Tag Archives: romance

You’re My Charlie Brown

Those who read here will realize that I don’t often post on weekends. I do often post from what inspires me. Often that’s good writing by others, either musically, cinematically, hell . . . even phonetically or telephonically. Regardless, when something strikes me, I tend to share it.

This is one of those times.

My oldest, Abbi
My oldest, Abbi

Abbi, my oldest, convinced me I needed to see this movie that starred, of all people Alyssa Milano. You remember her, right? The little girl from Who’s the Boss and that show Charmed from the ’90s (of which I can only remember that a Morrissey song was the theme . . . sorry!). I didn’t groan but must have had a skeptical look on my face. Abbi, you see, has a heart of gold, though she tries to act sometimes that the gold has some frost coating it. That golden pumper in there absolutely adores a good romantic movie, particularly a comedy.

The funny thing is, I began to love those same movies . . . the crazy silly ones, not the sappy classic ones . . . and sat many nights watching them with her. We saw Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade and loved it. We’ve compared what works best from each version of Sabrina – the Billy Wilder and Sidney Polak versions. We saw John Cusack, Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks, Bogie, Bacall, all of them.

Then came this movie . . . titled My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend.

Abbi informed me that the writer struggled to get it made and finally . . . Milano offered to help produce it just so the film could get to the screen. She plays a lead along with a character actor who’s in some decent television stuff. Abbi hooked me in when she told me Beau Bridges and Carol Kane were in it as well.

But she got me to watch because she said the main guy reminded her of me. He’s a writer – who makes little money at it. He buys gifts for Milano that mean something rather than just expensive things. He jumps in front of her and covers her when a car is about to splash them rather than bemoaning how awful it was. She said all those things were actions she’d not only heard I had done but witnessed them herself. . . things I couldn’t tell you about but she swears are true.

So I watched the film . . . and it’s just . . . good. I mean, it’s not Citizen Kane, don’t get that impression. But it’s, I don’t know, just more accurate to life. I won’t give away the plot twist – though I had it pegged fairly early – but it’s a film I watched and for weeks it’s stuck with me. One line, which my daughter called to my attention before we watched the film, in particular.

“You’re my Charlie Brown,” says Milano to her boyfriend.

Kissing my wife, Andrea
Kissing my wife, Andrea

“What?”

Here’s the brief explanation . . . and I remember the reference from the Charlie Brown specials. Eventually, after years of angst and pain, Charlie Brown gets a kiss from the Little Red-Haired girl on the cartoons. When she does it, Charlie Brown floats and flies through the air.
“When you kiss me, I feel like I can fly,” she says, “just like Charlie Brown in that cartoon. Nobody’s ever done that before, but you. You’re my Charlie Brown.”

“It’s so cuute!,” my daughter says. And she’s right . . . and so’s the movie.

It’s really not how good you kiss, or how great you are in bed or even how many people you’ve dated. It’s the feeling you get when you’re with that person who sees you and gets you. You do feel like you can fly.

So many people say to settle or lower standards or even to just be happy. But I don’t want my daughters . . . hell, my sons, even, to feel that way. I want them to kiss that little red-haired girl (or brown, or blonde or brunette) and fly. Love is the one thing that simultaneously separates us from both animal and machine. We feel our whole bodies change when that person even approaches us. Our brains are basically organic computers . . . so why do smells or songs or stories make us suddenly remember and our hearts start to race?

I want my kids to have that.

I kind of want it again, too.

Now if there was just a little red-haired girl nearby . . .

Nights in White Satin

Nights in White Satin (Single Edit) by the Moody Blues from the LP Days of Future Past

OK, it’s a stretch for a tie-in, I’ve just been dying to use that song for a headline.

But nights are seriously becoming less tedious for me.  I started writing due to the slow and maddeningly quiet time.  It’s a hard thing to watch your children go to bed and realize that you’ve been unable to process your own life because you’ve been  keeping yourself busy and moving forward knowing that you have them counting on you.  It’s not that I’ve suppressed a lot of feelings or grief, you’ve seen and read a lot of it.  But when your day starts really early and ends really late you don’t really think very much about your life.  It’s something triggered by smells, touch, thoughts, all of that.  It’s not something that you prepare for until you’ve realized you’re in the house and the only one awake.  You can’t relax because you are left to think about what you have and, more importantly, what you don’t have.

But this last few weeks my oldest daughter has been staying up.  I should be the dutiful Dad and force her to go to bed, even at 17.  She needs the rest, teenagers don’t think they do, they’re immortal after all, but they’d be dead wrong, too.  I had the ability to sleep until noon at that age, though I stayed up really late.  You’d think, being a man, I’d dislike the constant romantic comedies or the horribly sickening trash reality shows.  But I actually like them now.  Not for the reasons you might think, though, it’s not that they completely got under my skin.  Sure, I liked the Scottish girl on Abbi’s show America’s Next Top Model.  Like her Mom, she enjoys the romance and British romantic comedies.  I actually like the hopeful tone and the smiles my daughter gets . . . the tension she feels when the romantic leads don’t meet up.  It’s fun to watch her so hopeful.

Don’t get me wrong, though.  We don’t watch just those things.  We were enamored and tried to analyze the last episode of Steven Moffat’s Sherlock.  (How in the hell did he stage his own death and Watson didn’t figure it out?!  No possible way CBS will even get this close to right.)  We’ve seen action pictures.  We have Alien on reserve so that we can watch that before seeing Prometheus in the theaters.  It’s more the opportunity to spend some time with her, really.  That’s the big thing.

Now, you might be thinking I’m just putting off my own feelings and being selfish by spending the time with her and should be making her go to bed or doing whatever she needs to do.  School’s out for her, bear in mind, and she has those opportunities.  She asks me to go out with friends and I let her.  She asks me to go to movies, all of that.  I let her do that, too, within reason.  The odd time she forgets to tell me something or springs a last-minute redezvous with friends on me I tend to be pernicious with her and push her to remember that she’s not just taking on responsibility, she has a responsibility to tell me what she’s doing and where she’s going.

But no, I’m not using these evenings just for the company, though that’s really nice.  Not many Dads can say their kids like to spend time with them and I’m lucky enough, at least right now, to have that.  I only have another year left so I’m going to take my breaks where I can get them.  No . . . the big thing is, at least for me, that I also have the opportunity to talk with her about the very things that we’re watching.  She wants to go into drama.  A crappy, horribly written and badly acted rom-com is something we can talk about how it went wrong.  We can watch her Mom’s favorite one – Sleepless in Seattle – and even though Abbi loves Norah Ephron, talk about the fact that the leads live on opposing coasts – something that even Tom Hanks brings up in the movie.  We can talk about whether the ending is truly that happy.  Sure, it’s very hopeful, but is Meg Ryan really going to leave her job at the Baltimore Sun . . . without another gig at, say the Post Intelligencer?  Where are Meg’s friends?

Then there’s the ones that actually have a touch of reality in them.  I, personally, think that the Hollywood machine – lately in particular – have gotten out of control.  We both particularly disliked  the Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis movie . . . with the exception of how they analyze the manipulation of the audience during one romantic comedy they watch on the television.  It’s actually quite clever.  “There it is . . . a jaunty little pop song at the end to make you feel good without ever really tying in to the movie’s theme.  Why the hell is that even in there?”  (No complaints about letting my 17-year-old watch a movie about friends having sex.  At least we have a healthy enough relationship to talk about this.)

But the real movies are the ones that tend to give me more opportunity to have decent discussions.  It’s not like a book club, folks.  I don’t sit with her after the credits have started to roll and then talk about the movie in deep analysis.  It’s not Inside the Actors Studio here.  I don’t ask her favorite sounds or those three random questions from that annoying French philosopher they always end their show with.  But the chance to have a conversation here and there with her so that I can get in my thoughts and let her formulate her own are priceless.  The last few have really hit home.  We watched a cute little independent called Take Me Home that had neither lead kissing each other through the entire film.  They slowly got closer and then didn’t end up together.  In fact it wasn’t until the final scene she ended up meeting up with the man she’d fallen in love with and even then they showed the two people walking toward each other and faded to black.  That, my friends, is more reality than the spinning steady-cam roll 720 degrees in a sickeningly naseous ride while the guy tries to map his love interest’s tonsils with his tongue.

“That movie was nice.  It’s like real life,” was my intuitive daughter’s line.  Sure, it’s insanely hopeful still, but I got to at least poke at the reality bubble a little.

Then there’s When Harry Met Sally. ( I know, I know, there’s the fake orgasm scene.  Again – seventeen folks.  Do you honestly think I had never seen that when it came out?  How many Playboys do you think I hadn’t read by the time I’d reached her age?  Give it a rest.  At least it’s reality this way.)  This Rob Reiner movie written by Norah Ephron is probably closer to the dichotomy of men and women than anything I’ve ever watched with her before.  It’s enough for me to forgive the sweetness and false hope of Seattle.  During the movie my daughter says “I hate it when people say that!” when Billy Crystal says men and women can’t be “friends”, the sex gets in the way.

You’re probably going to think I’m crazy, but I agree with her.  I have a number of female friends.  I have male friends, too.  I don’t want to have sex with any of them, either.  To me the bigger, more important message of the movie – the one many people miss in the mess of emotions and “sex gets in the way” message is the fact that Harry and Sally are friends.  You see all the older couples talking about love at first sight – and I had that.  They also talk about being together and being happy.  I had that, too.  But most importantly, like the two of them in the movie, I was great friends with Andrea long before we dated.  She was part of a circle of people that I worked with, a clique of reporters and crew members that had to put the newscast together every night.  We hung out.  We joked.  She was maddening and frustrating and would fight me on every turn.  So when Billy Crystal tells Meg Ryan that “I love the fact that when you leave my clothes still have the smell of your perfume on them.”  He loves that he wants to tell her everything.  She’s the one person he wishes he could talk to when things aren’t right and while they had sex and it messed everything up, it really just opened the doorway to let them walk down that new path.

Most important, though, is the fact that she looks at him after all that and says she hates him.  You may think that’s a silly takeaway, but it’s true.  Real life isn’t “oh, that’s how you feel?  OK.  No problem.  Let’s kiss intimately in front of 100 strangers and act like the world isn’t here and not think we’re making a spectacle of ourselves.”  He was mean, awful, grumpy, and stupid.  That’s not an easy thing to forgive or to overcome.  They don’t say it can’t be done . . . but they do say it’s there.  It’s whether or not you truly love that other person – whether your truly like that person that gives you the indication if it can work.

So when John Cusak brings the boom box over his head, my daughter can sigh and get misty.  But when that same Cusack realized years later in High Fidelity that he’s being stupid by flirting with the rock mag’s cute writer and his life was far more worthwhile being with the woman he’d fought to keep . . . when his love interest, after losing her father, wants to have sex because she wants to feel something – just anything – but the pain she’s feeling . . . that’s more real.  My daughter gets small glimpses into reality.

To continue the movie metaphors . . . Reality Bites, sure.  But it’s the small details . . . the mechanisms of emotions that miraculously click into place, the fates letting the book with her phone number show up at the precise moment; the rhythm guitarist spilling a whiskey sour on your blue jeans so you have to go out with your future girlfriend and friends rather than staying and breaking down gear; the moment of cognition when you realize that you’re friends but you never want this to end, like so many friendships really do.  That’s real.

That’s what makes these nights in white satin.  (OK, not the best closing line, I had to come full circle somehow.  They can’t all be winners!)

Dickensian Thoughts

My girls

Eyes of Silver by the Doobie Brothers from “What Were Once Vices are Now Habits”

My two daughters are now in the mode where their choice of movie is less Wallace and Gromit and more Love Actually.  It’s not a massive problem, I don’t dislike RomComs, they serve their purpose and give hope to two little girls.

Before I met my wife, I used to think that they were silly, without purpose.  I didn’t find love, didn’t find anyone who would treat me well, none of it.  I thought the possibility of that was more than a little far-fetched.  I was, quite simply, the “other guy” of the romantic comedy.  I was the allergy-ridden ex-boyfriend of Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle.  I was the nerdy guy that ended up not getting the girl.

But I got my romantic comedy.  It ended up with the wrong ending, but I got it nonetheless.  I met the woman far out of my league.  She met a guy she thought would treat her like someone should be treated.  I had been told by more than a few people that the crazy, silly things that happened throughout our relationships could have been perfect rom-com fodder.  From getting blown off because it would take too long for Andrea to put her makeup on . . . to proposing to her at the airport before she got on a plane to be out of town for a week.  The fact we shouldn’t have ended up together at all could make interesting and funny material.

But we’re not a Hollywood story.  To start, real life was happening in-between the Ephron-isms that followed us around.  We had serious problems at major points in our marriage.  My wife got insanely jealous at one point and it created a serious problem for us, made all more awful by the fact that I just hadn’t realized that it was bothering her.  I was so bewildered by the fact anyone would have thought I was that worthwhile that I didn’t take it seriously.  But that’s the problem: my poor self-reflection also accidentally told her I thought she was settling when she married me.  She never thought that.  I always did.

But the whole rom-com point here is the fact that I am faced with having bigger discussions with these amazing girls of mine.  It’s very hard to balance because I did have that kind of amazing storybook buildup and dating life.  My kids saw us married, knew we had already fallen in love, heard the stories of our dating from our own mouths and the glassy-eyed, foggy-memoried tales from our friends and family.  The tale is more than the truth.  What my kids don’t hear about is the clinical depression their Mom faced; the lack of intimacy that grew because as the years wore on the date rape their Mom had endured ate away at her and at us as time wore on.  It wore on, got worse and so did the arguments.  It’s not a pretty chapter of our lives and I wish I could erase it, but it’s there, burned into the flesh of my brain.

I want my girls to have the Fairy Tale.  I want them to get the right guy, not settle.  They’re worth pampering and primping and loving.

Finally I’d come to the conclusion that I had to lay the cards on the table, at least with my oldest.  The reality, I’ve told her this evening, is that her mother and I were friends long before we were married.  It’s here we buck the Hollywood trend.  The atypical script says “I don’t want to ruin what we have – I don’t want to ruin our friendship!”  It’s wrong.  Love can’t cover it all.  If it did, Eric Clapton and Patty Boyd would still be married – the fairytale ending to Layla.  But even when I was not dating Andrea, I wanted to tell her when things went right and have her comfort me when things went wrong.  When she had a hard time I wanted to fix it.  When she got stood up I wanted to kick the guy in the teeth.  Love is amazing and beautiful.  Friendship is permanent and fun and connected.

We were watching a television version of a Dickens story – the Mystery of Edwin Drood.  It’s typical Dickensian melodrama, and it will come as no surprise to those who know me I am quoting Dickens.  I love the language and the structure in the man’s writing.  I own a 1900 copy of A Christmas Carol.    I have read Great Expectations a number of times.  In “Drood” the woman – magnet to the affections of the wrong kind of man – asks her guardian what it’s like to finally find true love.  “True love,” says the man to his ward . . . “is always returned.”

It’s a simple line but so true.  What I want for all four kids isn’t the romantic comedy.  I want they to love and find that, without reservation or hesitation, it’s returned with no price paid.  Love is easy.  True love is something that is given and received.

It’s hard when you’re 12 or 17 to see the Hollywood version and then hear your Dad tell you that that good looking guy who gets everything is likely never going to be “the one” but the decent looking guy who makes you laugh and holds you when things go wrong – he’s the guy.  I’m their Dad, and after this last year, I doubt anyone will ever be good enough for them in my eyes.  But I do think they deserve to be happy and loved.  I just want them to realize and recognize it when it comes.

It’s amazing that after more than a hundred years Charles Dickens can spark such a philosophical discussion.  But when my daughters see the romantic comedy and the instant attraction I want them to realize that it’s not always the guy you lock eyes with across the room.  Sometimes it’s they guy who wipes your eyes when it doesn’t go well.

Andrea had stormy blue-grey eyes that were like the sky after a thunderstorm.  Abbi’s are eyes of silver.  All three of my girls – my late wife, Andrea, Abbi – the oldest and Hannah- my middle – smile with those eyes.  The silver pouring into your soul.  Both kids think that guys aren’t there who will understand them.  But my Dad found a woman who laughed with him and understood how he thought.  So did I, for awhile.  It’s not impossible, it’s just a bit Dickensian.

…Things Have a Way of Growing Downward.

It’s funny the way our brains and emotions work, it really is.

I mean, things are crazy.  It doesn’t just rain, it’s rain forest monsoon pouring.

I have one child that is now marked – he can’t even be near trouble at school because the tendency will be to assume he’s part of the problem even if he’s just standing on the corner of the playground with nothing to do with the fight.  I have another that has showed me her planner for all her assignments but actually didn’t write them down, so I wasn’t even able to see all the assignments she had NOT turned in.  She doesn’t turn in her homework.  Now, she’s at a point where the possibility of her even moving on to another grade is in question.  That’s on top of facing the fact that my oldest daughter is dealing with her raging pubescent hormones and trying to figure out life in a public high school surrounded by both sexes.  All of this is occurring on the busiest, most stressful time of year for someone in TV, the buildup to the November ratings period.  Due to family dramas I’ve had to take a week’s vacation I didn’t have, burn sick days that didn’t exist and take at least 2 days without pay.

Remember that scene in “Romancing the Stone” where Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner have the ground fall out from under them and get swept down a cliff on a rushing river of new water?  That’s me right now.  I’m at the point where fighting the current has pushed me against so many rocks and tree branches that I’m now getting hurt just trying to fight the raging rapids.  It took me too long to realize I need to just ride out the water.

And we’re exactly a week from Andrea’s birthday.  She’d be 41 this year.  So I must just be missing her so much that it makes my head explode, right?  Well . . . yeah, that’s right, but not the reasons you’re thinking.  Not the reasons you’d suspect looking at the way things are playing out above.

I miss her more than anything, but it’s not that she would have backed my discipline.  It’s not that she’d have a great, amazing idea to fix Hannah’s lack of academic ability.  (She would, by the way, so don’t think it isn’t on my mind)  It’s not even that she would know just how to handle the life of a 16-year-old because she knows just how to handle everything and help our daughter get through all the problems and now how to flirt and figure out how to be the amazing young woman I know she is.  She’d be all that, absolutely.

No, the curious thing I am missing most isn’t really tangible.

I miss that feeling.  I was never a fan of the Righteous Brothers, and excuse my bastardization of their intellectual property, but I’ve lost that fuzzy feeling.  That fuzzy, hazy, warm feeling that grows inside you as you get closer to someone you really love.  It’s not that intense butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling you get when you’re first dating someone.  Sure, that’s a wonderful thing, but I’m way beyond the age where puppy love really approaches enjoyment, don’t you think?

No, I mean the happiness I got knowing I am about to see the person I love, and knowing full well she really does love me.  I had a long time coming to terms and belief that it was true, but you get past that.  You throw everything at them and they at you.  Not that you’re pushing them to take on your stresses from work but that you need to talk things out and there’s just nobody who gets what you’re going through like they do.

Andrea and I took way too long to get there, by the way.  It’s not that our marriage took us on a long winding path.  It was getting to engagement.  Understand, our friends and family all think we met, love at first sight, and loved each other madly.  Sure, I think that love was there, but neither of us acted on it right away.

I miss the things that should be ingrained in my DNA: how her lips felt on my cheek; the feel of her arms when they wrapped around my waist or neck; the press of her skin as she lay next to me in bed.

I can remember so many random things, things from early on that are burned into the back of my retinas so I can seen them when i close my eyes.  I can remember the first time we went out. I’ve said that the first “date” we went on was to see the band Rush at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha.  That wasn’t the first time we’d gone out together, though.  The first time was very different.  Andrea started her life in television doing Entertainment for the station where we worked in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  The particular day I remember (one I’ve chronicled before in briefer form) involved her review of an Alec Baldwin movie.  I arrived early to work, which was typical for me, and she was heading out the door quite late, which was typical for her.  I was painfully shy, and she was insanely beautiful, so I was not able to muster much in terms of trying to flirt or make conversation.  I was able to ask how it was going, polite as part of my Midwestern upbringing.

But she just wasn’t having any of it.  That simple line, the phrase I knew was absurdly pathetic “how’s it going” was not going to be enough for her.

“I’m so late, I have to review this awful movie, I have free passes, and I have to get going all the way to Indian Hills!”  If you ever made it to Omaha in the ’60s through the millennium, you’d would know that we were sitting a good 20 minutes inside Iowa, then having to drive from there, across the river, and another 90 blocks to the West side of the city to a theater that had several screens and was showing an advance screening of the film.  Andrea stopped herself, looked me in the eye and said with a mischievous grin, “want to come with me?”

I was the only director.  I’d come straight from school, had no place else to go and was planning to get to work on a school project.  It was close to noon.  If I didn’t make it back by 3pm my life would be hell if I tried to put an entire newscast’s pre-production together in that time frame.  No sane person would even think about it.

It’s precisely why I said “yes”.

I knew I looked silly, by the way.  My hair was awful, I wore a dress shirt with a colored t-shirt or concert shirt underneath (typical for the era, though I didn’t pull it off well) and topped the fall look off with a black trenchcoat that I thought made me look like Dickey Betts on the cover of the latest Allmann Brothers record.  She drove with me in a rose-colored 1985 Oldsmobile that I owned and happily drove along.  She had shoulder-length blonde hair that a stylist the station had a contract with convinced her to put in a perm.  She hated it, telling me so during the drive, but I thought it made her look amazing.  She had a black blazer covered in white polka-dots and silk pants that flowed very well behind almost like a Westernized version of Ali Baba pants and they accentuated her height.  (She was tall, 5 foot 10)  She had a tendency to wear t-shirts from Express, a store where she worked to supplement her income, with what they called a “sweetheart” neckline.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit that the very neckline drew my attention, but she was amazing in how she just blew through the formalities of being with someone and just talked like we’d been fast friends for years.

The movie, coincidentally, was a horrible flick called “The Marrying Man”, an excuse for Alec Baldwin to get in a movie with then-wife Kim Basinger.  I remember nothing about it.  I remember, though, watching her, taking notes, sitting next to me, the looks in the audience amazed at the woman and who she was with.  I remember her grabbing my hand, laughing at some lame joke.  She bent over to pick up a notebook and looked up to catch me looking down at her as her t-shirt bloused outward just a little.  Instead of chastising me she smiled at my red face, made more silly by my olive skin.  She was absolutely brilliant.

There are more intimate memories.  The night we first kissed . . . she’d spent the entire night talking with me, about where I came from, why I played music, how I ended up here.  About how she met Leslie Stall, towering over the woman but feeling 3 inches tall next to her.  How her Mom was from Nebraska, even lived down the street from my grandparents during WWII.  We talked about our families and she brought up a problem her sister was having.  She laid her head on my shoulder, upset by whatever it was her sister was going through, a tear coming down her cheek.  I already had my arms around her.  I kissed her forehead, and she looked up at me, a moment I truly wish I could just freeze and live in for eternity, those amazing greyish-blue eyes looking through mine like they could see inside me – see the person who really was sitting there, not just pandering to her to get her to like me.  It was a moment filled with wonder, and I didn’t, for the first time in my entire life, have to think or try or anything.  I had this amazing woman looking at me, so close I could feel the brush of her nose against mine . . . and I kissed her.  I can’t imagine it was a phenomenal kiss worthy of note to most people, but I thought it was amazing.  And that’s all we needed.  In fact, that night, it’s all that happened.  We had stayed up talking all night, drank a couple too many Miller Lites, it was late, nearly 3am, and I had kissed this amazing, beautiful woman.  She fell asleep in my arms.  I know this all sounds too silly, romanticized to the point of being maybe a bit too romantic.  It’s too contrived to be true, but it’s absolutely how it happened.  I can close my eyes and see it all.

That’s the problem.  I have to close my eyes to see it.  I don’t see her in my dreams like some people have told me they do.  I don’t feel a brush on the back of my neck and think “She’s standing there watching me”.

I am truly here, without her.  I didn’t get the “grow old together, love each other, sickness and health, watch each other as our kids grow older” lifetime.  I had it good and perfect for awhile, but that was it.  Awhile.  I don’t get the rest of our lives.  I got ’till death do us part.  I don’t get to come home and feel that warm comfort of knowing that those eyes will look into mine again.  I remember these amazing moments and it kills me that I write them down now and never told them to her.  Did she know what those moments meant for me?  Were they as insanely amazing for her as they were for me?

Sure, I see the pieces of her, the brilliant parts of Andrea that walk around in our kids.  It is a comfort to have them around me and know that they don’t think I’ve screwed up too badly, even though I have – for their school, for personal projects, financially, emotionally (for Noah especially) but they don’t come at me like I’ve hurt them too badly, or strayed so far off the road that it’s not within sight anymore.  I just don’t have the person waiting for me at home, the warm feeling I got, the closer I approached my house, waiting to feel her arms around me, that has left a terrible emptiness.

The attached song has hung over me a lot this last few days.

In my life, things have a way of growin’ downward.

So I don’t know if I can watch myself be a coward . . . again.

I only use this line because she made me a better person.  She made me stronger.  It is so true, I don’t want to watch myself turning onto that fork she veered me from.  She can’t save me again, she won’t be around.  Why did’t I ever tell her that?  Why didn’t I remember all these amazing things about her when I could say them while looking inter her eyes?  What do you do when you face the hard reality that you have nothing but your own two feet?  I have to find out, I just don’t want to right now because I’m afraid what the answer might be.

11 In My Life by Gov’t Mule, from the album Life Before Insanity