Bloomsburg is a lot like hell, in the sense that you feel trapped here (if you have any sense about you). There are people I’ve met who considered it more home than any place they’ve ever been. Other’s, less fortunate I suppose, are home because they don’t know anywhere else can be home. What I’m trying to say is: It’s a small town in bumfuck nowhere that consists of people who are trapped. The people who are born and raised in the area generally don’t know how not to be shit-kickers, especially a small bunch in Buckhorn. That’s not to say that it’s entirely hopeless. Emily’s father, Darren, and step-mother, Jenn, hate me because I’m older than her by eight years and I’m also her second cousin. That doesn’t insinuate that if we had kids they wouldn’t meet social standard, but luckily we never plan to procreate. We’ve messed our lives up enough to know adding another into the mix would lead to catastrophe (maybe we’d create a little Patrick Bateman. Or something more broken)
Because I love her, and she loves me, and we live together, we’re a scandal. Emily compares us to one of the gay couples in the ’90s. I compare us to lepers. Either way, no one in this God damn town thinks what we have is worth the ground we walk on. Ironically, I don’t think this town or it’s people are worth the soles of my shoes. Beyond this town is my family in Virginia. No, I’m not a southern boy. I’m not one of those rebel flag waving, truck driving, tobacco chewing, gay bashing, George W. loving, church going kinds of guys. I’m more pragmatic and cynical than that. My family consists of my mom, who supports Emily and I, my Dad, who openly supports Emily and I, and my brother and his wife, who don’t like us being together and everything we do. Luckily my brother and step-sister are kind to no fault. Oh yeah, and there’s my best friend Will, who has some serious social anxiety.
So, I moved to Bloomsburg to work at a cell phone store and help support Emily and I, but that went south. I’m bipolar, that’s worth mentioning, and I dabbled in YouTube as The Bipolar Chef, where I cursed, cooked, and complimented myself. Bipolar disorder, maybe just for me, means I love myself, hate myself, want to die, want everyone else to die, and also am ambitious with relent.
Emily and I are currently, and will always be, in a war to stay in love without having to sacrifice people. Well, she is; I’m more willing to choose the ones I love over the ones I tolerate. I tolerated her father and step-mother, along with some other people who I forgot already, and you can only guess as to how much love those people have for me.
However, Emily is less like me than anyone, and for that she suffers quietly to maintain any kind of dwindling bond with the people she loves who hate myself and ‘us’. I am sometimes the devil on her shoulder, whispering that she should tell her father how she feels, but she is too good to listen to me when I become manic enough to do that. So, where do I begin with this? We love each other, and sacrificed so much too, but how can you express something like that?
In October, 2014, I told Darren about Emily and I. Henceforth, I was known in this town as a predator and, I guess, a pedophile (I’m not, I hate kids). Emily was 18, I was 26, I was getting ready to move to Bloomsburg in November, and what better way to show up in style than by making my friend (of the time) and his wife hate me? Sufficed to say, I do sometimes regret telling him, considering the circumstances.