"No one respects the flame quite like the fool who's badly burned....." --Pete Townshend, "Slit Skirts"
(DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG ENTRY WAS WRITTEN LIKE A WEEK BEFORE GUY FRIEND & I STRAIGHTENED THE WHOLE MESS OUT, WHICH WAS A HUGE MISUNDERSTANDING & WE'RE NOT MAD OR CONFUSED ANYMORE.)
Guy Friend was in the doghouse. Why, you ask?
I'd loaned him my copy of Pete Townshend's autobiography, "Who I Am," some time ago. Before the jigsaw puzzle making vacation with Lady GuyGuy, during which he could've blown her off, headed back to Chicago and done crazy shit with me, not that he remotely would. The Who is his favorite band. I thought he'd be fascinated by Townshend's stories and legends. He seemed to be enjoying reading it, as he had when he delved into Keith Richards' autobiography. Honest to Christ, I got Townshend's book months ago and hadn't read any of it as of the time I loaned it to Guy. I *think* I remember that Townshend is bipolar, and knew he dealt with addiction and was a little off-his-rocker, but all great rockers are.
I'd kept Guy abreast of the first week of school via text, and he has a hard time deciphering my tone through text, which is understandable. But for some reason, he got really, really crapoly hostile towards me in an email late the other night, especially about the last section of the Pete Townshend book. "Skimmed through the last third of the book last night." He said, "The post World War II generation were quite depressive, self-absorbed, and at times psychotic. The heroin and alcoholism didn't help." Every critical point he made, however? My impression at the time was: BAM BAM BAM. Right at the Offbeat Drummer, not The Who. Something about the book REALLY ticked his buttons, and I still didn't know what. He's typically been the last person to criticize my mental illness, has never historically treated my mental illness and addictions as anything different than my asthma, but oh my, was he in a mood last week and yes, I feel strongly that he took his aggravation/aggression/repression out on me, and I didn't appreciate it one bit.
He said, "You always have the answers." Um, no I don't. I never do. I'm tripping without knowing what the hell's going on and fly along all the time in the first place. The answers to what, Guy? What in hell are you talking about?
I have no shame in sharing my reply, because it was spot on:
Once again, I've asked repeatedly how your mom is doing and you've blown me off when I genuinely am interested. You won't even tell me her first name (as I've repeatedly asked) so I can include her in prayers to Jesus, Krishna, Buddha or whomever the Zoroastrians worship.
It didn't escape my intellect that you degraded and thumbed your nose off at artists, parents (evil or not), musicians and creatives, the mentally ill, women's rights and those with apparent prowess, alcoholics and drug addicts in 7 simple, poorly-constructed statements all directed right at my face. I guess payback's a bitch, but it'd be a surreal experience to live even one day as milquetoast as if I was in the generically vanilla Herman's Hermits as opposed to swirled, colorful flavors of The Who.
Your cloistered branch of the late-Bloomer generation doesn't take into account that these fellas out of Britain weren't from university-educated families post WW 2. They meandered through what we consider "high school" (if they were lucky) or went to trade apprenticeship or art school in a volatile environment of a destroyed landscape. Their outlet was listening to music they acquired from America, especially the blues. They didn't have direction and money and examples of how to succeed in life (Jagger be damned, he went to the London School of Economics). Look at Richards, Townshend, Lennon, all of them.
What resonates with my mother and me is Lennon, that his Auntie Mimi, with whom he lived, threw away all of his drawings and poems, and he told her he'd be famous someday and she'd regret it. He became someone and she probably felt like shit.
I won't expend the energy to tell you about today's class on counseling people for their career development. Maybe I'll acquire skills to help my newly-betrothed ex-husband find a job and get out of his mother's basement with his new bride, without too much trauma on my teenager. Stats is tomorrow.
You know me, but you have trouble electronically interpreting when I'm cheeky or when I'm serious. Frankly, your interpretations are as valid as mine reading your scathing, rapid email.
As my mother would say to me, "You have an answer and a pill for everything."
When you're done pissing and start honestly thinking about your mother's transition from birth to her eventual death, the technicality of the estate aside, think about duality. The soul is the same but the body is changing. We're born, and then our bodies die. Everything passes except the essence of that which is our soul, which is eternal and perpetually thriving. The same can be said of life while we're living, unless we choose to be stuck in a rut.
Syria, now with them, I sympathize.
Do return Pete's book....but the way you made me feel tonight, you could toss "The Velveteen Rabbit" in your fire pit and sod it off. Were you the horse or were you the live bunnies? I guess you'll never figure that out.
So yeah I started school last week, and happened to mention in a text that my professor on Tuesdays is an older, graying, handsome married man with grown children. I said something snarky in my text to Guy after school, after describing myself to the class as an introduction, "It's like shooting a dart in a bullseye." Meaning, just my type of attractive man, like Guy is attractive (though Guy's more attractive than this guy). He said by next Monday, I'll be able to "manipulate" all of my professors. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? He wished me luck with virtually everyone in my inner circle and outer reaches, and was just a general can of spotted dick, and sayonara. (Go back to the last blog, see "What Have I Done to Deserve This?")
(Turned out, my course I thought was statistics is really research methods, and will be not as challenging as I thought it would be and I feel pretty confident about it.) So Thursday was the last day of school for the week. Graduate school, Year 2, Week 1, complete. I let Guy know this in a text on my way to dinner.
After dinner, as Luke was at Craig's, my mom had some shopping to do and I had just brought my laptop and wares out to the patio to write and fuck around on the computer, when who should come walking through the townhouse courtyard but Guy himself. You need to understand Guy....he never just "stops over." He had the Townshend book in his hand to return, when he very well could've held on to it until the next time we got together socially. It wasn't urgent to return. What does this conclude?
Wow, Guy felt GUILTY. Why? Because he made me feel like SHIT. I felt like shit for DAYS.
He chose not to sit down at the patio table and I stood higher than he on the patio, while he was on the sidewalk. This gave me the advantage in the discussion by virtue of height. We had a brief but fine discussion, and while he never uttered an "I'm sorry, Annie," I knew he was, as was I. We exchanged a few warm hugs and in about 10 minutes, he was on his way home, having ignored a call from Lady GuyGuy while we were talking (at which point, I was strategically poised to toss his iPhone into the neighbor's weed pile), the wrap up being my weekend plans (the church picnic and not having Luke, and my ex-husband getting engaged). As per usual, we made plans to make plans to eventually make plans and work something out in the future as a social activity. Oh, Guy.
No, I don't really want him to throw away "The Velveteen Rabbit." I want him to read it and figure out which character with whom I identify him.
The Annie Consortium can't conclude anything any other reason for him stopping by than guilt for being so mean, and it was like a bad B movie after he left, when, on my computer, Chicago's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" came on. His tail was between his legs and I was in tears outside.
But poor Pete! Get your guitar out and windmill Guy across the forehead! D'oh! Poor me, I was the scapegoat! I told Meg it was like he watched "Silence of the Lambs," got scared, cowered and took it all out on me.
I think my British friend is right. Guy's a 12-year old boy trapped in an almost 60-year old man's body, and his email was nothing short of childish. Frankly, I'm shocked he read my email reply so quickly, because, as we know, he doesn't typically read or reply to emails in a "timely fashion."
I wish he wouldn't run so hot and cold, but that's always been his MO. Our pissing contests don't last very long. I usually run hot, but will respond with cold if confronted or insulted. Geez, even Adler knows this, when they accuse me of sending out snippy emails to people with PhD's, because I'm "disrespectful" in correspondence despite the fact I'm older, have a degree in writing (despite evidence to the contrary) and have lived a full life more than most of them, just by virtue of them having a few extra letters before and after their names. Fuck all o' y'all.
We'll give Guy a pass on this one. Mum Guy needs 24-hour care and is hanging in there, but more down than up. I know he's stressed, but dude, don't take it out on me OR Pete Townshend for that matter, you know?
GOD FORBID I loan him my copy of the parody "Goodnight Keith Moon."
Veronica found this song, and asked me if this seemed applicable to my relationship with Guy. I typically don't like P!nk, or however the fuck you punctuate her nAmE. But oh my, yes. If a guy pisses you off enough to cry outside, it's true love. If it wasn't, I'd get a case of Rolling Rock and break the glass bottles throwing them at a wall.