It is a good thing that I'm being forced out of my home, my county, my life, tomorrow, for a little adventure. I have felt so inert the last few days.
Maybe months, I don't know. But this trip to St. George with the ladies will get me off my ass and out of my head, hopefully.
I've been in a little more pain than usual, I think. Or it could just be that I'm not busy enough and am paying too much attention to it. After a certain age I think most of us experience one sort of chronic pain or another and I do admire those who do not speak of it but I am not one of them. And chronic pain can wear you out and wear you down, even if it's low-grade. I am far more apt to notice now how older people often dip and roll with each step and I remember a line in a book I read a very long time ago wherein the author said that old people walk like that because they hurt. And it's true.
We are doing the slow dance of pain.
I think that pulling out these memories has been hard on my psyche. The period of my life I've been discussing is not one that I've spent a great deal of time analyzing. I guess with everything else that has happened in my past, I've just never given the whole Denver/Tallahassee transition a great deal of thought. I have thought about it and it's been obvious to me that it was absolutely a formative period of my life but until I really started talking about it, pulling up and out those memories, I didn't realize how emotional it all was.
Well, that's not entirely true. I did. I do.
I look back on images of me sitting in my dorm room with snow falling outside, listening to Joni Mitchell's Blue, crying and embroidering a denim shirt for my ex-boyfriend which he eventually gave to his new girlfriend.
And that sounds so cheesy and it was but it was also the beginning of the depression that I now realized I suffered for at least two years. It was a period of time in which there was absolutely nothing that brought me joy. Nothing. Oh, sure, I could appreciate and even enjoy certain people's company and different experiences but there was always the veil of grayness over everything.
So what happened?
Well, I went back to Winter Haven for a Christmas break. I was already living with the drug dealer by then and he gave me a few hits of very good acid to take with me. Being back in the family home for even a few weeks was horrid but I managed to be out of it most of the hours of the day and the night and I hung out with my friends and I had started up a flirtation with a boy I somehow knew on another school break and it was at this time that we got together. His best friend from childhood was another guy I knew and they played music together whenever they had the chance. D., the guy I got together with was a violinist, going to music school at FSU. The friend was a guitar player and spoiler alert: I ended up marrying HIM but that wasn't for quite awhile.
So that whole vacation we were hot and heavy and it was emotional from all angles- being back in the house of horror where the stepfather lived, being around the ex-boyfriend whom I was still bonded to in my heart of hearts with his new girlfriend who was sometimes wearing that shirt I'd embroidered in my grief and despair, seeing the people I loved and had missed so much and yet, this little flame of true interest and sweetness.
I think back on it and it was overwhelming in so many ways.
D. and I dropped the acid that I'd been given right before his mama's annual giant Christmas party and that was definitely an experience I'll never forget, especially the part where I had an entire conversation with a woman who had not only been my sixth-grade music teacher but also my assistant Girl Scout leader from sixth grade through high school.
I do not recommend this combination of drug-doing and holiday conversing but it was certainly interesting and obviously a memorable experience.
At some point during the holiday, I had told D. how much I hated Denver, how unhappy I was there and because he was such a nice guy and because he never, ever, in a million years thought I'd act on it, he said, "Well, you can always come live with me in Tallahassee."
So that was the Golden Ticket. That was all I needed to hear.
I flew back to Colorado, finished a two-hour final exam in ten minutes because I knew nothing at all about the subject (I had lost any interest in my studies I may have ever had), went and withdrew from school, told the drug dealer I was leaving to go live in Tallahassee, Florida with a violinist, told my mother I had quit school and was going to go live in Tallahassee with D., went to Triple A and got a Trip Tik with my route marked on it (remember those?) and as soon as the snow melted enough for me to leave, I was out of there.
My drug dealer boyfriend had already found a replacement for me (she even looked a little like me) and a friend of his had sort of taken custody of me and the night before I left he took me to a movie and was so gentlemanly and so kind and he gave me a few joints for the road. I will never forget his kindness.
Nineteen years old, driving halfway across the country in a green Ford Capri with the two parakeets, the pressure cooker, the shitty stereo, my Joni Mitchell records, and my rocking chair. Also a blue corduroy comforter that I sure do wish I knew what happened to. I loved that thing.
The farthest I'd probably ever driven in my life was about fifty miles. Once.
And yet, being nineteen years old, I had no doubts I could do it, and for a time on that journey there were bright flashes of light that pierced the gray veil and when I got to the more southern parts of the country and started seeing little cabins in the middle of fields and great green groves of trees, I was convinced that I had made the right decision.
And looking back, I guess I had.
Here's a picture of August from today.
I love that! Croc With Character! Ain't that the truth?
And as you can see, he's pulled a few more teeth. Perhaps he will be a dentist when he grows up.
Yes. I made the right decision.
oh, your continuing story just elicits stories of my own.....similar in nature.....and some things I haven't thought about in many years until you began recounting your journey. I shudder at things I did in my youth.....things I wouldn't even begin to dare to do now............ enough of that. Enjoy your days away with your dear friends........ may you re-live and re-experience more love and more stories.ReplyDelete
Hugs to you
Enjoy your trip and congratulations to August!ReplyDelete
Your story continues to enthral. I'm sure the break with the girls will do you the world of good physically, emotionally and mentally.ReplyDelete
I am one who believes that whilst one shouldn't constantly moan and complain about chronic pain, nor should it be kept silent. The more people that know and understand what we go through then the sooner society might be more forgiving and understanding. Just the same with mental health. I am very vocal about mental health.
One of the things i find fascinating about memories is the question "what was i thinking?" And of course you can't replicate that time and place and your brain synapses that were firing.ReplyDelete
I wish that I was as good at self-analysis as you are Mary. A lot of my "stuff" is locked in cupboards that I have no desire to open or share with anybody else. High fives for August - what an honour! And I hope you and your girls have a great time on St George Island - reminiscing, laughing and putting the world to rights as the eternal sea whispers upon the shore.ReplyDelete
To answer Carol, you (we) were thinking we were invincible! Go solve the world's problems on St. George Island.ReplyDelete
you indeed did make the right decision. xxalainaxxReplyDelete
Enjoy your trip!ReplyDelete
Laugh, eat, drink, relax, repeat.
I think the timing of the trip is excellent. And yes, when we were young we had all the answers. Later in life we start to understand the questions.ReplyDelete
That must have been awful for you but you're right anything is possible when you're nineteen, even driving across country.ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful time with your friends.
What a life you've lived!ReplyDelete
You certainly did make the right decision. Congratulations August!ReplyDelete
How true it is that when we're young we think we're invincible! I guess it's just as well because we seem to start wimping out later!ReplyDelete
A croc with character but no teeth! LOL!ReplyDelete
It's awesome that you were able to so quickly take the plunge and go back to Florida. On some level, you knew it was the thing to do. I'd have dithered about it for ages.
That adorable toothless croc with character and his equally darling cousins is all the proof you need that you did the right thing. Still, what a time that was for you. You survived, and now you are a part of my world, for which I am eternally grateful.
Carolashworth27 God, how i love you Mrs Moon. I pick you up & you lift me up. Continue to shine bright baby. You're enthralling. Wish you lived next door !ReplyDelete
Carolashworth27 ps, listened to Blue the other night.ReplyDelete
That is the amazing thing about life. It seems like all a muddle when you are slogging through, but from the comfort of our years (yes...even with those random pains) we can look back and see exactly where that path was leading. Mine led me to a happy place.ReplyDelete
Always glad to read more of your story, past and present, Dear Mary. Your writing is so warm and vivid. Hooray for August, the Croc without Teeth. He is a whippersnapper. Sending Love, N2 x0x0ReplyDelete