Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wait Long Enough

There is a report I read briefly on Yahoo that asked the question, Are Victoria Secret bra’s causing health problems?
Yes. Yes they are. Four-hour erections in some cases have been reported.

I am all for a free press. Still, should the news be telling us what Obama and his family’s Secret Service code names are? Kind of takes the secret out of the secret doesn’t it?

Ever read, The Secret? It seems that our entire economy was based on the philosophy of thinking that a combination of wanting and thinking hard enough about wanting something would translate into real dollars.
Isn’t this the kind of thinking we tell our kids to grow out of?
“You can’t just wish for something. You have to go do the work!”

This month, two friends of mine lost their Fathers to long health battles and two women I cared about a long time ago contacted me. Strange.
My Father is in bad shape. When people ask what he has the most honest response simply is, “He’s old.”
There isn’t any one major thing wrong with my Dad. It is time taking its toll on him. That and the complications on top of complications that came with a botched gull bladder operation performed at the V.A.
We see it all the time with older people. One fall or one medical procedure gone wrong marks the beginning of a downward spiral. Frankly, I am amazed that my Dad has been able to hang on as long as he has. His body no longer does what you and I take for granted. He is almost entirely confined to live inside his mind.
When I think about that, really think about it, I get claustrophobic.
I have never really lost anyone close to me. These friends who just lost their Fathers have been devastated by their death. Is it selfish to keep thinking, how will I be when this happens to my Dad?
It keeps going through my head.

Then, the women contacted me the same week I will turn 40.
Its not like I want to have a middle age crisis, its just that the universe seems intent on bringing one to me.
One was an X-girlfriend. We moved in together as starry-eyed young lovers when I was 19. The other girl was a girl I was simply afraid to make any meaningful moves on even though the mutual attraction was obvious.

With the X, I realize that time will eventually heal all. When we broke up it was hard. I carried that grief around with me for a few years. I tried to get back together with her several times, but she was not having any of that. When I heard her voice on the other end of the phone yesterday, I felt no tug at my heart or any pop-song longing for what was.
Eventually, it does seem to do what no amount of drinking could ever accomplish.

12, maybe 13 years ago, she showed up at my job. The X, I lived with. She was different in a way I could not immediately explain to myself. Long story short, she became bi-polar along with other emotional issues and was placed in a mental health hospital by her parents.
That was the last time I saw her.

With the other girl it was all my fears. She was too perfect. She was cute, smart, and sweet and always looked amazing in no matter what she had on. I was completely convinced that even though all the signs she was giving me were green lights, I would fuck it up. Now days I think of it as a sort of middle age crisis at the age of 25. I had been in love twice before meeting her and each time the relationships ended in spectacular failures. I just didn’t want to go through anything close to that ever again with a girl as incredible as her.
Today she is married, still looks great and is proud of the successes I have had in comedy.

I can’t say if it truly is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. But I do know the regret of never having acted on feelings is a sting that outlasts anything like the embarrassment of being turned down.

When I think about the women I have known I don’t stop to consider the insults, petty jealousies or out right bull shit two people might inflict on each other. Today I think about the ones I could have had something with but convinced myself otherwise.
Lesson learned.
Its not a long list, just a few names really, but the idea that my life could of gone in another direction if I had done something differently is a powerful form of self inflicted grief that is hard to shake. Its difficult to say where nostalgia ends and unproductive thoughts begin. Actually, it’s not hard at all. I can honestly say this is a question I was born with. Any one who was ever adopted knows this question well.
What would my life be like if another family had gotten me?
What would I be like if things had worked out with that job, that girl, that show, this day?
Its a branching chains of dominos.
I can’t know anymore than anyone else could. If there were a machine that could show you what your life would have been like if you turned left instead of right at an intersection in the road, would you look into it?
I don’t know if I would now. I use to think I completely would with no hesitation. Its not like I don’t love my parents, but there is no way I am the product of an X-Nun and an accountant. We were challenging on each other when my parents raised me.
Tomorrow I turn 40.
Please, hold the shit about; it’s just a number and all that crap.
People only say, it’s just a number when it’s clearly no longer just a number.
40 means waking up takes a bit longer. There are mornings when I think of my Dad and my chest seizes up for a second as I consider what the passage of time will do to me.
40 means the guitar that sits against the wall of my room will probably remain something I do. Not something I am known for.
40 means the, “Your still young. You have time to figure it out” comes to an end. 40 means the people around me who are younger look at me to know shit when life becomes serious. How should I know? I will ask. Your old, they reply. Before I can respond with sarcasm or protest, I remember when I was their age that 40 did indeed seem old to me.
Shit again.

Wait long enough and time heals the broken heart from relationships. A little longer and what if, becomes a wound all it’s own. Longer still and the body you live in starts a process that seems designed to strip a person of their dignity.
My point?
I don’t have one really. I am just marking the passage of another year and the set of ironies and incidents that have gone into making it memorable.


Anonymous said...

In a post full of past loves, you wrote nothing of the most recent ex on this birthday?
Wouldn't she be in her mid-20s now?
Just surprised after reading your many posts on this blog that you would mention other ex-girlfriends, but not the most relatively recent one.
For someone who shares personal information, not on stage, but in his blog, I'm surprised you wouldn't talk about that time in your life while you usher in four decades of life, regardless of whether you were present for all of them.

Joe said...

If I could write punch lines to this stuff, it would be on stage. But I am a comic, not a solo performer so this stuff goes here.
As for the last love, I already wasted enough time and energy on that mistake.
Time enough, has not yet passed to see her with the soft focus lens of nostalgia.
You are right though, she would be in her 20's still, probably living with the next guy she met right after me but not the guy she cheated on me with and probably still believes what she wrote to me after moving in with Mr. Rebound- I am the man who knows her best.
I can honestly say I don't think about her much anymore but I am clearly not over the whole thing.
Yup. Nothing funny there.