So I want to talk about two things: A song that I've really liked for years but I'm finally starting to understand, and the original point I was going to get to early today but got sidetracked with my emotions about Jay. If I were writing this entry for anything other than my own personal release, I'd make it two entries, but fuck that, and fuck you too ("you" being the person reading this who I don't believe exists. Maybe I'm saying fuck you to myself... how meta...). I'm just going to do both of these because this isn't about being accessable so much as it's about having an odd scratchpad for my soul.
So first: the song. My current song, Everyday is Halloween by Ministry.
A little personal history: I first heard this song at The Church, at a time when I was very young and impressionable. What first struck me about it is how dancable it is. Great driving synth bass line, creepy high counter melodic pad synth, it's got a lot going for it.
Of course, because I was too busy focusing on the music, I didn't catch the lyrics. As an aside, one of my favorite movies is Music and Lyrics with Drew Berrymore and Hugh Grant. Don't care if it's a romcom, because it was obviously written by someone with a deep love of music. Drew Berrymore and Hugh Grant are arguing over what is more important, the melody, or the lyrics, and Berrymore's character points out that the melody is the sex, the initial attraction, and the lyrics are lasting love, the thing you don't notice right off the bat but the part you want to marry. This song is a good example of that. Here are the lyrics:Well I live with snakes and lizardsand other things that go bump in the night'Cuz to me everyday is HalloweenI have given up hiding and started to fightI have started to fightWell any time, any place, anywhere that I goall the people seem to stop and starethey say 'Why are you dressed like it's Halloween?you look so absurd, you look so obscene'Oh, why can't I live a life for me?why should I take the abuse that's served?why can't they see they're just like meit's the same, it's the same in the whole wide worldwell I let their teeny minds thinkthat they're dealing with someone who is over the brinkand I dress this way just to keep them at bay'Cuz Halloween is everydayit's everydayOh, why can't I live a life for me?why should I take the abuse that's served?why can't they see they're just like meit's the same, it's the same in the whole wide worldOh, why can't I live a life for me?why should I take the abuse that's served?why can't they see they're just like mei'm not the one that's so absurdwhy hide it?why fight it?hurt feelingsbest to stop feeling hurtfrom denials, reprisalsit's the same it's the same in the whole wide world
On the face of it, it's kind of juvenile. It's very... kind of that punk rock tell-your-parents-to-fuck-off kind of attitude. It's a little whiny, too, truth be told.
But today I was listening to it in the car and I started to actually listen to the lyrics and I realized how true it was, especially in light of all the emotional bullshit I've been dealing with as of late. It supports my thesis that most people are walking around pretending to be okay with life and not being themselves because they don't feel like their truth will be accepted by others (sad reality is, it probably wouldn't be. We live in a society that feeds on judgement). No one, this includes me, is really living their lives for themselves. They're living their lives for someone or something else, whether it's somebody's love, or money, or fame, or pretty much any of that external bullshit that ruins everything for everyone. And maybe that's the problem I have with the song, too: it highlights the problem, but I don't know that it provides a solution. Saying that, of course, makes me sound like the asshole. I should solve my own damn problems, right?
Okay, enough about a song that's thirty one years old. I still really like it and I still really relate to it.
Now onto the other idea I wanted to tackle: My further analysis of my core group of friends from my teens.
I finished reading Jay's LJ, and I ventured through Jesse, Stephen's, and Travis's because I like getting the other side of my story.
Before I get into my "where are they now" thing that is nagging me, let me just go into a couple of more revelations (I should say reinforcements) about myself I found:
- Turns out I put A WHOLE SHITLOAD of emotional stock into EVERYONE. Jesus Christ, no wonder I found myself constantly disappointed with how things would turn out.
- I was a child, and I don't think I started not being a child until I stated having children. Bad form.
- I clearly (good ol' hindsight working overtime here) was using other people to make me happy, but I think we were all doing that because we didn't know how else to conduct ourselves.
- I can now see that these things are formative in my development since I am technically a late bloomer emotionally.
- I also, and this is a first, don't feel a profound sense of shame or guilt regarding who I was then. I'm accepting of it, and I think it's interesting that I'm not beating myself up about it. Perhaps eleven years is the statue of limitations on feeling shitty about things?
The core group that was Jay, Stephen, and Jesse has been identified. The reason I call them the core group is because I think I spent the most amount of time with them and had the most invested in those relationships. Like I referred to in my prior entry with Jay, I think we, on some deeper level, had an understanding of one another's voids.
Reading Jay's journal, holy shit, no wonder things ended up the way they did. He made direct reference at one point that the only place he felt at home was in my house with my mom and I. That made me so sad and happy at the same time, because his own fucking parents treated him like shit, but I also feel like my home felt more like a home with him there. We used to drive each other insane because we were both fundamentally needy and obnoxious people, but at a certain point that was the norm and we accepted it to a degree.
I did remember a huge falling out him and I had, because we both came at each other on LiveJournal like the mature grown-up men we both were at 18. I forgot a lot of the details surrounding it, but in reading the exchange a lot of stuff came back to me. I was right to be upset with him (long story short: he basically banged a girl that I had be talking to for awhile and had some feelings for, at least that's what I remember of the situation. He had sort of done something similar with a girl I dated Junior year, not to the same extent, but there was some unresolved tension there) but I wasn't right in how I handled it. There were some other issues afoot there too that got taken out on him, and that's unfortunate, but it happened. We made up about a month later.
I don't know Stephen's damage, really, as he was (at the time) the most guarded of the four of us. He had a fairly normal upbringing, and like me, he's an only child. I think, based on my reading and my memory, wanted to be loved like I do, but I don't understand the source of that. Unlike Jay, Jesse, and I, Stephen was usually the most level-headed, logical, and reasonable. He'd get angry, but he handled things much better than the rest of us. He was rarely as passive-aggressive as we tended to be, but I think we drug him down to our level quite a bit too. There was a certain way we conducted ourselves to and around one another as not to upset the applecart. We were so fragile and insecure that we didn't risk upsetting one another because we feared that'd be the end of our friendship. I'm speaking for myself there, but I think it's fair to project that on Jay and Jesse because we all three were products of divorce. I think that's the tendency with children of divorced parents, to make sure to keep everyone happy so nobody leaves.
Stephen now has two kids and is living as a single father. We don't talk often enough, and that's my fault. I'm too reclusive as of late. I need to change that. That's the one thing from my youth that I should hold on to because it obviously kept me sane on some level. Maybe I should plow through some of my bullshit first, though. Anyways, back to Stephen, he seems to have turned out alright. After reading his journal, I realized some things about him that I didn't see before, and that's because at that time, it was hard to see past myself, and like I said, he was relatively reserved compared to the rest of us with our hearts on our sleeves. He's got some great qualities and he's an emotionally strong man. He's a hard worker and he does things with some level of thought behind them.
Jesse was kind of lost, I think. He didn't really find his groove until much recently. We were terrible about using him as somewhat of a punching bag. On some level, he shouldn't have let us, but we shouldn't have been assholes in the first place. I do feel bad about that, but him and I have talked about that semi-recently and those hatchets have been long buried. I really miss him because he truly didn't give a fuck about what people thought about him, to a fault almost. He did his thing. It served him well. He's living with his high school girlfriend, has a job now, and seems to be living well. I'm really happy for him because he took a much harder road than I even did, and I know he dealt with some crazy shit growing up. I love both his parents, but they are not without their issues. His mom seems to have really gotten her shit together and is an addiction counselor, which I think is one of the most noble things a person can do. His dad's still kind of a wildcard, always was, and I know that relationship wasn't always the best. One of the glowing gems from reading my old journals though involves Jesse's dad. I didn't explicitly put it in the journal but I made mention of the incident and it sparked the memory.
This is a little off-subject but it makes me laugh and I feel the need to include it because it tells you a lot about how we lived at that time.
I was dating someone at the time, and she was the first girl that I had any sort of regular physical intimacy with. One day, and I forgot how the hell this happened, but I had to ditch a condom really quick and get dressed, and I threw it into a mop bucket of water that hadn't been thrown out. The mop bucket was my closest target as it was right next to my bedroom door. Days later, Jesse's dad comes over to help fix something and finds it. I don't know that I heard the end of that one for at least three months. It was hilarious though.
Back to my original point: we are were the lost boys. I was Peter Pan, I think, but it wasn't about not growing up so much as it was just about finding what we could call a family, and for about a year, I'd say we were a pretty tight-knit family and we genuinally loved one another and our extended network of friends. We somehow survived, how, I do not know, but we did.
What makes me say this is all the entries I've read regarding our big Thanksgiving dinner we had in 2004. All the orphans at the Keller Krackhouse (which is what we affectionally called it) pulled together their resources and made this huge awesome dinner, followed by a game of football in the front yard whilst freezing rain started falling. It was a beautiful thing, and it gives me hope to think about because it reminds me that at one point, even though I may not have realized it at the time, I knew how to be a person in a group of people and not feel weird. I wasn't an outsider with that group. They were my brothers and sisters (except the thing about the girls was that at one point or another I had a thing for all of them that hung around with us, because I thought a girlfriend would solve all my problems. I'm very glad that my good friendships with people didn't get ruined by attempted relationships) and we lived in this moment at which we were all one.
I know that I can be there for someone and I know that I can be secure in a friendship to some degree. And while the idea of having all these people living with me like some freakish commune has absolutely no appeal to me in the least anymore, I at least can be okay with the fact that I had that experience and move on to something more favorable, or at least figure out what the hell that even means once I figure out who I am. I think I'm getting a sense of that but I know better than to speak too soon about that because life isn't that simple. I guess it's just a moment to moment thing, who one is in a certain moment.
That's way too big a question, though.