Ever play that game where you sit and contemplate the existence you would have had had you not taken a right an hour ago and instead taken a left? The one where you dream up scenarios of maybe had you taken that left you would have been involved in some horrific accident or on the brighter side maybe you saw a limousine with a flat tire on the side of the road so you help and the celebrity inside gives you a million dollars allowing you to pursue life’s many adventures. Or on a different plane what if you hadn’t taken that chance on going a blind date where you met the love of your life and lived happily ever after. What would life look like for you now? Where would you be? Would you be happy or successful?
She and I used to play that game. There were many points within our lives where we could have possibly never met. She and her family were from Rhode Island and when her father was transferred up to Massachusetts for a job opening, often blamed on the fact that her father and the boss in Rhode Island didn’t get along, they looked at two towns, one with in the school district I was in and one outside of the school district. Then there were the countless times during her elementary school days that the family thought of moving back to be around family. What if her father had gotten along with his boss? Circumstance brought her into my English class at that very moment where I was unable to make that decision of walking up to her where I was pulled in by the force that is and was she.
There were the moments through out the time of our lives where we could have gone such separate directions that could have resulted in our meeting up again never happening. I graduated from high school a year early because I needed to get away from the pain of not being able to be with her so to photography school I went. I met new people, found the distance I needed, and pursued a career that I thought I wanted. Business got in the way of the artistic lifestyle but what if the business of photography and the politics of the school never bothered me? What if I went full bore and became a photographer traveling the world capturing the many wonders that life placed before me? What if I went and bought that plane ticket to California in the summer of 1997, the one way ticket with only my guitar and a pack full of clothes with me (I know cliché) instead of listening to a girl who said she missed me and didn’t want me to go for her to only cheat on me two weeks later ending the whole thing. What if I never picked up the phone, what if she never answered, what if she never asked me to come back to her dorm the first night we hung out in a while, and what if she never kissed me on January 2nd, 1998 a date forever etched not only in my mind but on my skin as well?
The broken hearted romantic in me would say that I would have probably been dead. Following in my rock idols legacies by dying from some drug induced bullshit event after performing the greatest concert of my life. Or maybe I would have spent my days writing poetry uncontrollably about a love that I will never have come to know like the poets I grew up reading. Or maybe I would have lived a normal average life with someone else that wasn’t able to make me happy, as I was apparently unable to make her. Would I have been the one to leave? Would I have broken somebody’s heart sending her to question everything she had ever known or done, and the efforts that she put into a marriage that wasn’t reciprocated in the same way?
She used to ask me if I would ever cheat on her and my response was always “I would like to believe that I am strong enough to never allow a single moment of sexual gratification to get in the way of the love that I have for you, but so that I never have to find out, I would never put myself into a situation where that would be a possibility.” That was always the truth, much the same as the fictional marriage I have placed above, and I would like to think that I would never put myself into a situation where I would inevitably break someone’s heart. What does that mean though for me? Does that mean that I would never place myself into a situation where the moments that have led me to this point in my life could actually make me happy once again? The 18 year relationship, the kids, the house, the move, the love, love, love that I gave to her every day, then the divorce, the heartbreak, the searching, what if all of that shitty shit was to get me to this point where I need to be HERE right now. Things happen for a reason right? You know that explanation for the unexplainable. The words that are supposed to bring us comfort while our minds search for reason. This is happening for a reason and you just have to wait to see what that reason is. Fuck that, please can there just be a note inside of a fortune cookie just once that actually speaks to the reasoning behind this upheaval, instead of learning some dumb fact about a rooster that I don’t even care about. I am getting sick of just waiting, I can hear Morgan Freeman telling me to “get busy living, or get busy dying” and I cannot decide which one to take which then of course makes Morgan Freeman frustrated and that is the last thing I want is to frustrate him. He gets all high pitched and anxious, stomping his feet around the living room of my new apartment pouting, ultimately upsetting my downstairs neighbor who then calls the land lord and I am evicted. Morgan Freeman then takes no responsibility for getting me kicked out and just leaves. He just leaves me there homeless, on the street with all of my stuff piled at my feet as I sit on the curb waiting for the inevitable rain to start to. Breath, deep breathes.
Let’s pull this in a bit more, I do not apologize for the rant, it is his fault and he knows it. The light shines through my windows each morning, which is usually a few minutes after my cat decides that he is hungry and if he doesn’t eat now he will most likely perish instead of allowing me just a few more minutes of sleep. This light, let’s call it, oh I don’t know, sunlight for the sake of a better term hits my window each morning alerting me that I must wake up and figure this stuff out once more. It has happened this way since I moved to the new city, in the old place I had black out curtains, so yeah haha fuck off sun. So I roll out of bed, the far side of the bed, grab my glasses, do the old man scratch, pick up my cell phone and walk the long way around the bed to the door. Each day I open that door hoping to find that there is a clue waiting for me in some magically delivered box. I will take this box, sit down on my “pathetic bachelor futon” as it was once referred, and open it. Inside will be a note and it will read something profound which will immediately awaken to life’s new direction. This box of course never gets delivered. Usually it is just new sheets or something that I ordered off of Amazon that I forgot about, but I digress. Being the over thinker that I am I examine each moment of each day trying to find a clue. Just something simple, something no one else would notice (because I am way smarter than everyone of course) and boom, my life has meaning once again. This also never happens, instead I look like I belong in an Oddity Museum for the faces I make when I am searching for something or thinking too deeply about something making people think I am creepy and ultimately flee. This leaves me feeling insecure and ultimately I run up into the hills to live as a hermit never to be heard from again until I feel the apocalypse is coming and I must warn everyone wearing nothing but a cardboard sign, and again they flee.
You may be wondering what this all means? You may be wondering if I have been drinking or taking part in the legal mid altering substances that my new state has to offer? Sadly, I am stone cold sober, this is just the way my mind goes from time to time. I guess what I have convinced myself is that there are millions and millions of pieces that make up my life. From the smallest of moments like buying a new record, sharing a quick glance or a laugh, finding a penny, or just taking a walk on the beach, to the life changing experiences such as marriage, my boys, a new friend, my old friends, a move, a divorce, and a new job. Then there is the falling part, of the pieces I mean, I cannot control how they will fall, where they will fall, or when they will fall, they will just fall. The pieces of my life are just like that, I need to let them fall like a gentle feather or like a heavy snow but I have to allow them to just fall into the place where they are meant to be. When they build and build into something that I need to be aware of maybe it will be completely obvious and I couldn’t miss it. It will slap me right in the face and shout “I AM HERE!!!” Then I will know, like when I met her, or when my boys were born, that this is life changing. Until that moment the less time I spend watching each feather drift and glide its way down or each individual snowflake descend to the ground, staring at them so intently that I miss the pile that is forming right in front of me the better. The pieces will fall where they need to fall and so will I. So goodnight Morgan Freeman, thanks a lot, seriously classy move man.