Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Chasing, relentlessly.

Following a very challenging quarter in late 1988, I returned home to Bay Village for an extended holiday break from school. In those days, O.U. shut down from Thanksgiving to New Year's. I had a job helping out at my friend's dad's place, but was otherwise without a girlfriend or really much else to be happy about.

Freshman and sophomore year I was confident about my abilities as an actor -- too confident. Fall quarter was extremely challenging and I was not up to the challenge. I was not mature enough to survive living off-campus, and just didn't know who the hell I was or what I was supposed to be.

On Thanksgiving I had an epiphany, where I realized that I needed to be more pro-active, and not merely re-active. I began running, I ate more carefully, I read more books. For a while there I learned how to successfully calm my troubled head by just stopping, stopping and breathing. I was not happy, but I ceased to be so terribly angry.

That New Year's Eve we were at Erin's. The gang was there, the old gang. The same old gang. The high school gang. It was okay. We drank a toast, said Happy New Year, kisses on the cheek, and then home. The next day, Sunday, January 1, 1989, I didn't even wait for break to end. I had an apartment (albeit a hideous cavern of an apartment) which I could access before those with campus housing could return. I got the hell out of Bay Village and returned to the place which, in spite of everything, was feeling more and more like home.

That night I went to Lucky's (formerly CJ's) and it was like a family reunion, members of the school of theatre were returning -- some had never left. We greeted each other like dear old friends.

And she was there, that one, the one who I had tried so pathetically to get into bed the past spring. Okay, saying "one" gives the impression that I had only tried to get one person into bed the past spring, what I mean is she is one I had failed to get into bed the past spring. And it was because of this fact that I was in love with her.

Her main excuse at that time had been that she was engaged to be married, which was not a deterrent and besides, it wasn't something which made any sense to me. Regardless, it made for an exciting spring, and a very challenging fall when we were cast in a show together with another young woman whom I was supposed to have been dating during that same spring, but perhaps due to my inconstancy, was no longer.

That was difficult to write, which goes further to explain my autumnal unhappiness.

She, this one, was very happy to see me! I was happy to see her, and I was happy she was happy to see me. I was happy to see everyone! Six weeks of self-meditation, and I was prepared to give the world another chance, if it would do the same for me. We sat in a booth, theater majors swirling around us. We had drinks, I told her a bit about my new outlook on life, and she! She told me all about how great last night had been!

It had been a very unhappy holiday season for her, as well. Her fiancé had broken it off on Christmas Eve, and rather than wallow in misery, came back to school several days ago. And what did she find? Apparently Court Street fairly hops on New Year's Eve.

She went from bar to bar and from party to party, at each one finding more friends who had returned early, or perhaps had never left, and each party was better than the last. She reached across the table and lightly touched one of my hands.

"I was really hoping I would find you at one of those parties," she said.

Sweet Jesus. I should have gotten laid on New Year's Eve. I vowed then and there never to spend New Year's in Bay Village ever again.

The next year was quite different. I was dating someone new. I had a different apartment in Athens, and asked her to move in with me. She was from Athens, and we were celebrating New Year's Eve at a house there, a de-facto Athens High reunion, though those apparently happen all the time here.

She introduced me to her "alternative" friend, the one who lived in NYC, with dyed black hair. We talked, she smoked, we were flirting even if we would never admit it. And that is how, by fate or design, my wife and I have spent the past 25 New Year's Eves in each others' company.

Temperature: 21°
Distance: 4 miles
Climate: drifts of puffy snow

Wow. Okay, four miles on New Year's Day through piles of snow. That was a bit exhausting. Passing through Cain Park I was surprised to see only one team of kids sledding, what's up Heights parents? Get out of bed!

Kids spent the night at a friends house, now it is time to head to the annual Bagel Bash and load up on carbs. Then later ... sledding?

2013 Playlist
Pop Danthonolgy - Daniel Kim
Come & Get it - Selena Gomez
Clarity - Zedd ft. Foxes
Chocolate - The 1975
The Fox - Ylvis
Get Lucky - Daft Punk ft. Pharrell
Walk Us Downtown - Elvis Costello & The Roots
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark - Fall Out Boy
Crazy In Love - Bryan Ferry Orchestra ft. Emili Sandé
Came Back Haunted - Nine Inch Nails
 I Love It - Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX

So begins 49 Playlists for 49 Years.

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