Skip to main content

In the Navy.

The Village People are hardly appropriate as a title for this post, but there it is.  What's the first thing that comes to mind when you summarize the topic you're about to write, and it's always going to be song lyrics with me.  Fifteen years of frickin' blogging (give or take a handful of extremely extended sabbaticals) and it's always goddam song titles.

I'll just put this out there, in the interest of full disclosure.  I've been sad.  It's been going on for months, but not more than a year.  It was, in fact, something that seems to have started the day after the 2016 election.  Because that shit seriously shook my world down to it's foundation, and literally everything changed.  Some of it overnight, some more of it in January, some of it still, more of it to come.  It can never be understated how seriously, seriously fucked up all of that was.  IS.  All these months later and I still cannot process.

I'm hardly alone in my suffering, I get that.  Anxiety at this level can manifest in physical ways, and I suppose I've been lucky in that regard.  (Others in my family have not.) And some people just picked right back up again and continue to live their lives in the same frame of mind as always, sometimes speaking out in opposition and other times tuning out the madness.  Possibly for the sake of sanity.  But they are doing something.  I, mostly am not.

We don't talk about it in my family.  I'm a minority with the voting in that regard.  And the religion.  And, sigh, most of the things.  But we love each other, we do, so we tolerate the differences.  And that right there is something I have not been able to do with most in the world, certainly not on Facebook, certainly not in person.  But for family, you do.  You tolerate.  And what a horrible word that is.  It's a word that means, through unspoken communication, that they can speak freely on the forbidden topics while I, perhaps, should just maybe shut the fuck up about what I do and don't believe in.  Because I am wrong, and that wrongness could harm the children, or even worse, make the grownups start to question all the things they've been taught since birth.  You just don't do that to your loved ones.  Not if you really love them.

Again, no one in the family has used any of those words.  I just know.

And hey, guess what?  None of that was the point, once again.  [Note to self:  When you go off topic, edit that shit out, and don't procrastinate it.]  Where was I?  Oh yeah, ok... The facts are these and the point is this:  I've been sad.  Sad, but surviving.  Sometimes drinking, which then makes me not sad for awhile, at least until the next morning when it becomes a whole new kind of sad.  I've stayed in even more than usual, which was already a lot, I've cut back on socialization, and part of that comes from all the friends I lost from my inability to tolerate.  (We're talking about racism, bigotry, misogyny, human rights and such, mind you, but yeah, I'm intolerant towards that shit.  It's what makes me so bad.)

So when you are sad, what you don't want is for your firstborn nephew, the one you love the most (just kidding), but certainly the one who was there first and longest, including several years when there were no others to love, THAT one, not only grows all the way up to manhood in the most refined and elegant way possible, but then has the actual freaking nerve to join the goddam U.S. Navy.  And during the Trump regime, no less.

I've known the day was coming, it almost didn't come, and then it almost went another direction, but then it came back to this direction and it become finite and a date was given and I knew the day was coming but I tuned all of that out because that was less painful.  But dad texted yesterday to remind me that the day is today, and maybe I should give him a call because it might be awhile before we get to talk again.

It's been rough since Brother1, his wife, and Nephews1 and 2 all moved to Ohio.  We'd always lived within an hour of each other, the entire family including all parents and siblings, nephi and niecelets.  You just kind of learn to assume it will always be that way.  But life happens, and I get that, and I've done a remarkable job surviving without my two eldest in proximity.  We still see each other a couple times a year, and while not ideal it has certainly been sustaining.  That last statement might be questionable, but let's go with it.

I had a lovely talk with him, something we don't do on the phone often enough.  I just kind of felt like a boy, er, man of that age with a girlfriend and classmates and a social life what puts mine to shame would not want to look at his caller ID and see the words "Uncle John" at any time of day.  Hell, even I wouldn't answer that.  Even last night, I knew he was with his family on their last night together and more importantly, last evening with his girlfriend, and I kept it to the point.  I told him I was proud, I would not worry because I knew he was smart and always made good choices.  And he would always know where to find me.

I talked to his dad, and sent him and wife and youngest all my virtual love and hugs.  I told him to watch out for the girlfriend, because she would need that.  Goodgod, whatever I am feeling, they are feeling it SO much worse, to the point where I don't even have the right to feel anything.  (And the girlfriend, you just have to meet her, the SWEETEST.  See?  Smart kid, good choices.)  Barely knowing what love is myself, the thought of them at that age realizing they are in love and then instantly separated for what can only be defined as infinity.  Oh yeah, there will be a wedding some day.  But please not soon, I'm already a babbling mess.

Lovely.  Just lovely to talk with them, to talk with him again, and be able to put that footnote of closure on his entire childhood.  From this point on we will speak to each other only as men. Grown, adult, mature men.  Well, he will be mature.  I will be just be grown.    I just don't know when that next conversation may be.

I put down the phone and sat in my television recliner, alone in my house as I always am.  Television off, house quiet, I just sat there.  I remembered that time at the pumpkin farm when he was 4 and insisted he was old enough for the haunted house, and his dad was away serving with the national guard in the Iraq war, and my nephew grew terrified halfway through the experience so I buried his face in my shoulder and smuggled him all the way through the haunted house to the exit, where he sobbed in my arms while I told him how brave he was.  I got to be his dad that day, and I'll forever be grateful for the moment.

I thought about this, and then I cried.  Well, not audibly, but there were tears, at least.  Big wet baby eyes, like a four year old boy.  I cannot confirm if the lower lip and chin were doing that involuntary convulsive thing that four years old do when they are almost crying, but for sake of visual let's just say that I was.

Last time that happened, the last time I allowed myself to succumb to physically to the emotion of sadness like that... well, it was the day after the last election.


  1. well made me weep..not the 4 year old cry but the old lady cry..where my heart hurts for you and everyone else that has been brought to our knees by this election..and hurt heart for your beloved nephew who is now a man and your loss of the little boy that snuggled you and felt safe in your arms..I sit alone in my house(well 2 fuking cats, but they don't talk)..I don't drink..thank the Goddess or I would have already gotten drunk and punched some asshole in the throat..thank Goddess for my firestick(jailbroken) as when I get sad about the state of the world, the growing up of my great granddaughters..I can browse thru old movies and tv shows and find something that takes away the heart can always call me and we can try and cheer each other up...and your hurt heart..that you are loved in West, Texas.

    1. You are the sweetest, I love you too JackieSue!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

One Day in the Sun.

I just posted two sad posts in a row which means that now it would be time for... [drumroll]   Yep, another sad post.  Which is totally not what I've ever been about with the blogging but apparently it's the conduit that got me to start writing again this time, so I'm going with it.  And really, this one isn't sad; I'm just being dramatic.  The nephew in the navy is sad.  The waitress who probably found a better job?  Even that is not really sad, just mildly inconvenient.  But this is at least sad enough to change life as I've come to know it over the last 3 months, so that makes it at least somewhat significant on the sadness scale. I had to drain the pool last weekend. First time ever doing so, given that this was the first summer ever where I actually had a pool.  Lordy, I feel entitled just typing that.  An actual pool.  Like the Beverly Hillbillies, except my pond was not cement, it was inflated rubber or whatever it's made of.  It was so nice to