Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still crazy after all these years…

So the gym was as exciting as most hotel gyms are – there was another middle aged heavy set guy who could have been my twin, slightly balding, pudgy, starting to grey, fighting off the boredom of sitting in a hotel room and eating another one of those meals – the energy to discuss hotel room dining fare is not what I sat down for – so let’s see if I can pick it up where I left off – before my legs atrophy and my mind follows suit. The better part of today was spent gleaning through lines of data – sometimes life is easier to look at through data – if you just take the facts and separate the emotions, life is easy, you cut, paste, sort, find, replace, add, concatenate, you just work the data….
First Coast Grill has long since been torn down, but the ocean is still there – the ocean always was close early on – I graduated from college, got the worst job any human being should have trudging along on a trucking dock from nine pm until basically two pm the next day – Christy’s was no better, working at the stodgy law firm downtown dealing with attorneys for attorneys – they were both decent paying jobs, and we had what we needed. Family was close, they were healthy, and pretty much, they let us do our thing – we were still independent from them, and I think there was still some distance. We lived in a little brick house on Arcadia Place in San Marco – Christy let me paint one room the worst shade of green you have ever seen – I always wanted a green room, and she let me have it. As much as I think she hated it, I think she was proud of it – it was my space, and I was happy with it. Christy used to sit in some Adirondack furniture that we picked up in Orlando- there was a small screened in patio, and she would sit out there and read, it was the fall, and it was cool enough to enjoy that time outside with Comet sitting on the end of the lounger, and Christy reading a book, having a beer, or just relaxing. We still had the infamous futon, and a little yard, and we had everything that we needed. I still laugh about Christy coming home from work to find me asleep in the bathtub or on the toilet or on the floor – the job was hell, but in my mind, I thought that was what jobs were supposed to be – and I questioned why I ever wasted my time going to college – it was hell, plain and simple, and Christy understood that. We kept our lives pretty simple then – we had friends that we would meet, we would spend time with family, we would go on the occasional trip, we would work on the house, we never went to movies – I know Christy hated that, we just never did that. Arcadia Place seems such a long time ago – now I just know it as the house near my counselors office, but then, it was home – you know there is a stack of photographs in my apartment, and one of my favorites is there, Christy, in a long denim dress and boots, Comet on the end of the lounger, Christy grinning – and relaxing. I think back, and it was easier to relax then – for both of us, I had not dug a financial pit, I had not begun working too many hours and giving up my family time for work, I really don’t think I had started falling apart – I was still George and Christy, and things were not only fine, but they were simple and good. We were not making a ton of money, but we still had enough, we did things that we wanted to do, and had enough – I don’t know where or when my sense of inadequacy kicked in, it did eventually, it is hard to pinpoint where – but it certainly was not in that place.
I walked off the dock one day, and just quit my job. I did – I hated it. I hated it with more passion – I could not see myself being a zombie the rest of my life, working on a trucking dock for another five years to maybe get promoted to the day shift manager – it was not for me – Christy worked too hard, I worked too hard – and I had no time – I used to cry – physically cry – when coming back from a vacation – because I had to go into that hell hole, and spend another night with dust and boxes and trucks – it was the worst. I think that is the first sign that I received from my in-laws about decisions – I made them quickly, instinctively, and impulsively – they were scared, unsure, and I can’t say happy about it – I remember the response – and the embarrassment I felt when they talked with me about it- in some ways they were right – it was irresponsible, but it was killing me. It turned out to be good and bad – within a week, I was working for a small railroad consulting firm out of Orange Park – a job that led to my current career – and I learned very quickly that if you work hard, you read, you push – then maybe you can move up – for me, the financial rewards were fantastic – I could actually afford my first new car, and we moved into a small starter home that we built – for us, it was like a mansion – we decorated it together, we entertained in it together, we spent time with our friends there, and had our family over. We had probably overextended ourselves, but it was fun sitting on the floor of the model home looking over carpet samples and Formica counter tops – it was exciting to go by the house and see the frame going up then the sheet rock – we knew this was our place – and we wanted a new, clean, fresh place. We both worked hard at it – we both did what we could, and then, I think that is when I made probably one of the worst decisions of my life- I took a short term assignment with the consulting firm in St. Louis – why, I don’t really know – it was an opportunity I guess to move on, to see something different, to progress – none the less, I went – and was introduced to the worst habit I have ever been introduced to in my life – but that is another story for another time –
I am done writing these memoirs for now – I am less than three weeks away from the divorce hearing – and just reopened this after about six months of letting it sit – and there has been enough recounting memories for me, enough to last a lifetime – I don’t have much energy or compassion left to put these things down on paper – and perhaps that is what the legal process is intended to do – create an adversarial situation that reduces whatever may have been there into a stack of papers and folders – it has taken a year – but I can testify to the facts as I see them – and there is nothing left – pretty much done – there are two beautiful children, a house that I still own, and a much better road ahead – not too much to invest in looking backwards…

Until next time,

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