He wants me to stroke his ego. Or at least that was what I told myself as I watched his back dissipate into the foggy streets of Fez. This city is overbearing, savage, and lonely. I hate it.
I walk back to my house and I let out a faint sigh as I turn the keys and go back to this cell I call home. A hundred meters square of pure agony. I take out the only friend I have left, the gin bottle I keep in my drawer, and I wash out his remains with the burning aftertaste it leaves in the back of my throat. I hate him. I hate him for making me feel like I’m not good enough. I hate him for making me feel like I’m not meant to be loved. I’m too much. This brain, this body, this being are all too much for anyone to handle.

As I bathe in my own tears and vomit, I think to myself that I can’t go on this way forever, I’ll break down soon. This is our third split in two months and every time, I go back to drinking myself out of consciousness, I go back to this bathroom floor. This is the closest a human being can come to death without actually dying. Why do I still want him when he gives me nothing but misery?

This is my problem: I give myself away too soon. I bare it all the moment I feel affection, the moment I feel heard. Maybe my father did this, maybe the kids at school who threw rocks at me did it, I don’t know, but it’s there; this constant state of longing to feel desired, wanted, seen. I have to move on, either way.
Moving on is morbid and often ugly. No one ever talks about how painful healing is. There is no shortcut to it, I realize. But I cannot remain stuck as if I were being sawed back and forth between two mutually exclusive things: staying comfortably in a pain I know well and I’ve grown accustomed to, and dealing with the torment that comes with healing. This dilemma would be a no-brainer to anyone with a sane mind, but to people like me, this is hell. Knowing exactly what we need to do and still doing the complete opposite out of a fucked up masochistic search for approval and the impending fear of being alone.

As I thought of that, my whole being was shaken, it was like I had an epiphany, like I woke up from a long nightmare. I stood up, wiped my tears dry, washed myself and I called my therapist.

Ahmed Beqqal