Friday, August 31, 2007

nehalem

Nehalem
------Everclear

There is this rumor about
They say you're leaving Nehalem
Ever since our baby died
You've been seen with another guy
The whole damn town is talking now
They say you're leaving Nehalem

Hey don't you want me to go?
Hey don't you want me?

They say you're losing your mind
They say you're leaving Nehalem
You know how the bad words get around
Big noise in a hard small town

Tell me if you want me to go
Just tell me if you want me

They say you're leaving Nehalem
They say you're leaving me

Yeah, I know you need to break away
I don't give a fuck about what those people say
I hope you find everywhere you go
All the good things that you need to know

They say you're losing your mind
They say you're leaving Nehalem
There is this rumor out
They say you're leaving Nehalem
They say you're leaving me
They say you're leaving Nehalem
I know you're leaving me
I know you're leaving Nehalem

I know you're leaving me

--------------------------

Little known fact. Actually, I should say: seldom discussed fact--
I once led a nearly scandalous lifestyle. I did bad things. Bad things happened to me. It was likely karma. Bad karma.

So, the song above is from Everclear's CD Sparkle and Fade. One of my favorite CDs of all time. I can listen to it over and over and over, but when I do listen to it, it conjures things. Images in my mind. Memories. Feelings. Pain. Sadness. But also memories of fun. Love (?). Yes. Love. No question mark.

It was a bad relationship that felt good for some reason. It felt like uncommitted commitment, which can feel great at times...until you feel like you need committed commitment.

It was 1995. That summer was awesome, fantastic and fulfilling. Freeing. I went out a lot. Dated a bunch of different guys and was definitely not looking to be in a relationship. But somehow it happened. He happened while I was seeing other people. While he was most definitely committed. This was our uncommitted committed phase.

I don't know how it happened. The pregnancy. Completely unexpected, but I guess someone dropped the ball. Him? Me? We did, and I don't know how. I remember that he was away for work in Yakima. Unreachable. This was before everyone had a mobile phone, you know. I took a test, and it was negative; my period never came, though, and with the next test, my urine barely touched the stick and it was positive.

This was such a tough time for me. I already had one child "out of wedlock." I didn't want to be one of those women who have 6 kids by 7 different men.

I don't really remember my reaction. I don't really remember his reaction. I do remember the date of his vasectomy, though, which I was present for. It was the day that the OJ Simpson verdict came back (not guilty). October 3rd.

After that everything is fuzzy.
I know I changed a lot because I wanted committed commitment, which was so not our style. He tried to give me false commitment, but the truth always comes out in the end, doesn't it?

And it did in a big way.

I ended up losing that baby in March 1996 at 28 weeks gestation. It was tougher on me than I ever imagined. What goes in must come out, and I birthed that baby like I did my other two, but this one never took a breath. I birthed her in the toilet. I didn't mean to, and that bothered me for so long--until I learned why I birthed her there.

He was there for the bireath. I was so grateful to have him because that must mean he loves me more than...
and then he was gone.
And I was alone again, as I was with him so much before, and I was working, taking care of my daughter and trying to heal on my own.
And then he came back again. To stay. He got a job with my dad and all was well. I was happy.
I don't remember how long he stayed that time, but I don't think it was long before I left work early to find a note from him. His veiled goodbye that was so clear to me. Everything that he had at my place for almost a year was so completely gone.

And that was that.

1996 was the worst summer. I honestly don't know how I functioned. I wanted to exist in only a fog, and that's not the best way to function when one has a 6 year old to tend to. It was a mess of a summer that deserves a separate blog post.

And then he called me at work. Out of the blue. I happened to be passing a pay phone, and it was his voice on the other end. I shook. I was. Yes. I simply
was. I was all those indescribable sensations that come along with a surge of adrenaline.

I saw him. I drove 11 hours from the gorge to the town he was living in. It was a beautiful place, and I was high when I got there. It was still the adrenaline running through me when I heard him or when I saw him or even when I thought of him. And the place we were was simply... well, it was sand and sea and warmth.

In the end, though, it was a disaster and it all crumbled.
I don't remember how or who decided that the end had come, but it was done.

Last week he messaged me through myspace. It has been 11 years since I went to visit him, and he pops in again like...well, like there's no history. It weirds me out, but I'm also happy to hear from him because before we became this really complex and dysfunctional unit, we were friends who had a lot of fun together, who had a lot in common with each other. I want to ask him, still, what am I to you? Am I a memorable part of your history? Am I just a girl you knew back in the day, when we were young and not as free as we pretended to be?

Ugh.

Instead, we ask each other questions like, "How is your sister" "How are your kids?" "What are you doing these days?" "Whatever happened to Melissa?" "How is Renae?" It doesn't feel like a conversation we would really have, but that just makes me wonder if he feels as weird about it (whatever it is) as I do.

And finally, one more Everclear song from Sparkle and Fade that brings me right back to him and that time in my life:


"The Twistinside"

We have been sleeping with the lights on
Just about every night
Because we are afraid of what the dark might bring
I know, I know it's just a childish fear
That grows and grows wild in the middle of me
I'm gonna get a new tattoo
Black and stretching around my arm
Like a life that is visible and real
I know, I know it's stupid and immature
I just want to give shape to the face
That twists inside both you and me
Breathing fire doesn't look good on a resume
Neither does anything else we do
We got to get ready for the real world
Yeah yeah we got to grow up
You know I like to die for awhile
Everyday in the afternoon
I like to let the arms of a bar wrap around me tight
I'm just going to sprawl in the front booth
Big drink above my head
Cross eyes and smiling as I watch the world go twisting by
I don't want to die with you,
Or live in the same dark room
I don't want to see your bloodshot eyes no more, no more
I just want to take this girl
all curls and big brown eyes
Man I can't take the pain of wanting her, needing her
I know the secret of your soul
And I just don't want to know
Yeah, man we got to grow up

1 comment:

Renae said...

That was a horrible, horrible time. I'm so glad you're in a good place now. :)
I do have to say (and yes, it's me and my typically bitchy ways because I have NO empathy) but I HID my money before he visited. I HID MY MONEY!!! Not only that, but I TOLD PEOPLE I HAD TO HIDE MY MONEY! I have never done that before, haven't done it since. He was not a good person. Not even a little bit. Sometimes he seemed like a nice person, but that's very different than being a good person.
You have some memories and maybe there was some weird crazy thing going on, but be careful not to idealize him or that time. Trust me on this. Really, I think you should block him.
He's probably cheating on his wife right now, if they're even still together.
There are some people that I wouldn't invite into my life, and he's one of them. Heck yeah, I'm judgmental, but don't I have good judgment? Block him.
Block him, block him, block him.