I haven’t been blogging recently because I’ve been rather busy. You see, here I was doing some research for a post last week when I came across something I most certainly did not ever expect to see.
And not just any obituary; this one belonged to the father of a young lady I once dated at the tender age of 19, or at least it was someone with the same name. So, I checked it out, and sure enough, he was survived by a daughter who had the same first name as this old girlfriend. It gets worse, because her name was cross-referenced several times.
In three other obituaries.
The girl had lost her father, a sister, a brother, and her husband, all in the space of two years.
Something was awakened in this Lunatic, an emotion that he vaguely remembers from the very distant past. I think they called it ‘sympathy’ once. It’s not something that comes to me naturally in my Old Age. There’s been too much damage done, too many miles have been put on this ancient mental engine. But I did put my absolutely freakin’ awesome internet skills to work and tracked down this poor unfortunate woman, who coincidentally, lives less than 5 miles from my own front doorstep (and has for some time. Itmight have been dangerous had either known this previously). He made that call to say “I’m truly sorry…if there’s anything I can do…” and…
…The Lunatic and The Lady met three days later. It was the first time they had seen each other in nearly 14 years, and they were almost instantly transported back to a time when they were 19, couldn’t keep their hands off one another, and could get completely day-you-were-born naked before you could say “John Smith”.
That was the problem the first time around, you see.
Youth, they say, is wasted on the young. You could say that was never truer than in the case of The Lunatic and The Lady. We were so young -- and stupid. The courtship was whirlwind, it was passionate, and it was all-too-short. It burned too bright and far too hot, way too soon. This young buck was an immature doofus, completely ruled by his emotions; possessive, demanding, obsessive, jealous. In some ways, she wasn’t a Girl; she was a fortress to be stormed, relentlessly, until the walls all came tumbling down. I frightened her with sheer intensity; She became my drug of choice, and I did actually think I might die if I didn’t at least hear her voice every few hours.
I was convinced that this was THE ONE, but in retrospect, that decision was made by a horny, needy, clingy, 19-year-old who knew nothing about the realities of Life, and even less about True Love.
When she did the sensible thing and suggested that we see other people (we were about 20 at the time), this Lunatic was devastated. He became vindictive and took her up on her offer with a little trollop who made no bones about what she intended to do, which was to stake her claim upon me. Not to brag, but as a young dude, I was damned cute, I had a job that literally showered me with cash, and I could do The Nasty for hours on end.
I was a catch, as they say. But my heart lay elsewhere. No amount of consequence-free sex was enough to overcome that feeling that I should be with a special someone else.
I then did perhaps the dumbest thing any young man driven crazy by love and all-consuming passion could do; I told The Lady – who was on the verge of changing her mind about the status of our relationship at the time, unbeknownst to me – the truth about my indiscretions, and worse, who they were with (The Trollop had a reputation, built upon the scrawls found only on the finest Men’s Room walls in all of Brooklyn, and by salacious word of mouth. We (my group of male friends at the time) used to say of the Trollop that her greatest ambition in life was to screw her way through the White Pages).
But what can I say? Men are dogs, even in the best of circumstances, and drunk 19/20-year-olds with an erection and a broken heart are perhaps the biggest hounds of all.
In some strange way, I think, it (telling the Lady of my dalliances) was even an expression -- a mentally-deranged one, though it may be -- of love and loyalty. Or at least I may have thought it was at the time. Really, it was more a case of guilty conscience; I was a rotten (in the sense of not being a good one) liar at the time, a skill I unfortunately would acquire as the years went on and mental disorder crept in, and could never hide anything. Besides, we were bound to bump into the Trollop at a later date (we did, and it wasn’t a pretty scene, long story short).
The Lady and The Lunatic continued to see each other on and off for a while, lingering in some sort of relationship Limbo, until IT happened.
IT was an unplanned pregnancy. It almost always is.
We were 20, we were pregnant, and despite The Lunatic’s (totally genuine) proposal of marriage, The Lady was having none of it. She was too young to be a wife and mother, and who the hell knew what sort of husband/father I would have been? In retrospect, I most likely would have been absolutely lousy in both roles. I would have tried my hardest, but these are two areas in life where “A For Effort” just doesn’t cut it. You either succeed or you fail spectacularly.
And here I was, a heartbroken, emotionally-insecure-and-immature drunkard (I had already begun drinking heavily by this time, although I was managing to be the absolute best functioning alcoholic you ever did see) when the decision was made for me; The Lady would have an abortion.
She would have done it without me, but I couldn’t let her face that by herself. I didn’t want to do it, either, but what choice was there? I took her to the clinic. I waited for her. I tried my best in the days after to comfort her, but I was hurting something fierce, too.
We formed what psychiatrists call a trauma bond after that. We could never truly abandon one another, but we also couldn’t be together in quite the way we used to. This sad state of affairs went on for nearly 10 years. We would see one another occasionally, we would even…you know…but things were never quite the same after that. I wanted her, and I hated her. I loved her, but couldn’t forgive her. I could not let it go. She did. She couldn’t have survived otherwise, I think.
Me, on the other hand, I need my wounds to remain raw, to wallow in guilt, shame, and pain, if only because without that agony I will simply forget what not to do and become that which I hate the most; Your Average Male.
We finally said goodbye about a week before she was married. And then there was nothing for 14 years until I had accidentally found an obituary searching for information on someone else. Serendipity. Or was it?
I haven't told you about The Dream…
Three days before I had found that obituary, I’d had a dream. It was one of those dreams that occurs just moments before you awaken, and you don’t know where the original premise came from, or how it started, or even how it ends. You seem to have been just dropped into the dream at some random moment with no idea of what came before, what it’s about, or what you’re doing there, and somehow, you manage to just get swept up in the action before you get pulled out abruptly at yet another random moment. And then you’re awake.
In this dream, I found myself having to explain to my nephews just who The Lady was, why they never knew her, and where she might be now, and finding myself with no answers for their questions.
I don’t believe I had even thought about her for at least a decade before then.
I don’t really hold with that whole “dreams as a predictor of the future” nonsense, but this is the second time in my life -- that I’m aware of -- that I have dreamed something and then had Real Life throw me something directly related to the Dream. Both times it was about a woman from my past, and both times I got the impression that they needed me, or wanted something from me, at the time. Why can’t I dream winning Lotto numbers, instead?
We’re 44 now. There’s been a lot of growing up done in the interim. I’m determined to be a better person nowadays (yeah right!), one who isn’t ruled by his feelings (or his privates), who looks very carefully before he leaps, but that plan was blown to smithereens almost in an instant. In a sense, we’ve become 19 again, you see, transported back in time and space and what felt right and natural then feels very much the same now, and it all seems to have happened seamlessly and quite accidentally. We fell into our old bad habits almost immediately, but this time around, it’s somehow better.
Maybe now we actually know what we’re doing? Or rather, perhaps there have been some boundaries established even if we haven’t actually talked about them, as such.
I don’t know where this all eventually goes (two dates with your Ex from the Iron Age does not The Rest of Your Life make!), but I don’t seem to have the usual supply of venom to put on the page these days. I haven’t felt much like blogging, or railing against the stupidity of my fellow bags of protoplasm, and truthfully, I haven’t felt like doing much of anything else this past week, either. I seem to be a bit preoccupied, so excuse me if you come here expecting your daily dose of caustic word vomit, only to leave miserably disappointed.
I’m trying my best whilst laboring under some very unusual circumstances, so please bear with me.
I’m positive that in the coming days, someone will do something so completely stupid that it simply cannot be allowed to pass without comment and all will be right with the world again.