not your average sunday morning



now playing: shane nicholson, “life on mars”


for better or worse, i think the songs from shane’s album are going to be forever tied to the end of this relationship. i just can’t stop listening to this album. so – sorry, shane. and to eastmountainsouth, too.

your music has henceforth been consigned to the bittersweet.

i haven’t perceived any real change in my habits, but somehow i’ve lost six pounds in the last two weeks. go figure.

the only reason i know this is because i was standing on the shipping scale a couple of weeks ago while i was working on the computer next to it, and i saw how much i weighed then…this morning i noticed that the pants i’m wearing are fitting a little more loosely than they normally do, so i walked down after i got settled in at work, and lo and behold – i seem to have misplaced six pounds. dunno what happened.

i accepted keith’s invitation to play the gig with his band last night, and walked away with some extra cushion to my budget for the week, which was a nice bonus. and i actually enjoyed playing with them…it was my first actual publig gig since the dissolution of stone road, and it was nice to be up and in front of a crowd again. i still don’t know how i’d feel about playing country music full time, but i felt pretty good about it last night.

well, except for one little thing.

after the first set, i walked into the back and turned on my cellphone (which i’d turned off in the afternoon when i went to work and had neglected to turn back on) and had four voicemails, all from jill.

it turns out she had a situation on her hands.

now, i don’t know why it didn’t occur to me – well, no, that’s not true. i did know why. it didn’t occur to me that something like this would happen because i had faith in my daughters’ sense of what’s appropriate and what’s not. i really never thought in a million years she’d come to where she’s come to.

anyway, yesterday after she returned from school, she told her mom that she and her stepsister chelsea were going for a walk and off they went.

after a couple of hours had passed, her mom started to wonder where she’d gotten to…she usually ends up at her friend frankies’ house. but when a call to frankie’s failed to turn her up, her mom started to worry.

cut to about an hour later, which finds jill standing in front of Loser Boyfriend’s house on 8th street in the city.

she knocks on the door, and an older guy answers, and she asks for jayda…and this guy (apparently either the dad or the uncle or whoever…you never really fuckin’ know) says she’s not there, and he closes the door and locks it. so she knocks on it again, and Loser Boyfriend comes down and says that they were there earlier, but that they left – and jill (God love her at times like these, she’s fuckin’ ferocious) tells him that if the girls aren’t outside the house in two minutes, she’s calling the police. (which i would’ve done the minute i got there, personally…)

and sure enough, a couple of minutes later, out they come.

i’ve told jayda since before she was old enough for it to be an issue that i would trust her until she gave me a reason not to.

that day has officially arrived.

as i was saying, though, maybe it should have occured to me that she might consider doing something like this from the moment that i made it clear to her that i didn’t care for the guy. after all, her mother has already made that clear to her, and i think she saw her time at my house as the only real opportunity that she had to spend any time with him outside of school. once that appeared to be gone, she obviously felt that she had to resort to shit like this to see this asshole.

i wonder if she stopped for a moment to consider what her life would be like after she got caught.

because now, her social life outside of school is, for any and all practical purposes, over. there’ll be no picking her and her friends up and taking them to or retrieving them from the mall, the movies, nothing. her life will consist of getting up and going to school and coming home to whichever house is home that night and sitting there until it’s time to get up and do it again. having already lost her cellphone, i’d say that it’s a certainty at this point that she won’t be getting it back at all, and i told her mother last night to make sure that she knew the whereabouts of dylan’s, since i’ll be keeping it in my posession until such time as he pulls his academic shit together. i talked to wendy briefly about possibly getting a cheap replacement for jayda’s and giving it to her parents so she could keep in touch. all the cellphones are still on wendy’s account right now – we haven’t split them off yet – so it’d be an alternative to cancelling the account altogether and paying the early termination fees that would go along with cancelling the account altogether.

i just can’t, for the life of me, figure out how we got to this place.

from early on in their lives, my kids’ personalities seemed to be fleshed out pretty vividly…dylan was the introspective dreamer – the mix of shy and goofy that he seemed to inherit from his father. jayda was the bubbly, happy and yet centered and responsible of the pair. she was always ahead of her time in her ability to reason and to relate to people. she was incredibly intelligent and intuitive, where other people were concerned.

i would never in a million years have thought that she’d have ended up making some of the choices she’s made.

ever since Loser Asshole Boyfriend (LAB for short…that’s what we’ll call him from this point forward) has come into the picture, she’s been different. i can’t really put my finger on it – what it is specifically that has sparked this change in her, but it seems too chronologically close to be coincidental. She’s affected an accent that seems to be a permanent thing now – i can’t even imagine how that came to pass, but she talks now as if english was a second language to her. i’ve heard her affect this in the past, in the presence of certain people, but when the partner in conversation eventually disappeared, so did the vocal affectation. now it almost seems to be a permanent thing.

her ambition – once so obvious – has started to wither as well.

so much of what i love about my daughter is still present, but i’m starting to wonder how long i can count on that. she’s still an excellent student – her grades haven’t slipped at all. i’ve seen no evidence of any kind of introduction to anything that could be considered substance abuse on her part…i think she still has a disdain for that, to some extent. and up until very recently, she used to call me at work and we’d talk about her day, about school, about whatever…but that hasn’t happened for a while now.

i’ve watched as one by one, certain friends of hers have become sexually active – some of them girls i’ve known since they were toddlers. now i have to wonder if my daughter has joined the club.

also, without going too far down the path of trashing LAB and his family, i have to wonder what kind of fucking lowlife would stand in the doorway of their house and lie to a parent about the whereabouts of their child? i mean, as an adult, (not counting them as parents because frankly, i don’t know who the fuck they were) i’d think that’d be below you if you had a single ounce of decency as a human being.

not something that you’ll find in the LAB household, obviously.

i know my kids aren’t five and seven anymore. i know they’re older and that their social structures are different now. i don’t know when being in a relationship as a teenager took on such a premium. i can’t even begin to go into how much things have changed now from when i was in high school, even though we’re talking twenty years’ time, but at what point did the act of being in a relationship (or not) take on so much importance in one’s social standing? i never had a steady girlfriend in high school, and even then, i didn’t feel like i was missing out on anything by not being with someone…nor did i feel judged by the people i surrounded myself with for not keeping a girlfriend. jayda, though, seems to see it as a necessity. i don’t know, maybe it’s not that – it’s not as though she’s unattractive, and wouldn’t have options at a given time…but the choices she’s made in that department have, at times, concerned me quite a bit.

never more than now, though…that’s for damn sure.

never more than now.

last night, after the gig, i went back to keiths’ house and curled up with a pillow in the guest room and laid awake for what must’ve been at least an hour thinking about all this, and what (if anything) i can do to try to reverse the course she’s hell bent on staying on. jill told me last night that jayda told her that her dad hates her. i don’t know how much of that is the typical melodramatic teenage embellishment of our last couple of conversations, or if she really, truly believes that.

the fact is, though, if i didn’t love her, i wouldn’t care what she does with herself or her life. i’d give her free reign to go spend as much time with LAB as she wanted. hell, get a whole slew of LABs and divide your time among them as you see fit. it wouldn’t matter to me if i felt the way about her that she’s convinced that i do.

i think, though, that as advanced as jayda is on so many levels, that inside she’s still a little girl in some ways. and right now, she wants to think that any attempt on the part of her mother and i to keep her from something that she wants is an act of hatred. i remember that mindset pretty well myself.

i don’t think you grow out of that at her age. that comes later, when you have an appreciation for what it means to be a parent, maybe.

i guess that if i needed something extra to make these next few months a little more trying than they’re already gonna be, i need look no further.

last night, after i finally fell asleep, i dreamed that i got a call to sub for jeff pevar in the touring band for crosby stills and nash – not that any of this has any foundation whatsoever in truth, but kenny passarelli was playing bass for them, and when jeff had to leave the tour, he recommended me to the band, and they hired me based on his recommendation. not that any of this happened in the dream, but i remember that being the reason i was there. they were playing at a theatre in new jersey somewhere, and i got there early and set up next to kenny, and we were chatting as i set up. the lights went down and they walked onstage and started while i was still getting my equipment set up, but i was ready by the second verse of the first song – which was “do for the others”, a stephen song. i put a kick-ass, david lindley-style lap steel part on the song and stills turned around and smiled at me.

after the show, he came over and we were chatting – he looked a lot younger than he looks now in my dream, and we were chatting about some of my instruments and i was asking him questions about his playing. after we finished talking, i noticed that the theatre had almost completely emptied out, and i said something about having to go, and he asked me where i was going, and i said that i had to get up to go to work in the morning.

he said, “stay right here for a minute,” and walked away for just a second, and came back and said that he was going to go talk to david and graham about having me stay with the tour…they were going to be playing this particular hall for six more nights, and then moving on to someplace in upstate new york for a week, and would i come along if i got the gig…

and then i woke up.

i do wish i’d stayed asleep long enough to ask him what chord voicing he used for the intro to “carry on”, though.

always wondered about that….

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