Have you ever been walking around scared about something, but you didn't know how much you were feeling it until you discovered your fears were unfounded and breathed a sigh of relief?
On Friday night
I went to see this guy
play music - my friend Aaron (computer genius extraordinaire) wrote the link and e-mailed it to me because I'm still flying blind and rapidly taking A to new levels of frustration, but go to the site and check the guy out. He is immensely talented and we actually dated about 10 years ago. That's when I discovered that as talented as he is and as sweet as he can be, he is probably one of the biggest egomaniacs I've ever come across. To put that statement into perspective understand that I work in the entertainment industry and I am astounded at the feats of boundless ego on display on a daily basis.
Anyway, about a year after I stopped seeing the way too groovy moody blues dude, I ran into his older brother on New Year's Eve. By this time the dude had moved to Spain where he was playing the festival circuit and abusing alcohol again. I had always enjoyed the older brother because he was smart and funny like the dude, and he had a lot less anger. So we hung out on New Year's Eve - he was seperated from his wife at the time - I now only date the well and truly divorced. And then he continued to call me and we'd go to movies and dinners, but I swear I wasn't thinking about him, "like that". But I fell in love and it has never been so clearly illustrated that you just don't get to choose who you love. Sometimes, it just bites you on the ass and there you are.
So brother man and I are together for a couple years and I swear I would've married that man, except that it rather quickly became clear that as angry as the dude was, brother man was equally depressed, and they both had a deeply ingrained victim mentality, e.g. the world is not a fair place and, in fact, the world was out to get both of them. None of their choices or their behavior had anything to do with the circumstances they found themselves in - everything just "happened" to them. Spare me.
So I have no patience for that crap and nothing will beat the love down like that kind of whining. So as brother man's life got worse and worse I pulled farther and farther away and finally had to just end it. I worried about brother man, but I was also holding a vision of him doing what he needed to do to make his life feel better. We tried to be "friends" for a while, but that was just dumb - why do people pretend they can do that when love is still lurking?
I didn't hear from him again until August of 2001. It had been about a year and half and all of a sudden I'm getting a collect phone call from the men's central jail. Brother man has started using heroin again - oh! did I mention that both the dude and brother man had some pretty extensive addiction issues in their pasts, although when I dated them they were both sober - so he's relapsed and he's in jail on suicide watch!!! He wanted me to call a friend of ours who'd recently won the lottery and ask him to make bail. Yes, obviously that's something you'd want to do with your lotto winnings - bail out your addict buddy who got busted while on a rampage, so he can go get in more trouble. I let the dude know that brother man had relapsed and asked him to advise their family here in the states. The dude got mad at me like it was my fault - and then acted like brother man was my responsibility. Whatever. I also went down and put $20 on account at the jail so he could buy cigarettes. Having never been to the men's central jail I now consider that going above and beyond and I don't think I'll ever do that again - all of the prisoners stand at the windows of their cells or holding pens, one can only imagine, and they holler at women as they walk up to the lobby doors. They yell graphic sexual comments, no innuendo there at LAMCJ, and some of them spit. Eeuuuuwwww! Bastards - glad you're in there, hope you rot!!! Oh - and they make you pay like $7 to park!!
I stopped taking his calls and the last time we spoke he was complaining about living in a halfway house and having to work at the Salvation Army, he wanted me to meet him at a bar to listen to music, and he told me that I had ruined everything - that we were doing great until I ended it. I tore him a new asshole, asked him if was now smoking crack since that memory could not have been more displaced from reality. I also told him that it didn't seem to me that he'd hit bottom yet and I thought he was an ingrate and that he wasn't allowed to call me again until he was sober and working a program for a year. Co-dependent, I'm not.
I never heard from him again.
So when I saw that the dude was going to be performing at a local club I asked some friends to go with me. I am always happy to see the dude perform, but I really wanted to see if brother man was okay. As the date drew nearer I began to have serious trepidation. What would I do if I got there and was told that he'd died. I had never entertained the idea that something like that could be real - even though it very likely could be.
When we arrived at the club the dude was mid-wail and the first person I saw when I walked in was brother man. And he looked great!! He was carrying more weight and looked healthier then he ever has. He was with a lovely woman who is his girlfriend. She sings with his band and he's out gigging, but he also has a job working as a social worker (that's what he did when I was dating him) serving the dual diagnoses homeless population. He seemed happier than he ever has as well, and all the wonderful memories and the love that I ever felt for him welled up inside of me.
Not romantic love, but real love - the kind that never goes away or alters - where all you want is for that person to be happy and well and you feel so extremely joyfull when you see them being both. It was just so good to see him doing so well. And it was only then that I realized how badly it would have hurt if he was no longer here - and the weight of that secret fear lifted.
And the dude pointedly ignored me.
All in all - it was a really good night.