Monday, September 17, 2007


I declared early in the year that 2007 would be a year of change. Prime example in "be careful what you ask for, you might just hit a tree in a dumptruck." As I just got back from a 4 day trip with my daughter I am feeling a mite runover. It was as it should be, insightful, fun, stressful, interesting, and exhausting in both body and mind. After 17 plus years she is a formidable person and I love her. I feel like I could have done a couple of things better but all in all, she's got some tools.

What with Ma dying this year, Sis finally getting that house she pined for, Bro still not talking to me, and Dad working at getting his life back to something besides caretaking, its not hard to miss how fucked up my head has become. I made some serious bets about 20 odd years ago and most all have paid off. But I've been faking it so long that the bicycle has begun to wobble and its looking like I might have to jam my foot in the spokes just to get off. And that, as they say, will hurt me.

I would like to get out of the fixing to die rag and back to something hopefull and seemingly new. This would be nice. I would like to be nicer and more hugable, along with less profane and prickly. And yeah, I would like to be taken more seriously, but I haven't figured out by who in the fuck I would like that serious regard to come from. Ooops, more profanity. Finding the right folks to hear my roar would seem to be the crux of the problem, if in fact there is a problem. I think the person I need to convince of my seriousness might appear in a nearby mirror.

Once my wife told me that given how I managed to talk myself into intellectual cul-de-sacs, I would never be satisfied. Thinking about that, I tried to fake satisfaction, or at least reach a level of distraction that approximated the satin sheen of satisfaction and included some quality air-conditioning. Done. Problem solved. Except that I don't take that kind of accomplishment seriously enough. This is an interesting development, at least knowing that I knocked over the tree that fell in the forest because I have read some reports about this tree. Plus I got the bill from the tree-trimmers.

One teacher who spent a lot of time telling me how great I was and then eventually told me that not only there was no god but I was not quite up to man's standards as well used to tell a parable about a man who knew how to build the magic fire. Then he taught his kids about how to do it, but as time went on, each generation had more trouble and whatnot reproducing the conditions necessary for this level of accomplishment. In the end, he said something like the great grandchild of the original didn't know how to collect the wood, build the fire, start the spark, but he knew the story. And that was enough.

Bullshit. The prof had is daughter murdered by some motherfucking psychopath and all the kings horses etc won't make that whole. The first baby died for me and the mrs. and while I don't pine away about that I wonder deeply indeed whether or not there are scars inside my belly that keep me from fully digesting my food. Still, I like to eat. And maybe my food would taste better if I didn't dilute it quite some much with strong solvents. Its surely worth thinking about. Seriously.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Friends and Time

I had one of those moments with a friend of mine the other day that left my ego in a uproar. Being not only of the "blame America first" but "blame myself first" crowd, I got an earful about my loutish behavior three nights previous. Essentially he said he didn't appreciate my drunkenness (fair I guess although no one but he complained) and that he expected to have a conversation with me and that was his only recompense given that he didn't dig the band we were seeing that much. Not his cup of tea. I apologized and basically said it was OK, even useful for him to give me a mini-lecture on the value of our friendship. Bye-bye.

After getting over the initial adrenaline shock of being told I was bad, I began to do the math. Granted, he had to chauffeur me back to his abode without me being awake, a daunting task no doubt. Probably took 90 minutes. Say 2 hrs. Of course there was the fact that I wasn't really into hearing about his issues with my usual carefulness on the way up. He had to go to his therapist, a late addition to our itinerary that pushed back our arrival time to the venue to about 20 minutes before they started. He did try to call me the day before with this knowledge but the week before when I asked him if he'd like to go, there was no awareness of this previously scheduled meeting. No big. And yet since others were involved and we had originally planned to met them for some ya ya's before showtime this was not ideal. And things need to be ideal, you no doubt believe.

I asked him what the point of therapy was given that he seems pretty OK to me. Successful business, although you wouldn't know it from his equivocating, some friends, a warm place to shit etc. But no long term relationship and I know this is a biggy. Therapy will be continued, he intoned, as long as the LTR eluded him. And then he dropped me off in the lobby of his health club so he could take a shower.

LTR's are dandy, I love mine. I'm sure that my boy will get his just as soon as he remembers that loving someone by definition requires putting their needs in front of your own, at least some of the time. Now I'm not saying I needed to get drunk but wtf, it was a damn rock concert and the sonics of the place needed a bit of beer so the volume wouldn't cause pain. Ah, no excuses. But its kinda ironic that the very thing we both need is a little bit of consideration for the other. I get this. I hate to say it but I'm not sure if he ever will.

No reason to dog pile, and I hope that he's smart enough to think about why he got pissed off at me and put it into some sort of context. Let's see, I change my whole day for him and he thinks he's doing me a favor by going in the first place. I ditch work early, I initiate the whole scenario, and bring him a composter and a car stereo to boot. Were is the love? I looked in a beer glass for something predictable I guess.

Years and years of this type of behavior, not the drinking, the making time so that we have a relationship in the first place, going to his shop, his building, and never so much a one trip to my house, these things don't matter until that moment when they do. The larger question for me, besides AA, is that I do this shit all the time. I connect, reconnect, reconnoiter, write, pester, remind and maybe this shit is getting old. Most folks who get married, have kids, get a mortgage etc do a real fine job of getting rid of their old friends. I am shitty at getting rid of old friends. If I ever went to war with you ya got a couch to sleep on, literally or metaphorically. How the fuck can it be any different?

I married better than most. I have actually spent some amount of time being introspective, and I know shit from shinola, give or take a couple of things. Some times when I am arguing with somebody about history the only way I can get their attention is to point out that I, unlike them, did my homework. I did my relationship homework and my buddy never did. I've got time and he doesn't now, because he's busy catching up on how to love. I really hopes he meets his deadline.

As you can see I'm not really ready to forgive him yet. My brother must feel something akin to this about me as he no longer talks to me. My offense was I asked him why the heck didn't he call me back when I was in town one day years and years ago and he musta felt kinda like I felt Sunday morning. Shit happens, and I said I didn't have time for his shit. So I'm off the team. I sure as hell don't plan on doing this to my friend, 40 years knowing somebody would be a terrible thing to waste but we did have a falling out once before over his "born-again" phase and my intolerance of his ignorance/arrogrance. Ah well, something to think about anyway. I'll end by quoting the band playing the soundtrack for this misunderstanding:

sadly I remain in need
all you do is talk
help yourself don't think
help yourself don't speak
help yourself don't say a thing at all
your lucky words don't bleed