I like JG’s habit of using song lyrics as blog titles. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I hope she’ll feel flattered rather than imitated. My poor tortured brain is a repository for all sorts of song lyrics. Some are mine, some are not … some are famous, some obscure. They’re all in there, like a free-form database, organized in their disorganization.
It’s been a while since I felt like writing, mainly because I just didn’t want to write another downer of a blog. Then someone (you know who you are. Thank you.) reminded me why I write in the first place, and encouraged me to get my lazy fingers typing again.
Just when I thought I’d gotten my emotional turmoil under control and am trying to look ahead, Valentine’s Day hits, and brings it all back to the forefront. Do the folks who get all excited about Valentine’s Day realize how much their celebrations underscore and intensify the loneliness of a person who has no “valentine” upon whom to shower red gifts and attention? It’s a new perspective for me. I’ve looked at it from both sides now*.
All around me lately, I see lives thrown into turmoil by this thing we call romantic love. We can’t live without it, then we can’t live with it, then we can’t seem to survive its loss. We look at people and in fits of unbridled optimism decide that we know them, only to find out later that we didn’t really know everything, and never could have known, and we think, wasn’t that a silly idea? We decide that we can change, become what another person really wants, and then seem honestly shocked when we find that we can only change who we look like, not who we are**.
Every time I see someone else going through this awful time of loss, or through the kind of betrayal that one blogringer is now dealing with, I feel empathy, and I feel helpless. It’s one of the few situations where a loudmouthed guy like me is completely at a loss as to what I could say. Nothing’s going to help, I know that from personal experience. When you’ve a conflict with someone you love, then with or without them it’s still a fight, every night***.
With the big red heart day over with, I am trying to get myself back into the correct frame of mind. Work helps, and I’m doing lots of it. I don’t get out much. Most evenings that I’m not working are spent at home, either on the computer or in front of the TV, playing with the birds and talking to them, giving the cats lots of attention, and doing what’s needed to keep the apartment tidy. I’ve never been a great housekeeper, but I’m finding that having a routine helps. Now and then I get to meet up with a friend or two, which is always good. It’s not quite like having a life, but it’s close enough for now.
Vacuum cleaners are the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the consumer. Either you pay someone like Electrolux or Rainbow or Dyson an amount equal to the gross national product of India to get a machine that actually works, or you do what I did and pay a hundred or so. For that, you get a machine that runs for about ten minutes, then clogs, requiring a new filter that is not available from any retailer, anywhere. Oh, you can wash the filter, which will return it to like-new condition, but then you must let it dry for 24 hours before using it again, at which time it will promptly clog again after 10 minutes. Joy.
Maybe I’ll start checking the vacuum-repair shops and see if I can find an older, more solid machine that needs a good home.
* Joni Mitchell
** Jackson Browne
*** Karla Bonoff