It's an amazing thing to really dig in to the lyrics of a song and figure out what it means to you. Now mind you, I have a habit of reading too much into movies and television and music - I still believe that someday I will fall in love with a handsome American man after failing at life and love and finding myself, impossibly, with my pregnant lesbian friend, in Tuscany. I also believe that I will meet Mr. Big, and choose him time and again, over Aiden Shaw, even though the audience will never understand why. Perhaps I'll even have my own original screenplay of a life, full of delicate and turbulent twists and turns and ups and downs, but I will probably be too full of pop culture and opinion to realize it, and credit it to the story behind The Notebook or something. I turned off the TV, and most of the lights in my house, and listened for a song to write about. And with my thoughts I present to you, Piano Man, deconstructed.
"Son, can you play me a memory? I'm not really sure how it goes. But it's sad and it's sweet, and I knew it complete, when I wore a younger man's clothes."
Because sometimes all we need is a memory, to help remind us where we are and how far we've come. Or, cruelly, how far we have yet to go. I am teased, often, by some of my friends for remembering things too much. Becky's original anniversary with Forrest is still my PIN for some things. Kyle and I met on a Friday and went shopping for fashion denim at Cricket West, at the now defunct City Center Mall. I have all these amazing memories from good and bad times, and can't help but wonder what's going to happen to them when I get older. I'm only 28 and have had such a full life - save for the thing that eludes me more than anything - and I am nervous that I won't be able to remember it all. Will a song remind me of someone or something? The way that when Mazzy Star's Fade Into You shuffles into my life every few months and makes me think of my only meaningful relationship, and how great it was, despite how awful it was, and I forgive everything for exactly 4 minutes and 56 seconds, before thinking I should delete the damn song. But nah... it's sad and it's sweet, and I know it complete. And when I wear those older man's clothes, I want to make sure that I remember what all those feelings felt like... and hope that there are better ones to replace them with.
"He's quick with a joke, or to light up your smoke, but there's someplace that he'd rather be."
Sure, I'll say it. I can be pretty funny. I'm a downright hoot sometimes! And I would certainly rather the people around me at any given moment are smiling, preferably because of something I said or did. But sometimes, I wonder how much of it is Jonrios being Jonrios, and how much of it is trying too hard. Let me explain. Life is good, don't get me wrong, but a few months ago I wrote about lofty dreams and hopes and goals and concrete jungles where there's nothing I can't do, right? These days, as the cold realities of where I am in my career, my savings, my relationships, and my responsibilities, I can't help but think I will not get to live my dream. At least not when I want it, which is yesterday.
The education that was so important for me to attain had a hefty price tag, and the fun that I felt I couldn't possibly miss out on while I was getting all learned had a hefty one, too. And now, those private student loans are due, and the dream gets harder and harder to see, to even remember, as I work at the thankless job and the job that I'm thankful for, and hardly have time to sleep... you have to sleep to dream, right? I'm a happy person, but it's hard these days. So many great things are happening around me, and so many of my friends and family are enjoying great things. Everyone but, it seems, for me. So I'll keep on keepin' on, but the savings plan is on life support, and it's getting harder and harder to hold on to that smile, and the joke... and sadly, finding comfort more and more, in a smoke at the end of the day, alone.
"Yes they're sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone."
Speaking of being alone, why is this so hard lately? I have been independent for a long time - hell I've basically been "on my own" since the fall of 2000, right Mom? Oh wait, there were three roommates in 2000 and 2001. And then I had the bounciest roommate Aaron, from 2001 to 2003. Oh and then there was Miss Virginia West and her colorful cast of vagabonds until the winter of 2004 - when I finally moved into my own place by myself... and had a boyfriend that spent many nights with me. We moved together in 2005 (for 3 months) and I finished the year in my own place... for a few months, until Joey moved in at First Avenue. And with me at the Hilliard Con-partment in 2007. Followed by Derek in 2008. Fuck, you guys, come to think of it, this is the longest I have lived alone and, it's surprisingly lonely. The few months before this, here and there, when I would live alone, I lived within close proximity to the places where everyone knows my name, and the loneliness would never set in. It has, and it sucks.
I was talking to Steven the other day, and more recently Alexa, and figured out why I get sadder and sadder each week. Monday through Friday I work, come home to lift, Facebook, and sleep. Sometimes on the weekends I work, and if I don't work I usually stay home (saving up for that $2500 monthly rent and all). I live for my Sunday Bear Brunch, because it's the only time we are just... being. They all have each other during the week, and I could venture out but my work schedule doesn't allow for it. I live for my Bear Brunches because without them, I would spend all my free time home, alone, in my head... it's scary sometimes in there. I find myself wondering things about myself and others that I don't like.
I have 950 friends according to Facebook, and sometimes I feel utterly alone. How is that possible? And this isn't a cry for help, or invitation to visit me for game night, rather it is a physical expression, into words but physical nonetheless, identifying what I believe to be the cause of my moods lately. Maybe, putting my finger on it, will allow me to learn about it, grow into, and eventually, out of it? I hope so.
"Cause he knows that it's me, they've been coming to see, to forget about life for awhile."
And yet I know I am not forgotten. I received a message from a co-worker who has seen my career through all of its twists and turns the last 5 years, about a position she thought I might like. The description of it paints a position beyond my experience or skill, though so has almost every job I've had since I started in banking. She forwarded my resume and the hiring manager, knowing who he wants and what I have to offer, still wants to meet with me. This is the kind of position I would make a career in - a life-changing opportunity, though it would leave me in Columbus for awhile. Can I forget about dreams, to live life? Can I advance myself in an organization that, through different names, has made me into the professional I am? Wouldn't I be an idiot not to go for it, here, and see what can happen? I don't know...
Billy sings about memories and feelings and loneliness and happiness and dreams. I'm listening, Piano Man, and I'm ready to make those leaps of faith, whether they be here... or in Chicago, where a family as amazing as the one I have in Columbus, and as "real" as my flesh and blood... or, as Alicia Keys would sing, in the streets that will make me feel brand new, in New York. I just need the opportunity, because I am not going to give up. I am not going to let up.
But I need help with the forgetting about life part, because tired as I am, the dreaming? It doesn't