When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sometimes, I Swear ...

...that I am losing my mind.

It seems that Sundays are the worst days for me. Probably because I should be going to church. But instead I went back to Spring Valley yesterday and creeped myself the hell out.

I grew up in Spring Valley. I met Childhood Bud and his sister (Friday Night Date) in Spring Valley. We grew up together, if you will, in the same apartment 'complex'. So yesterday I went back to the 'complex' as well as drove through familiar streets and parked the car in some choice locations;

1) I went to my old elementary school. I walked around the building and looked into windows. I remembered teachers and events. Mr. Silverberg. Ms. Dubin, who later became Mrs. Factor. Mrs. Rucker. I wanted to go inside so badly. There's still an unuttered sob lodged inside my chest from walking on that ground.

2) I went to my old high school. I was shocked to realize that it is possibly a fifteen minute walk from my elementary school. Back when I lived in Spring Valley, everything seemed miles away from everything else. But I was reminded yesterday that Spring Valley is a small, unkempt little town. My high school is as big as I remember it, but forgotten was the fact that it had two baseball fields and a track behind it. I went up onto the bleachers and called Friday Night Date for remembrance sake. She texted me back that she was working. I don't know how to text in return, so we didn't connect. Good thing we didn't. I think if we did, I'd have bawled like a lunatic. I looked into the highschool windows too. I remembered a school play that Friday Night Date convinced me to join with her, to star opposite her, in the production of Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite". She was Muriel and I was Jesse Kiplinger. The part called for me to kiss her passionately. We were in high school. I wonder what the audience, and more notably, the parents, got out of it.

3) I went to Memorial Park across the brook from our apartments. Again, I actually parked the car and got out. There were HUNDREDS of people there! Apparently the Haitian population had a parade/festival yesterday, and still I left my car and walked in and among them. They all seemed born within only the last 25 years, so there was no danger running into anyone I knew, but I am suprised in hindsight that I had the courage to leave my car and plunge in. I overheard a ghetto-fabulous girl arguing with a playa the difference between "havin' A.D.D. and A.D.H.D." I swear to God. She told homeboy to get his facts straight. I could have fell OUT.

I had Tamia's new album "Between Friends" playing while I drove. She has one song called "Almost" which is a ballad about how crazy it is to miss the love you never had, and to reminisce about kisses you never gave. I played this on steady repeat.

There are so very many points of divergence that I recalled yesterday. What if I had done this, what if I had done that. I stood in spots that I had done 35 years ago. And from head to toe, I feel crammed with regrets and fear and hopelessness. It just seems hard to accept how much time and opportunities I've lost, never to recover.

But there still is the future. From where I am backwards, I am discouraged. But from where I am forward, there still is hope. I can't see it, but I just choose to believe it. I choose to believe it because without hope, I will well and truly lose my mind. Without hope, I might as well drive my car off the George Washington Bridge.

Almost
sung by Tamia
On the album "Between Friends"

(Someone's homemade video of past Tamia vids, put to the song "Almost")

[Verse 1]
Can you tell me
How can one miss what she's never had
How could I reminisce when there is no past
How could I have memories of being happy
with you boy
Could someone tell me how can this be
How could my mind pull up incidents
Recall dates and times that never happened
How could we celebrate a love that's too late
And
how could I really mean the words I'm 'bout to say

[Chorus]
I missed the times that we almost shared
I miss the love that was almost there
I miss the times that we used to kiss
At least in my dreams
Just let me take my time and reminisce
I miss the times that we never had
What happened to us we were almost there
Whoever said it's impossible to miss
What you never had
Never almost had you

I cannot believe I let you go
Or what I should say I should've grabbed you up and never let you go
I should've went out with you
I should've made you my boo boy
Yes that's one time I should've broke the rules
I should've went on a date
Should've found a way to escape
Should've turned a almost into
If it happened now its too late
How could I celebrate a love that wasn't real
And if it didn't happen
why does my heart feel

[Chorus]

You
And you seem to be the perfect one for me
You
You're all that I ever wanted
And you're my everything yes its true
Boy its hard to be close to you
My love
I know it may sound crazy
But I'm in love with you

[Chorus]
I missed the times that we almost shared
I miss the love that was almost there
I miss the times that we use to kiss
At least in my dreams
Just let me take my time and reminisce
I miss the times that we never had
What happened to us we were almost there
Whoever said it's impossible to miss
What you never had
Never almost had you

I missed the times that we almost shared
I miss the love that was almost there
I miss the times that we use to kiss
At least in my dreams
Just let me take the time and reminisce
I miss the times that we never had
What happened to us we were almost there
Whoever said its impossible to miss
What you never had
Never almost had you

2 comments:

Scott said...

That's so funny. I went back to my old elementary school. I sat on the old swings and tried to imagine what it was like the last time I was there. Somebody across the street peered at me through a slit in his curtains. I figured the cops would be on the way so bid the old school adieu.

Alan said...

There was just one swing already occupied by a pair of locals and their toddler.

I was ready for a cop to tap me on the shoulder. I would have broke down and wept like a fool all over that badge.

He could've took me to the local Dunkin' Donuts and we could have reminisced the night away...