insight by ambush

11 06 2004

an obvious lesson:
when you hear this song, and it totally reminds you of somebody, and you really wish you could call him/her up just to tell him/her, just to say “hello,” and “i’m hearing this song,” and “it says ‘you’ to me” and “i remember,” if you do that, you’re an idiot. because the song doesn’t really remind you of the person at all. it reminds you of who you were when you knew that person, of who that person was to you inside your head, of how it made you feel to be with that person, living in the place and time where the association first took root, and the real-live other person has no idea what you’re talking about, because he/she has never met the him/her who lives inside your head, and even if he/she remembers the song as having been relevant to both of you during whatever time you’re thinking of, it won’t mean the same thing, or trigger the same emotions, or justify your having called. it’ll just make you look like a stalker. especially when what you’re missing isn’t him/her, it’s the long-ago you, and, really, i don’t care how flexible you are, you can’t–and trying makes you look really stupid–reasonably stalk yourself.

now, just so you know, i haven’t stalked anybody today. i’m writing down the lesson because i remembered it without making any foolish phone calls. about which i’m very proud, because for years i did call, and he never knew what the hell i was talking about, and was sometimes a total jerk about that, although at others he was a very sweet recipient of random affection, and a good listener. in particular, this lesson for me is most often about geof, who, i’m coming to understand, is partially a poignant sore-tooth in my head precisely because he’s always been such a good poster-child for this particular impulse, which is so fundamental to the way i operate. i don’t want to call geof. i am a rational person about this. and i’m not actually hurt by knowing that even if i did want to call geof, doing so would be a really bad idea. however. he’s also been cluttering up my head (as evinced by how often his name gets dropped on the floor by accident because i’m carrying too many things around, and there’s no particular reason he’s one of them, but there is it), and i’ve had another of those brilliant flashes of understanding (like that thing about “kiffer”) that hurtle out of the dark like cannonballs to let you know something you should have known a long time ago. i’ve wondered for a long time why it was so difficult to erase him, not from my memory, but from the set of things i carry around that can still cause concern and be dropped randomly on the floor. he was not, after all, the first person i ever felt love towards (at least not insofar as teenagers reckon these things–and i was one). he was not the first person to profess love to me. he was not the first boy i kissed or the first boy i had sex with. he was not the first boy to write me a sappy, sweet, somewhat mopey melodramatic letter/note that made me melt like goo. he was not the first boy to bring me flowers. but he has his own value-laden identification, even if it’s not one you think of when making lists like this:

he was the first boy i cried over loving and losing who also (while maybe not always at the same time or in the same order) cried over loving and losing me.

and in its own way, especially for the girl i was, who never thought (and with plenty of reasons) anyone would ever do anything like that for her, that’s epic. and haunting. and we were children, and we were still confused and sorry, along with being a whole snarled mess of other things, when we weren’t children anymore. it was always doomed to messiness, of course, although you never see these things at the time. our song–he was probably also the first person with whom i had a mutually-recognized song–was u2’s “one,” which certainly has its sweetness and vulnerability, its cry for unity and the goodness of “get[ting] to carry each other,” which we danced to in the aisles at rfk during the zoo tv tour, which he bought me the single for, and the t-shirt with the word in twelve different languages and the buffalo throwing themselves over the cliff… the buffalo are important here. stupid, suicidal buffalo. (someone was probably driving them, but if that’s your response to being driven, is it really any different?) it’s also the song wherein the listener is warned “it’s too late, tonight, to drag the past out into the light,” and of whom it’s demanded “have you come here for forgiveness, have you come tor raise the dead, have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head,” and those are questions to which i’ve always had to answer with an apologetic “yes” and an admonition i never tire of needing. with him, certainly. and with everybody else. it’s not a song about him, although it’s done an amazing job of becoming more and more appropriate the older and more solidified in my standard-forms of insecurity/psychosis/dementia i’ve gotten.

::shakes head like a wet dog loosing water drops, and wishes it were all that easy::

anyway. i’m really not obsessed with him, although i probably mention his name a little too often to be believed. i’m almost entirely over being sad about not being friends anymore, because, really, we haven’t known each other well enough to be friends in 4 or 5 years anyway, and i’m just trying to be as much of a packrat w/people as i am with stuff. i’m more obsessed w/my own obsessions, and his poster-child status with relation to this particular tendency has a bad habit of seeming overly representative. so there. that’s the truth. more of it than you ever wanted to know. (i told you not to look) so what’s the impetus today, you ask? (you didn’t, i know. you can close the screen if i’m annoying you. really.) it’s 3-fold. (which is a relief, really–it takes all 3 intersecting axes to get this pointlessly reflective.)

1) l_stboy was here just long enough to remind me of a million things, and then left me standing here holding them.
2) “one” came around on my stupidly-long playlist right when
3) i was sitting here being a coward about calling rbk, who i never denied getting involved with in the first place b/c of how much he reminded me of geof.

for the record (another record!), the thing w/rbk was only because of that for the year or several that he was peripherally around me and cute–once he and i were actually interacting it was entirely about him. but from a distance, the similarities can start creeping back in again. now that they’re both imaginary more than real, they’re back to occupying very similar places in some almost-terrifying ways. fortunately, though, one of them does like me, and would even probably really appreciate it if i got off my chicken-shit ass and said hello, regardless of what songs i may or may not be listening to.

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3 responses

11 06 2004
jules_11

so i did follow your link and read all of your rambling, just because i love you so much šŸ™‚
i think you make such a wonderful point in the first part, especially the part about how the person wouldn’t even recognize himself/herself in your own head. so very true. and it’s also very interesting how when you haven’t thought about someone in the longest time (at least thought about in a significant way) that something as simple (and yet as complicated) as a song can bring back so many memories, and yes, even ramblings.
i think you should contact him (whoever it is, which this also left me wondering)

11 06 2004
tyra

it’s an old friend from high school, who didn’t feel the need to even reply to my wedding invitation, and didn’t invite me to his this past winter. we really don’t have much in common anymore, although we share enough friends for me to keep distant track of what he’s doing, and i know where on the web he occasionally posts pictures–if he has a kid or something, i’ll be able to find out and find HIM to send a card, but that’s really enough for now. there have been enough overwrought reunions since our goofy hook-up in 1991!
i’m more interested in contacting the one who DOES want me to call, or at least who says he does, and then gives me a disconnected cell # to try to do that through. idiot. >sigh< šŸ™‚
glad i can share the wisdom of my advanced age w/the rest of you!

11 06 2004
bluemeg

ah yes. the people that i am in my head that other people are confused about… i am familar with this feeling. šŸ™‚

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