I haven't wanted to complain. On social media I've been trying my damndest to be positive. Posting pictures of me and Eddie trying to wrangle Meatball, Jesper playing sitter while one or the other of us is sacked out. I should have posted more... real things.
Mum got sick a few weeks ago. She still volunteers in the clinics out there, so of course she was there when the worst of it was going on. Dad got sick shortly thereafter. They didn't get so bad they had to go to hospital, but they were close. Dad got worse off than Mum, though I've wondered whether or not that's just Mum being Mum acting like she's fine and Dad being the same whiny little shit he's always been when he's sick. They both looked bad enough for me to be worried they'd have to go. They're fine now. Mum wants to go back to the clinics... she wants to go help. Dad doesn't want her to, because there's still those stories about reinfection, about people who tested negative actually still being carriers and... I think he's just being selfish. He doesn't want to be alone. Malone men don't do well on their own.
I'm glad Eddie and I've got each other. But this is such a stressful situation. We're both recovering addicts in undergoing a level of stress that even your everyday average Joe is having a hard time coping with. Some of the pictures that get posted, by me or by Eddie, are when the other is on a video call with a therapist. Or a sponsor. I can't tell you how many times I've talked with Phil this month. We are all struggling. We are all craving an escape. And for a recovering addict you... you know the easiest escape. Dispensaries are open as essential services and I cannot tell you how hard it is not to swing by one when we've gone on supply runs, because weed is less burdensome to get than oxys right now. Even through the throes of addiction I refuse to entertain the notion of burdening medical professionals right now with my addict needs. Phil says that's at least something. I haven't gotten so bad off I've stopped thinking of others. Doesn't mean I don't still hate myself for this feeling.
I've got to pull myself together. Shockingly (ha), MTV wants us to webcast tales from the Malone house in self-isolation. People need to see they're not going through this alone, Matt.. I suppose they're right.
I've been meaning to post something for a while. But coming home from tour is emotionally overwhelming. In a good way. I relish in soaking up the love from my family, but I don't have room for anyone, or anything else. Which... I needed. I needed to surround myself by goodness and love... it's madness. But it's madness I can handle. It's madness I want to handle. Focusing on my toddler throwing a fit at bedtime means I'm not focusing on the shite that had dragged me to a very dark place.
See, the tour was fine. Made me feel old as fuck because it was so much fucking harder. I managed to readjust, but damn if it didn't take me a lot longer than I'd expected. But, the tour was over and we were all going our separate ways. I was waiting for my connecting flight at a pub in Laguardia, having a drink, waiting to fly home. Jerome had a flight to Atlanta, Kev had a flight to Sacramento. I was flying back to LA with TR and the rest of the crew. He was in the pub with me, and the fact that he was is entirely why I'm here instead of in a hospital or prison. Two Aussies came in and sat at a table behind us, then started talking loud enough for practically the entire fucking room to hear. Nothing of substance came out of their mouths, and I honestly thought for a while that they had to be plants the airport sent to under-preforming drinking establishments to encourage more alcohol consumption. They ordered some fucking fish and chips and then the fucker right behind me blurts out, "You remember that tsunami a couple decades back? Well Mum only just started eating fish again. She said, all those dead bodies in the water with 'em. No thank you. I missed out on a childhood of fish n chips all because of some fuckin corpses."
Something in me snapped. There was a blackness that swallowed me in an instant and looking back at that is fucking terrifying. I stood up with such force it shoved my chair so hard into 'is that his chair tipped forward. And for once they got really fucking quiet. Somehow TR managed to get up and get himself right next to me before I could get to the bastard. Both of those loud fuckers looked about ready to shit themselves. TR kept telling me you'll be home soon, man because apparently I looked like a fucking mad man. Those two little prats were completely speechless for so long that TR managed to get me back to some sense of functioning. I knew I had to leave, but I also needed to explain myself in a way that made them feel like shite. So I told him "I'm sorry my brother's untimely death deprived you of fish and chips," handed my wallet to TR so he could pay my bill, and left. It was not a good flight home.
I've been home for almost two weeks, and I still start feeling... uncomfortable with myself... while talking about it. My sponsor's called a few times to check on me. But I've had my wife and my kids, and... I'm lucky. I have to keep telling myself that.
I had a dream last night that wrenched something in my soul. It's been a day of processing in the free fleeting moments between being with my wife and kids and parents and talking with the label and Jerome and Kevin. Which is really when I get to take a piss without Marshall jiggling the handle trying to get in so he can tell me something important. So needless to say, there hasn't actually been much processing.
In this dream I was sitting on the beach, the one I go to with Eddie and the kids. I'm alone, with my knees up, just staring out. No one else is out there, but for whatever reason this didn't strike me as odd. It was early morning light. While I'm watching, a person surfaces from the water not that far out from shore, and as soon as they're able to stand they start running to the shore. It's Andy, looking exactly as he did. I wasn't shocked or surprised. He sat down next to me, in the same position as I was in, and started talking. It was an odd conversation about the godawful state of the world's oceans, where he casually said he had to live on the island of garbage in the Pacific for months. He talked about how miserable it was, how the plastic smelled like tar. And he mentioned how he'd become friends with a school of fish. But he wasn't actually sure if they were always the same school of fish, because fish were mostly assholes who liked fucking with him.
I sat there listening like it was the most normal thing in the world. Laughing at him describing these fish. Asking questions about which ones were the worst. He said most of them were "kind of like Dad, surly bastards that act like the world's pissing in their cornflakes every damn day, so they make themselves feel better by jabbin at you trying to make you feel worse, an then then they laugh and slap your back like it's all a bloody joke." In the dream I made some comment about fish slapping him on the back. It was like nothing else he said even reached me.
Until I woke up. Every time I dream of Andy it hurts, but this felt somehow fundamentally different. I lay awake until Emma cried and I got up to feed her and change her.
Holding her after that dream made me think about how I'd always wanted to name a child after Andy. Then remembering she did that for me with my son, giving him Andrew as a middle name. He told me about it when we were talking in December, and it had made him angry that she gave him my brother's name, because it was my brother's name. And that she'd chosen it before the paternity results had come back. I was shocked (and surprised I'd never asked her). I mentioned it to her in conversation at some point after, but I realised I never thanked her. No matter her intention with that act, Andy was memorialised, and that had always been so incredibly important to me.
How fitting they look so much alike.
I've never quite experienced all these feelings before. All at once. Exhausted, yes. Happy, yes. In love, yes. Disgusted from cleaning bodily fluids, yes. And so many more. But I'm so tired I can't quantify all of them.
Being able to hold Emma has given me such a sense of fulfillment. And regret, that as my third child she was the first I got to be there for from the beginning. I try not to dwell on it too much, because as I've been reminded, I've got my family now. I had to wait, but perhaps I'd done my penance and here's my reward... my beautiful daughter, my beautiful wife, my two incredible sons... I'm not sure. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop because it so often does with me. But I'm trying to just wallow in the positive feelings as opposed to the negative ones.
Mum is here, helping out. Dad is apparently going to wait until July, when Emma isn't quite so young, when it'll be closer to the time that Caleb is going to be here, and when it'll be winter. Not that it ever gets terribly cold there. But in his old age he's seeking out warm. The only bloody time he wants to come visit.
I'm not sure how Dad's going to handle being around Caleb. Part of me would rather he stay back. Let us go to him whenever everyone is more... settled. But Mum wants him here. She wants him to meet them, so I'm not going to deny her that. At least they won't be staying at the house.
It's Marshall's bedtime and I have to go convince him to leave his sister to go to sleep. He's so good with her it melts my heart. He loves being a big brother so much...
Well, that reminded me of another feeling I'd been having but was too tired to mention. I'm still too tired to talk about it. So I'm going to go try and ignore it by bribing my son with a song and maybe this feeling will pass.