Monday, April 19, 2010

The Summer of Joe

Yeah, I know. Summer isn't here yet. But like George with his three months of severance pay, I'm going to make the most of this summer. Considering the place I'm starting, I'll have to begin now to get up to speed. Since I've already read a book from beginning to end, I figure I'm doing pretty well. I need to work on my frolf game, though.

I had to go through a little r┼Źnin period. After the divorce and then the breakup with Bear, I was lost for a while. In part, it was not wanting to give up a good thing and... I guess the thought of moving on made me feel like I was saying I didn't really love her.  And even though the relationship was short in time, I did... and I still do.
English has no single word equivalent for the feeling. but the Portuguese... of course the Portuguese do.

Saudade: The love that remains. A vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist.
If that doesn't describe it, I don't know what does. Because it encompasses not only the feelings for Bear, but for those many things that I have lost over the years. My love for Arthur. The old Florida that is gone. And those things that I know will come into and leave my life in the future.

My forty years in the wilderness is done.

I'm reminded of the time that I dated the hippie from Gainesville that drove a VW Vanagon with butterflies painted on the hubcaps and macrame seat covers. I became a vegetarian for a little while and learned to slow down and appreciate things more. I knew from the beginning that things with her were not meant to last, so I took each day as an adventure.
And there are things that I learned from Bear that I'll take with me as well. I will still eat peanut butter with ice cream. It doesn't make me sad any more to think of it.

I'm making new friends. I was fortunate enough to have someone come into my life when I was down and needed somebody. A person with whom I shared little but a couple of mutual friends. A person that owed me nothing. As hard as it is for me to allow people in, to rely on anyone, I was given two gifts. Kindness and understanding. The two things I needed most right then. It allowed me to take a breath between waves. Maybe I was only treading water, but at least I wasn't drowning any more.

The Summer of Joe started this weekend with the kids. For some reason they wanted to hear Beatles songs, so we played them all weekend. There's nothing like singing 'Hey Jude' with kids and really hearing the words. It's a little hard to drive with tears in your eyes. We ate in diners and watched movies and we had fun. The first real fun I've had in almost two months.

I'd explain the Summer of Joe more, but I think the whole point of it is to defy explanation.

I will buy a truly expensive pair of Persols for the sun.

I will appreciate happy accidents, like having forgotten milk for the chocolate chip pancakes this morning and using water and sour cream instead. They were maybe the best pancakes that either the kids or I have ever eaten.

There will be day trips and camping... baseball games.

I'll remember to take the Five Things with me. And to use the pencil.

Just maybe there will be a trip overseas. I don't know if I can swing it financially, but as cheaply as I'm now living, it's a distinct possibility.

Most of all, I'll try to be me. I don't always like who I am, but I don't have any other choice but to live with me.



Ariel said...

This makes me immensely happy. And if you go overseas... you let me know.

Joey B said...

Airfare to Asia is insane.

lubahlu said...

I really wish I could hug you right now.

Joey B said...

@Laura... I wouldn't let you.