Someone once said (and actually, people say it often) that people die every day. My grandparents passed a long time ago, and maybe yours did, too. My husband lost his sister to suicide in 2012 and my coworker lost his sister the same way about four years ago. There is no good reason to mourn famous people, some say because regular people die every day. No one is talking about them in the media.
So what if Tom Petty died, or Prince died, or some other famous person died. What is so special about rock stars? Why do we mourn the loss of famous people so openly? What’s so great about them anyway?
Because they connect us.
When a family member dies, the family and close friends gather all around, maybe at the funeral home or the house of the closest loved one. We all grieve together for our grandmother, father or maybe a brother, aunt or dear family friend. The family is connected. Honestly, we are really grieving for us.
It’s really the same way for us commoners with rock stars and other famous people.
They interest us. They make us feel things; heighten what we feel and sometimes make it go away. They help us to trek on, to not give up and they do it with anthemic lyrics and pulse-pounding bass. They heighten our love, loss, fear, and sex.
How many times have we tried to talk to someone who just didn’t get where we were coming from? And then we hear a song and listen to the lyrics and right then we feel it. It consumes us with such fervor, that we have to play it for someone – for that someone – we have been trying to get through to for so long.
“Here. Listen to this. This is what I was was trying to tell you.”
First, we’re just tapping or humming along but then… then we listen to the words, and it hits us. This guy gets me. Tom Petty gets me. He’s been through it. He’s singing what I want to say. His music is for me; it is to help me cope with life when I don’t know what that word even fucking means.
Our rock stars feel like family. I cried hard and loud yesterday… I’d like to say that I cried for his family, for the loss they will feel now that their dear loved one has passed. But that’s not why I cried. I cried for myself. I cried as I listened to ‘Breakdown’ and countless other songs while I relived my youth and thought of all the times I wanted to give up.
But I didn’t. Music saved my life and so did Tom Petty.
Could we be getting any more ridiculously politically correct? Holy hell, everyone is offended by everything these days. What happened to not liking something and just getting on with life?
Anyway, since the new norm is to be habitually offended, I decided I am going to disobey it. I used to be offended long before it was a trend and after careful thought realized I was miserable all the time because of it.
I now think for myself! It is beautiful and wonderful and I feel so much better forming my own opinions rather than getting in that row of sheepy sheepletons.
No offense to anyone who follows a trend, crowd, idea, etc… it just hasn’t worked for me and I am trying something new.
How is everyone doing these days? If you are in an area that got hit by the hurricane, I am especially rooting for your triumph!
So, in 1996 I had a stroke (brought on by taking too much Ultram) and was dead for about somewhere between 20 minutes and two hours… my six-year-old daughter found me, and after the EMT’s showed up and worked on me for nearly 30 minutes, I regained a pulse. I also gained some brain damage. After a week long hospital stay and two weeks of grueling occupational therapy, I was sent to live with my mother because I couldn’t be trusted to take care of my children.
Everone was afraid I’d start dinner and burn the house down because I forgot the stove was on or even worse, have the baby in the bathtub, get distracted by the phone or my reflection and let my baby drown because, ‘what baby?’ Or maybe I’d drive to the store with the kids, forget I went there with kids, leave the kids there and then think I lived in Oklahoma on a llama farm or something.
My short term memory was shattered. People have compared me to Drew Barry’s character in Fifty First Dates which was cute until I actually saw the movie and I wasn’t as amused as most people.
“Jesus Christ, I’m not that f**king bad,” I’d snap in annoyance. I was finally able to watch the whole movie about a year ago and laugh at most of it.
My long term memory was fine. My memory about grade school, getting picked on, and my abusive cheating husband at the time were all grooved in my brain like a brand new tire tread. I still remembered I was married (miserably), that I had four kids and amazingly every word to any song I ever heard prior to 1996. But it ended there.
I couldn’t remember anything new. I couldn’t remember that I told my mom a story (from my long term memory) every twenty minutes. I couldn’t remember that I just ate or just drank coffee or just smoked a cigarette. I couldn’t remember that the bedroom I occupied at my parents’ house was mine; my old bedroom – my childhood bedroom – was the back bedroom and now my little brother had that one. How the hell did I get downgraded to the oversized closet with a bed?
Oh right… I hadn’t lived at home since 1990. I had no clout there. I was the dysfunctional eldest daughter; the oldest sibling who could never quite get her shit together… ever. And now I was back like the beer stain everyone thought was permanently scrubbed from the carpet.
I moved out of my parents and got my kids back in 1999, and while I had great intentions and did my best, it all fell apart in two years and then I was back in a new level of hell with less kids and more drama.
Fast forward to 2017, twenty-one years later, and I can honestly say while keeping weird lists, writing down directions to a place less than five miles away, writing down on my hand where I parked the car and other things that I should remember, it is a little less daunting, but still embarrassing.
“No, it isn’t a tattoo. It is directions to my car in the parking lot.”
There are even times I am talking to someone and the thoughts I have in my head are disappearing as I am trying to convey them. I’ll be mid-sentence and just wrap it up because I literally forgot what I wanted to say.
:(I have tried Ginko Biloba, changing my diet, more sleep, and lots and lots of brain puzzles. Every day I do word searches and even play my own ‘memory games’ in an effort to make my brain stronger, but honestly, all I can really ever do is memorize lyrics to songs.
That’s it. I mean, yes, I remember other things. But I have to work really hard at it. But I don’t have to work so hard to remember music. Never music.
Maybe I should sing everything I want to remember.
Take nothing for granted my friends.
Do you have any tricks to remember stuff or are you like an elephant?
So, I have always been an overthinker. Even when I was about six or seven and attended the awful Sullivan elementary school in Philadelphia (a lot of schools in Philly look more like prisons) confined to gloomy hallways and blinding classrooms, my mind was racing. It was dark and freaking gruesome like some medieval castle from a Dracula movie. All the kids were brats, the teachers were mean and that one time I threw up my recess Original Flavor Slim Jim in my favorite phonics book just about did it for me.
Somewhere along the way, I started to fret about this crap. Like, weird thoughts would just get in my mind and then they’d kind of just hang around like vagrant inhabitants of an abandoned building. There was a time when I thought if I dropped the milk cap on the floor that it was better for it to land open side down so dust wouldn’t get in the inside. You know, because mounds of dust fall from the air in split seconds just to cake the inside of milk caps.
I felt like a weirdo since I was small but since it was the ’70s, there was nothing that could or would be done about it. We weren’t rich, we didn’t live in New York City and mostly, no one noticed that I was weird. I just felt weird.
That is probably the number one reason I started writing… to get rid of the weirdness. Despite all my writing over the years (I once locked myself inside my apartment for a weekend with cigarettes, liquor, and a computer to write out one hundred and thirty poems in less than 48 hours) I have only been officially published once – one stinking poem. All my stuff gets rejected. Maybe it isn’t good enough, maybe it is too weird, maybe it just ‘isn’t a good fit.’
I don’t know.
Then, like yesterday into today, I get down on myself when those icky, negative thoughts of self-doubt inhabit my mind. Ugh. I cry and yell at myself. “Why am I wasting my time? I am just not good enough.”
I submitted a piece for an anthology about shame and it got rejected. Everything I submit gets rejected. Do I need to add a whole bunch of fluffy bullshit to my prose to get people interested? Do I need to be fake? I don’t want to be fake… being fake led me down a drunken path and I’m not doing it.
Anyway, since it was rejected, I will submit it somewhere else and see where it goes. And if it goes nowhere a couple more times, I’ll just post it here and let you all read it. I also submitted a query for the novel so I am waiting on word from that publisher.
Happy Friday everyone! Today is your day to shine.
For as much as I would love to be a solitary soul, living in the woods among the critters, trees, and occasional wasp eating snake, I know that at this point in my life, it is not feasible. I am part of society (though, these days, the term society is subjective) and I kind of need you guys.
I have always been to myself and at times have gone out of my way to avoid society. I am an introvert and I store up on people energy about once or twice a month. I’ll go to a market, or a concert, or maybe even a park with a lot of people. I’ll fill up on all the energy until I am exhausted and go home to take a nap.
Then I am good for about a month. I am not a recluse… I am an introvert. That picture up there is my idea of heaven on earth. The woods, a log cabin and no one around for miles. I could do it.
As long as I had books, coffee, music, a camera, and an internet connection, I could do it. Because then I could be alone, without really being alone. Despite my aversion to small talk, I do need you guys.
We all need each other.
Happy Friday, y’all. I submitted my project for my one class… didn’t get as good a grade as I hoped, but I am confident I will get a ‘B’ in the class because of all my others grades. Philosophy class is wrapping up as well. I have A’s across the board in Phil 101, so the pressure is on to write two A papers before Monday morning.