Main Menu

On This Day: Your History

Started by claws, November 10, 2022, 07:29:22 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

ER

July 7, 1995 Crazy night, one storm seemed to follow the next for hours with only brief lulls in between. I went with Brian to a rave up near the university, getting in with a fake ID, and the music jarred the floors and walls and pounded into your chest like a second heartbeat, music that made you feel so alive you had to wonder how you could ever die someday, it was that powerful, like one long ever-building rush.

We stayed for two hours and the thunder boomed constantly outside, the rain sheeted down, and we were drenched running to his car with no way to dry off, so we got in soaking, the seats ran with water, rain hissed around us, droves of it spilling by the second, washing across sidewalks and pouring into gutters in this insane sky-burst, and it was so steamy the windows were misted completely over, visibility a hazard driving back, and we got inundated again dashing up the outside stairs to his flat and slamming into his door, we were in such a rush to get in, both as drenched as if we'd been swimming. We slid across the tile inset at the entryway, and I grabbed the wall, he grabbed the door which swung with him and he fell into me and we both went down in a heap.

It was a night owned by the elements.

I finally got home at 1:45, my body and mind reeling, ears still ringing, and storm after storm still came through, the sound of thunder from the next tempest over the horizon mingling with the booms of the thunder overhead, one system after another splitting the sky with blue-white flashes as I sat in the dark on the floor by my bedroom window, watching the lighting, feeling infused with the energy of the night.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 8, 2019 Watched an American Ninja Warriors that had been taped in my home city, and though I'd never seen it, I liked it and wished I could give the course a try, sure I could make it. During a commercial I called Gina in Los Angeles, where she'd just moved with her family, and I tried hard not to feel her going away was a betrayal of our thirty-year friendship (which of course it was not, life eventually gets in the way of most friendships). I asked if she liked it there and she said, "Mostly so far, because the city feels like it's the center of everything."

The center of everything, I thought, knowing I'd lost her.

(Dang, for a second I thought today was the 9th. Now I won't have to write one for tomorrow. :bouncegiggle:)
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

(OK, NOW it's your turn, 7-9, you line cutter you.)

July 9, 2022 I'd been gone for a couple weeks in Sweden, and when I came home my children were away at Disney World with their dad and his folks, and had only gotten back the night before. I didn't want us apart anymore, so we all went to my youngest, Trinity's, horseback riding that Saturday, even though I knew Daisy, in teenage fashion, would've rather been catching up with friends.

Trinity walked into the barn and hugged her favorite horse, Dipsy, who had a solid white face and white ears like a rabbit, and Trin said she'd missed her. She had no fear of horses and even seemed to have a way with them, and plus Dipsy was a gentle beast with soft eyes and a calm nature.

Landon kept his arm around me as we stood by the fence and watched Trin ride, and actually said: "More than anything, I love you."

Somehow that annoyed me, because, well, you're supposed to love your children more, but also because I wondered why then had he left right when he knew I was coming home? The answer was life had to go on without me, and they'd had plenty of practice with that the last few years when the soul-devouring demands of my job dragged me away. Whether there was a comment beyond that in the timing, I didn't know.

At home that night I read a few pages in the OED, as I try to do for one hour each week, and learned of the Old English word "therking," which means the period between dusk and night. Me, I'd always called post-twilight the blue hour or the gloaming, but therking snagged an appreciation in me, and now I use that term sometimes.

But we were together again that day, and that made me happy.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 10, 2008 Had a gua sha session, a Chinese procedure similar to acupuncture, except supposed subdermal meridians were scraped instead of pierced, allegedly clearing up blockages that prevented chi from flowing. It didn't hurt, but after the session it looked someone had beaten my back with a belt. I asked why I was reacting like that, and the practitioner said I'd had too much blocked energy, making my internal centers of heat and cold out of balance, leaving them like weather fronts colliding to make storms of redness on my skin.

Driving home I paused at a light and looked over to see a black woman unselfconsciously sitting on a bench at a bus stop, her shirt pulled up and one breast exposed, which she was cleaning with a diaper wipe while a baby slept in her lap. What amazed me more was that at the crowded bus stop no one seemed to be staring at her, so I averted my eyes too and drove on.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 11, 1995 If I had to pick one long and gloriously crazy day to epitomize my mid-1990s teenage life, it might be this one.

My friend Gina quit her job at Pizza Hut, "home of the cleanest salad bar in town" so we got in my car and started driving around to get her applications for new employment, and we took her little brother Mark along, and I kept pushing the hair out of his eyes and telling him he looked like Simba, which he took as a compliment. He asked why didn't I get a job, too, and I said I had a job, I was tutoring some kid in summer school, and Mark said, "Yeah, for like five minutes a week." So I told him, "Want to see what I think about money, Markie?" And I threw the twenty I made tutoring out the window on I-71, where the wind sucked it away to flutter who knows where.

After we got bored doing applications, we went and saw Clueless at the only place in the city where it was in early release, and personally I thought it was approximately the greatest movie ever shot by the hands of humankind, and when we got out I asked Gina if she wanted to see it again, which she did, but Mark split off to see the Power Rangers movie instead.

After Clueless we waited on him to get out, and teased him sans merci about his Amy Jo Johnson fetish, and then went to an arcade filled with classic '80s games, where you paid ten bucks and could play all day, and we drank so many energy drinks we were all wired, and Mark said the baby doll top I was wearing made me look like I was hiding being pregnant, and I went, "I am not, see?" and pulled it up to show my totally flat stomach, making Mark, thirteen years old and brimming with hormones, walk funny for a minute.

High on caffeine and too wound up to be rational, we left and I drove blaring Smashing Pumpkins' Gish CD at ear-damaging levels, and took us to the apartment Brian had just moved out of earlier that summer, and got out of my car and yelled to Gina and Mark: "THE GUY WHO LIVES IN THAT APARTMENT UNDER BRIAN'S OLD PLACE IS A COMPLETE AND ABSOLUTE PERVERT!!!!"

Which was true, sometimes when I'd be there waiting on Brian he used to do a pseudo-flirt with me and say creepy come-ons I couldn't believe any rational man would think would get him anywhere in this or any universe. Just a real skank of a person.

Then---why not?----I ran up the stairs to Brian's old door and pounded on it, and felt that soul-freeze feeling when you knock on an empty door, thinking of the sound permeating dark, unoccupied spaces, like a phone you'd buried with someone ringing in a grave. I bet the neighbors thought I was drunk, but I was just weirdly wired up, and then I came back down skipping the stairs so fast I almost fell, and whirled around on the last railing, leaving the ground, totally better than Miss Pink Ranger Amy Jo Johnson ever did, and jumped back in a blared my horn and hollered out the window at the perverted neighbor, if he was even home, as we drove off, and Gina was like, "El, be quiet, and get us out of here, but Mark started yelling out the window too, and we laughed hard about it and Gina was sure we were going to get the cops called on us, and she goes to me, "Are you just like PMS-ing hyper tonight?"

I was like, "Yeah, optimistic sign, don't you think?"

Gina just shook her head.

Got back on I-71 and came back to Mason, where we lived, low on gas and I was by then regretting throwing out that twenty, and we went back to Gina and Mark's and got their mom's Ouija board out and went to their basement and all put one finger on the marker, even Gina, though she was saying, "This is stupid and it's like messing with bad stuff, I wanna stop."  But Mark and I kept our fingers on the planchette, and he was SO totally moving it, spelling out ELLIE WLL DIE SOON and so I tried to spell something about him, but he was pushing back against my finger to spell I LIKE TITS and Gina hit him and took the board away.

I stayed late over there, and though Gina fell asleep around 1:00, Mark and I stayed up til 3:00, first playing Battleship, and then talking about random stuff that halfassedly evolved into Never Have I Ever, til I got my fill of his trying to find out NOYB type stuff, and finally walked back alone in the rain to my house, and even though it was after three I called Brian to tell him about going to his former place, and when he answered I demanded, "How dare you sleep while I'm up?"

He was like, "What THEE hell, Evelyn?" Then told me few things scared him more than to be woken up by a phone in the middle of the night, so I said jeez, sorry go back to sleep, oh, boring one, and I laughed so much he actually asked if I'd been drinking, which I had but, you know, just energy drinks, and I knew I'd be awake into the morning hours, so while watching it rain in the darkness outside my window, one of my lifelong favorite things to do, I listened to my new obsession, Jagged Little Pill through headphones over and over, liking the optimistic line:

"....and what it all comes down to....is that everything's gonna be quite all right..."

The suck fest that was the first half of 1995 had ended, and I was on a roll that'd carry me through the second half of the most contrasting year of my life, and for a while at least, it was gonna be quite all right.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 12, 2002 Met a girl from Arkansas in a tire shop waiting room who had on a ring I'd never seen before, and she told me she got it when she became a Born-Again Virgin at her church, then proceeded to speak ardently to me about why I should become a Born-Again Virgin as well, I guess concluding that at age twenty-three I probably wasn't one. She got a burning light in her blue eyes when she gave me the requisite speech about her fallen past, which to my ears sounded like it used to be more fun than the straight new road she was on.

I told her, though, I practically qualified as a BAV without the ceremony, since I hadn't had sex since 2000, and she asked, "Because you realize it's a sin?"

Having once been dubbed a "sexual prodigy" it wasn't that, so I said, "No, because the person I expected to spend my life with got killed."

I thought of my country-born neighbor Mrs. Glenn telling me that she had never in her whole life tasted a sip of beer, never smoked a cigarette, never taken the name of the Lord in vain, never said a bad word, and never "was touched" by any man before she married. I thought of my Aunt Christie, my grandma, and my mom all likewise marrying as virgins, and my best friend Gina still being one at twenty-three, then I thought of myself  as a teenager living far beyond my years, happily shagging a guy like there was no tomorrow, and felt one of my strange uncontrolled laughs coming on, not from regret or pride, in fact I wasn't sure why, but in a rare display of discipline, I held it in.

The girl from Arkansas gave me her number, but I never called her. Still it was the deepest conversation with a stranger I'd had in ages.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 13, 2005 I was in Boston, a city I've never enjoyed, to be honest, and saw The Passion of the Christ, which I called "torture porn." At that time I believed it most likely our lives ended with a period and not an ellipsis, as religions taught, and my favorite movie about Jesus was The Last Temptation of Christ, not the least reason being it had David Bowie in it. I came out of The Passion thinking few people got Jesus right based on the accepted source material. To Bible thumpers I wanted to say Jesus moved among outcasts and was more concerned with helping the poor and sick than with about butting into people's sex lives, saying not one word about homosexuality, by the way; to those seeking a purely humanistic Jesus, however, I'd likewise point out that far from being non-judgmental and anything goes, Jesus was quick to tell others when they were wrong, and forecast that Hell was the destiny of most people, never shying from a message that there was only one way to avoid eternal torment, and that was through him alone. I concluded of the two movies The Last Temptation came closer to how Jesus likely was, beset by conflict between his human and divine natures, and ultimately someone who gave his life for others in the face of what surely must have been the same instinctive desire for personal survival all of us share. But it would be another five years before I'd come to appreciate that.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 14, 1992 My cousin Dana had her eighteenth birthday party, invited me, and by my meek standards it was a wild time. Her dad, my Uncle Lark, had rented out a clubhouse, which Jared, Dana's younger brother and my year-older cousin, said cost fifteen-hundred bucks for the site fee alone. We sang happy birthday to Dana and she got a glittery cardboard crown which she wore the rest of the night even after the pool half-ruined it, and when she blew out her candles in one try, someone said she was a "champion blower" so Dana held her fist up in the air and went "Whoo-hoo, I know how to blow!"  She loved attention.

Sixty-ish people were there, I doubt Dana knew half of them, making the pool crowded, though I did watch a guy from college grab Dana, wearing her cardboard birthday crown, then leap into the deep end of the pool with her on his back, and when they came up Dana was pounding him with fists and cussing, which was funny.

Most everybody but me and maybe Jared was drunk or high, and to my shocked realization, word was things of a sexual nature were apparently going on behind closed doors in the nooks and crannies of the darkened clubhouse. Real live sex? Right there? Mere feet away? Mind blown! Anyway it was awesome being invited but I admit I mostly watched other people drink and smoke and swim and drunkenly bump into each other while red-facedly swaying on their feet. Dana told me I should have brought someone I knew like Jared did, who brought some girl named Amy, who in turn brought her friend Patty and her boyfriend Tim. But I didn't know much about parties.

Adam, our oldest cousin and a jerk, had two girls with him and never said one word to me all night, or if he noticed I was there at all he never showed it, which was to be expected since growing up his name for me had been "Pest." Our other cousin, poor sad Allie, came alone too, and truthfully I don't think Allie was into dating, and in an ironic way, excluding her history of substance abuse, she was almost sort of virtuous. Jared told me Allie was "head starting" meaning she came to the party already drunk, and asked if I'd help him keep an eye on her, even though she was older than we were.  Unlike her stuck-up brother, Allie came right over and started up a friendly talk with me, and was very sweet and very wasted. I felt like covering her with a blanket so she could sleep it off, but somehow I lost track of her and couldn't tell you how the rest of her night went, but it probably included more drugs.

The night was so humid it felt better to be in the clubhouse, despite my certainty it was the epicenter of carnality, and at one point I went into the restroom and there was blood spattered across the sink, making me fancifully sure someone's nose was ripped up from cocaine, which was definitely there, and if I'd been curious to try it I'm sure I could have found some.

When I came out a black guy, completely girly-gay, asked who I was, and when I told him he said in this high voice, "Oh, I thought you were Dana's stepsister." (She didn't have stepsisters, actually.)  He goes, "Dad or Mom? Which side?"  I said Dana's mom was my dad's sister, and he said that was cool.

About eleven I told Dana I had to be home before midnight and I'd be going soon, so all bright-eyed she said she hoped I enjoyed it, and then introduced me to this boy who was seventeen and his name was Barry, and I talked to him for a few minutes, which led to him mentioning we'd met once before at a fundraiser for Bill Clinton downtown at the Convention Center, and I didn't remember him but it was true I had been to one with my dad and aunt. He even described what I had been wearing, and I asked if he had a photographic memory, and he said, "Nah, you just stood out because there weren't too many people your age there."  I hung out with him til my dad walked in and said happy birthday to Dana, his niece, and gave her a present, and she hugged him, and then hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and said she loved me, then told my dad I was "all good" there, though to me she'd said I wouldn't know how to "submerge in the moment" to save my life.

As a postscript, the next afternoon I hung out with Dana at her job at a downtown mall (a mall that's now a parking garage) and she showed zero signs of hangover and was still wearing her water-swollen birthday crown. Anything to draw attention to herself, I swear, but usually a good way.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 15, 1997 A woman apparently stared at me while I was waking up in my car, where I'd slept all night, and I don't know how long she stared but she asked if I was OK and I said sure, thanks, and hastily drove off.

I didn't have to be homeless, everybody kept trying to talk me into coming back, but homeless was what I would be for a lot of that summer.

That morning, from the other side of the country, I called Brian's dad Joe for news, and he was calm at first but got more upset as we talked, and like everybody, he said come home, and even offered to drive me back himself, which I said was unnecessary since I had a car. He said his son hadn't quit doing normal things, including working, he'd just had no spirit since I left. He also told me that my dad came and yelled at Brian one of the first evenings after it was clear I had abruptly left without word to anyone, but he said he was sorry for doing that and Brian shook his hand.

I asked if Brian hated me and Joe said no, of course not, but he was definitely going through his own personal five stages over this, though mainly was worried for me.

I said I knew how bad doing this was and I didn't plan it. Joe said he understood reaching a breaking point and so would everyone else, but coming back was the important thing.  Then he said again he would send money, and I said please don't, I wasn't broke.

No matter how many times Brian would later say he understood I'd broken from stress, panicked and fled to get my thoughts together, the truth was disappearing days after having a miscarriage and leaving behind the man I was supposed to marry was worst thing I'd done in my life.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

Alex

15th July 2017.

I was woken up at 4am and asked to fix a steam engine because it was making a funny noise. I told Kristi to go back to sleep.
I'll show you ruin
I'll show you heartbreak
I'll show you lonely
A sorrow in darkness

Trevor

15 July 2020

Mom suffered a debilitating stroke today three years ago and has been in care ever since.

Not been a good day for me today.  :bluesad: :bluesad:
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

ER

July 16, 2016 Growing up, when I told people how my dad had the temerity to marry a seventeen year old girl at the crusty age of twenty-one, they'd kind of wink and go uh-huh and assume it was one of those old-fashioned "have to get married" deals, but not so, I was born a respectable ten months and one week after the blessed nuptials. They got married for the simple reason they were in love, or in my dad's case, obsessively in love. While my dad's feelings for my mother never changed, and I don't think my mom stopped loving my dad, things did not always go smoothly. Not only did my mom find herself married with a baby at an age most girls are wondering what they'll wear to senior prom, but she left behind her country and family, and in due time found herself wed to someone whose job presented all magnitude of worries, including long absences. So it was that in the 2000s when the seas of life brought my parents back together again, I was happy, and when on July 16, 2016 my parents gave wedded life a second try, it felt like past was healed. If only my mom hadn't gone on to eventually leave a second time.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 17, 1989 Some days have lifelong influence, and this was one, since Gina, the girl I'd spend thirty years calling my best friend, long after she probably actually was, moved down the street from us that morning. We were almost exactly the same age, went to the same church, we'd both be starting the same grade at the same school that fall, and we bonded instantly, in part because we were both reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books that summer. She looked exactly like a ten year old Snow White, porcelain-pretty, with the darkest blue eyes I had ever seen. (Such a tactful person, me, one of the first things I asked her was if she was wearing colored contact lenses.) I missed the friends I left behind when we moved from Burlington, Kentucky to Mason, Ohio, but truthfully I became closer to Gina than I ever was with them, plus her brother Mark, who was seven at the time, is still my friend today, even after Gina and her husband and daughters (one of them my goddaughter) have moved out to Los Angeles. With Gina I'd ride bikes, do homework, practice makeup and hair styles, we'd go on trips and stalk boys together, co-write books we'd print off and bind at Kinko's, and one day even live together for a year after she came home from a broken engagement in Merida, Mexico. And it all began that one long ago day at the end of the '80s....
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

ER

July 18, 2005 Two years before she'd come over permanently, my cousin Celia was visiting me from Ireland for part of the summer, a reverse of me being over there in my younger days, and because projected storms held off, I took her to King's Island, a big amusement park near where I'd grown up in Mason, Ohio, a great day, if I say so myself, riding coasters and going up on the one-third scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, where I told her how on 9-9-01 I was standing on that same observation deck thinking about the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and how dreadful falling from their height would have been: not prophecy, just coincidence, but made odd by the twin towers coming down two days later. We went swimming at my dad's house afterward, and coming home at two in the morning, Celia fell asleep in the front seat, a cute way to end a happy time out together.
What does not kill me makes me stranger.

Alex

19th July 2019.

A friend from Denmark, Pernille came over to visit for a week along with her eldest child Phillip. I proceeded to engage in a week of tormenting her mercilessly starting with when I spotted her at the airport I ran up to her screaming her name and then diving to the ground and hugging her legs. I hid the coffee jar with a series of obscure clues to reveal its location. Being a rabid feminist tormenting her was like shooting at fish in a barrel when the fish keep swimming towards your ammunition and you are firing dynamite. This was helped by English being a second language to her. She told me she could never marry anyone who didn't speak Dutch as she wouldn't be able to argue with them properly. Pernille also said she could keep up with me on one of my walks, so we went on a 14-mile hike to a nearby castle. I started at my fast marching pace and six steps later she was begging me to slow down.

Anyway, Pernille was just getting over a divorce. She'd mistaken a bass guitarist in Denmark's biggest death metal band for someone important in the group and got married to him, then gotten pregnant only to discover a musician permanently on tour does not make for a constantly good dad or husband. He liked the idea of being a dad but not the work or responsibility. My antics helped distract her from the split. To this day I still send her jokes about bass guitarists (most of which I just changed from being jokes about drummers). I'd first met Pernille when she joined her boyfriend in our World of Warcraft guild. They didn't last long together and later on Peter would tell me that them splitting up was down to her being more attracted to me than him. I did ask Pernille about this later and she looked genuinely surprised so I am fairly sure Peter was wrong there. Besides, I was already in a relationship with Kristi before Pernille came on to the scene. Mind you Peter has a lot of failed relationships behind him alas. Anyway, she had a fun break and went back ready to face the rest of her tribulations.
I'll show you ruin
I'll show you heartbreak
I'll show you lonely
A sorrow in darkness