Thursday, November 29, 2012

Restoring The Man, a Work in Progress and Thing of Beauty #62-101

While I was fragile - and for the record, I may be more fragile than ever now so that I'm held together with spit balls and bubble gum - but I'm not depressed and over the weekend when my emotional gestalt was thrown fully off kilter by The Man, I was teetering on the border of depression.  Anyway, let's pretend I'm perfectly fine.  In a sense, I am perfectly fine because as Popeye says, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam,."  Some of the world's best philosophers are cartoon characters.



So even though I'm perfectly fine, in a metaphysical sense totally perfect even -- because we're all filled with the loving energy of the universe and so we can be nothing less than perfect energetic beings.  We are stardust; We are golden et cetera - Despite all the love and light in the Land of Namaste, my head was spinning on Friday night after crossing swords with The Man from San Antone.

Years ago, when I first met The Man, I was so overwhelmed and depressed by my life situation that I felt like I was being washed away by a flooding river. Then I met The Man in a creative writing class at The University of Texas at Austin where I was apparently working on my MRS degree.  The class was taught by a poet named Albert Goldbarth, whom I later learned was marginally famous.  He called us all by our last names, and to this day I still call The Man by his last name.  I can't use that name in this venue, however, because his whole family is marginally famous, but in most ways, that's irrelevant anyway.  The point is that once I stopped giving The Man a hard time for being a rich douche bag, I started seeing his many fine qualities, and so I reached out of that flooding river and grabbed his hand.

We were both damaged and in despair - as damaged, despairing 20 year olds can be -- but in each other we found an understanding, loyal friend.  We were truly partners, and I suppose I've been trying to replicate that with someone for decades.  The Man held out against his family's machinations for years, but when they arranged for him to have a job with a state senator (who was later convicted for misappropriation of funds or bribery or both), The Man gave up his job as a bartender at a lovely little marina dive on Lake Travis, put on a suit and started working the room at The Quorum Club.  I'm not even sure The Quorum Club still exists, but it's where I learned how to run up a thousand dollar tab in one sitting. This was back when I looked like Daisy Duke


I'd post a photo of The Man back then except the photos are in storage with the rest of my treasures. There are whole pages devoted to him in albums with acid free paper -  one of him with the 944 Turbo Porche he leased with his allowance, and a few on the beach in Jamaica when we were staying in the same little villa the Kennedys had used at a resort called Half Moon Bay.  I was afraid I wasn't allowed to swim in the pool.  By that time, though, The Man was fully on the road to leaving his life in Austin behind and joining the family business.  I could have come with him, but I didn't want to turn into his mom.  She wandered around her big, beautiful house all alone all the time, drinking Beaujolais Nouveau until she fell into bed for a nap.  Then she did it again for dinner - and she was usually still alone.  It was a nice house.  It was featured in Architectural Digest and everything.  But I didn't want to be her.

Last Friday night, The Man was a composite character of his dad and his brothers.  It was an exceedingly sad sight.  But now that I've had a few days to process the whole experience, I've realized that he not only sought me out, but he opened up to me in a way he probably hasn't opened up to anyone in practically forever. It turns out that he sustained a serious injury a couple of years ago and had to spend four months in bed.  He didn't stay off his feet, though.  He revealed to me that he was such a bullheaded dope that in order to prove he could take care of himself by his own damn self, he got from his upstairs bedroom to the downstairs kitchen in his swinging bachelor pad by bouncing down the spiral staircase on his butt.  I'd like to see a photo of that in Architectural Digest.

Apparently, this injury occurred a couple of months after I had sent him the text that said, paraphrase:  You're dead to me, and you owe me money.  He was pissed about that - but really, he had promised me not a month earlier that when I left him a message about something, he'd get back to me in a timely manner even if it wasn't an emergency.  I sent him a text inviting him to join me in Austin because there was a party - and it was practically Cotillion Weekend.
*Note* The Man and I were originally supposed to get married on April Fools' Day, 1982.  The instant we set the date, I went out and got several bridal magazines.  The Man and I proceeded to fight with blazing intensity for two weeks.  That's when I knew I didn't want to get married at all.  I wanted a party and a new dress - so we started having an annual Bluebonnet Cotillion which was basically an LSD driven vortex of celebratory splendor.  We had one for four years before he moved to San Antonio for Law School and I moved in with my parents - who lived in St. Louis at the time - and went on to become the educator I am today.  I still have that engagement ring.
Anyway, The Man didn't respond to my text within 24 hours - not even to say he was swamped and would call me later.  So that was the end of that, and I sent the text saying he was dead to me and owed me money.

That's why I was surprised to find him so attentive during the hurricane a couple of weeks ago.  All of a sudden The Man was leaving me texts to say he'd left me a voice mail.  And the next thing you know, he's ditching Miss November to meet me for drinks at Cafe Luxembourg.  No wonder my little head was spinning.

In any case, I have begun to suspect The Man came to a realization of sorts while he was bouncing down that spiral staircase on his ass.  An epiphany, if you will - and now he's trying to find a part of himself that is so thoroughly defended by a custom made suit that I may be the only person in the world who can even see that part of him anymore.

It's funny that he'd turn up just as I'm fixing to move into my new home - and when I've been working steadily for months now on the Renovation Project which is all about restoring my own energy to its original, loving, childlike intensity.

Anyway - I invited The Man for Christmas.  I'm not sure how it will all turn out, but it will be fun, no matter what happens.  I'm declaring that to be Thing of Beauty Number #62-101 (Exploring Beauty, a challenge from realia)

3 comments:

dissed said...

You do enjoy a little danger in your life, Missy. Acting on that kind of impulse would -- no, never mind. I don't own that kind of impulse. I hope you have a marvelous, unforgettable Christmas. Bet you will, no matter what.

PENolan said...

Aw - most likely he won't come, although when I told him there would be a tree and everything, he did take the time to text me, "Real or Plastic?"

Could be that all The Man needed from me was the invitation, which shows I like having him around. Now he can disappear again. All this intimacy makes him nervous.

Susan Partlan said...

I can't believe you got to hang out at The Quorum Club.

Texting "Real or Plastic" seems intentional, flirty even. Is he coming?

I can't wait to meet you soon, in just about two weeks!

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