Monday, September 29, 2008

Day two hundred and seventy two ... A moment in time.

I don't feel like writing anymore.

I don't really feel like playing music either.

My camera doesn't call for me from my bag hardly at all.

I'm not really hungry most of the time, but I try to keep sensible eating habits so I won't put back on the weight that I recently lost.

I certainly don't cook much at all anymore.

In fact, I don't feel like doing much of anything since my aunt passed away.

The same thing happened when my mom died last January. But back then I still had my aunt to dazzle with my exploits and cooking prowess. It gave me such joy to craft a song and record it on my fancy new computer, knowing that I was going to flat out floor her with how I could do so much with just two hands, a guitar, and a set of lungs.

As it stands now, I don't even feel like playing one god damned chord on the acoustic in the chair across from me, let alone write and record a song.

Why am I sharing this?

I'm putting this down in words so that someday in the (hopefully) near future, when things are different, I can say, "I told you so" to myself when I claim that nothing is really fun anymore and I wonder if it ever will be again.

I'll be able to say, "you were wrong and you knew it when you said it, you melodramatic bum."

But right now I just feel like I'm hollow inside.

I feel like a hollow chocolate Easter bunny with the ears bitten off and placed on the table--foil, tattered and frayed--with my thin, whitish-brown, discount-shelf shell of an exterior waiting to be dropped on the floor and broken into three or four unattractive pieces. The reason I was left on the table and not wrapped up or devoured is that I don't taste so good; or not as good as the solid ones anyway.

The hollow chocolate never tastes as good as the solid stuff.

It's a pressure thing.

When the solid chocolate resists your teeth, then your gums, and finally your jaw--with your tongue just trying to figure out what's happening like an overstimulated Shi Tzu--it's like that solid chocolate bunny is giving you something to work for; something to persevere over; something that lasts a while.

You can gauge the time it will give you pleasure and you can measure it in at least a couple of sittings.

The hollow chocolate, on the other hand, gives in easily, leaving your jaw less to do and your reward system an easy win. It was made to look much like its solid counterpart when wrapped in foil and then behind thin plastic and paper. 

All you have to do is hold it in your hand to feel the emptiness.

At that point, you don't even need to unwrap it to know ... it's just a shell.

Maybe it's this house.

I'm at The House again.

It's been a few days since I've been back here and it's still a strange and dangerous place to be for me. I'm not going to go out and use, but the distance isn't good for me. It's almost like I have this ankle bracelet on me that tracks my movement but loses strength with distance. Its signal is strongest in Northampton where most of my support system is, and the farther I go away from home, the easier it feels like I could screw up and nobody would find out about it unless I said something.

My back feels better, thank god. I'm not 100%, but it's usually about a two week process before I'm back to normal.

Everybody has been super supportive in this time of my life and I am so thankful for that. It has been genuine and it has been plentiful.

But there is a place inside that is waiting to be filled.

I don't know how long it's going to be vacant.

I don't know how much time will need to pass before it feels lived in.

I don't know who needs to come my way in order to shore up this hole in my chest.

It's prime real estate and it being unoccupied like this brings down the property value of the surrounding area.

It won't be with material possessions; I got my new TVs, turntable, stereo and guitar effects and they are all awesome and are something I would be jealous as hell to even be able to get to play with, let alone own, but I would trade it all in, if I could, for just one smile from the big lady with the curly hair, bright red lipstick, and my last name.

I would throw it all out the window to feel my mother's meaty arms hug my aching back and tell me how much she loves me. 

I would make due with a twenty year old Zenith with rabbit ears and fuzzy reception to just get one more phone call for no reason but to hear me talk and know that, despite my years of dangerous tightrope walking, that someday I would give up the circus for good.

Instead, I have to make due with photos and dreams. 

There are pictures of her everywhere. She even let me take pictures of her up to about a week before she died. She would have done anything I wanted, as long as it insured my happiness.

I would work fifty hour work-weeks to see my aunt's eyes open wide when I made it to nine months sober on my own.

I have a great car that my mom bought for me to come visit, but I'd gladly schlep my belongings to the bus station and make all the connections and wait in the smelly terminals just to feel the light but powerful kiss of her lips against my stubbly cheek.

I've got all the toys I could want and all the time in the world to play with them and it's not enough.

Perhaps it's never going to be enough.

But I'm not the only person who's ever lost the people they love the most.

It happened to my mom.

It happened to her mom.

And it happens to everyone if they live long enough.

So for now, I'll consider this entry a time capsule for how I feel, less than a month from when the other shoe dropped, and I'll come back someday when the burden gets a little easier to carry.

That's what I'll do.

One melodramatic bum ... over and out.

Thanks for reading.

And I mean that.



Anonymous said...

Congratulations on nine months, Alex. I wish you continued success.

You are a lucky man to have had such close and loving relationships with your mother and your aunt. The negative side of that is the huge empty place you are left with now that they are gone.

And you may be a melodramatic bum but the positive side of that is that you are a great writer and performer.

Finding balance in life is not easy.

You have inspired me in here many times with your tales. Thank you for that.

If you ever want a captive audience to give you some wide-eyed appreciation, the girls and I would love to have you over for a visit. The good news is I have an awesome new range/oven with which you could create. The bad news is you may have to play victim for a hungry t-rex!

John Holland said...

From what I've read on this page in the comments section you have touched the lives of many people. Even some people that you have never met. I read your words and sometimes I'm on the edge of my seat hoping for the best for you.

I know none of this makes it any easier. Sometimes, a year after my Dad died, I will be driving home from work and not even thinking about him and suddenly find myself remembering something dumb about him and crying. It gets easier but it never goes away I think. And that's probably good, we can always hold onto their memories, even when they sometimes make us cry.

Good luck.