heartache

Closure

heartache_largeA friend of mine contacted me to tell me that a former boyfriend from 37 years ago contacted her recently.    A long four-hour telephone conversation revealed that he isn’t happy with his life and admitted that really, he hasn’t been since they broke up in the mid seventies.    They only dated for a few months–he was her ‘transition boyfriend”, but he never knew that and I don’t think it would have mattered if had an inkling.   He loved this woman, warts and all and knew what she didn’t:  that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

And he would–from a distance and it was with a view that was no better than a few stolen glances over the shoulder of  his rebound wife.    Yes, irony of ironies, the “transition boyfriend” married his “transition girlfriend”.    Of course his marriage to her would be unhappy, for the most part.  Oh, there would be glimmers of happiness; a joyous birth or two, but in the back of his mind,  piercing through every smile would be those damned feelings for ‘her”...THEE girlfriend.  The one that got away.

My friend is currently in a relationship herself.   She says she’s in love.   He’s a man she maneuvered into her life so the move from wife to divorcee would be seamless.

“I could NEVER ever t involved with (insert name here) again.   Ewwwwwww!”

I’ll lay odds that as her marathon conversation with this specter from her past winded down, visions of a life him in some form or fashion crossed her mind.    How could it not?    Name me one normal red-blooded sentient woman who couldn’t let her mind roam down the back alleys of her imagination as she’s being told she was/is the love of someone’s life.   That her absence has been felt every day for almost four decades.   That losing her was and always will be his life’s singularly biggest regret.

I had one of those heartaches.  I had one of those relationships that I let haunt me.   I allowed a simple, acne-faced 15-year-old boy who broke up with me four days into my Freshman year of high school dictate me emotionally for 39 years.       He was there, always present, seething in soul , gripping like a vice.      In some form or fashion, he was there on every date, every uttered “I love you”, every break up, every holiday.

After high school, he went straight to work.   No college for him.    He was a simple guy.   He found a job in the oil patch and never looked back.    He married a women he met in a small town where he’d landed a job;  they married and had kids and last I heard, he had a couple of grandchildren added to his family tree.

Bully for him.

This was the guy who broke up with me before every major gift giving holiday.    I could always count on heartache two to three days before Christmas, my birthday and Valentine’s Day.    Easter,too.   Once, I accused him of being a Jehovah’s Witness, a reference that moved his bangs as it flew over his head.   Yet, I loved the little SOB.   He was my first boyfriend; my first love and at age 12, no less.     In the two years that we were together, he gave me a  yellow smiley face lollipop (which I kept as long as I can remember), a small black pocket  comb with greasy kid stuff still in it  , a very well-worn green and white cap with just as much greasy kid stuff in the inner lining, but the pièce de résistance????     He gave me a corroded silver-colored ring (I’ve yet to find the particular metal ANYWHERE on the table of elements) with green colored stones and three were missing.    He explained that the ring was in his jeans pocket when an impromptu game of backyard football broke out in the neighborhood.

As for the corrosion?   I shudder to think what might have started THAT scientific  process.     He found it, I’m sure but what did that matter?   I didn’t care.    HE gave it to ME.

I was lucky in that I was able to talk to him a few years ago.     A few weeks of phone calls, that’s all.    In that time, I was able to ask him why he left me so suddenly, without a real explanation and without ever really talking to me and he told me that he did so because I was in high school and would probably want to start dating and based on my upbringing he assumed that meant dinners and movies which took time and money–both of which he little of—and he was too embarrassed to tell me.   So, he did the sensible thing and broke up with me.

I can remember going silent at the end of the explanation, the reality that I was devastated by reverse snobbery was sobering.    I don’t remember what was said or even how much longer we talked, but I do remember this overwhelming feeling of release immerse me.    When we last spoke I had no money, only a half ass job, no boyfriend, certainly no modeling contracts or Academy Awards, the Pulitzer had eluded me, as did motherhood and marriage,  but even in the face of all those perceived negatives, I had one bright, shiny positive:  I had an answer to the single most pressing question of my life.

It made up for all the deficits during those holidays 43 years ago.  It was the best thing; the ONLY real thing of value he ever gave me:   the gift of closure.

This, I explained to my friend, is pivotal.     She should meet with this guy from her past that still holds the torch for her or at the very least, send him an email or something that could free him of the hold she has had on him.

“He told me he’s miserable and his marriage is nothing more than a joyless business arrangement.  He’s not happy because it was never what he wanted.” 

Of course it failed.   He settled.

Then, I explained it to her as I saw it, from someone who was haunted by a lost love for so long.  Emotional closure is vital for anyone who’s loved too long and all alone.    My God, is THAT a horrendous way to exist.

Sometimes it takes a gentle shove….a nudge….sometimes a major kick in the ass, but easing the pain is so important.   Not that it’s my friend’s responsibility,  not that it was my ex boyfriend’s either, but being told the real reason–even though it hurt a bit—was incredibly worth all risks, all feelings….everything.      I could stop the doubting;  the incessant wondering how and why.

But the truth is,  I was a lot like Dorothy Gale of the Oz and Kansas Gales.    I had the power to free myself of my emotional  enslavement all along, but I never really knew it.   Perhaps, I did but it served a good purpose.  I used it like a protective layer;  an impenetrable fortress.    Nothing gets near me;  I am safe.     But confines like that also allow nothing in either.   But I used it for as long as I used it–it kept me from getting too close to a lot of people.   So when I finally got the answer to a question that became rhetorical, 39 years ago, I let go.   I suppose it was time.

My life has changed since the  big release, in that he’s really no longer in it.    I rarely think about him anymore.  Oh, he’ll creep in when a song comes on that sweeps me back to 1972, but only in a certain fondness.    I don’t revisit unless a memory is triggered, and lately that trigger has a very secure safety on it.    As for the smiley face sucker?   I kept that for a long time, but eventually mice or other critters who forage storage spaces for food, destroyed it  and I would imagine the comb and cap met the same fate.   The ring, you ask?   I still have it.     It’s in a jewelry box somewhere and there it sits, just as it has for the past 42 years but I would imagine these days, it contains a few less green stones and the curious setting is now probably a lovely rust color.

The idealization of who he was and what he had all those years ago has long dispersed. And that is a very, very good thing;  a process that has taken a very long time.   I am free.  I now have a few well sorted  memories  that I keep in a memory bouquet.  I comprised it like one would order off a menu at a Chinese restaurant:   I’ve taken a few  memories from 1971, a couple from 1972 and one or two from 1973 just to complete the triad of years.

“Please set him free”, I begged my friend.    “You have to do for him what he can’t for himself.  Write him, phone him, telegraph, send a carrier pigeon.   How you do it is your choice, but please, just do it.”

She replied, “Why should I?   I  owe him nothing.  It was a lifetime ago!”

My answer came  surprisingly quick.

I told  her when spend most of your life, loving someone  in your past and it’s that all-encompassing love that burns as it cools, races as it rests; leans as it stands tall and straight, you have no traditional concept of time.   Any prisoner will tell you a 42 year sentence  takes forever to endure, but amazingly, when you look back on it, it  takes all of 42 seconds relive.   And in that time, which transpires quickly then slowly, then back again,  all you can think about  is being free from its clutches.

Freedom.   And  sometimes, for the damnedest of reasons,  freedom isn’t a choice….. but in some cases,  it can certainly be a gift.

She assures me, he’ll be receiving her email soon.

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Send In The Clouds. Well Maybe, They’re Here

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Does the vile, nasty, coarse cloud formation give you an idea as to my mood as of late?

It’s been an extremely difficult month.   I’ve got 29 days left before I turn 50 and I’ve been suffereing with birthday angst and anxiety.  Plus, I’m still awaiting word from that job I applied for amonth ago and to be honest, I’m going stir crazy.   Utterly; madly.

This particular entity will announce their decision later this week.   I’m praying to gods I don’t even believe in order to land this job.   I actually want it far more than I need it.   Besides, nothing else has panned out and trust me, I’ve tried.    I’ve applied for 123  jobs since a  post Hurricane Ike budget forced the three radio station cluster for which I worked, to downsize significantly and let’s be honest, can any corporation in these lean times, keep a full-time comedy writer and commercial copy writer  on their  staffs?  

And if that isn’t bad enough, I’m running low on crap to write and I’m not feeling my best. I’ve the worst insomnia, I’m tired, cranky and I’m crying over tampon commercials. I have no appetite (thanks God!) and due to a sinus infection I’ve had for 18 years, Ican’t really taste anything.  My t-buds are are on full consumptive anarchy..

Wanna hear the latest malady???

I’ve got inexplicable perspiration. And I can no longer blame menopause for that.  In fact, parts of my body that shouldn’t have sweat glands are now sweating profusely. And my body is emitting sweaty weirdness.  Is perspiration supposed to ball up  upon touch?  I ask because I think I’m sweating mercury.

But that’s not the worst of it—my sciatica is killing me, I can’t sit for extended periods, I get the gas even when I walk by food, rent in Boca Raton is now through the roof and my son, the doctor, never calls me!!!!

My God, I’m old…….and Jewish!!!

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Before I sit shiva for my youth, I wanted to come up with a much better post before I completely go underground in the next several days or until I learn whether I need to get all my business suits, now serving as a cat day bed, cleaned and pressed.

I struggled to come up with a decent Monday post and then I remembered that a  post I’d written a few years ago.   I stumbled upon it an another sight and thought I’d  republish it with updated answers.

So that’s what I did and  what you’ll read below is an updated version.   Yeah, I stole it…so what?  My pilfering occured two years ago…exceeding the statute of limitations.   Besides, I needed content and I’m too tired to give a shit.

Here goes:

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?

  • Bill Tucker. He’s my accountant. I hate that greedy son of a bitch.

2. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?

  • Third trimester; en utero

3. Do you regret losing your virginity to who you lost it to?

  • Yeah, after I took that “unfortunate tumble” off my bike, my piece of shit Schwinn 10-speed never called. Bikestard!!!!!

4. If you could go back and change one thing what would it be?

  • I would never have ever gotten involved with a particular male individual. He is and always will be my biggest regret.

5. Name of your first grade teacher?

  • Mrs. Doris Garner.  For some reason, I remember she always smelled like pickles. 

6. What do you really want to be doing right now?

  • I really want to be in a position to explore the use of new personal pronouns in my life…such as “ours, us and we”. I’d like to explore these possibilities while all cozied up somewhere with the man of my dreams and our dogs in our comfy, warm mountain accessible home, where on those rare occasions when I’m not perfectly embodying the metaphor of “being in love”, I’m writing the ASS out of comedy.

7. What did you want to do when you were growing up?

  • An almost 50 year old unemployed, old maid crone.    Mission fucking accomplished.

8. How many colleges did you attend?

  • Five by the time I finally graduated. Yeah, I was an educational drifter.

9. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?

  • It stunk less than the other shirts piled high atop Mount Laundry.

10. What are your thoughts on gas prices?

  • “Damn!!! Gas prices are high!!”

11. If you could move anywhere and take someone with you where would it be?

  • Seville, Spain…Estes Park, Colorado, Montreal or I’d make a fabulous homestead deep in the Texas Hill Country. Sometimes, the Hills call me like a siren. It feels like home there. Freshwater streams and arroyos. Bluffs that over look crystal clear spring fed creeks. Indian country. Ceder and Mesquite. I am home in the Hills.

I2. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?

  • I haven’t slept since 2003. I would commit heinous crimes if only I could actually be awakened by the harsh, discordant sound of my alarm going off

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night?

  • I didn’t fall asleep but I remember feeling down around by my side and thinking, “Is that a pillow or my left one?”

14. Favorite underwear?

  • My jock

15. Favorite thing about the opposite sex?

  • Despite their pedantic pleas to the contrary, men are so very easily played.   We always….ALWAYS  know when you’re lying.  As for why we don’t call you on it?    I don’t know–maybe as to not bruise your delicate egos.    Maybe we hate confrontation and I know for a fact that when we catch you in your lies (and when lying, gentlemen,  please learn some real thespian skills.   Don’t stand there slack jawed, eyes diverting right and left and begin every sentance with a Sling Blade utterance of “Uh”)  we stuff this knowledge in  our mental quivers and often keep  our mouths shut, eager to either trip you one day when you’ve forgotten all that we’ve remembered OR…we just want to see how far you’ll carry on this charade.  But trust me, we know.

16. What errand/chore do you despise?

  • Anything remotely involving housework…or movement

17. If you didn’t have to work, would you volunteer?

  • Yes and I do. At least, once a month.

18. Get up early or sleep in?

  • How about “never sleep”? On those rare occasions when I actually get some shut eye, I am a ridiculously early riser.

19. What is your favorite cartoon character?

  • Gossamer, the big, orange tooth-shaped, Chuck Taylor High-Tops wearing monster on Bugs Bunny

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  • Witch Hazel, the cute little brujita, also from Bugs Bunny. Every time she moved, bobby pins fell out of her hair.

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  • and Ralph Bakshi’s “Mighty Mouse” from the early .1990′s.      HILARIOUS!!!

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20. Favorite thing to do at night with a guy or a girl?

  • I love to cuddle in bed, soft kisses are exchanged. Laughing is a must. There must always be laughter. There must also be a mutual exchange of love. I want to say “I love you” and must hear it said back to me. Oh yeah— it’s fun with guys, too!

21. Have you found real love yet?

  • Interesting question. I thought I knew real love once. I was just a kid then, but it was very real. At least, it felt that way. As for now? Everything I currently feel can only be classified as a deep abiding affection. Or infection. Either way, it’s curability is in doubt.

22. When did you first start feeling old?

  • At 32 actually.  I broke 11 major support bones in a nasty car weck and I’ve creeked and cracked ever since.   But when I turned 45, my sound effects of my body were suddenly accompanied by pain.  Aging can be a cruel, cruel mistress.

24.. Your favorite lunch meat?

  • That would be meats…plural. Ham and turkey, Big Daddy!

25. What do you get every time you go into Costco?

  • Hives. Went with my sister once. A million shoppers hurriedly  gone from one aisle to the other.   It  remdinded  me of a slide of  viral Herpes critters teeming teeming under a microscope.   I walked out of there needing a drink AND Acycolvir.

26. Beach or lake?

  • I’ll go with a lake 90-percent of the time but I do love deserted beaches on cold, dark winter afternoons

27. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?

  • Amazingly enough, no.   I eventually plan to fail at it at least once before I die.

 

  • 28. Do you own property?

        •   Do migrant workers count?

29. Favorite movie you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about?

  • The video of my proctological scope exam. Set design was horrible and the landscape scenes I hear, were pretty gross. Costuming was shitty and a rectal fissure was completely miscast as a polyp. Lighting was abysmal and there wasn’t enough “B Roll” used, either.  Otherwise, it was magical….downright “Charmin” even.

31. What’s your drink?

  • Ice cold beer makes me smile. A good Pinot Grigio is fine too and when the spirit hits me, there’s nothing like Dewars and soda.

32. Cowboys or Indians?

  • Neither, give me a Yap Islander any day.

33. Cops or Robbers?

  • Ponzi Schemers

34. Who from high school would you like to run in to?

  • No one. I’m still close to those who mattered.

 

35. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?

  • KHMX (MIX 96.5)

36. Norm or Cliff?

  • Woody

37. Grey’s or The Office?

  • The Office, I guess though I’ve only seen a few minutes of it. Never seen Grey’s Anatomy. Didn’t have to; I read the book. (Anyone? Anyone??? Any med students out there?? My God, I’m ALL alone!)

38. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?

  • No need to name names. I’ve had two lousy ones and one of those was sinisterly bad.   They should both know who they are.   We share this tragic trifecta of mutual regret. That’s all that matters. It’s dead. Buried. Never to be brought up again for fear of rampant skin necrosis.

39. Do you like the person that sits directly across from you at work?

  • Sorry, don’t work.

40. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?

  • Steven Colbert, but he’d have to cover up those damn weird elfin looking ears of his

41. Indoors or Outdoors?

  • Subterranean

42,. Have you ever crashed your vehicle?

  • I had a relative minor  fender-bender last November in which a dumpster filled with Hurricane Ike debris, jumped out in the roadway and struck my car resulting in more than eight thousand dollars in damage.   I wasn’t hurt physically but I my ego was bruised.   I’m a member of a service that provides mobile psychotherapy.   They drive a souped up, four wheel couch with a metal box of Kleenex welded to the the steel coffee table.   Fortunately, they came to my rescue and were forced to use the “Jaws of Strife” to remove me and all post related stigma from the driver’s seat.

      •   43. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose?

  • Why yes, of course, silly!! How do you think I know dinner is ready???

44. Last book you read?

  • I seriously can’t remember. I don’t even reconcile my checkbook. I bank intuitively. I like risk, I like to gamble. You know, I live close to the edge.  I go up to an ATM machine, put in my card and PIN and expect to see all cherries appear on the screen when I play.   Tbat never happens but damn if I don’t win every time…and I get to actually pick the amount I want!

45. Do you have a teddy bear?

  • Not anymore.   I just recently threw my “teddy bear” in the same metaphorical street meandering dumpster that attacked my car.  I am Laurie Kendrick now…singular, NOT plural.   I intend to stay single until I can completely cure all of those penis toting male age spots that have sullied my body’s complexion  

64. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth?

  • You’re presuming a lot, aren’t you??

47. Somewhere in California you’ve never been and would like to go?

  • I’ve been to San Fransisco, L.A. and San Diego.   Beautiful country, it’s resources:  PEOPLE!!!!   Influential in terms of blue state politics.  

48. Do you go to church?

  • Do I go to services regularly? No, but I have gone (quite recently, during off hours) to meditate and say “thanks” for certain things. Sometimes, it’s all about the gratitude.

49. At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or a new relationship?

  • A new rcareer.  Right now, I’m not seeking a relationship–of any kind.   I’m looking for emotional band-aids right now and these band-aids don’t breathe, lie  or deceive.

50. How old are you?

  • I’m a very sun-damaged 24.

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