Once in a great while, Susan and I will get into it and “all being fair in love and war,” all bets are off when it come to cleaning out your “blast from the past attic,” looking for something to either defend your self, or KO your opponent. A favorite of Susan’s is,”what about the time, when I was in Arizona, and you went to see your old girlfriends?”
Disclaimer: When you reach your sixties, you don’t want to revisit old flames. It is very disappointing. For both parties. Not a good idea. Timing wasn’t exactly kosher, either.
Susan had been out west all winter at our second home, with all five poochies, and I was compelled to go see about Linda, who I had read, just passed away unexpectedly and an other old flame, Debbie, from out of the sixties that found me on Facebook. I have always been friendly with old girl friends and saw no harm in a little nostalgia.
Debbie was my first legit girlfriend. It didn’t last long but she was my first, so that meant something, and was at least worth a lunch and a “count my blessings” ride home from Luigi’s afterwards in shock at what time can do to you. I can only imagine what she thought.
Now, Linda, bless hear heart, who I lived with for eight years, got left in the dust as soon as I got sober in ’79. I wouldn’t be alive today if I had stayed. She was an enabler of the highest order. Nothing was too good for her baby boy. Me.
She bought me all my guitars, helped me get through music school and whatever I wanted or needed was mine. But I was completely messed up with alcohol and so totally drug addicted, I used to look out my front window every morning just to see if my car was there. If I parked in a different spot, panic set in.
One surefire barometer of my self survival with Linda, and to ease a nagging doubt, was to carefully lift the sheets while Linda was sleeping. If she had a night gown on, I was usually in big trouble and it was time for an early morning ride to Dunkin’ Donuts to get my brain cells to regroup so I could at least defend myself. From what? I had no idea. Total blank.
At one point, when my band was really cranking, the fact that I was in the throes of alcohol and drug poisoning didn’t matter in the least to Linda. In fairness to Linda , she never really knew the extent and severity of my disease state. She was oblivious, except for the fact that “this shit costs money” as she would always say, coming out of the walk-in pantry with an almost empty half gallon bottle of J&B she had purchased for me late the previous afternoon.
These lectures usually came as I was drinking my morning coffee (laced with her Kahlua, unbeknownst to her) with her shaking that big, green J&B bottle with the handle at me. After my morning shower, and a few hits off a warm beer I had stashed behind the tub, I could get myself halfway straightened out. If I used baby powder, my first thought when I saw all that white stuff on the bathroom floor was, well, I don’t have to explain that do I?
Now, Linda was gone. Suddenly, and at a relatively young age, I happened to see something on line about a “Friends of Linda” get together at a VFW in Arlington on a Sunday afternoon after she was buried. I decided to go. It was with some trepidation, because the split was not Linda’s idea and there would be folks there that were always very protective of her. Linda had lots of friends and a lot of them were not happy with me. Rat bastard that I was.
So I walk in to the hall and over to the left, there’s a little table with a lot of pictures from Linda’s life and a book to sign in. Right there, out front with all the others was a big, framed shot of me and Linda. It was taken at a gig I was playing and I was replete with leisure suit, a full beard, a drink in my hand and a set of red eyes that weren’t caused by camera flash. Then I heard some woman say, “He was the love of her life, did you know that? ” That was surreal. I stepped outside and wept. She was good to me.
Now, we’re going to veer of into the spooky, spiritual side.
That previous Friday night, in my big, empty house, I am awakened by an itchy, tingling sensation in my right ear. Like someone sticking a wet finger in there. Freaked. Me. Out. I jumped out of bed covered with goose pimples and start ripping bed clothes off of our king bed. I got a flash light, turned every light on in the house then ran into the bathroom to see what was crawling in my ear. After a lot of self talk and thinking I might of had an ear infection, I coaxed myself bad into bed. Very strange.
I keep a futon in my studio for clients, guests or a place to deposit my dogs while I teach them the fine art of video editing. It is also the most convenient place in the house for naps, an old habit I stole from Thomas Edison. He used to work, work, work, crash, repeat. This is how I usually roll too.
It’s Saturday afternoon and I am in the depths of despair cause I am in the middle of a mindless video mess courtesy of Bracco Diagnostics. I am staring at the screen and whimpering.
I am totally feeling sorry for myself and wondering what I was thinking when I quoted this incoherent, digital clusterfuck for Bracco. Exasperated, and exhausted, I hit the futon. Time to rewind.
Give me a half hour and I’m usually pretty good. A cup of Joe, a pants hitch and I’m back at it. As I’m coming out my slumber I feel it. It’s back. That tingly thingly feeling in my ear. This time it’s daylight and I am not in my REM state. Now, I’m somewhat amused, still fearful, but amused. Aha! Got you now you little bastard! I slowly reach up to trap or squash the little fucker that is wreaking havoc on my sanity. Nothing! Back to the my goose bumped, frantic, mad dash to the bathroom. This was back in the days when I had not yet discovered the wonders of anti-anxiety meds.
If you know me personally, this will come to no surprise that I am a hypochondriac of the highest order. In my mind, I have had everything. I’m pretty sure if I ever get a bad diagnosis, I will yawn in their face. But Bracco is torturing me and I have a hard deadline. The next day will be a much needed change of scenery and I will be losing myself at “Friends of Linda.”
On Sunday afternoon, when I arrive at the VFW, I nervously walk up the stairs and much to my surprise, (even with her current boyfriend there) I’m treated very warmly for the most part. Some of these old geezers might suffer from short term memory loss, but not long term, not for a second.
It was then when someone said “Boy, your ears must have been buzzing, we’ve been talking about you all week, you know, Linda still loved you right to the end, don’t you?” The “ears buzzing” hit me like a tank. I must admit to getting a little week in the knees. That was definitely Linda’s style. Be just like her to let me know I wasn’t rid of her yet. I am totally non-spiritual but….
If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, and what you’re thinking, is what I’m thinking, good thinking, cause that’s exactly what I’m thinking.