Friday, October 31, 2008


CHAPTER THIRTY SIX: The Worst Possible Outcome

In which our hero hears what he really knew all along.

[Sunday, October 5th(?)]

"1990-1991 were apparently more chaotic years than I recall. The timelines still aren't really clear."

"As far as dimples goes, there are times when it would be nice to be a bit less analytical."

"The fear of freedom vs the comfort of the familiar."

"happy vs content vs settled"

** This is the last section of actual writing that occurred at the time surrounding the reunion. By this point my brain was scrambled pretty good, so there wasn't a lot that made a whole lot of sense, even though I knew how it was going to go beforehand.**

* He reunion hadn't ended, but I found myself starting to do my wallflower impersonation. That, and there were conversation groups forming that separated me physically from a couple of the people I wanted to talk to. Got a call from Dimples wondering where Cromag and I were, and that seemed to be a good enough reason for us to say our goodbyes and head out to Peoria. Heights, that is.

Turns out that the place we were going was somewhere I had walked within a block of earlier that same day. Pretty nice place, as bars go. I'd like to go there sometime when the patio was open. And even though there was karoke going on out by the bar, the area we commandeered back by the dart machine was blessedly quiet. We played some darts (Dimples, Cromag, and I) and sat and talked about days gone by. I actually didn't talk a whole lot. Since there was so much I either didn't remember or didn't know, I just sat and listened for the most part. I did get to throw in a few questions of my own, and hopefully clarify my position on some other things. And in the midst of all this, I began to learn a few things.

(1) I was a fairly minimal part of things back in the day. Even in my own life I spent a good amount of time as background noise. It was a fair degree of self-centeredness that made me put myself so high in the pantheon of things.

(2) I was either very fragile or very dangerous. People went out of their way to keep thing from me. While it did not prevent them from doing those said same things, they felt compelled to actively keep them from me. Why? Was I that unstable then? (possibly...) That would have been on the near peak upswing of my drinking days, and no one cared much to be around me when I was drunk. So that could have been a big factor. Not to mention that I was not a nice drunk once I hit a certain point. I lashed out physically and verbally/emotionally at whoever was close. At the time, it was the only way I could access all those really deep emotions of anger, frustration, and way down in there: love.It just wasn't a good way to do it. Ever. Maybe keeping things from me was the best thing they could do to keep me from flying off the handle, yet again. But, man, does it ever sting. Even though I played the 'damaged goods' role to the hilt, it stings. When I learn about stuff that went on while I was on yet another bender, it stings. Then I factor in my own stupidity and I just feel ashamed and embarrassed for having put people through all that crap. The lesson I learned from living at home was that if you're sick/damaged, you get attention. If you're not, you don't. Turns out that was another one that proved to be a really bad lesson. Then there is that part of me, who upon hearing these stories from the past, wonders how the hell I could have not known these things were going on. I do vaguely remember the bracelet/anklet incident from Lums, but didn't ever do anything about it (when I was sober). And maybe this is all over analysis. Maybe everyone was just having fun and didn't feel like sharing. There are also lots of reasons I'll never know. Can finding any more of these vintage skeletons do me any good? Are there any more to be found? Fuckity doo dah. I know the answer, but am totally unwilling to accept it completely. If I flip the question around and try to figure out what it is I get out of discovering this information, I hit another wall. I can't get all righteous and indignant, much as I would like to. There's no point in even trying to do that now. And if I get all wound up about it, then what? I can't change what happened then now, and there was only a really slim change that I could have changed it then. That leads me to this somewhat obvious conclusion: I DIDN'T HAVE A CHANCE.

But I really hate that conclusion. It's a global denial of personal responsibility. It's an extreme position of helplessness. 'Oh, I CAN'T do x, y, or z, because THEY (some nebulous force beyond my control) won't let me', which is, for the most part, a bullshit argument. And it really galls me to levels I can't explain when I end up feeling this way about the whole 'Dimples Era'. Truth be known, most of the events played out that way because I put my choices in the hands of others, and then wallowed in self pity when things didn't go my way. And that pisses me off as well.

I doubt that I could have surpassed Wolfboy. I doubt that I could have equalled him on his own field of play, but since I wasn't inclined to try and go in another direction, I lost on that one too. I was basically happy (certain moments excepted) to ride his coattails and enjoy the benefits of hanging out with someone far different from myself. One of the down sides to that was getting a glimpse of things that I probably would have been better off not seeing. And in a case or two, hearing. In the end, he excelled at being able to have whatever it was that I wanted.

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