Anone who has ever played the game of basketball knows what it means when you hear those words screamed at you by a fat guy with a whistle. It means the shot is up, get a body on someone, and get that rebound.
The ironic think about the rebound is that like so many things in sports, it’s completely counter-intuitive. You would think that the biggest, tallest, widest guy on the court is going to get everything that comes near him…but yet, Charles Barkley (who ain’t that much bigger than me) lead the league in boards over and over again, and was one of the great rebounders of all time. Moses Malone routinely beat out taller and often stronger guys, even when he was 168 years old. Hell, Kevin McHale, the least athletic guy you ever saw was a great boarder.
It’s all about HOW you go about it. Positioning is clutch. So is desire. And so …
Aww fuck this analogy.
What is the right way to rebound after a relationship? It damn sure isn’t always to go out and get laid, but sometimes it is. It’s CERTAINLY NOT about jumping in to another relationship with the corpse of your past hanging on to your leg like something out of a Zombie (Not Rob Zombie…the other kind of Zombie) flick. I mean, how many times have you see THAT one work out?
I’m waiting…go ahead and count…
That’s right. Never. But how many times have you seen someone actually do it anyhow?
Yeah, you just cringed and winced thinking about all the times you seen it done or maybe (GASP) done it yourself.
Then of course there is the fine line between waiting it out and healing vs. waiting too long and becoming completely relationship-phobic (Medical term: Noyoucantsleepoverphobia) There’s a lot to be said for jumping back on the horse when it tosses you. Of course, if it kicks you in the head and gets its other horse friends to run you over a few times, you might want to wait until the broken bones heal, if not the broken heart.
What about rebounding with someone else who is rebounding? Does that change the occasion? Does that make it better, b/c you are both on the same page, or worse, because you’ve doubled your misery gene pool? This of course, being the Jeanine Garofalo/John Cusack relationship in Hi Fideltity, (A movie that years ago I tired of due to the constant “You know what you remind me of” moments) where they are together because of their shared hatred of their ex’s and the wallowing that ensued. Which, of course, ended immediately once one of them got in to another relationship.
So where’s the give and take on this? The one rule that I’ve always used for any of the infinite gray area “every one is different” type of situations in life is that if it (1) doesn’t make you feel worse in any way and (2) doesn’t send you on a bender of any size, it can’t be all bad. It’s not a Jedi Master lesson, but it’s served me pretty well so far.
“Conventional wisdom is for conventional people.” A very hip cat said that once. (Me, god damnit.) While trying to explain why I had made a bad decision. I’m not sure that I’m making a bad decision. But it certainly isn’t conventional.
And of course, I’ll get more specific at some point. To make sure there are no misconceptions,I am NOT jumping in to a relationship. Hell no. Fuck no.
In the meantime, make sure you get low and wide and box out when you go for a board.
A break from the ex stories…although there are more.
I can admit when I am wrong…really. When I AM wrong, I fucking own it.
And there is a topic that I am…well, totally shocked that I was wrong about. But I am starting to think that I was. No, that’s a cop out. I WAS wrong. Flat out 100% wrong.
I had good reason to say things like…
Fucking tool to the corporate grind.
Downright full blooded clepto without an ounce of ability in his lame ass little white boy body.
Then I umm…well…I heard something. And at first I thought “CLEARLY I was drunk…there’s no way that…I mean it just couldn’t have been….like, yeah, that was something else. I’ve mistakenly given him credit for something he didn’t do”
But then, there was this thing I got stuck in my head and it just wouldn’t go away, and I was sure that I was remembering it from something else…but I had this sneaking suspicion that it was actually from well…
This just flat out rocks. Listen to it and I dare you to tell me I’m wrong. Go ahead.
If I wrote something like this, just ONE THING…I would consider myself a genius. It’s Stevie Wonder and The Four Tops and Jamirquoi and Sly and the Family Stone and Smoky Robinson and Michael Jackson beforehelosthismind and…it’s NOT copping their licks…it’s derivative without being plagiarism. It’s just…he takes those influences and makes it HIS. And that, to me, is really, really special. It’s Prince as opposed to later Lenny Kravitz.
I’ve ALWAYS said, “Doin’ it in the studio is jack shit. Play it LIVE if you want to impress me.”
I’m done fighting it.
This kid is the real deal
NOTE: It was the SNL performance that I saw and thought I hadn’t really seen…and it’s the guitar part that (1) I got stuck in my head..what a hot HOT fucking HOT progression and (2) just fucking KICKS this into a whole other gear. And for those of you that know me, there is the OBVIOUS reason I always hated this guy. Even that I’m getting over now.
And of course, this song just talks to me right now. Unreal. Maybe this is the sign that I need to be medicated? No…it’s just a great GREAT song.
The Aussie was the ex that I wrote about because well…it’s just funny. No, no…it’s all good…enjoy my pain. If you get a laugh, that’s hip. And in retrospect, I mean, it IS funny. Now. Sort of.
Several of my friends who read that post made the same comment to me. “Maddy was funny and a bit well, fucked up…but you know damn well which ex you need to post about.”
You wanted the best, you got the best. Settle in with a nice cup of coffee or green tea and brace yourself.
The Hum Dinger Blue Ribbon Winner for unwell woman that I have dated goes to, without a doubt (but with a run off vote conducted over the years by people who knew her) The Italian Princess. Hmmm…what sort of name do you give the face of evil incarnate? The woman that fathers warn their young sons about much like Kaiser Soze in the criminal element’s family unit?
We’ll go with Alyssa.
Alyssa Alyssa Alyssa…what can I say about Alyssa? She was brilliant. She had gone to an all female school of note and hung around with kids from the other well to do universities in the area. Her parents were from Italy and came to the US to make good…and did. They gave her everything. Private schools and an Infinity in which to get there. Clothes. Trips to Europe with her friends. But somehow when you met her she didn’t seem phased by it all. She would make off the cuff comments about Gstaad and sound totally natural. For real! I hate pretension, and I never heard it form her. She knew her lit and her sciences and spoke effortlessly to everyone around her. Alyssa ALWAYS said “May I please” and “thank you” to the waiters and never, ever condescended.
Alas, I was smitten within minutes of meeting her. Terribly. She was also a stereotypically beautiful Italian woman. Dark olive skin with dark green eyes and dark brown hair. Curvey…so curvey. I wanted to kiss her before I said “hello”. I think I waited about an hour, actually.
We started dating and almost immediately, the drama ensued. First there was the terrible *ex-boyfriend who had stranded her at the alter mere months before the wedding. Terrible, right? Just awful…of course, then you find out that she in fact performs in a choir with him…and it’s insane. And that’s followed up by her dating other people while we’re starting to date and me wondering what’s up…so there’s an ex, there are other guys, there’s me, and I’m thinking “this is just how Europeans are…”
I mean, really. I’m a small town boy. What the fuck did I know about Italian rules of dating?
So, we went back and forth like this for a while. We’d meet and go out for fabulous dinners with beautiful people she knew and we’d wind up in bed. The next morning she’d casually mention (for that was her thing; the casual mention) that she had a date later that day. And I would think to myself, “this is just a little fucked up”. But it wasn’t a big deal.
Well…it wasn’t a big deal until I met a smokin’ hot Russian and casually mentioned that I would be taking her to a show in town…
That, my dear friends, is the moment of demarcation for the next 3 years of my life.
At that point I was working in a satellite office for a rather large financial company and had a cubicle in line with the rest of the team I worked with…it was my first foray in to the real business world and I took it VERY seriously. In fact, I hit my yearly quota at the beginning of the second quarter. Oh yeah…I was focused. But after the Russian woman comment (OH did I make the wrong call on that) I would start getting phone calls at my office…aggressive, loud phone calls. And emails..PAGES of emails. This was only a short while in to our relationship and it was INSANE.
So, I did what any guy in my position would do…I took her somewhere public and broke up with her. I said “Alyssa, this just isn’t working for me. I can’t deal with the phone calls, the emails, and the accusations of cheating from a woman who dates other men…so this is it”
Alyssa proceeded to explain to me that she was sorry. That she wasn’t herself lately and she was sorry for being so selfish and such a bitch. (her words) There was a reason…a good reason…that she had been trying to save me from (her words again) and maybe it was time for her to let me know why she was acting this way.
“You see, INPY, I might be dying”
And at that point, I wasn’t leaving. I was shocked. I had never heard anything like this before in my life. She started telling me that she had been having tests…thought it was nothing…now looked like Ovarian Cancer. They couldn’t be sure. There were more tests to come. Many more. Long, painful tests. And this is why, INPY, I’ve been keeping you at arm’s length…but I can’t just let you go and I’m sorry I’ve been so unfair…
But. Don’t. Go.
How do you leave? Who walks away from that? Not me. That’s not how I roll. I stayed. It all made perfect sense.
The next year was a blur. It was insane. We fought. We had make up sex. She got better. She got worse. She would go to treatment after treatment and push me away and pull me in close and I felt like I was losing my mind. She wouldn’t talk to anyone about it. Not her family, not her friends. No one. And I really, honestly, truly thought I was going insane. Alyssa got jealous. She would show up at my apartment at all hours. There would be messages upon messages in my voicemail And then…fed up..
I left her. I told her NO FUCKING MORE. I can’t take the responsibility of being your only lifeline. You are exhausting me and you are KILLING ME and NOTHING is worth this but I’m sofuckingsorryyouaresick!!!!
And I left. I hopped in my little sports car and made tracks to Maine to see some friends. And I stayed away from her for like 7 months. I even dated **other people. I started working at a very cool start up and really enjoying my life. I was making almost double what I had been just 2 years before. I had a cool apartment that I split with a childhood friend. I was having fun…and most of all I could breathe again. But I kept wondering when I would get the call that she was dying, or that, God forbid, she had died. Sometimes I’d stare at the ceiling and curse myself for not being stronger…not being able to deal with it.
Then it came…
“It’s me. I’m really sick and I want to see you again.”
I had wondered if and/or when I was ever going to hear her voice again. Boston is a small city, and you’re bound to run in to your ex at SOME point. But I had taken every precaution known to man to steer clear of her. There were entire sections of the city I stayed out of JUST for that reason. And now she was on the phone sounding weak and desperate and I just could…not…say…no.
When I saw her she looked…well, terrible. They were going to perform a hysterectomy to try and root out the cancer, she explained. It was really the best option. And I remember going almost numb. Feeling like I’d been hit in the gut. She looked at me and said “I’m never going to get to have children” and then her eyes welled up and my dam broke and …
She disappeared for a few days and called me when she felt she could see me. I wound up telling the woman that I was dating that my head was somewhere else. She told me to fuck off. Overall, I think she was pretty succinct and more than fair about it.
And somehow…we ummm…
Well you see the thing is suddenly there was all of this emotion and I was sleeping on her couch to make sure that she was OK at night. No really..the couch. And then it just…
…what had happened was that we sort of…it was like…
We got back together.
And she started getting better. Really. I can’t explain it. Things were better. MUCH better. I got laid off from my job (as all the .com people did) and between the money I had saved and the severance it wasn’t a big deal. And things were so good that it just didn’t matter. And we decided that we were going to go to Italy together. Spend a few Summer months on the beach on her home town. It would be perfect…she could continue to recover and I could be there with her and that was that…plans were made.
I wish that I could say to you that this continued down a happy road. That we went to Italy and it was wonderful and then we grew apart and I came to DC and started falling for Aussie prostitutes.
That’s not the case.
Two days before we were to leave I was sitting in my apartment packing some things away when she walked in looking …well…kinda crossed between overwhelmed and overjoyed. And she said to me in a tone that I couldn’t convey here if I tried;
Now, I am not a Doctor. I wasn’t then and I am not now. But I am fairly certain that the surgery that Alyssa had just undergone that had brought us back together in the first place would preclude her from getting pregnant. I mean, I’d like to think that my swimmers are just amazing but ummm…that just doesn’t work.
You can imagine the fight that ensued. When I voiced my shock and wanted to know, how in the name of GOD she could pregnant after have a hysterectomy she looked at me, calmly, and explained;
“I never said that to you”
This is where, from this point on, it’s all my stupidity.
We went to Italy. There was a full physical wherein it was confirmed that she was indeed pregnant. There was talk of an endometriosis. All of the parts were still in all the right places, of course. There was talk about how far along she was and how there were some odd factors involved.
There was NO MENTION of cancer.
I did what I think any man in that situation SHOULD do…whatever had happened before that point was not really relevant. That was my baby. This was my baby’s mother. I stood by her and supported her. The complications however, were significant and she might have to be in bed for the duration…she had issues that would mean that she would have a rough delivery. We decided to stay in Italy for a while and then head home to Boston. I never mentioned the hysterectomy again for the duration of her pregnancy.
When we got back, for many, many reasons (first and foremost her physical health…my mental health was a silent #2) we decided that we had to abort the pregnancy. I was suddenly in a waiting room for something that I never thought I would be. I kept thinking “how did I get HERE?” and not coming up with an answer worth a damn.
Then it was September 11th, and we were in a daze on top of a daze.
And then we had job offers in DC…and suddenly we were here.
It was like a whirlwind. But I kept thinking “ALL OF THIS IS FUCKED UP”. And I also (due to the good advice of a friend, ***Supergirl, who reads this) started researching Ovarian Cancer. Actually, Supergirl started thinking she was lying and asking me questions… I’d never done it before, because I never had cause…
Did she have a port when she was getting treatment?
Do her arms look like she’s a heroin addict? With all of this chemo and treatment she had, something was wrong here.
So I started looking in to it.
None of medications were actually for Cancer.
All of the treatments she’d had were described wrong and the side effects weren’t present.
The timing and the order was wrong.
ALL OF IT WAS WRONG.
I figured this out in DC, and I called her on it. My exact words were “Either you arrange for me to sit down with your Doctor and he agrees to share your medical file with me and answer any questions I want answered, or we’re done”.
That obviously never happened. But she apparently thought that I was bluffing, because the amount of time that went by? Yeah…nothing. Until one day I sat her down and said “I’m leaving you”
I fucking kid you not.
When I left, Alyssa told everyone that I left her Cancer stricken and with child. I was the Asshole of the Year. Almost all of our friends couldn’t believe what I was doing…who would? All I said, without badmouthing anyone was; “Talk to me in 9 months”. My closest friends quietly stood by me. It was a shitstorm that you either dove in to and said things you eventually came to regret or you quietly stayed out of it…the few that stayed out of it are, to this day, my closest, dearest friends. I mean, standing by a guy accused of what I was being accused of? That’s love, baby.
And for longer than you would believe, she kept it up. Eventually, though, everyone started to get it…there was no baby. No cancer. No nothing. I started getting phone calls…apologies. I never blamed anyone. I mean, how could you? If you told me you were leaving someone in that condition, I’d think you were an asshole, too. If someone told you that they were dying of Cancer, you’d believe them. It was one of those things where it was all just so OVER THE TOP that there was no getting your arms around it.
She is still in DC. I see her every once in a while and I cross the street…or look away. It’s like knowing that the face of evil…the heart of darkness…is coming your way. You steer clear of it for your own good. There is NOTHING good to come from any conversation or confrontation. There is no redemption and no getting back wasted time. When we speak of her amongst my friends it’s usually with hushed tones and kissed crucifixes. Seriously. Event the Jews that know this story kiss the cross. When one of us sees her it’s whispered about, “You won’t BELIEVE who I saw today…no, shhhh!!!!” Usually we can all guess who you saw that day just by the sound of your voice. (I wish that I was overstating this)
The moral of this story? I have no idea. I keep looking back at it and wondering how I got so entrenched in something like this…how did I not see it and run? What I’ve come to realize is that I was desperate to do the right thing, and to be a good guy. This was a woman that I truly believed I loved because, as is often the case and the classic mistake made in our 20’s; I confused drama with love.
Fool me once…
* The ex Boyfriend and I, when it was all said and done, sat down over a beer and talked once. Just once. His story? Identical. I call him St. ExBoyfriend, the Patron Saint of Escape Artists.
**Including the 4th craziest woman ever. Starting to see why exFiance was so perfect in my eyes? Don’t lie to me about having Cancer, sleep with other men for money, or generally be psychotic? Marry me.
***Ahhh, Supergirl. She started saying “this is BULLSHIT” earlier on than it sounds like in this. She can smell a rat from a mile away and with good reason. She, Myself, and Paul McCartney are apparently all equally bad at picking lovers and significant others. Someday maybe I’ll get her to write out the “Chronicles of the German Invasion” for us as a guest poster. It’s right there with this and the Aussie.
I was out recently with a “world’s colliding” group of people having a grand old time. That is to say that my non-blogger friends (some of which are just now finding out that I write this) were sitting at the same bar as my blogger buddies. And of course, as a few good “at least you didn’t buy her the nice ring” jokes are being fired at me (as shots are being fired in me) we stumble across the conversation that is always a fan favorite of my friends.
As I was once told by a geeky but infinitely cool buddy of mine; I am a weirdness magnet. I always have been. If I am in a room full of beautiful, smart, witty, sane women and ONE narcoleptic cutie with a pension for stealing cars….guess who I’m going to hit it off with? And, much like ARod bingo, my friends have turned this in to a source of both amusement AND self preservation. In a group of women, the one that I talk to is nuts, so hit on her friends. Just wait for INPY to figure it out for you and it’ll all be good.
And hear me now; I do NOT blame them, these goddesses of Prozac and Lithium cocktails. (Shaken AND stirred) Hell no. I am not one of those “all my ex’s are crazy” guys who doesn’t get the only thing that they all have in common. Oh no. I get it. Believe me. It’s me.
Moving right along…
The topic of my ex’s comes up and there are always two that stand out…and when I say “stand out” you’ve got to know that this is a crowd it really takes something exceptional to make you stand out. If you went in to the cuckoo’s nest and someone pointed out one quiet guy and said “he’s the craziest dude in here” you’d KNOW something was up with that guy…something unreal had to happen for him to be the ONE.
That’s what I’m saying. It’s that level.
Here is the first one…the Aussie. We’ll call her Maddy.
I met Maddy at the Daily Grill on a Sunday. (pre-exfiance, of course) I was there having brunch and working through a hangover when suddenly I realized that just about everyone at the bar was staring at me. It was just a bit unnerving and I did the classic look-over-both-shoulders-and-say-“me?” move. Over shoulder #2 however, I figured it out. It wasn’t ME, it was HER.
Standing maybe 5’3 and weighing MAYBE 105 (most of which was in the fake-ahem-assets that were under a just not quite tight enough to be obscene t shirt) was a blonde that was well…yeah. I mean the whole bar was looking. That was Maddy. She sat down a few seats away from me and then opened her mouth to order and….
Australian accent. You could hear the collective “THUD” of every guy in the place falling off their barstool. Me included. Ask any guy and he will tell you that if you are a solid 7 on the 1-10 scale and you have an foreign accent, (and sometimes a Southern accent for us Northern boys) you just became an 8. Maddy was a 9.5 before she opened her mouth. I, along with every guy in that bar was hopeless from the time she got to her second syllable. And here’s the thing, and I mean no disrespect to those of you out there that are in this set of women I am about to dis ever so slightly.
I don’t dig blondes. My whole family is blonde. I like the darker hair, darker eyes persuasion. But Maddy? Maddy superseded type. If you are a man, and you see Maddy. You want her. End. Of. Discussion.
The long and the short of this is that Maddy and I wound up having something in common that we discovered over the next hour or so; alcohol. She is an Aussie, and Aussies I have learned, can FUCKING DRINK. We spent hours at the bar in the Daily Grill drinking and laughing and having an amazing time. I kept thinking “OK, I’m being Punk’d…but it’s been like, four hours….” Once I started to get that (1) she is laughing just as much as I am and (2) she’s buying me as many drinks as I’m buying her and (3) she’s touching me an awful lot…well, I figured game on.
We wound up kissing right outside the revolving door and stumbling to her place in Dupont. And her place in Dupont? AMAZING. Gorgeous. Great stuff everywhere and beautifully done. She had told me she owned a marketing company and it was apparently doing QUITE well. I was just relieved that we had chosen wisely in the game of “Your place or mine”.
I won’t get in to the details, you pervs…but yeah. Hell yeah. I skipped in to work like I was in a Cary Grant movie. Hangover? NONE. Couldn’t feel it. I had just spent a night with a goddess…the rules of gravity did NOT apply.
Maddy and I dated for a few weeks. It was like a porn bender with an odd Ozzie and Harriet feel. We would make dinners together and get drunk and fuck. That was like…all of it. It was constant. And I really didn’t see the need to slow it down. I did however see the need to show her off to some friends. I will NOT lie to you, dear reader. I wanted to show her off. Every guy reading this would have done the same thing and every woman reading this should know that your man SHOULD want to show you off. Even if my reasons were…well…not all exactly romantic.
Here’s where this story becomes a fan favorite. You’re with me so far, right?
At that point I was working for a start up that had like 8 people when I started and then 2 years later had close to 40. And we in the management team were going to have a Happy Hour for passing some milestone that isn’t really relevant. It was a bring your friends and families and celebrate with us. We brought everyone to Blackies in Foggy Bottom and said Drink Up!
People brought their wives and husbands and I invited Maddy. How did I know when she got there? Because just like the Daily Grill, everyone stopped and turned. I was BEAMING. Big hug. Started introducing her to everyone that worked for and with me…and my bosses. Suddenly all of the guys on my sales team were REALLY interested in Australia…what part are you from? Adelaide?! I LOVE ADELAIDE! I love your dress…oh yeah…
We proceeded to get plastered, and Maddy proceeded to flirt every guy in the room in to a tizzy.
Fast forward through another week of drinking and sex. It’s all GREAT, but I’m starting to notice that people are acting just a bit weird around me at work…I can’t put my finger on it, but something is OFF. I don’t’ think too much of it and I don’t bring it up to anyone b/c really, I’m diggin’ the hell out of my life. I’m a simple man, or at least I was at that point. Give me a gorgeous woman in my bed, a job I love, and minimal if any issues in my life and what do I have to complain about?
OK. So here it is.
She’s lying in her bed one morning as I’m getting ready for work and she looks up at me, wrapped in the sheets and looking hot even first thing in the AM; “INPY, I have to tell you something.”
Fire away love, what’s on your mind?
“I really like you, and because of that I want you to know the truth about my life”
Sure, I can dig that. So…what’s on your mind?
*At this point I’m thinking one of 2 things. (1) Kid or kids as she was older than me. (2) Husband, which would suck out loud.
“I don’t own a marketing company”
Oh, so what?
“I’m a courtesan, and I wanted you to know so that it’s not an issue.”
Now, let me explain something here by way of an editor’s note. It was 6:30 in the morning. I had not had a drop of caffeine. And I was not even thinking in the realm of what she was trying to explain. I heard the word “Court” and the next thing that came out of my mouth was…
You’re a stenographer?
“No, listen to me. I’m a courtesan. Men pay me for my company.”
At that moment, I was widethefuckawake
You’re a …a hooker?
This was not a great response, either. Probably just a notch under the stenographer comment in stupidity. There was a brief argument about acceptable terms, which to this DAY I can’t believe I actually had, and then…
“This doesn’t have to be a problem”
Umm…yeah. I have to go to work…so let’s you and I uh…we’ll talk about this later.
There was no Cary Grant spring in my step. I got to work in a fog I can’t describe. I kept thinking “DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!?!”
I wound up feeling annoyed. Agitated. And I was getting REALLY FUCKING SICK of everyone in my office looking at me like I’d streaked the office party . What the fuck was happening? So I called in my sales manager and said “What the hell is going on out there?”
“OK look…you know Sam?”
Sam was the office drunk. And I mean, big time. You were almost afraid to fire him b/c of the bender he’d go on. He was a great guy, though…a partier who just seemed to have it a little less under control than it should be.
Of course I know Sam.
“OK, well, look, don’t be mad at me for telling you this, but Sam well…Sam looks at web sites.”
SO FUCKING WHAT, Sales Manager. What is the deal with everyone out there.
“Yeah, OK, well…can I use your computer?”
And off the top of his head he popped in a URL and stepped away from his computer to reveal…
Her rates for the hour, the night, the day, the weekend, and the week.
Her reviews. (did you know that there are reviews for pros…err…hook…errr….Courtesans?)
Her everything. Right there. And my WHOLE OFFICE had seen it. Not only had they seen it, Sales manager informed me…there had been a HUGE debate as to whether or not I was dating her OR I chose to hire a call girl for the company Happy Hour. It seemed that only my friends British Chris and TJ could vouch for the fact that I was, in fact, dating her. Though I’m not sure that made it better or worse.
(Of course, the fist thing I thought was “thank god I’m not running a tab”….)
I’m going home, Sales manager. You’re running the team today. DO not call me. I don’t care if this fucking place burns down. DO. NOT. CALL. ME.
The long and the short of the end of this story is that Maddy and I sat down and had the talk. I told her that I couldn’t date a prost…errr….hook…ummmm….stenographer because if I had to call and cancel our dinner plans for work that she’d know that I was sitting at my desk looking at Excel Spreadsheets and cursing. But, that if she called me to cancel dinner plans for work that well…yeah….I mean, I’m open minded, but “how was your day” is NOT something I want an answer to if she’s my girlfriend.
And, I told her, there was the fact that it would have been nice to know this BEFORE my whole office found out because the drunk guy discovered your website and liked looking at your naked pics. She said she was humiliated when I told her that…I responded with “you don’t know the definition of that word in my world.”
The whole thing eventually blew over. I steeled myself against the giggles and looks, the inevitable questions that arose. In time, it became just another one of those things that happen to me, and apparently, ONLY me. My bosses, god love ‘em, decided that there really wasn’t anything to be done and left it alone, which was my biggest fear. I mean, bringing a pro to your office party is, well, I believe frowned upon. Even if you’re dating her. I think.
Although, occasionally, one of my friends will say “I’ve got an extra $1500….where’s that Aussie.” And we’ll all laugh and I’ll get the “how do you get yourself IN TO THESE THINGS?” questions.
I’m still trying to figure that out myself.
Disregard that last post..it sounds so….whatever.
Truly, things are good right now. I had a weird realization followed up with a Red Sox sweep of my Yankees chaser and it all rubbed me wrong. But after a long day yesterday of doing very little to recover from an amazing HH and a fantastic game watching extravaganza Saturday, I feel well…
Really fucking good.
Some quick news;
-The Happy Hour was bad ass. Thanks to the Organizers and to all of you who showed up. It was as another blogger noted a drama free rockin’ good time. I met some bloggers that I read and love and saw some others that never cease to make me smile. Or wince. Or both. After 2 weeks of stark white sobriety, it was also nice to do my part to drive up the stock price for the Southern Comfort Corporation. I will now be going right back to clean livin’…until this weekend when the Sox play the Yankees again. In my park. With our real pitchers back from the DL.
And it’s a REALLY good thing that there was that list of people who refused to come….there wasn’t really much room for them in there anyhow.
-As a follow up to Ping Pong and Bad Decision..as of yesterday, Sarah is getting a divorce. Just sayin’.
-I do indeed for the first time get that I shouldn’t have been marrying exFiance. With that right hook to the kidneys comes a certain amount of relief. It also takes the edge off the anger.
-I feel in love with a beautiful girl this weekend. I saw her in a store window and thought “Oh sweet, sweet girl what are you doing in a place like this??” I went in and talked to her for awhile and it was clear that she was banged up. Badly. But you know, I can work with this. She just needs a little love. OK, a LOT of love.
She’s a mid 90′s Fender Strat in a pawn shop. All fucked up. But I can’t stop thinking about her and I might…MIGHT have to save her. She can be saved. The owner seems to think she’s worth quite a bit more than anything in her condition should cost…but if she sits there getting dusty and looking lonely with her busted bridge and her messed up pick ups so badly needing a neck adjustment that I wanted to scream “ABUSE” at the people working there…
If she sits, he might just get that no one is going to try and fix this thing and drop the price.
And then I’m going to fix her. And she’s gonna rock again.
And so in a trap of Christian rock and alcohol I catch myself posting and thinking…
I’ve been thinkin maybe I’ve been partly cloudy, maybe I’m the chance of rain
Maybe I’m overcast, and maybe all my lucks washed down the drain
Maybe I’m drunk but suddenly I think that I get why she left…and it sucks but it’s so RIGHT THERE. She was right. We weren’tsupposed to be a couple. We were supposed to be friends. And how did I miss that? I was out tonight and last night too with the coolest people you could write about (and nary a picketer no matter what some people may have hallucinated) and thinikng WOW…
Stars lookin at our planet watching entropy and pain
And maybe start to wonder how the chaos in our lives could pass as sane
And there I am…in the midst of this…and hearing these people tell me their stories…and they have STORIES…and I start to get it. Mine is nothing special..and WHY? Because this is LIFE. We ALL make the wrong call and we do it SO WELL..and so EASILY. And we have to FUCKING FIGHT OUR WAY back to the right path or die on the vine of futility. And then I think what am I fighting over?
Blame it on what you’ve been through
Blame it on what you’re into
Blame it on your religions
Blame it on politicians
And I start to see..and fuck you and your criteria…she was RIGHT. We are friends. And
She called it and maybe THAT’s what hurts; that I was wrong, Is my ego in the way? Am I in the way of what she was right about? Am I a sulking child? Do I want to lash out against myself and not her for what i was wrong about and she got before me? Could that be where my angst lives?
Did I want her to save me from, well…
What did i do to get so lost? When did I decide to hold someone so young and limited up to a standard that I could have never, EVER have held at her age? How did I say “let it ride” on a sucker bet? Aren’t I smarter than that? Shouldn’t I get that you don’t blame the long shot for not being more than well…
A long shot.
When did the man that gets the game so well so suddenly forget the rules?
Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everybody’s watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next
When did I decide that the safe bet doesn’t apply to me? When did I figure out that the long shot is the safe bet and how did I think that it’s all covered no matter the odds? How is it that the man that NEVER wanted this find the woman that never wanted it either and say MATRIMONY…
And now I’m shocked…..
Isn’t there something wrong with that?
Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be
Yes, I can hold her accountable for saying “it’s time to move forward” and saying “Love Me or Leave Me”…that is hers. But I still came up with the answer and my answer was “Love You” Not leave you. And then it came…
She told him she’d rather fix her makeup
Than try to fix what’s going on.
And I’m stunned.
She asked me once what I missed most about boxing or playing live with my bands or being on the court…….and I said the dialed in feeling of being locked in to the moment. That if there were wars happening or people dying or sacrifices being made in the pursuit of perfection that I didn’t know at that moment…
And although I agree in all nail spitting anger…
I wish I could have given her that feeling just once.
I listen to just about every type of music that there is…with a few exceptions. Most country and top 40 will make me cringe like Satan himself is about to hit me with a folding chair right in the mellon. (I hate it when that happens)
Because of this, and the fact that I play, I get asked all the time about my favorite bands and songs. This is damn near impossible for me. “Favorites”…are you kidding? You have to narrow it down. Favorite 60′s Motown? 80′s Pop? Favorite singer/songwriters? Blues guitar players? Jazz musicians? It’s just too hard for me to say “OK, THIS is my favorite.”
What usually shocks people though, is my deep and wide love of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Now, before you roll your eyes let’s understand a few things here…
First, if you can’t get that Cream was an original Hard Rock band, you aren’t going to get why I love what I love.
Second, if you don’t dig the fact that Iron Maiden and Yes have more in common than their country of origin, we can’t rock out together. (Big hint…it’s the basslines and the classical music influence)
And lastly, if you don’t know that some of the most jaw dropping hard core musicians you will ever see play balls out rawk…well then you just don’t know.
Now, I am not talking about the hair metal bands of the 80′s…although I dig SOME of them, too, sometimes. Slow n’ Easy by Whitesnake? Amazing. Here I Go Again by Whitesnake? I just threw up in my mouth a little. I’m talking about the truth…the real ones…that ones that aren’t interested so much in your girlfriend…but ARE interested in the fact that you are standing betwixt them and the bar. AC/DC with Bon Scott…If You Want Blood….dear GOD if that doesn’t get your heart pumping I don’t know what will. Iron Maiden…TOOL…Judas Priest…Fucking Motorhead!
This stuff is designed to hit you hard right where you feel it. It’s not foreplay or making love…it’s fucking.
Up against the wall.
It doesn’t suffer subtelty and it will not abide by decibel levels. It’s going to assault you…and sometimes I just DIG that. Sometimes you just NEED that. The blasting of a wall of Marshall amps that are turned up to 11. Stranglehold by Nugent…that kind of power. Have you ever seen Rockstar (based on the story of Judas Priest right down to the gay lead singer…and Rob Halford will KICK. YOUR. ASS.) The scene where they are in the dance club and he gets dosed? That’s Stranglehold…and if that song didn’t make you want to GRAB someone and pop some seams then we don’t park our cars in the same garage.
Of late I’ve been listening to a lot of the Police. Which I love. And some Duncan Shiek. And wallowing a bit…but the urge to hear 46&2 (TOOL) has started coursing through me. The want of a blistering sweetjesushowdoyougetthatnoteoutofyourguitar solo…the jaw clenching NEED to hear someone screaming about why it’s all so fucking wrong or all so god damned good or whatever…the boot stomping of So What by Ministry…the attack of Master of Puppets…the Rage of Rage Against the Machine…
I am routinely the guy at the music store with a Jackson Browne CD in one hand and a Sevendust CD in the other. And I can go back and forth between them pretty quickly. Sometimes you just want to hear Tender is the Night…and sometimes you want to hear that no nights are EVER tender. Sevendust fills that role pretty perfectly for me.
Yeah..I’m in that headspace…and if you’ve got a better soundtrack for it, I want to hear it.
The name, I Now Pronounce You, I am keeping. The look, as you can see, I am changing. I am who I am and the name I rather like….in it’s dark and ironic way, that is. The look, though…that’s my nod to the fact that things are different than they were when I started this.
As to what I shall be pronounced? We’ll see…
There are some other things that I’ll be changing as well. A different approach to this…I plan to continue writitng this as a log book to this new adventure. It also serves to make myself accountable (that word again ) by writing these things down in a public forum…I am forced to reevaluate and learn and say “OK, this is what I wanted, what have I done about it.”
And, what do I want?
I don’t want to be angry, but it seems as though I am. It comes and goes at bizarre times and is instigated by bizarre things. That which you would think would set me right off, actually kind of makes me laugh (did someone say picketers?) and the things that shouldn’t be a big deal? Those things piss me off. (FUCKING PLEASE MOVE OUT OF THE DOORWAY OF THE METRO)
I’d like to put together one of those 5 year plans for myself, since the one I had is (ahem) no longer relevant. I’d like to have a destination…before I got engaged my life’s dream was to open a bar for US and British ExPats in the South of Spain. For real…a Blues bar. (Like you didn’t see that coming) I could see it in my mind’s eye clear as day. Then it went away b/c I had new goals and a shared destination with exFiance that didn’t really work with that. I thought it would come back…that we’d split up and I’d go right back to wanting my “ExPAT America”. Surprisingly, that’s not the case. I’m curious as to what it’s going to turn out to be…
I want to see my family more.
I want to not get in to the same old BS with them that I normally seem to trip in to. It SEEMS to go something like this.
“You blame us for the fact that you’re not married, don’t you”
No, really I kind of thank you for that
“what’s that supposed to mean”
Nothing, Jesus…is it too early for me to make a drink?
You get the idea. I’d like to find a way around that and just say “You made mistakes, I made mistakes, but you’re still the only family I’m going to have so let’s just start from there…and have that drink”
That’s all I’ve got so far. It’s a start, and the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. (Led Zeppelin said that, yo…right?)
To that end, I saw the Nats play in Virginia Tech hats last night and I was moved…the Red Sox and Yankees play this weekend which is always cause for celebration, and there’s a hell of a party happening on Friday night. You haven’t heard? Oh it’s all the rage kids. Rage being used in both senses of the word, apparently.
I hope to see you all there. Yeah even you…and you…and yeah I guess you, too.
I got one of those “Any 5 Questions” games yesterday…and they were damned good questions. Fun questions. Apparently the game is that you agree to answer, you guessed it…Any 5 Questions and publish your answers.
Here’s the Q’s and A’s.
1) We both definitely have the Maine thing going on. If you could have any ONE thing from life up there, and mix it in perfectly blended with life down here, what would it be? Why that thing?
The one would be the small town sense of unity. In the city (any city) if something bad happens to someone, there’s a feeling of “better you than me”…we’re all islands. In a small town, if something happens, there’s a feeling of “that could have happened to me”. It’s all connected. I miss that. It’s the upside to “everyone knows your business in a small town”. They might know your business, but they’ve got your back, too.
2) You have to give up one category or food or drink for the rest of your life (example: all candies, all breads, all alcohols) – what do you choose to live without?
Probably candy/sweets. I’ve always been far more of a “savory” guy than a fan of “sweets”. My Dr, however, would say “all alcohols”. I give him moments of that, not lifetimes.
3) You can be anyone’s personal assistant in the world – who would you work for and why?
Either Richard Branson or Paul McCartney. Hands down. Branson, because he’s completely self made and a little nuts. He started with a paper, then a record label, and just never stopped. But he’s got this sense of adventure AND a sense of obligation to give back that I would love to be exposed to…to see in action.
Paul because…well…he’s PAUL McCartney, yo. And I would like to think that as bad as I am at picking women, I’ve GOT to be able to improve on his one legged money grubbing porn star bitch of an ex. I’ll screen his dates and find someone Beatle-worthy. Tune his bass. Make him sandwiches. Whatever. Just every now and then sit down at the piano and sing Beatles tunes…and the occasional Wings song. (Tell me Band on the Run doesn’t straight up rock…I dare you.)
4) In honor of the time tested tradition of object-claiming: if you could be any form of hat, which would you be and what sort of person might wear you?
Darlin’ you should have known the answer to this…I’d be a Yankees hat on a starting player’s head.
5) You’re making a mix tape (or cd, though that doesn’t sound nearly as emo), for your closest blog friends & fans – it’s your chance to expose them to any sort of music you like – what songs/artists do you put on it?
OK, here’s what would be on it as of today….tomorrow it could be completely different.
Phone Call from Leavenworth, Chris Whitley
The man was a genius of pure (and I mean PURE) blues….and when I got tired of waiting for his new album to come out and logged on his site to see what the delay was and learned he’d died that month, I got choked up. If you even like a LITTLE BIT of the blues, you owe it to yourself to check this out.
Hell and Malfunction, I Mother Earth
A Canadian band that was HUGE up there and just could NOT break in the US…brilliant, heavy, jam band-esque music. There’s really no one that you could say “oh they sound like this” and convey the right idea. This song was off their last album. The lyrics read like TS Elliot and the tone of the whole thing just sets me off. When he is screaming “I will think of love, think of truth, and think of why I never had a run, I never won, and it’s just too late now” I get chills.
Tea in the Sahara, the Police
I don’t know why this song kills me the way it does…but it does. The imagery, the bass line…it just moves me. Every time.
Fixing a Hole, the Beatles
This is one that people have either never heard or immediately light up when I list off as one of my favorites. It’s pure Beatles genius and I just dig the hell out of it. It’s on Sgt Pepper’s though, so it’s often completely overlooked. And George Burns sings it in the Bee Gees/Peter Frampton movie, Sgt Peppers…what? You say you’ve never seen it? OK, you must run out and get a bottle of whatever you dig, consume it as fast as you can, and watch it. DO NOT skip step one. You won’t enjoy it.
Open Letter to a Landlord, Living Colour
An assault on racism, gentrification, capitalism…and it’s friggin’ HOT. I miss this band all the time.
46 & 2, Tool
May you never, ever be this angry. But if you ever ARE, hope it sounds this amazing.
Graduation Day, Chris Isaak
Growing up, moving on, and letting go have never been this poignant.
Masters of War, Bob Dylan
Cauze it’s jut GOT to have some Dylan, and this is the one that would feel the most right and be my “I don’t support the war on terror the way they mean it on their catchy bumper stickers” song. And don’t anybody DARE ask if I like the Pearl Jam version. I do not.
Goldilocks, King’s X
Holding out hope that true love is real is exhausting, but you gotta have faith. That faith sounds like this song. “I stand behind you and I watch you from a mile away”…great, great stuff.
And of course,
Your Love, the Outfield.
Cuz it’s just a catchy ass guilty pleasure song.
At 9am, Saturday morning I was at the NE UHaul center picking up my van and thanking my lucky stars that I decided to stop drinking last weekend. I was alert, awake, and feeling surprisingly good…I was also, however, trying to figure out exactly what, if anything, I was going to say to exfiance. Saturday was the first time I was going to see her since I left our apartment and I still had no idea.
I was at T-30 minutes and counting.
I kept reminding myself that this is someone I really do care about…someone that I in fact love. And furthermore, someone that had very good reasons for not wanting to get married. I had to respect that. I had also become aware of the fact that this week was that point of demarcation in every break up wherein you go from wallowing and hating your self to flat out straight up teeth gnashing pissed off. And keeping that in check was proving to be more difficult than I had imagined.
Earlier in the week I was asked by a close mutual friend if I had spoken with exFiance since splitting up…
“Fuck that and fuck her” I replied and then almost immeditely followed it up with “I have no idea why I just said that”.
It’s true. I didn’t have any idea where that had come from. I still don’t. But I knew as I got closer to the moment I knocked on her door to pick up some of my things that I was having more and more “Fuck that and fuck her” moments…
T-15 minutes and counting.
The traffic in DC was ridiculous for that hour…and I had to have the truck back by early afternoon…and I still had to get to eXfiance’s, pick up my stuff, keep my mouth shut, get back to my new place, unload, and then get to Virginia to pick up some more furniture. I kept looking at the clock but thinking “what is the problem? I’ve got forever to get this done…” and realizing that the Little Voice In the Back of My Head was saying “this has nothing to do with the time”.
I call exFiance to remind her that I’m coming, and it’s obvious I’ve woken her up…fucking sleep all day for all I care.
I have to keep this in check.
I get to her place and find parking right in front. Perfect. All I have to do is get my stuff…that’s it. It’ll be a few quick trips…just give her the stuff I’ve got, get mine, get the hell out. I can do this. I have excellent self control. Normally. Sometimes. FUCK why did I quit smoking?!
She answers the door after a few minutes and looks at me and says “hi”…I mumble back to her the same and say “I’ll be done as quick as I can”…
“Do you want to see my new cat?”
New cat? Do I want to see your new fucking cat?! FUCK NO! I want to toss it against the wall until it sticks, that what I want to do to your new fucking cat
Oh god…OK, just…
“Yeah, sure…awww, she’s cute…”
MOVE THIS SHIT NOW. GET IT IN THE GOD DAMNED TRUCK AND FUCKING DRIVE LIKE YOU STOLE IT…
After the first trip I come back and she calls from the bedroom that she’s going to stay in there with the new (and old) cat so that they won’t try to get out. PERFECT. The I notice that the box of CD’s hasn’t been split up yet, and yet again I remember St. Elmo’s Fire…NO SPRINGSTEEN IS LEAVING THIS HOUSE…why can’t I stop remembering that? Would I have cheated on Allie Sheedy with all of those nameless faceless women? Well, maybe in ’82, I would have been 10. Who knows where my loyalties would lie.
I then realize that I am actually having this conversation with myself in my head, and that is probably a good sign that it’s time to move it along…I also realize that it’s fucking ridiculous that she hasn’t touched the CD box. Whatever. I’ll just download it…it’s good…fresh karma. Screw it…just get the FUCK OUT OF DODGE.
I’ve now got everything except for the TV stand. Screw that thing…I never liked it anyway and that’s going to keep me here for like 15 more minutes…I don’t have 15 more minutes of this apartment and all its ghosts in me.
“I’m done…just umm…yeah…could you see to it that you split up the CD’s?” Ireach in to my pocket and feel the round metal that I’d carried every day since Decemeber…
“Oh yeah…sorry…I forgot.”
You fucking forgot? Of course you forgot…I pull it out and pop open the pocket watch for the last time. I can’t have this this anymore. It just fucking kills me.
“That’s OK…” I look at the inscription on the outside cover…my initials…”Just give me a call when you get it done and I’ll come and pick them up.” Then I turn it over and look at the inscription on the inside…
“Yeah, I’ll do it this week”
Reading it stabs to the heart of the matter…that Steely Dan song plays in the back of my head somewhere…all of those songs play in the back of my head somewhere…just reading it make me want to nail it to the wall and leave it there for her to find when she and the new cat and the old cat come out in to the living room.
One Life, One Love
“Thanks…I appreciate that.”
I toss it on the couch and head for the door.
Fuck those CD’s. Fuck the new cat. Fuck the couch I always hated and fuck the tourist shot glasses we bought whenever we went anywhere. Fuck the pictures on the fridge and the god damned framed ones on the wall. Fuck that bed and anything close to love that we made in it and that chair that was so perfect you just couldn’t help but want to fall asleep in it and most of all fuck you.
I’ve got all I’m getting from this place. There’s nothing left here to want.