June 19th, 2004

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.


Amidst my spastic schedule between work, travel, and house stuff, I haven't been doing the me-thing much at all. And there's a layer in me, obfuscated but very, very present, that realizes all the changes that I've gone through in the last couple of years, and the mammoth changes on the horizon.

It's unnerving somewhat. I feel a need to peek back at my roots, to map the trail that has been blazed and gotten me … here!

Never forget where you came from, and all that.

Two years ago I was watching a very important relationship in my life crumble. I spent about a year shell-shocked from grief and loss.

That time was spent, conversely, being as rock-n-roll as I possibly could, bartending graveyard shifts on Lower Decatur, and doing all that kinda lifestyle stuff. That job in itself was so fantastically singular — the tumultuous, scarring beauty of all my Little Lambs Lost whom I used to care for in the wee hours with shots, beers, and open ears. When The Hideout closed, so did a significant chapter of my life.

It was right around then that I met The Boyfriend. In fact, when The Hideout closed, I was so upset I needed to get out of New Orleans. I took a shot and invited myself to his place in Nashville for a week — a brazen auto-invitation indeed as we had only met once before. Coincidentally, I made the trip to Nashville one year to the day after my break-up with the Ex. Any sooner would have been too early.

That leap of faith — or, more honestly, leap of chance — altered my life irrevocably. I learned a new career. (Once Hideout closed, I knew I'd never be as happy bartending anywhere else.) I allowed myself to allow someone else into my head and heart again which, while both were very lonely, both were also very nervous about letting sloppy people with their sloppy ways into such tender regions.

I only need to touch the stove once to know that it's hot.

I was happy to find The Boyfriend treating these dark regions in me with a caution and respect-for-the-fragile that was necessary to the operation. And we have maintained a mutual respect for each others' sore spots every day.

Now I teeter on the acquisition of a house with this person, one year to the day after we met. It's not so much the house that makes me nervous, but the home, and all that represents. If you find me waxing rhapsodic about Clifford, The Big Red House in forthcoming journal entries, don't think I'm so stuck on stuff and things. It's the symbology of the home that makes me want to do this right.

There are many more changes to come, and I cannot anticipate them because — you know — life doesn't work like that.

With the future looming so brightly, I've spent the morning digging through the past. Not for closure or morbid reasons. Not for nostalgia. More as a reminder of the things, events, and people that have led me to this place. I even found that the Ex has been writing an online journal again, and so caught up with him by reading. It was like seeing an old friend again, and I found all the pain I underwent for more than a year has dissipated and been forgiven. He was, for example, one of the people involved in my life whose influence has brought me … here.

There are others.

Many, many others.

You know who you are.

So I send out a general, blanketing thank-you. The times when I reflect on my life as a whole, I am amazed at the things that have happened and the people who've passed through, leaving little bits of themselves behind.

Now then. I think that's quite enough past for today. Time to deal with the now.
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