Wednesday, February 22, 2006

You want fries with that?

Waiting.Waiting. Waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. I am always waiting for something. Waiting to be happy. Waiting to have a life (only to realize it is probably half over). Waiting for...? The next thing? Person? Event? Waiting, waiting, when, when, when.
Yesterday I was waiting for a meeting (yes, I'm breaking my anonyminity like Capote's Phillip did last week) to start at a church on Belmont. In the hallway was a new "religious" mural. In big, decorative letters were the words "Jesus Christ". Well, I gasped. I gasped because for a second I thought someone graffittied a swear word on the church wall. Seeing those words reminded me of my stepfather circa 1975. Him yelling "Jesus Christ" was usually followed with something like "...what the hell is going on in here?" or "...who the hell left the door open!" Just when I thought I put my past into perspective, and accepted it, I realized "Jesus Christ" can still make me flinch.

I've been waiting a long time for my childhood to be over.

The summer between 6th grade and 7th grade I somehow got hooked on a soap opera. I don't remember which. There was a big, exciting party going on, with a small fire in a broom closet. So all summer, I knew this fire was getting bigger while everyone yukked it up and danced in their fancy clothes, and I waited on the edge of my seat for them to find out. All summer I waited (you know how soaps are) for them to be destroyed by a secret that was way too out of control for them to stop. This was the same summer we were all waiting for Skylab to fall. There was a huge billion dollar chunk of metal whipping around the earth, and no one knew where or when it would land. We just waited. To pass the time, I drew pictures of it crashing into a mansion, where a party was going on. Disaster-combining, you could say. Would it land in Los Angeles? (Oh, the carnage!) London? (Oh, the damage!) Or would I wake up to a loud noise outside my bedroom window, in the Town of Menasha, Wisconsin, and run screaming in giddy horror? "AAA! SKYLAB! HOW GLAMOROUS! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!"

"Oh please, please, please, let Skylab hit my house" I would pray everyday. I waited all summer, only for it to land in an empty field Down Under, and hurt no one. What a let-down. The soap opera fire wasn't a let-down, though. Wonderful, satisfying day-time TV destruction. "That'll teach ya to not check the closets!"
Waiting, waiting. Waiting in Chicago in the 80's? (the 80's seems to be the theme of this blog) :The Greyhound bus terminal, when it was still on Randolph and Dearborn. It was some how set below street level, like some gigantic scary sunken living room. Riding down the long escalator, I knew I was in for an "eventful" wait, because anyone could sit in the waiting area, and I'm sure you can imagine the types of people there. They really did have those chairs with the built-in TV sets you put quarters in to watch. In the mid-80's, I took the bus up to Wisconsin from there 3 or 4 times. You can see it in the Liz Shue star vehicle, Adventures in Babysitting.

Speaking of movies, it seems Veronica Lake got tired of waiting for her stalled career to get back on track, because she died forgotten, an alcoholic, a waitress in a bar. Did she end up just waiting to die?
What am I waiting for? What am I waiting for now? These days, I spend a lot of time waiting to fall asleep. I spend a lot of time waiting for the empty space in my bed next to me to be filled with someone I love. Or at least with someone who wants to be there. I wait for my body to get thinner and for my clothes to fit (I quit smoking last summer) I wait for the day I stop waiting. I wait for the day I am simply being.


Steve said...



Love the Veronica Lake photo ...

Mama Kelly said...

what an interesting read

wandered in and couldn't leave

David said...

My God. I so can relate to this. We should be friends! Oh wait, we are! Skylab.

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