The Other End of Sunset

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Exit, stage left

First of all, let me start off by thanking British Airways for having gluten-free bread that I could eat with jam and some butter-like spread. Very nice surprise for me.

I'm flying back from the Roadshow From Hell (hereafter, referred to as RFH). In about 3 weeks, we did presentations in London, NY, LA, Tokyo, Paris, Milan and Cologne. Doesn't sound so hard when written out, but believe me it was very hard while doing it. I'm extremely tired, and my brain is no longer working too well. More on that later.

I'm not sure why, but long flights make me depressed. I spent the first few hours listening to a greatest hits compilation of Bruce Springsteen music. Given a predilection for depression, this is a poor choice of music.

Do you ever let your lover see the Stranger in yourself
-- Billy Joel

I know I said I wouldn't write so much about Jeanne... but I don't think I promised I wouldn't!

I'm starting to forget things about Jeanne. I can't remember her eyes, the way they crinkled at the corners when she laughed. The way she lilted her voice when she was "talking" to the dogs. Or which was her favorite pair of boots.

And even more terrifying, I had trouble remembering her birthdate. I remember what I did for her for the last birthday, and how much she liked her birthdays with me, but I couldn't remember the date. In fact, I'm going to have to check to make sure what I remember is correct.

Dates are the kind of thing I remember. Maybe I'm just tired? Or maybe I'm getting old, and my famed powers of memory are fading?

Now all them things that seemed so important
well mister they just vanished right into the air.
Now I just act like I don't remember,
Mary acts like she don't care.
--Bruce Springsteen

I'm abnormally afraid of getting old. I don't want to give up my passion, my energy, my hopes for growth. I'm not ready to be... stagnant. Or is that really being content?

They all live out in the suburbs,
where their dreams are in their children at play
--Mary-Chapin Carpenter

I listen to songs about family and children, and instead of hearing hope, I hear nothing but wistfulness and a feeling of loss. Are people indeed more content in their children than they were before? How do people become more content with your partner after there are no secrets or surprises left?

Now those memories come back to haunt me
they haunt me like a curse.
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true?
-Bruce Springsteen

I've never been especially good at commitment. Yes, yes, I know, that's a bit of an understatement. But I've decided to work on it. I'm reading books, thinking, talking... and, yes, writing about it.

SL wants to have children, and I am getting myself there. I wonder if I will be a good father, or if I'll be the kind of father that hides at the office with scarcely concealed annoyance with the "rugrats".

I never married Jeanne, and I never told her she was my life. When she first got sick, before we knew she was going to die, I told her I'd be with her until she got well.

I meant that she didn't need to fear being sick and alone -- she had that experience earlier in her life, and it scarred her.

But that's not what she wanted to hear from me. As soon as I said that, she would respond "what about after I get well?" I never answered, I just smiled. Because I wanted to have one foot out the door, all the time.

Would she have gotten well if I had told her I'd be with her? I don't really believe that, but I still wish I had said so.

And, even more, I wish I hadn't had one foot out the door.

SL, my feet are both inside, and the door is locked.

(Sidenote: my new house has a set of electronic locks. I can't figure out how to open them. Thus, even if wanted to have one foot out the door, I couldn't manage it.)

It's Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for a lot. My friends, my fiancee, and those in my past who have loved me -- even those I have lost or who have lost me.

Go hug someone, and tell them they are your life. And hug your kids.

And, if you feel like it, reassure me that I can keep both feet inside. I'm planning on it.