Category Archives: humanity

Her Name Was Dria

drian

She was robbed of all softness to her, there was nothing about her that screamed she was a woman. In my 21 year old mind I am equating woman with makeup and voluptuousness. I want to meet people from all different walks of life! I have to know everyone’s story! I was working as a Field Organizer for The Kentucky Democratic Party, and it was election night. I had just gotten off the phone with my boss. I found out that I had just been a part of my fifth loss as a democrat in the state of Kentucky. I was in a bar, some hole in the wall in Louisville, Kentucky.

I turned my phone off completely and went up to the bartender, “I need a whisky, three fingers.”

Bartender nods, and I smell a musky odor waft my way. “Been a rough night, eh?”

I look over at the person sitting next to me. She has sandy brown hair, and she was full of way more life than I had at the current moment.

“My name is Dria!” She exclaims. She is roughly 24 years old. She is skinny, and she doesn’t look healthy. She has beautiful, and long curly hair.

As bad of a mood I was in at that moment, her personality was infectious! I threw back the shot of whisky. “It’s nice to meet you! My name is Mae Knight!”

She asks what I am doing in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I was supposed to be celebrating something tonight-no big deal.”

“We can still celebrate!” She screams over the music someone at the jukebox is playing.

She asks where I’m from.

“I currently live in Owensboro, Kentucky. Where are you from?”

Dria laughs, “I’m from everywhere and nowhere! No one can tie me down! I am my own person and I love life and I love living! You do too! I can tell! Something is wrong though!”

I smile, “I try really hard, Dria.” I drop my head down and stare at my whisky. I feel myself start to tear up. I need to be away from this place. I need to be back at my hotel. “Do you live here in Louisville, Dria?”

Dria drops her head in shame, “…I’m homeless.”

I choke back a cry, “Do you need a place to sleep tonight, Dria? I have a motel…. My job paid for it.”

Dria lovingly wipes away my tears, “Let’s get out of here honey!”

We set down on the bed in the motel. Dria starts twirling her hair, and It has knots in it.

“Do you want to take a shower, Dria?”

Dria shakes her head eagerly with a smile.

“I usually LOVE showers! It’s my favorite part of the day! I love the way I feel after taking a shower.” She starts to strip naked in front of me. I am embarrassed. I have never seen a nude female body before. She notices I’m embarrassed.

“What’s wrong honey? Haven’t you ever seen boobs before?”

I start to laugh, “I’ve seen my own!”

I pull out my suitcase, “Do you like adderol, Dria?”

Dria looks at my bottle, “Oh honey! We are gonna have fun tonight!”

She takes three adderols and starts to crush up them up on the back of the toilet. I had only ever read about it, but the whisky is starting to hit me, and I just don’t care!

I take a line and snort it. It hits me all at once and everything feels okay and happy and like eating chocolate or the first kiss I have ever had with my high school crush, or the feeling I get when my favorite song comes on the radio! I was ALIVE! Dria is standing in front of me naked and she is undressed and snorting a line of adderol off the back of a toilet seat. I decide to undress too. No one besides my parents have ever seen me naked up until this point.

She stares at my over weight body. She is not disgusted. She is not embarrassed for me. There is only openness and warmth. Dria turns on the shower, “Why don’t you hop in here with me! It may make you feel better, honey!” I get in the shower. I feel a sense of both release and relief come over me as the water hits my face. The water feels good and Dria starts to wash my back with a rag. I break down in tears. Dria doesn’t stop. She keeps washing me. I keep crying and I hug Dria and she hugs me back.

I stop crying and this rush of magic euphoria washes over me. I smile at her and she smiles back. We change positions and she is standing in front of the shower now. I lather her hair for her, spending what seems like hours on each lock of hair.

I wash out the soap and I put conditioner on her head. I can tell it feels good to her.
“Thank you for this, Mae Knight.” I didn’t know why she was thanking me. After all, she was the one comforting me. We get out of the shower and I have her sit on the bed. Our naked bodies lay back to back and I brush out the tangles from her hair using my favorite green brush! I always hated those stupid motel combs!

I lay down and she lays down next to me, and she cradles me. “Why are you homeless, Dria?”

Dria sighs,”When I was seventeen my mom married an awful man…he did something bad to me…my momma told me to never come back. ME! So, I left, and I got caught up with all the wrong people, did a little heroine,  and now I go to the bar every night, hoping I’ll find someone to take me home…do you hate me for telling you that?”

I start to laugh, “No Dria, that makes me like you more.”

She lets out a large laugh, “Mae, what are you most afraid of?”

I turn away from her, “Two things. One, there is a train that runs right behind my house. It runs like clock work. Every three hours it drives past and it rattles everything in my house. I am afraid one day I am going to feel completely numb, like I do somedays….and then go stand on the train tracks.”

Dria shakes her head no, “You can’t do that! You are too spec-!”

I interrupt her, “Special. That’s the second thing- my whole life everyone has been telling me I’m special. I’m scared I’ll never figure out what they are talking about…I’m afraid that I am going to go away, and all of those people that have been telling me I am special my entire life…they are going to be completely disappointed in me. And that will be it. All my gifts and talents will have been wasted on the wrong person.”

We let the air dry our warm, naked bodies.I let out a long sob. Dria goes to hold me again. At four am we both crash.

I wake up and I feel completely refreshed and rejuvenated. It is a new day! Full of completely new possibilities!

I look at Dria. She looks so peaceful, and I don’t want to wake her. I have to get going and get on the road. I kiss her on her forehead, “Thank you!” I get dressed and I leave Dria with some money and a note.

Dria,

Thank you for saving my life last night! I will never forget it! If you find your way to Owensboro, Kentucky, here is my address: 1712 Thompson Drive Apt A

Love Always,

Mae Knight

I sneak out of the door and head to my car. I know I will probably never see Dria again. I leave knowing that this is one of the most intimate and human experiences I will ever have with another person in my life. I loved Dria without even knowing her, and I left with comfort knowing someone else in the world loved me too.

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On The Edge

His eyes were no longer the same. His eyes, once full of life and compassion- now looked dead.

It happened the week after our miscarriage. He told himself to be strong for me, he wasn’t allowed to be weak.

He told himself that he wasn’t allowed to feel anything about this painful event that had taken place in both of our lives together. He was the man – men are supposed to be strong- didn’t you know?

Trent had been out of a job. He went looking for work the next week. It was right after the crash of 2008. Everyone was out of a job! I had been working since I was 15, and I was out of a job! I wasn’t working either, but Trenton told himself he was the man. It was his job to take care of us. He would go to these interviews and there would be ten other people there, and Trenton would go in to the interview thinking, ‘Oh great! What’s the point? These people  look way more qualified that me!”

I held in my hand the third rejection letter Trenton had received in three weeks.
I sat in the van silent as Trenton quietly read the letter to himself. After about two minutes Trent put the van in drive. He started out at a normal speed but as we hit downtown area of Owensboro, Kentucky, his driving became more aggressive.
So, here we are in a van painted like a FUCKING COW, on Frederica, and we are at 65 MPH.

Our car had broken down a week before this. Trent and I were pretty much only left with the option of buying this 1995 White Cargo Van. His brother had already started making jokes about it looking like a van used to abduct children, so I thought I would spruce it up, and I thought it was a awesome idea to paint it like a cow! Trenton had a really good time painting it, too. It was the first time he had smiled in months.

“Trenton, you’re scaring me. Please stop the van!”

“STOP THE FUCKING VAN, TRENTON! ” I screamed as loud as I could.

I watched in horror as Trenton pulled into the parking garage of the RiverPark Center. I remember thinking,  this isn’t my husband!

First Floor- “Stop the van, Trenton!”

Second Floor – “I’m calling 911 Trenton!”

I picked up the phone and accidently dropped it as we reached the Third floor. “It’s going to be okay, Trenton – JUST STOP THIS GOD DAMN VAN! PLEASE!!!”
I tried reaching for the phone but it was too late- we were at the top of the building.
I remember watching this beautiful man – the man I promised the rest of my life to grow old with, get out of the van and walk to the edge of the building.
But I wasn’t giving up that easy! I was not going to lose him! I remember running after him as his second foot reached the ledge and grabbing onto the black peacoat he had on.

A black peacoat that I had bought him our first Christmas together because he had always wanted a peacoat. It was Trent’s favorite possession in the world. I grabbed the inside of that beautiful peacoat and somehow that beautiful peacoat managed to give me leverage enough to grab onto him and throw him to the ground.

We laid there and for a moment there was silence, until he started to cry. “Why the fuck shouldn’t I just end it? You would be so much better without me.”
And so I said the first thing that came to my mind,”Because I love you. Because you love me. Because there is no me without you, and if you do this right here, right now – you are going to fuck me up for life.”

I look back on it now and think of how insanely selfish it was that it was the only thing I could think of to say. What him killing himself would do to me.

But it worked. And we got in the van and I called every person possible I could that could help my husband get to the hospital to get help.

It took a lot of work and through the process we learned a lot about Trenton. We learned that Trent had undiagnosed depression for several years.
The truth is right now – even without really thinking I can come up with three things I love about Trenton.

1. He has a great heart and he would do anything for anyone
2. He has these almond shaped eyes that I used to stare at for hours when we first started dating. They’re gorgeous.
3. Trent is crazy smart.  He doesn’t even have to try – he just is!

There’s a ton of qualities that I see in Trent. But that doesn’t matter. Because Trent doesn’t see Trent that way.

I’m not going to lie – there have been several bumps in the road to Trent’s treatment of depression — but he keep going. And we all love him very much for that because we couldn’t imagine him NOT in our lives.
I would really love to hear your thoughts and if you have stories like this- please feel free to share them with me. If you feel like you need to get it out of you and put it to paper-send it to me! I will listen!

I love you Trenton Hagan, and I am so incredibly proud of how far you have come!

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