Bubala, Mumi & Max

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Memory Avoidance

"She remembers me
It has been six or seven years
But she remembers me
She asks me if I am married
So she does not really know me
Next she talks about some times
And some things we had in common
And I am comfortable
Because I am someone
She remembers"

ring... ring...

There is a part of me that has been yearning to reconnect with some friends from my past. I have cut a lot of people out of my life over the years for no good reason. In the early 1990's, I turned my back on all of the people I knew around my age whom I had been friends with since my high school days and earlier.

I went though this phase when I was in my early 20's where I chose to spend all of my time hanging around with this group of troubled teens, kids really. Most of them were 15 or 16 years old. All of theses kids were heavily into drugs and drinking. Serious drugs too like coke, LSD and PCP. They were always really desperate for their next great high. So much so that they would do crazy shit like inhaling butane or "huffing" gasoline to get a buzz. Pretty sick stuff if you ask me.

I did not drink or do any drugs at all at that time in my life. So, when I first started hanging out with these kids, I guess I had this grand idea in my head that I could be the person in their lives who could show them that they did not have to indulge in illegal substances to have a good time. Somehow, I could save them from all of the evils of drugs and alcohol. I could be their savior. So, I took them all under my wing and we hung out together doing sober things like playing baseball, shooting pool, playing Super Nintendo and fun things like that. That idea worked fine for a few months until they all started to get bored with me and my straight-laced ways.

Of course, by that time, I had grown quite close to these young men. Too close. Some might even say that I was obsessed with one or two of them. I always wanted to be around them even though they were always doing things that I did not approve of. I don't know what it was. Maybe I just was delighted to be hanging out with people who were, in my mind at least, inferior to me. Maybe I was living out all of my drug life fantasies vicariously though them. Maybe I was just lusting after troubled teenaged boys. Maybe I just enjoyed getting phone calls at 3am from piss-drunk kids asking me to come and pick them up out of the gutter and drive them home which was not always so easy since, often times, they were so drunk that they didn't even know where they were. Whatever my motives were, after it became apparent that they were very quickly getting bored with me, I decided that I would have change some things about myself if I wanted to continue to hold their interest.

So, I started getting drunk with them. Just about every night, we'd all go pick up a bottle of our favorite flavor of "Mad Dog" 20/20 and head out to the train tracks to get wasted. I didn't really enjoy getting drunk as much as I enjoyed feeling like I was finally being accepted by this group of kids. Then, we moved on to some of the harder stuff. I tried pot for the first time and the second time and the third time... I dropped acid. I smoked a "dipper." (A cigarette dipped in PCP.) I smoked a "whacker." (A marijuana joint dipped in PCP.) Hell, I got so desperate for a high, I even huffed gas to get a buzz. What the fuck was I thinking? Why was I compromising myself just so I would be accepted by these young men?

To this day, I still don't know why I did all of those things. It was not me at all. I don't really drink anymore. I don't do drugs at all anymore. So, why, way back then, did I feel like I had to do all of those things to impress those kids? Why was I trying so hard to fit in with that group? Why did I turn my back on all of my great friends from high school just so I could try to fit in with a bunch of misfits? Why?

There is still a big part of me that is yearning to reconnect with some old friends from my past. Unfortunately, there is a bigger part of me that is too afraid to pick up the phone and dial the numbers that would connect me, through the network of wires, to those old friends.

Come on, just pick up the phone.
Dial the number.
Okay, it's ringing.
Click, a voice on the other end says, "hello."
Click, I hang up...

Fear is just such a stupid, useless thing.


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