We Had Joy, We Had Fun

January 17, 2006 at 10:17 AM | Posted in Journal | 3 Comments
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  Well!  Let me tell you about my weekend!  It was pretty exciting!
  Let’s see. . . Well, I don’t actually remember what happened on Saturday.  What did happen?  What the hell. . .I think I laid around played a video game, cleaned up in the basement a little.  That was it.  Hmmm.  Okay, maybe not so exciting.  Sunday, I did what I was supposed to do on Saturday, which was, work on my wife’s car.  Problem with the windshield wipers.  When I got to the heart of the problem, and I knew it was going to come to this, I made a trip to the junk yard.  I want to know when, and why, did junk yards become so sensitive and politically correct?  They want to be called "salvage yards" now.  "Junk yard" has a bad connotation.
  Whatever, dudes.  It’s down in the city (about a fifty mile drive for me), in the worst part of the city, it’s scary to get to and even scarier to go into.  A place where you can be offered drugs or sex for sale in between the rows of cars, where people will ask for 2 dollars to buy the part they need, where you better not need anything out of the trunk of a car, because those are urinals now.  Junk yard may not be a strong enough term.
  So I took care of that, and it was good to have a sense of accomplishment.  Monday, I was off, and paid for it, which was nice.  I bought a heavy workout bag from someone at work a few days ago, something I have wanted my entire adult life, and I finally got one.  My son and I built a support and hung it in the basement, and cleared some space near the weights.  We have an actual workout place now.
  Oh, but I did work Monday night, at my second job.  Starting this week my schedule changes because school starts.  For the next 16 weeks, it’s going to be Monday night, work, Tuesday night, school, Wednesday night, school, Thursday night, work. And Friday night, I’ll probably go to bed early.  But at least I still have my weekends free.  Which, I have been on this job almost a year, and I am just starting to get used to having the weekends off.
  But I like working Monday, because it’s generally slower and easier, and my good friend Karl works on Monday night.  Since I switched up jobs, I haven’t been able to hang out with him as much.  So this is a good change.
Let’s see–what else happened?  Well, I went home Monday night, took a shower, went to bed, and woke up about 4 am, for no apparent reason, with my hand on my nuts.
  I felt a lump.
  My life didn’t flash in front of my eyes, but lots of other things did.  I managed to go back to sleep somehow, or maybe I just lay there, I’m not really sure.  I thought about my future, and not having one.  I thought about my children, and my wife, and life insurance.  I thought about my unfinished projects, and what plans I had made.  I thought about a song I heard on an infomercial for a Time-Life set set of CD’s from the 70’s,
 "We had Joy, we had fun.
 "We had seasons in the sun,
 "but the hills that we climbed
 "were just seasons out of time."
  Good Lord.  I remember this song.  With a vengeance.
  My wife got up and got ready for work, I said not a word.  This is not something you lay on somebody early in the morning.  I got the kids up and got them ready for school, and wondered who would make my daughter cereal in the morning–and quickly pushed the thought out of my head.  I don’t want to cry, not right now, not to have them ask questions, not in front of my young daughter and jaded teenage son.
  I got them out the door and to their stops, and settled into the car for quite possibly the longest drive to work, subjectively, that I have ever had.  I turned the radio on, turned it off, turned it on, put in a cd, changed tracks 8 or 9 times, put it back on the radio, and left it, but didn’t really listen.
 "Goodbye Michele it’s hard to die
 "When all the birds are singing in the sky"
  I was thinking about my life, and all the things I wanted to do, and all the things I wouldn’t get to do, because now I was going to die.  I thought about leaving my children, and it made me sad.  I thought about the fact that I figured I would last longer than my wife, and this was God playing the irony game with me.  –Your roll.
 "But the sun and the fun
 "like the seasons have all gone"
   (It’s even worse when you have the melody and some of the words but not all of them.  It keeps playing over and over, trying to get it right.  Stupid brain.)
  And then I thought about my wife’s older brother, diagnosed over a year ago, and given a year to live.  He was a normal, quiet guy, now living with my older daughter.  He seems adjusted, and mostly happy, and at peace.  And he does what he wants.
 "Goodbye Pa-pa it’s hard to die–"
  Arrgh.  What is the next line?  Make it stop!
  But he also let it go when he got sick, and didnt go to the doctor for, well, a few years, and that’s how it got bad.  Maybe–maybe, this doesnt have to kill me.  Maybe I can be one of those brave cancer survivors, and write a book, and be on Oprah, and be inspirational.  Didn’t that bike guy–Lance Armstrong–he had it, and he’s okay.  Plus he has a hot wife.
 "We had joy, we had fun–"
  Christ.  Does that mean I’m going to have to take up some kind of dangerouse hobby, or adventurous sport, or travel the world, or some live-changing thing like that, to prove something?
  "But the hills that we climbed
  "Were just seasons out of time"
  To prove what?  And to whom?  I’ve already had my live changing moment.  It was this morning, about 4 am.  It was when I realized, dully, not fully awake, but the thought fully formed, although not completely put into words.  Just the sense that I realized very clearly, how little I wanted to die.
  And how little I wanted to die with that fucking song stuck in my head.
PS–Yes, I’m going to the doctor.  This afternoon.  I’ll keep you posted.  I was too freaked out to even form the thought rationally.  My friend actually helped me, gave me some clarity–enough to call the doctor, at least.  I couldn’t even remember the name of my insurance without looking at the card.  But I called, and explained ever so briefly, and I got in right away.  I could have gone this morning, but I took this afternoon.  Why?  Why not go as soon as possible?  Well, this new feeling I am having, this emotion called terror, is completely new to me, and I want to savor it and enjoy it, that’s why!
Hell, I don’t know.  It’s just a reaction.  Scared to know, scared to not know.


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  1. okay, you could be freakin out for nothing.. and now you\’ve got that damn song stuck in MY head, thank you not. when you find something out will you let me know? even if you\’d prefer just to e mail, that\’s fine. Afterall, we did have the bath tub fling….but please say that you\’ve told your wife… hate to think that all us bloggers know about it and she doesn\’t….hugglesKim

  2. Dont borrow trouble… MOST likely it is nothing at all to be concerned with. Hugs and prayers…

  3. hmmm…complete terror, well put. what did the doc say? i\’m kinda at a loss here bubster. this is not one of your normal "stories". your becoming very candid in these latter years..but if a writer is not candid, he\’s nothing. nada. diddley-squat. nyet. archives. history. so, what your doing, is a good thing..facing the problem,and then moving on. i\’ll talk to you at work tomorrow. that karl guy, he sounds pretty cool.

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