I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.2261 plays
Come and get your love…
My mother has a skip in the driveway because she’s preparing to throw away about 20 years of bad memories and worse home ownership. This afternoon she texted me that a bunch of my dad’s old records were in the basement and to come and look through them before they got tossed.
As I stepped into the long-vacant basement, I noticed that it still smells like the best parts of a lot of years I’ve tried to bury. It was my father’s space before he left, I think. As much as anything in Canada could be called his when everything he really wanted was an ocean or two away.
All three of my brothers lived in that basement at different times. I think we sometimes we all wish we were less like our parents, maybe actively try to avoid it, but my brothers and our dad will always have that spot in common. They all lived in it before leaving home. It chewed them up and spat them out any number of distances away.
It’s been a long time since I passed through that part of the house. I found the drawers the records were in and I sat on the floor, thinking about being reminded in High Fidelity that you should never stack records flat on top of one another because it compresses the vinyl. There were 20 or 30 releases in there, some completely random and others a little more familiar. I think my dad was always good at finding new music because he just wandered through now defunct stores and picked up things that looked interesting.
I’m terrible at finding new music. If I’m not fairly sure I’ll like it or it isn’t foisted on me by person or circumstance, I’m happy to spend months listening to the same tunes I’ve known for years. I wonder sometimes if my dad would have taught me better. All I can really do now is try to keep him in mind while I shop.
I think I’ve done an okay job at teaching myself things. I’ve learned to be alone, I know how to be a good friend. I taught myself how to take care of people. I know how to light a campfire. I’m trying to figure out how to build a life and keep my shit together. I just wonder sometimes if my dad would have taught me better.
I found out this morning that the reason my body was staging a revolt against me this weekend was that I picked up some Hand Foot Bullshit Disease (tm) from my nephew that only children and particularly unfortunate adults get. So it’s not leprosy or anything, which is exciting. But I am particularly unfortunate, which is not surprising.
I finally left the house yesterday, in full throes of “Fuck sickness, fuck heat, fuck pants, fuck this entire day and week and month and life” while wearing shorts. Being British and self-conscious means that at best I should always be wearing 6 inch Don Cherry collars, but I was road weary and beat and very briefly unconcerned about sunburns. So I walked my dog wearing shorts for the first time in probably two years.
The thing about depression, in my experience, is that despite knowing better we often put too fine a point on it. When I was no longer unemployed or sedentary but still taking anti-depressants, my doctor asked me “well, what else are you missing? Boyfriend?” It’s kind of a bristle dick thing to say, but I understand his impulse because I’ve had it myself.
I’m employed and I’m healthy and I have many friends who love me. Why am I still sad? It must be because of what I’m missing. Once I have that, I’ll be golden.
And then, eventually, you get it and you’re still sad and you have to remind yourself that it doesn’t work that way. Over and over again, year in and year out, you have to remind yourself that it doesn’t work that way.
My stomach turns when people describe Robin Williams as “funny man,” because I’d bet you anything he spent a lot of time reminding himself that it doesn’t work that way.
I’m employed and I’m healthy and I have many friends who love me. I have a good sense of humour. Why am I still sad? It must be because of what I’m missing. Once I have that, I’ll be golden.
It doesn’t work that way.
"What doesn’t kill you makes you a funny motherfucker, most of the time."