Life interferes with the people and things we love from time to time. We get caught up in the Merry-Go-Round of work and family and the general inanity that is life.
I've been cleaning house, literally and metaphorically, over the past year. We all need to do that from time to time, I think. Sort the needful from the not.
I've been logging in here at Everything once a week, more or less, reading my favorite authors but not contributing, since the summer. No real reason, just, life getting in the way. But also, nothing much to say. I've picked up messages from friends here each time I've logged in, checking to make sure I was okay -- and, I am. Thank you.
I guess I'm in a quiet phase; silent running if you will. I still get out and about to family functions, hanging with friends, but even in the real world people are looking at me quizically, asking "Everything okay? You're very quiet."
Over the past few years I've been creating silence in my life. The car radio was the first to go. Then television, only being turned on to catch news on occassion. Then the speakers came off the home computer and the office computer. The stereo at home was the only source of noise, sometimes tuned to classical stations, sometimes jazz, sometimes NPR or I'd drop in a cd. I stopped turning the stereo on in the fall and didn't miss it.
There is no reason for this retreat to silence. It's not a retreat from life, I'm just enjoying the quietude. I have, kind of, wondered if I'm morphing into my late Grandmother. She, too, preferred the silence. The company of her own thoughts and the sounds of her own breathing. Dad's always said I'm just like his Mother. Maybe he's right.
New Year's weekend I had several offers to be out and about and celebrating, which I declined. I had received several books as Christmas gifts and I wanted to read. I also had two unpacked boxes to sort through. These boxes have been sitting in my closet since my last move in March, 2005. I had to dig in and toss what was in there. I figure, if you had something stored for a year and didn't give it any thought during that year, maybe it should be trashed or recycled.
New Year's Eve I took both boxes out of the closet. What was in the boxes? My teen years. Old journals and photographs. I had also tossed in the cd's of the music I listened to during those years - Joel, Springsteen and Meat Loaf. I had replaced the old records, cassettes and 8-tracks with cd's over the years and, for some reason, I stuck the cd's into the boxes of memories when I last moved.
I wiped some dust off the stereo and stuck in one of Billy Joel's cd's. Eventually it got to You're my home, coincidently recently noded by borgo which is one of the reasons I decided to write this daylog today.
That song is forever tied to a sweet, wonderful guy I had a massive crush on as a pre-teenager and dated in high school. A quiet, introspective artist who ended up admitting to himself that he was gay when he was in college. He told me when we had both finished college and to this day he's still shocked by my initial reaction. I was happy for him. Surprised, but happy. He had expected shock and anger. By the time he told me, I had moved on to other loves, but, I still loved him. I'm not sure how you stop loving someone once you start. In any event, how could I not be happy that he had found a piece of himself which had been missing? Why would his self-discovery make me angry? Seriously? I still don't, completely, understand why he thought I would be angry. As we talked I realized I was the only one who knew and I insisted he needed to tell... everyone. I didn't, then, understand what this entailed for him. At the end of the conversation, recognizing his fear but not understanding it, I started humming the tune to "You're my home", a song we had slow-danced to many a time. I started singing the lyrics and when I finished we were both crying.
If I travel all my life
and I never get to stop and settle down
long as I have you by my side
there's a roof above and good walls all around.
You're my castle, you're my cabin
and my instant pleasure dome.
I need you in my house
cuz you're my home,
you're my home.
In time, I pushed him into telling his parents. There aren't many regrets in my life, but that's a big one. Just thinking about it still pisses me off. Let's just say they were less than understanding before I start ranting and raving. It's not the end of the goddamned world if your child is gay, you know? No, obviously, most don't. It was a harsh lesson for me to learn and I learned it at the expense of someone I love. His parents adjusted over time but he and they never recaptured what they had. I still have an irrational urge to smack the two of them upside the head. Amazingly, my stupidity didn't destroy our friendship. I apologized and he forgave me.
Listening to the music brought it all back, as music will. I decided to call him. We hadn't spoken in months, due to this silent mode I'm running in, just exchanging emails once in a while. I called and got his boyfriend on the phone and was a little surprised they were home, given it was New Year's Eve. We chatted for a little while before he put my friend on the phone. Idle catch-up chatter about Christmas and New Year's and family and work and then I asked him to listen. I re-started the song and let it play through. When it finished he whispered, "God, I love you." I told him I loved him too and told him, again, I was sorry for pushing him into telling his parents so long ago. He didn't say anything for a long time and I started to panic, thinking that maybe he really didn't forgive me all those years ago.
"It's funny," he finally said, "I haven't been able to get the lyrics to a Meat Loaf song out of my head for weeks now. I'm not even sure why they keep playing in my head, over and over again. It's a... it's... the line is she used her body just like a bandage, she use my body just like a wound... I keep thinking about you every time these lyrics pop into my head. I really don't know where I'm going with this." And then he laughed. So did I. It made sense; it didn't make sense. It's one of those things that connect two people through space and time that for no rational reason makes complete sense to both of them.
You know what I mean.
As we talked I dug through the box and pulled out the cd with the song that line comes from, "Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are", and put it on. The first chorus is about the death of a best friend and the second about an abusive father. After the instrumental my friend said, "this is you".
There was a beauty living on the edge of town
She always put the top up and the hammer down,
and she taught me everything I'll ever know,
about the mystery and the muscle of love
"That's you. You taught me everything I know about love. You don't owe me any apologies, okay?" he said.
Silent tears were streaming down my face and I was smiling. "Okay."
There is less silence and more music so far this month.