Hard to believe its been almost a month since I’ve been here. Some of you have asked about the Ghost Adventures thing. It was interesting. I got to see Dean Haglund for a few minutes. I wasn’t overwhelmed. I’m not saying TALA doesn’t have supernatural activity, but I will say that any experiences I’ve had have been spontaneous, not contrived and I certainly don’t go around saying, “Come ghost! Come and get me!” Blargh.
However, I did take one picture that turned out fairly well. They had the front of TALA lit up and it created a really evil shadow behind it, which was impossible to catch with my dinky camera. However, I do like the one pic that did turn out.
I’ll drift backwards a bit more and tell you about our trip to Coalwood for the October Sky Festival. We had a really good time and it was much, much larger than the first time we went… and much warmer.
Here’s Nate with Homer:
And Nate with Natalie Cannerday, who played Elsie Hickham in “October Sky.” She was a real hoot and Nate thought she was the shizznat.
I also took this picture of a police officer from a neighboring town called Keystone (and eavesdropped on his conversation with DJs from WELC). Yes, he’s a Keystone Kop and in reference to the 1960’s comedy, “Car 54, Where Are You?” that somewhat parodied the original Keystone Kops, his dispatch number was 54. He said it was a humbling experience.
Here are the Rocket Boys:
Jimmy (O’Dell) Carroll, Homer Hickam, Roy Lee Cooke, Billy Rose, and some dude. I don’t know who he is. I’ll have to send the picture to Roy Lee and find out. Roy Lee lives across the hill from me and we’ve struck up a friendship. We had a beer a week or so ago and he signed Nate’s “Rocket Boys” book and then asked if Nate wanted him to sign for the rest of the guys too, even Sherman (who is dead). LOL! He’s a hoot!
A pic of the old Coalwood Elementary (facade), seriously, nothing left behind this structure but a few crumbling piles of bricks and a few other pics of our trip, including part of a coal tipple.
Then there was my sorta class reunion. We didn’t have time for a full-fledged class reunion so the ones that could got together and went to a football game and dinner. I made it to dinner.
And this is part of where I go walking in the mornings:
But, shall I get to the real reason I’m here. A month or so ago, I had talked to AZ and he had mentioned having lunch with me on a day off. He didn’t call me, which I had expected, and I had forgot about it until I had a day off during the week. I thought, “Hell, we’ll see if he can put his money where his mouth is.” I texted him and didn’t hear from him until around 11. We met later at a local fast food place and had some lunch and I filled him in on the situation with Jeff and Nate and how work was and we chit-chatted about things, including one of his rental properties that he was currently working on because it had been trashed.
I went over with him and met one of his tenants who was helping him. I went back home and returned with the wedding gift I had made, two years late, but better late than never. He put it up in the cabinet of the rental and my best guess is it is either still there or he took it to his office. I doubt seriously his wife will ever see it. It was nice to just hang out with him and talk.
Two weeks later, or about a week ago, I texted him about a local station that suddenly went to a Christmas format, to see if he knew what the deal was. He called me and said they were as much in the dark as anyone and again invited me to lunch. I told him I would text him. So, I did. Again, we met at a local restaurant (he works in the city that we live in) and this time lunch lasted for two hours.
I told him of the recent troubles I’d had at work and gave him some of my new fiction. He told me he was unhappy in his marriage, that the last two years were nothing like he had expected, somedays he felt like he was taking care of a 16 year-old daughter instead of having a wife, unhappy at his job, and he was depressed and generally unhappy. Of course there were examples and explanations to go along with that. After a few “You gotta fucking kidding me’s” – eyerolls – and other annoyed noises from me, we said, “See ya later.”
He had to know that was going to roll around in my head for a while and I wasn’t going to let it lie. I got up the next morning and wrote him an e-mail. I basically told him, in a nutshell, what I’ve said on this blog since December of 2007, and more since September of 2008. I told him why I had dropped out of his life, how much it hurt when he got married and how much I felt as though I had lost my best friend and I was pretty pissed with the fact it hadn’t seemed to help his situation and really, that neither of them was helping the situation either. What a waste.
I also told him it was up to him as what to do with this life and to either get help or not for his depression and what to do about his marriage. I didn’t have a dog in that fight. I’d be there to listen but that was it. It was hard for me to admit, mainly to myself, how much I’ve really missed him. Not the bullshit, just him.
He took it well. He almost seemed happy. One bizarre note: After lunch, while we were talking, I noticed something very strange about his eyes. I said, “AZ, why are your eyes green?” He said, “They do that sometimes.”
“No, they don’t. I’ve known you for almost 18 years and I’d swear on a stack of bibles that your eyes are brown, have been brown, and have never been a shade of green, which, by the way, is creepy and almost frightening.”
“I know what my driver’s license says, but sometimes they get this way.”
AZ wasn’ t the only one to feel the sting of my honest observations and how it relates to MY mental health. I also wrote to Troy and told him I would not be meeting him in VA for my birthday because I’m done with making up for where other people make mistakes and are not happy with their decisions. Its not my fault he married an alcoholic and not my fault he stays married to her and there’s nothing I can do about that except be his friend and listen. But, that’s all I was going to be. Not his fuck buddy or the person he wants to be with while she’s in Australia.
Whether it was him or AZ or any of the other married, engaged, committed in some way, men that I’ve been messing with over the course of my life. I’m done being a side-dish. Your life will never change if you continue to do the same things and hope for a different outcome, that equals insanity. I want so much more and deserve to be so much more. I can’t bitch to them about having the courage to change their lives if I’m consistently falling back into my old patterns and being unhappy.
They both took this well and appear to understand and respect the boundaries I’ve placed on our friendships. It wouldn’t matter if they took it well or not, that’s just a bonus, because it didn’t matter whether they like it or not, that’s the way it was going to be, with or without them.
And me, I’m much more at peace. I’ll not say I’m happier, I’ll say I’m glad I was honest and that they know how I feel. It lifted burdens I’ve been carrying around for a long time and without those burdens its much easier to let the happiness I have inside come out. I feel stronger and much more badass than I have in a long time. Not badass as in bitchy, but badass as in, I rock!!!
I told T-Bird that not only is it the anniversary of my birth but also my new year. So, Happy New Year to me!!!