as we somehow scaled a mud high with an incline difficult in normal conditions. I fell a few times, but more scary was how many times I almost fell backwards.
And no one was on the course with a radio. No one was available to whisk me away if, heaven forbid, I did fall down that very large, very steep hill.
We didn’t talk about it til after we finished, but there came the realization to us that we could’ve been seriously injured or died.
The scar that’s lasted the most with me, though, is on my back. There was a quasi water slide portion near the beginning. The one time there was someone at an obstacle, the person holding the hose told us to cross our arms and slide down on our back.
Little did we know this slide was merely a tarp laid over ground littered with rocks. I didn’t know I’d been hurt until my eventual shower at a friend’s home a few hours later.
When I felt the sharp ache on my back from the warm water, I knew something was wrong. My friend gasped when I raised my shirt. I was bruised. Abraded. And one very long scratch down my back.
To add insult to injury, water stations on the course ran out of cups and water. Certain pieces of equipment were broken. Their “medal” was a cheap dog tag that for some reason I have not taken off. The free beer ran out, so we had to settle for two free meal tickets, the equivalent of a hot dog. But they, somehow, still had bottles of water to sell us.
As we tried to wash away the mud from our bodies, our clothes, our hair, it just never seemed to end. Piles of shoes, shirts, and other detritus littered the grounds. There was mud everywhere. Everywhere.
And they made us pay for parking, $10 in a field with grass up to our knees and no organization whatsoever.
And our walk away gifts were a cheap draw string bag and a plain white cotton t-shirt with black lettering.
I just feel used, abused. It felt like I’d somehow ended up in a physical impact scene with no consent and no aftercare.
But there was a saving grace: I was to see the Gent tonight. I thought, Okay, that will be my aftercare, spending time with a friend.
When I left Baltimore at 10:45pm, yes I was tired, but by the time I got to his place it would be my birthday. So I drove, preferring softer music this go round instead of my usual Friday night club mixes.
And as I arrived at a spot to leave my car, I was pleased I would get to spend some time with him.
But then he texted saying he was not home yet. And then he texted saying he didn’t know how long he would be. Since I was already there, I decided to wait.
I reclined my seat back and let my eyes close. When they opened again, it was 1:15am. I was hot, achy.
I texted him, asking for an ETA. And then I thought, Why am I here?
I texted back, telling him nevermind; I was heading home.
I cried in the car on the way back.
Between the shit storm that was that race, and then waiting for a friend who couldn’t be there because he was dealing with another friend’s emotional breakdown, I was done.
Today is my birthday. Happy 29th to me.
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