the freezing and forgetting



now playing: frou frou, “let go” (from the garden state soundtrack)


today, even happy songs make me sad.

this morning, before i left for work, i had to gather a bunch of microphones and cables from the studio and cram them into my backpack so i wouldn’t have to return home before the talent show tonight (that my daughter is taking part in, and that i essentially took over last night – i might elaborate, and then again, i might not)…

long before i started making my journal public, i had a private journal. i’ve kept one, with varying degrees of regularity, since 1984 or so. there are obviously some pretty significant differences in the kinds of things one would record on paper and the kinds of things one would post on the internet for public consumption (although i’m starting to feel the line blur quite a bit…), but i haven’t kept a written one in some time. the last written one i kept happened to be in my backpack, and i sat down and read part of it before i left for work.

here’s a piece or two.

“…back home from a weekend that i’m pretty sure has changed my life.

i was with wendy from saturday night until tuesday morning – she turned out to be every bit as amazing as i knew somehow she’d be, and it became very obvious very quickly how strong the attraction was between us – first of all, she was beautiful – i had expected her to look considerably different than she did – i thought she’d be not quite so skinny, i thought her eyes would be narrower…it’s strange, i thought i had a pretty good bead on what she’d look like, but i wasn’t as close as i thought i’d be – which is certainly not to say i was disappointed in the least. the eyes that i saw when we met were big, beautiful, almost three-dimensional…full of comfort, oddly.

i had expected this encounter to be much more awkward those first moments that we’d met – instead, it became apparent that we were only picking up where we’d left off. after that, everything else felt easy.”


“…i’ve had to make the usual transitional steps from living by myself – which i enjoyed, compared to what i hear most people say – but i feel good about this. i don’t find myself having problems acclimating to having her here, not like i thought i would. she’s adjusted wonderfully to being in the company of my kids, and loves them dearly.

we’ve hit our snags – i’m still the same person i was in other relationships. other people’s anger still rubs me the wrong way, and there are few (if any) layers between wendys’ feelings and opinions and the atmosphere…and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that she speaks before she considers the consequences of her words more often than not…but i consider it an opportunity to work on dealing with conflict when it comes up, instead of shutting down and stewing, which has been my penchant in the past.” 

(i think i can safely report at this time that i have failed pretty miserably on that front…i’m still a sulker extraordinnaire.)


(on vacation in maine)

“…this has been a weekend that i don’t think any of us are gonna forget for a while – the kids have had an amazing time…swimming in the pond, tubing behind the boat, watching the sun go down on popham beach…jayda ran around today taking pictures of the cottages on the shore, of the ocean – dylan galloped around inside the fort…this is in addition to meeting a huge chunk of wendy’s family and getting bombarded with back-to-school gifts from wendys’ parents. tomorrow, we start the drive back to reality – back to our as-yet-unsettled new house, to my job, to our lives –

…i have to say how good i feel about how strong the bond between my children and i have grown over the course of these past months, and for the role wendy has played in that.”


this wasn’t that long ago, ya know…and it’s sobering to think about how drastically things can change in such a short time. now, we find ourselves sharing a home and behaving largely like we have these past couple of years…exchanging pleasantries when we’re not feeling overly tired of one another – tolerating each other at the points when that doesn’t apply.

i find myself in a place, though, where i really miss the wendy from august of four years ago…but i feel this knowing full well that neither of us are going to encounter the tom and wendy from that period of time again. we’ve let too much anger and resentment go by unchecked and undiscussed, and we’ve succeeded in nothing less than destroying whoever it was that we were when we started down this road. now that there’s an air of finality that colors every interaction we have, it imposes a bittersweet element into things that certainly doesn’t exist in a day-to-day routine that has no thought of an ending in sight.

there’s probably a great deal of that bittersweetness that comes into play now, as i give space to all these thoughts…wondering how it is that we could’ve gone from there to here in the way that we have without being able to put a finger on when the tide started to turn – but it’s all so much water under the bridge at this point. discussions about the mechanics of our separation take place now in the same spirit as a discussion about scheduling around dropping off the car to have the front end aligned…any sense of sadness about the impending separation has given way to a sense of resolution and determination that’s almost devoid of emotion altogether.

and that’s fine, really. i mean, it has to be. at times, i need to remember that it was me that initiated this process.

although, judging by the way i’ve felt about the whole thing in the time since, you’d never guess.

i threw your keys in the water
i looked back
they’d frozen halfway down in the ice
they froze up so quickly
the keys and their owners
even after the anger had all turned silent

the everyday turned solitary
so it came to february…

“february”, dar williams


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