If you haven’t figured out by now, I got this thing for music. I cannot imagine going a day without it. My whole being is centered on this great love. I love it. I love albums, vinyl albums, the covers, the artwork the pictures of the bands or artists. I love the smell of old vinyl how it feels and the crackle and pops as the record plays. I love cds too, the clarity of the music. I love every band that ever tried, that ever wrote a song, except for that guy, you know which one I am talking about. I love how a song can play and how it can take you back to a previous time, sometimes a long time ago. I love the feelings the songs themselves emote, how they resonate and undulate inside you, tapping into something beautiful. I love the sad songs, the happy songs, the songs you spend hours trying to figure out, the songs with your ear to the speaker wondering what in the hell is Steven Tyler actually singing.
Sometimes for me it’s not the bands, it’s the songs and sometimes its only one song. I am sure if you listen to rock and roll you remember the band Our Lady Peace. In 1997 Our Lady Peace released the album Clumsy. It’s a great album and I played that album so much. I loved the song Clumsy which has that perfect out of tune beginning that makes it oh so right. The song Superman’s Dead was a huge hit. It’s one of those albums like Counting Crow’s August and Everything After that I could just play over and over again. It remains one of those favorite albums which has a special place because it’s just so good.
But that’s not why I am writing this particular entry.
At one time I was part of a group of really special people on a site called Single Parents Mingle or for the hip and cool people SPM. I was freshly separated and a little lost and so I joined the site because it was a dating site. It wasn’t though. Oh sure there were people doing that but mostly it was this amazing group of people in all sorts of situations trying to get by in the world of being a single parent. We could log in and chat in the chat rooms or play on the message boards for hours. It was a giant virtual support group.
But that’s not what I am writing about either.
Eventually the site chased us all away and we moved on. We kept in touch though and most of us found each other on MySpace. Ah remember MySpace. I loved that site. I loved how you could customize your own page, you could pull songs and have a play list. Sometimes I would go to people’s pages to hear their playlists. I thought long and hard about my playlist, naturally being so musically oriented. I wish I had written it down. One of my really favorite people Stephanie had a wonderful playlist and I copied her playlist and made a cd of the music. I didn’t do that to my own.
But this isn’t about MySpace either.
This is about one song that I put on my playlist and I honestly don’t know where I heard it first. In 2002 Our Lady Peace released the album Gravity on the strength of the single Somewhere Out There. It was that song, that song, that song and yes that song, that was on my playlist that makes me so sad and makes me so full of regret and even that isn’t really what my blog posting is about.
I just don’t have regrets. I mean obviously I do. I just told you that I do and that one song makes me full of it. Everyone has regrets, small or big. Regret is part of being human, and regret lets us know when we need to take more care and be better versions of ourselves. We hurt people, we break their hearts and we disappoint people sometimes the people who are closest to us. We pass jobs or opportunities up because we read events wrong or we are just too scared to take a shot. Sometimes people even elect horrible destructive people into office. Luckily I don’t have that one. Of all the character flaws I have it’s my ability to wipe my hands clean and walk away from people I love and care about that most haunts me. I have hurt people because of this horrible flaw and I have worked so hard on eradicating it from who I am. In high school there was a girl. There’s always a girl. I am horribly shy, horribly. I have crushes big crushes and I so fear rejection that they just stay with me eating me away. I watched this girl for so long. Watching her was easy because of an activity she was involved with it made it very easy. I knew where she lived and in the summertime I would drive by her house now and again. Yea I was that guy but I was also 16 or 17. I usually drove by her house at night when I was on the way home. Sometimes I hoped for a chance encounter but most of the time I was deathly afraid of that. During my senior year though, I got to know her. I was like a Dr. Seuss book, oh I did like her, I did like her so much. Her sister was in Spanish club and one night we had an activity over there and I ended up hanging out with her. We dated a few times and we hung out a few times during the year. I should have taken her to prom. I should have. When I went to college I was so lost. She and I enjoyed a great correspondence together. She liked me, she was ready for more and I was too stupid too shy too something to let it happen. So I walked away, despite still having that giant crush despite the feelings she brought out in me. I walked away. In 2005 I found her. She is not hard to find. Still the same warm, happy free spirited girl I have always known, sort of. Life changes us all. In 2007 I moved to Atlanta for 3 years and got busy and lost contact. A couple of months ago I heard a song and thought about her and found her again and because of an upcoming vinyl party I got her address and wrote her an old fashioned letter telling the story I was going to share. She never wrote back. I have her phone number. She gave it to me. I could call her. I probably won’t. I am not looking for magic or happy endings. I just miss my friend and I regret how much I hurt her. You see there was a cost to me as well.
When I was in college I played around with different majors before coming back to social work. I had always since the age of eleven or so wanted to be a special education teacher. My university did not have an education major so I chose social work. I met one of my great college friends in the social work program. Her name was Kris. She was from Peoria, Illinois and loved the band REO Speedwagon and she later fell in love with all things Madonna. I thought she was amazing. We did so much together. She was married, which was okay with me at least at first. The three of us hung out so much. I was over their house as much as my own. Kris introduced me to the art of making party tapes and we must have made a million. Okay so maybe it wasn’t a million. Her husband Mitch was an engineer. Kris got pregnant not too long before she graduated. Don’t think what you are thinking. Sheesh I am not that horrible. I had a problem in that I was really in love with her. I spent so much time with her that I just could not help it. She was nothing ever but my friend. I felt I had two choices, tell her the truth or to go on feeling that way and being miserable. Yes you guessed it I chose a third option of walking away. I have made multiple efforts to find her. I have even paid for information and still not found anything.
I didn’t have the album Gravity and as I said I have no idea where I heard the song Somewhere Out There. I finally bought the greatest hits album A Decade because it’s on the cd. That song makes me feel what it’s like to have someone just walk away from you and leave you behind. It hurts when it plays and yet I love the song so much and maybe part of the reason is because it does make me feel that way. I am really good at self-punishment. I don’t believe that I deserve much in this life. I have disappointed and hurt people and all I can do is work on myself so that I don’t keep doing it. I do know there is atonement.
Some of you might feel the need to chastise me or calling me a stalker. Sheesh, come on you were sixteen once. Some of you might think I sit around in this pool of regret all the time but that’s not true. When music comes around on the playlist that reminds me I think about them but I don’t wallow around in self-pity. Actually over the last three months or so I have done more work on myself than I have ever done and I like the results. It’s also foolish not to at least recognize your flaws, your mistakes and in doing so becoming better. The last bit of cleanup is that there is a reason I don’t share the name of my high school friend and you don’t need to know that reason or who it is. Of course there probably won’t be more than 2.7 of you read this anyway.
So much for thinking this would be a short blog.