I have an amazing friend and his name is Joe. We have been friends for years and have survived countless heartbreaks, heartaches and tragedies together and I consider him to be my foundation, my rock and my protector when I need him to be. I have been having a rough couple of weeks… I actually feel as though that is an understatement. I have considered fleeing to Costa Rica permanently, joining a convent (but then I realized I would have to believe in God… so that didn’t work out), and suicide. So a “rough” couple of weeks is putting things in a positive context. Joe… worried mostly about me joining a convent, invited me to London to spend a Sunday evening with him and his loverly Mom, Joanie.  In desperate need of any sort of respite from my small town which was suffocating me… I went. And…  I was an absolute hot mess and terrible… dreadfully… awful… company. I sat in full resting bitch face mode, my eyes swollen almost shut puffy from the fountains of tears I had been crying over the last week. I simply failed. All my best tricks… all the reasons people enjoy my company… intelligent conversation about worldly issues… sarcastic humor… witty little jokes… my dead and gone soul was having none of it… None of it I tell you! I looked as if I had made zero effort to be presentable. Wearing a navy blue stained t-shirt that was about three sizes to big with my recent weight loss… and having worse problems with my skinny jeans that now look like Mom jeans with a saggy ass and a drooping waste, and since I couldn’t be bothered to find a belt I walked around yanking them up incessantly. I drank the expensive merlot they offered in long thirsty gulps, barely coming up for air… and answered all of their questions with “I don’t know”, “yes”, “no”, “maybe”… while pushing what I can only assume was a lovely pasta dish around my plate. I hate girls like this. I judge girls like this. Yet, here I was being that asshole, wallowing in my own despair. His Mom had always adored me… and I was so pathetic, that I completely dispelled her belief that I am an amazing, sweet, brilliant young woman with a ton of potential and no where to go but up.

I am worried she is never going to invite me back.

What can I say? I am going through a bad patch. I have been going through a bad patch Looiersgrachtsince last fall. This past few weeks has just been the tipping point… with dispatching a non-empathetic cad from my romantic handbook, someone who was completely unreliable, a complete #PeterPan, and yet so charismatic I spent more then a year wondering how a girl like me could be so lucky to have a man like him (humpf what the fuck do I know)…. I had found out that funding has been cut at the shelter I work at, and although when I returned to my academics this fall this chapter would have ended, it pains me to know that cutbacks mean less accessibility and a growing epidemic of women, homeless and without assistance on the streets… and the icing on the depression cake… the thing that pushed me over the edge… another friend posted up engagement photos on Facebook and I keep wondering to myself… what the hell is wrong with me? This seems so far away … and I am getting old… when is it my time Buddha? When is it my time to meet a good man, without any sleazy intentions, or no heart… or the inability to grow up? This past year has been very bad. There has been a lot of boo-hooing into beer pints, resting my saddened head on friends proverbial shoulders… drunken text messages sent… even though I am in my 30’s and trying very hard not become a Sex and the City walking cliché.

At the end of the night, half unconscious, barely able to stand due to massive inebriation… we settled down to watch some shyte television, me counting the moments till the sheep took me into oblivion and I could stop thinking and morning and being pathetic… Joe in typically male fashion scanning through the channels like a fiend trying to find something “non-sporty and even less trendy” which was my super helpful input on our television viewing. He finally landed upon Home Alone2 of all things. “Really?”, I asked sarcastically and pulled the blanket up to my nose, sliding further down in the couch. “Why not?”, he asked… “There is nothing else on and that Culkin kid cracks me up”….

I mumbled something about its bad enough we have to withstand such crap at Christmas let alone be subjected to it in June… when his Mom came down the stairs with another bottle of wine and solidified the torture by announcing “oh I love this movie”… Of course….

KeizersgrachtTo be honest… I don’t remember anything past Home Alone the original. Sure it was cute, the premise ridiculous and Culkin was a sassy little mite… but I am not good with sequels… I mean why retell a good thing? Because I either have never watched Home Alone2 or I have lost all recollection of ever participating in the cinematic wonder that it is (note sarcasm here)… and because it was either the first time, or a forgotten time, I found myself drawn into the damn thing. Actually worried about Kevin (Macaulay Culkin, the small boy who realistically (cough, cough) always seems to be left behind)… and the shenanigans he finds himself in. Laughing at cameo appearances by Rob Schneider and thinking perhaps I might have to add this to my list of Christmas Day must watches with my Dad. Why am I telling you this boring tale? Well this is where shit got real in my world. Do you remember #thebirdlady who lives in Central Park? She is a vagabond, lonely, alone with her only company being the birds that she feeds in the park. She is dirty… has no fashion sense at all for a lady living in the Big Apple and only appears to be human when 300 birds descend on her en masse, vying for a place to perch on her shit covered overcoat.   Sidebar: For the record if this were my reality I would have a nervous breakdown… I have very fear fears but birds are one of them… especially large flocks of birds… as well as clowns and sloths…. I am aware that I need therapy… let’s not get distracted from the point…

There is a rather fittingly “Christmas-like” scene when Kevin comes across her in the park and they engage in a heart-to-heart. Kevin admits to missing his family and #thebirdlady admits that he is the first person that she has spoken to in more then two years…. Sidebar: Which seems perfectly reasonable and likely living in downtown New York (just saying)… The reason for her silence? She doesn’t trust. She doesn’t love. “The man I loved, fell out of love with me”, she explained. “And that broke my heart. When the chance to be loved came along again, I ran away. I have stopped trusting people”.

Other then the chimes of the cheesy Columbus-Hughes soundtrack you could have heard a pin drop and Joe and his Mom both stared and me gob smacked and then quickly looked away…

Oh dear Buddha… I am #thebirdlady….

It was my rock bottom. If hitting rock bottom can occur while you are half in the bag on Cornelius-frame$40 wine, snug as a bug in a rug on a new leather couch and actually having a blanket on you despite the 34-degree heat because the central air is up just a little too high… then this was rock bottom.

JK Rowling is one of my biggest heroes… and I like to take a page from her book when dealing with rock bottom like situations. And so my rock bottom was followed by a swift and decisive life change… and things are actually starting to look better. That is all it takes. One step in the direction of up… and a little faith in yourself as a human and you can turn #thebirdlady theory right around. Distraction is destructive… a mantra I try to live by but keep falling for gypsy’s who make the “real world” boring..

Listen my loverlies…. I am not trying to be motivational here. I am have not sufficiently recovered my heart from the brink of extinction yet enough to wish happiness on you or anyone else. I have absolutely ZERO advice to aid you in your road to recovery (if you actually read this blog for commiseration and not Schadenfreude). I just wanted to remind you, that sometimes things are shit, and then they get better – slowly… sometimes painstakingly so… but occasionally I want to remind you with sincerity… and with #thebirdlady story and that my loverlies you are just going to have to deal with.

Best in all things Birds,

Franki Figgs.

~ All artwork is owned and distributed by Adele Renault