It's a shame that you won't see me when I need you tonight,
'Cos I know that if you did then everything would be right.
And I've tried my very best to give the things that you need,
But the blues, they seem to follow me; I never succeed...
A lot can change in twelve months.
Twelve months ago tonight, I was spending my first night in the Lyndhurst apartment after moving my stuff in with plenty of help from my good friend Barbara. Jon, my roommate, wouldn't stay overnight for a few days yet. Gina, my honey who conveniently also lived in Lyndhurst, and I made a quick run to Shop-Rite together, and she bought me a Freschetta pizza; I didn't have a baking sheet, though, and threw it right on the oven rack, and the melting, burning cheese set off the fire alarm. Good way to announce oneself to the neighbors...
Twelve months ago, David, the credit manager at AA World Class, was hospitalized after experiencing chest pains. I had to fill in for him, and as I told my friend Dawn at the time, "It's a little scary being the guy who's doing the payroll, the checks, the wire transfers, the deposits, the credit checks, AND the computers." David is OK now, and we exchange the occasional E-mail after both having our jobs disappear when AA was absorbed by Carolace Industries less than two months later. By all accounts, I'm much better off not being there anymore.
Twelve months and eight days ago, I had to have my beloved cat Ozzy put to sleep. Yes, he was often a pain, and he kept me from reading in my own bed for eleven years, but I still loved him. Sadly, old age caught up to him at last, and his kidneys were failing. I did have Gina and Barbara with me during those difficult moments, and I'm glad that Gina's daughter Hannah got to see him one last time, and that she didn't really understand what was going on. While Jon and I both like cats, neither of us has any desire for another one right now.
Twelve months ago, Howard Dean was at the front of the Democratic pack of presidential candidates, and he seemed likely to give Dubya a run for his money. Tonight, as I'm writing this, John Kerry is trailing slightly behind the incumbent, but neither man is a shoe-in.
Twelve months ago, I was not only writing but also recording music again, and finishing my Sisyphean album within the next year seemed not altogether unrealistic. Today, it's complete.
Twelve months ago, you understand, while my life was a bit more of a whirlwind than usual, I was happy. Gina made me happy, truly happy. And she still does. But twelve months hasn't been enough additional time for Gina to deal with her own source of pain, and once again she has told me that she can't be in a relationship right now and be fair to us both.
We're both still trying to adjust to this and discover what it means to us. It does not mean that either of us loves the other any less, nor does it mean that we're not going to see each other or speak with each other anymore; in fact, I just got off the phone with her. But, obviously, "Everything's Different Now" (a song I'm still writing). I'm fighting back a depression which waited until Halloween to truly manifest itself. Reading "Bag of Bones" isn't helping, though I hadn't anticipated that when I borrowed it from the library. We need to work out our new dynamic, or facing the upcoming holidays alone will smother me. I've even taken down the mistletoe until we're "together" again, though that won't stop me from kissing her as long as she'll let me. I'm going to Boston this weekend, a mini-vacation that may prove more therapeutic than fun, and I hope that she and I can get together soon after I return. In the meantime, my eyes get misty once in a while.
A lot can change in twelve months.
- A (firstname.lastname@example.org)