Sunday, April 08, 2007

Here Comes the Quiet Life

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Oh geez. Wow. It's been weeks since I've been here. Sorry.

Did you ever wonder how things happen? You know, things... happening. What moves all this life on our planet forward? How did this world go from dinosaurs to plastic surgery? Or from Pangea to Scotch tape? I guess it's somewhat easy for me to understand going from stage coaches to SST's, profit was involved, but what about a world without roses, to a world with them? What does that? In regards to my life, I know it's not me changing it. I'm not saying I'm passive, and I just let things happen to me, I do have plans. But how many plans for our life, or anything, have we made that simply failed to come to fruition? Endless endless lists, I'm sure.

A song for Jody. Quiet life. Huh. "...here comes the quiet life..." You know what that is, right? That's sarcasm.
My time with Jody was coming to an end in the summer of 1987. The apartment we shared still holds many contradictions for me. They jump up to the window and bark at me like a puppy over due for a walk whenever I ride my bike down Pinegrove and glance west on 3700 block.
As you may or may not know, I like to spend a lot of time wondering about the past. My own past, definitely, but also the past of the people who lived in the old buildings I've lived in over the years. The apartment I shared with Jody was built in the 20's, in a old Jewish neighborhood. I spent many hours at the window wondering what kind of cars went down the street over the decades, what people wore when they dressed for the temple's services down the block, what kind of noise their shoes made on the sidewalk. Where did they work? Did they take a street car to the loop? What did the housewives do while their husbands were away, and what did they cook for dinner? What did the holiday meals smell like, and who would come and share it with them? What radio shows did they listen to? What did they do to pass the time during a long winter's evening? Who died here? Who was conceived here? Where did they move from? Where did they move to?
But while I lived there I mainly I thought about why I was not going to live with Jody after the lease was up. She was a very positive influence for me, but I saw her life moving forward, and mine slipping into the chains of self destruction. I had my good moments; some moments of serenity, but I did not know how to move in them and move forward, without wanting to shatter everything and try to put it all back together. I couldn't talk to Jody about this. Or anyone. At the time I would wish and pray there was someone I could talk to about how I felt, someone who could tell me what to do, but my mind was made up: I was too broken to ever be 'fixed'.
"I was happy these past three years. I was!" I would think to myself. "What happened? Why do I feel so out of control?"
Jody would complain to me about our lack of conversation, and all I would think was who would want to hear about all this crap that kept rolling around my brain day in and day out. My endless loops of despair and self loathing.
I guess when we don't share our problems, we're afraid of the cure, or not ready for it. If there's one thing I've learned about myself, it's that I have to be teetering on 'the brink' before I would do anything about it. I knew that brink was out there, waiting for me, but I couldn't see it yet, so I bided my time.
I knew Jody had the cure. I guess I was enjoying wallowing in my own crapulence too much to stop, so I moved out. Well, maybe not enjoying it, really, but I knew I had to live like this awhile longer; observe it, take notes.
I would miss our times spent at her family's house in the suburbs, hanging out with friends in our living room, and shopping and cooking for her. I would miss marveling at the depth of her intellegence, but what I would miss most of all would be watching her grow from the college student I met a few years back, into the woman she was determined to become.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

That was lovely. Isn't it weird how tightly we hang on to our "crapulence" when deep down we that if we let go of the "crapulence" we'll be better for it?

Aaron said...

I know the feeling of not being ready for "the cure." Sometimes (we think) the devil we know is better than the one we don't...?

(And sometimes, we're not ready to let go of our little devils just yet.)

David said...

Poor Faye.

dirk.mancuso said...

"If there's one thing I've learned about myself, it's that I have to be teetering on 'the brink' before I would do anything about it."

You and me both, BC.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian! This one made me sad-
I am honored that you think of me as a positive influence in your life. I am the one who will always be grateful to you for all the postive influence that you had on my life!

Aaron said...

Oh, now I'm gonna cry. And I can't afford the puffiness! :-)