Thursday, May 26, 2005

The scent of a song

They say that smell is the most immediate sense where memory is concerned. Funny, because it's pretty much our weakest sense. Music has always been the great placeholder for me. I don't pretend to be a musician. But the right song can take me right back to something and fill me up with whatever I was feeling long ago.

Just a minute ago I listened to Yellow by Coldplay. It's a song that came along for me after Jody died; two or three months later. I've mentioned it here before. The chorus lyric about "skin and bones" will always remind me of Jody and Jenny; one human who wanted to be feline, the other a feline whose whole world was occupied by humans. I have the ashes of both of them, at least in part, on the top shelf of the cabinet in the living room. I still ache when the thought strikes me that this is the only way I ever came into Jody's physical presence in life... well, my life, anyway.

It's been a while since I cried for him, but I guess that's why I played the song. Like pouring wine for an old flame, I wanted to offer my the deep waters of my feelings to Jody. I can feel the hot salty sting on my cheeks. It's all I have to give him.

We're closing in on the anniversary of his passing. I try to think back a year to the place I was in before he died. Worried for him, of course. Fearing the worst, eventually. Wishing I could ease his mind, his pain. Little suspecting how little time we had left together. How little time he had. I think now he suspected he had very little time left but never said so to me. I know I've taken you down this road before, but I'm the sort of person who will always revisit comforting memories, or cling to what he's lost. This is the only way I can reinvent Jody for myself, keep building him up in my mind even when he's not here to re-enforce the effort. Ten years, and I took so much for granted. I'm bothered by the knowledge that my parents are getting older... they're in the 60s now, just passed the 40th anniversary. I barely speak to my dad... it's not that there's any enmity, it's just we don't have much in common. You'd think 32 years in the same house would leave you with lots to talk about but he's WASPishly guarded about his feelings and embarrassed to discuss them or his life, so it's hard to know him as anyone other than my dad, you know what I mean? It would probably be easier if I lived closer, but I don't. I'm sure most people have these regrets.

I visited Timber's blog today for the first time in several months. That guy is living five times the life I am. I can't believe it; it's nearly a James Bond novel. "Should I move to India? Or just Baja California?" Shit, there's no one in the next town interested in moving me away. Jealous? Oh, hell yes. :) He's tall, thin, good looking, and not even 30 yet... and the whole world's flirting with him.

On the other hand, he walked into a room one morning with one of his best friends lying cold and dead on the floor, and worked frantically to revive him. Timber's a man who's lived some extremes in his short life. Not quite the extreme Jody did (after all, Timber's still alive), but probably a broader range of experience, all things considered.

I haven't talked to Jody's dad in several days. Weeks, really. It's down to e-mail. Curse the company I work for for needlessly shutting down AIM and ICQ. There was no real need to do that. It was mean-spirited and gratuitous. Thanks be to God they didn't do it while Jody was still alive. I feel bad for how it's isolated me from Jim. When I get home, I just want to cocoon. But at work, I'm online anyway, so I was open to the world. It was a grace. I suppose I ought to be thankful for what I did have... it allowed me years to cultivate a wonderful friendship with Jody, and his dad, and Richard as well. But all I can focus on now is my anger and frustration at needlessly having that taken away from me. Motherfuckers.

That's enough rambling for tonight. I'm too sober to justify this.

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