Thursday, October 4, 2012

No matter how long you live, you'll be dead longer.

Synchronicity is a funny thing. 
 Jessie  just posted about some low points in her life on the same day I was reminded of one of mine. 
It was back in the 80's and I was working on a framing crew building houses. All of us would all hang out together and we got to be pretty good friend's. One guy named Jeffery was about as crazy in a good way, as our narcissist ass boils are crazy in a bad way. The funniest thing I remember about him was when he lost a weeks pay to our boss. 
Our boss paid us in cash every Friday morning and then come back at lunch time with beer and give us the rest of the day off. After a few cold daddies he would break out the cards and hustle his money back. 
They played poker. They would shoot dice. They would bet on rock, paper, scissors. Those idiot's would wager on how close they could guess the lengths of scrap lumber in the trash pile. 
One Friday, Jeff pointed to a two by four and bet all the pay he had left that it was 88 inches long. Our boss looked at him and said, "No, I think its 92 and 5/8ths."
Jeff had drunkenly pointed out a stud and studs are all the same length. 
92 and 5/8ths.
Jeff laughed about that as hard as any one of us.
Yesterday I was driving through that part of town and the old streets from way back have been converted to one way. I was forced all around and ended up on 11th street.  
That's the street where Jeffery lived. 
Eleven eleven..11th street.
It's so easy to remember.
That's also where he died. 
He walked out on the front porch one day and the postman found him later.
A couple of days after the funeral, we were rained out and took off work. Jeff's wife Sharon came by to say hello. 
She did all she could do to appear normal. She smiled and made polite chit chat. Not a word was spoken about about Jeff and she didn't stay for more than 10 minutes. I could tell she was fighting back her tears.
When she left, I walked her out to her car. 
No one there knew about my father.
I wanted to tell her. 
I wanted to tell her that time will heal every thing. I wanted to let her know that I know what she is going through, and that I know how senseless it all is. I wanted to tell her that someday she will understand why he did what he did, and that her memory of him will not always be tarnished by how he ended his life .
I wanted to tell her that this world is a good place, filled with kind people, and they will be her soft place to fall.
But I didn't want to lie to her.
I just stood there and watched her drive away.
That night after she met Jeffery's parents for supper, she left to go driving around.
What she really did was go back to the house she had shared with Jeff.
I didn't go to her funeral.
It was just too sad.



18 comments:

jessie said...

"Eleven eleven..11th street."

Phew. Q, I've got a story for you. But you are going to think I'm bat shit crazy.
My grandmother was the "head narcissist" in our family. She wasn't particularly malignant to me, but we all branded her as weird and us kids were instructed to keep our distance. She fucked my mother and her siblings up royally, and on and on, and here I am today.
Anyway, although I found her weird, she never really bothered me too much, and I figure in the end, I was the only grand kid she actually liked. She was nicer to me than the rest, paid more attention to me than the others, and generally liked me more. Also, for what it's worth, one of my NM's favorite little underhanded stabs is to, now, compare me to her. Tell me I'm just like her.
Anyway, she died on 11-11. The number stuck with me for some reason. And the 11 started popping up when I'd be talking to her or thinking about her. There was some other crazy shit that happened that revolved around that number, and I remember you posting about "the shining" once, so I won't bore you with the details, as I bet you'll just understand.
So, seeing that 11-11, on a post related to me, about suicide, at a really bad time in my life made my stomach hurt. I'm kind of tweaked out. But it's probably just a coincidence. But man....

jessie said...

And damn, I must have missed the synchronicity term the first time around.

jessie said...

Hey, and Q, I hope you know I realize what a dum bass I was for considering suicide. Sometimes the mind fuck is just so bad, you know, you can't see the forest for the trees.

q1605 said...

Jess. I wish I could tell you I made his address up because it sounded cool. But I didn't.
I would have never remembered where he lived but for that.
That's a stupid thing to do but it's almost comforting to know if you ever really get to the end of your rope, there is that one final act of self determination.
Emphasis on almost.

Gladys said...

My best friend through elementary school through HS and into our 20's was a guy named Byron. We found each other because we were both broken, like broken people do.

His story involved his narc dad chasing him out of the house with a gun when he was about 12. The rest of his childhood was just as horrifying. He bought a motorcycle - one of those Ninja crotch-rocket types and proceeded to ride it everywhere, as fast as he could (like guys do, but he was being chased by a spectre - he went even faster).

He crashed and died of course. We were 24. He had left a 'will', and I was the only one who knew he had one. I always swore to him that if he died I would dance on his grave in a red mini-skirt and high heels.

I never did. It was just too damned sad.

vicariousrising said...

Ouch. Q. Just holy shit, that story hurt.

Gladys said...

I hate our stories. I'm sorry Q - for your loss and for all of it.

q1605 said...

One would think that with my fathers actions I would know just what to do. But at the moment of truth I let this chick walk away without a word.
Like Jessie said, you just don't know what other people are thinking or what they are planning to do.

Gladys I used to always be riding a motorcycle. Almost every where I went, even during the winter.
I've worked on some fairly tall buildings, but really I am scared shit-less of heights.
So one day I was screaming down the road and started looking down at the pavement rushing under my bike and I thought....
Man, if you ever fell off a building you would be shitting bricks the whole way down.
But really, are you not just falling horizontally?
I mean the hard and sudden stop from the top down is no different than hitting the rear end of a car stopped on the road with no tail lights.
I went home and put my bike up for sale.
I keep my motorcycle license renewed just in case but I haven't needed it since.

Trisha said...

Wow, that is sad. I wish words could heal all, but they usually aren't enough when someone is that down n out. You might have started dating her and become her live in lover/therapist? (partially joking) Even then, who knows if you could have saved her.
It made me smile/1/2-laugh, when you said, "I wanted to tell her that this world is a good place, filled with kind people, and that they will be her soft place to fall.
But I didn't want to lie to her."

Trisha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
q1605 said...

No need to explain yourself Trisha. We've all been around the block a time or two.
Say what you want to say and say it however you want to say it.
If you are taking the time to write something I/we would rather hear your unvarnished truth than I/we would want to hear what you thought I/we wanted to hear.
That kind of defeats the purpose of why we are here.

jessie said...

Thanks for posting this Q. It really really reached out to me. When I got to the damn 11-11, I had to shut the laptop and get up and walk around before I could finish. I know it sounds crazy that my narcissistic grandmother would be sending me signs, but I kind of feel it's true. And that's whenever I'm moving in the right direction (being truthful, sitting with myself, moving away from all this pain) she sends me little road markers. They show up in the damnedest places.
I feel I've moved past the suicidal thoughts. I really never wanted to die. I just couldn't shake the feeling that everyone else really wanted me out of the picture. That life would be better if I got out of everyone's way. That's such a shitty feeling, but I'm tired of letting them determine my course in life. If they want to get me out of the way, well, let them try. But I'm not moving around for anyone anymore.
Thanks again. Still have goosebumps this morning.

q1605 said...

I almost didn't post it. I didn't want piggy back on your post.
But I ended up on his street and I started thinking about it.
I doubt any of your family wants you out of the way.
But the reasons they want you around are not normal ones. And the the way they would feel the loss wouldn't be normal either.
I can see my mother sopping up the
lime light and playing it for all that it's worth. She would tell others things like she could sense it coming and even though we were not in contact how worried she had suddenly become.
But at the end of the day she would be more concerned about what she was having for dinner.

q1605 said...

I will agree that it's pretty weird. I have ended up on his street maybe once or twice before unintentionally. The 1111...11th street was always a one off for me, but to have it have significance for you too. If not for that address I would have forgotten everything. The house the street. All of it.
Cue Twilight zone theme song here.

Bess said...

Agreed!

jessie said...

I think you're right Q, that they don't really want me out of the way. I guess I just felt like the world's biggest trash receptacle for their b.s. One can only take being blamed for all the world's evils for so long, before one thinks the kindest thing you can do is just remove the "problem" (me).
My mother also would have the "psychic" feelings after my death. Telling everyone how she knew I was an anxiety ridden sob with no strength (she knows this because she instilled it in me.) She would cry and wail and "mourn" me for all it was worth.

Anonymous said...

From what I've seen the Scapegoat is an important role in dysfunctional families, takes the heat off of everyone else. As soon as the main scapegoat escapes they work on lining up new ones. Without a scapegoat they might actually have to look at themselves and how they screwed up, LOL.

Sis

upsi said...

That moment you describe here, of having so many so many words you want to say but saying nothing. Was so perfectly evoked in this post. You're such a good writer, you really make me feel reading your stories. And the ending was poetic. It must have felt like losing a person's grip hanging off a cliff. and you watch them fall so far fall fall fall. And play it over and over thinking, what if.