When I broke up with Psycho Mike back in 1998, it was for good. Done-zo. Fini. We didn’t really maintain a friendship, but there were several occasions where we did find ourselves hanging out with each other in the three years that followed.
The last time I saw him was the summer of 2000. We had drinks at some Chinese restaurant for my 21st birthday, and shortly after that he moved to Maryland with his current girlfriend. I never sought him out after that, never even considered it. Just the fact that I was occasionally hanging out with him post-break up was playing with fire. Our relationship was extremely tumultuous, and he remains the one and only guy who ever had the pleasure of controlling me, psychologically and physically. Actually, I attribute to him my extreme dominance and desire to emasculate in every following relationship, because after two years with that guy there was no way I was letting another man tell me what to do or physically bully me. (Sorry Henry – imagine what life would have been like for you had we met prior to 1996. I mean, after you’d have served jail time for statutory rape.)
In early 2006, I started having fleeting memories of Mike (much to Henry’s delight, I’m sure). The memories weren’t of the pining variety or anything, just random flashbacks here and there, such as an instance where Henry and I were driving around and I pointed excitedly out the window at a parking lot and said, “Look, that’s one of the places where Mike kicked me out of his car and told me to have fun walking home, bitch!” And another time when Henry and I were at the grocery store and the song that was playing via the store’s stereo was the same one that played in my apartment the night he tried to kill himself with a butter knife.
You know, little snippets like those.
This went on for several days, these weird memory tuggings, until Henry called me from work and said, “Hey, you know how you’ve been thinking about Mike a lot lately? His mom just died; it was in the paper.”
That was five years ago. To be honest, I barely even remembered that happening until I started having dreams about Mike. The first one was about two weeks ago and left me coated in a cold sweat. The dream was subtle, but extremely effective; in it, Mike stood before me, naked from the waist up except for a sinister grin. No words were exchanged; it was just me sitting there, watching him before me, waiting for him to presumably strike.
That tiny vignette stayed with me for days.
Then I found a raunchy love letter he had written me, casually sitting on top of Chooch’s desk. It must have been in a box of VHS tapes that Henry brought down from the attic now that Chooch has inherited a TV/VCR combo. Honestly, I didn’t even think I still had that piece of amateur Penthouse trash, but of course I quickly re-read it and then made Henry read it too; we had a good laugh. But damn if it didn’t give me a little jolt to see that tattered envelope, to have my memory bitch-slapped with his handwriting, to fucking hear his voice in my head as I stumbled through this letter of misspelled words. (Apparently, I used to call his weener “Russell.” I don’t remember that.)
I didn’t go looking for this letter. It was just laying there. In my kid’s room of all places! Thank god he can’t read yet.
The other night, I had another nightmare. This one was more involved, more blatant about the fact that he really did intend to hurt me. Henry and Chooch were in the dream, we were all in my mom’s basement with Mike, but I couldn’t get them to see what was happening; I kept trying to act like I hadn’t picked up on his murderous ruse and would make up excuses to try and sneak away, saying that I was going upstairs to make popcorn, really had to have popcorn, which would only lead to me speeding down highways and trying to get strangers to let me hide in their homes. I woke up with my pulse racing and relieved that Chooch had found his way into my bed sometime during the night. It’s sad when I feel protected by a four-year-old.
Henry and I had a conversation about it later that day, and he said, “Hey, remember a few years ago when….” and the syncronicity all came flooding back. “You’re probably going to run into him,” Henry teased, because IT’S GOING TO BE SO FUNNY WHEN MIKE LODGES A BUTTER KNIFE INTO MY NECK.
“Of all the people I’ve dated, he’s the one I could totally see being a serial killer. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised,” I said to Henry in the high-pitched squeal of a woman who fears for her life. I had flashbacks of the times he strangled me and threatened to “poke out my eyes and shove them up [my] vagina.” And that’s a true motherfucking story.
I came home this morning around 8AM, having just deposited Chooch across the street at school. I was on the phone with Henry, probably cellularly demoralizing him, when I walked in the house. I noticed it right away.
“Henry. The piggy bank,” I said in a hoarse whisper.
“What about it?”
Chooch has this creepy fucking piggybank, lovingly named Pignaceous, which I like to keep against the wall in the living room for all to grudgingly admire. But when I came home, he was pulled out from the wall and moved to the center of the room, facing the dining room table.
I knew exactly who did it. It was Mike. That motherfucker was in my house, probably come to reclaim his Neil Diamond boxed set.
“You need to come home. Right now.”
Henry laughed. “There’s no one in the house.”
How would he know?
“Then I’m leaving. I can’t stay here,” I shouted, pacing like a crazy lady.
Henry laughed again and asked where I was going to go. “I don’t know! I’ll sit on the front porch until Chooch is done with school!”
More laughter from Henry, then I told him to fuck off and hung up on him.
In the kitchen, I grabbed a steak knife. Together, the steak knife and I stood at the bottom of the steps, where I whispered, “Is anyone up there?” to no response.
The steak knife and I then watched “Vampire Diaries” before taking a shower, making sure to lock the door behind us. I was fully prepared to pull a reverse-Psycho.
Eventually, I forgot about obsessing over a home intrusion and resumed my normal–yet completely glamorous–Chooch-free morning routine.
It wasn’t until Chooch had been home from school for nearly an hour when I remembered the piggybank, which I had nervously nudged back into its rightful spot with my foot.
“Hey, Chooch?” I asked tentatively. “Did you move Pignaceous this morning?”
“Yeah,” he said, very matter-of-factly, popping a Cheez-It into his mouth.
“Show me where you moved it to,” I prodded, wanting to test him.
He sighed in annoyance and stood into the exact spot where I had found Pignaceous that morning.
Relief flooded over me, and I laughed out loud. “Why did you move him?”
“Because I wanted him to say ‘oink oink’ to the cats,” he explained, shrugging.
Maybe Chooch also has a rational explanation for these Mike-centric nightmares. But if I suddenly stop posting here in my blog, know that it’s likely because I came home to find Psycho Mike standing in Pignaceous’s place.No tags for this post.