This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

For What It's Worth

I live on California's Central Coast, where too many people have stuffed their souls with money.

Last weekend I visited my ex at the tiny house we bought together. Seeing the place always makes me sad; we spent years fixing it up. First, we tore off the roof, added skylights, and replaced it with something that wouldn't leak. I painted the place dark green, so it would blend in to the wooded surroundings. We saved up for, bought, and installed a woodstove. The Japanese gate I designed and built still swings near the top of the driveway.

The day I left, we were remodeling the kitchen. I loved to cook for my ex, and there was the new stainless steel stove, the cookbook niche I'd built in the wall, the shiny pots and pans hanging at ready above the sink, the spice drawer, the knife sharpener, the cutting board I'd sawed from a cottonwood stump. The things that still represent what I loved.

This was the ex: he knew the latin names of all the plants native to our neighborhood; he never once killed a spider; children lost their shyness around him, and stray dogs followed him home; he gave one-third of his money away, and he never held a grudge. Last March, though, something went suddenly and horribly wrong with his mind. I won't tell you the details of what happened -- not here.

And now, we haven't determined what to do with the house. Sometimes the ex wants to live there and sometimes he wants to sell. I'm just glad he has a safe place to stay. If he stays. In the meantime, I rent a room in San Francisco. Don't get me wrong; it's a nice room, and I'm lucky to be here. It's not home, but it's something. I wait and I wonder and I try to scrape by.

The weekend of my visit, an old friend of my ex's stopped by. He toured the house, speculating on how much we'd get if we sold. He stopped in the doorway of what used to be our bedroom. From the ceiling hang two longboards. Mine, the shorter one with three fins, I took as payment for helping rewire a house. I stood there and listened while the guest offered my ex four hundred dollars for it. Is it normal to walk into someone's house and start bidding on the items therein?

This is what it's all been reduced to, this life. The negotiations have begun. I've lost everything, everything, everything.

10 Comments:

Blogger ginab said...

Okay, so I'm first. I'm first because I want to be and it makes sense I should want to be because I am your friend. And no it isn't right for a person to bid on a thing. Clearly, he couldn't have mustered to grasp evening an inkling of what's happened. I believe that anybody would change what occured in a snap if they only could. And I believe that everything will change again for you. I know that I would do anything for you.

Bea Bea, too.

-g+bb

5:45 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

Hey, that friend was so out of line to do that. That was inappropriate and just wrong.

Also, if we ever get to meet I can share the last couple of years of my life with you and how I ended up in a room in Ingleside.

I know that every situation is different and that we all feel things differently and I fully respect that. I, too, lost everything. My "life partner", money, home, pet and my pride took a big dent -- but over the course of the past year I have realized that, in a very strange way, I have gained much more than I lost.

This concept sometimes feels cruel to me, but I do believe things seem to happen for a reason. I think the problem is that my scope is too limited to fully grasp or understand those reasons. Sometimes I feel like my life has fallen apart, but then I sort of snap into perception and realize that it hasn't fallen apart -- it has opened up.

This room in Ingleside is temporary. Things get better just when you think that they can't get any worse. Life is a wild ride and you never know where it might lead -- but stick to your principals and your heart. As corny as it sounds. It works.

You've not lost everything. Things have changed and are going to continue to change -- for the better. You just have to hang on and never forget to find a way to laugh.

Sending you a warm hug thru the cyber lines of blogger!
matt

10:08 PM

 
Blogger jungle jane said...

crap Ing. that is fucking awful mate. all of it - the whole damn story. i send you every ounce of good karma i have in my whole soul. truly.

12:43 AM

 
Blogger Karen Little said...

hey - i'm sorry... that's quite a sad story.

i guess it's normal to feel down some days, especially when memory and nostalgia get the better of us, and especially when we feel like someone is cheapening those memories and trying to take them away from us for nothing.

but, i don't think you've lost everything: you're still funny and smart and you still like stuff, and you still like yourself. so you still have that, which many people don't, and that means you've got a head start.

1:46 AM

 
Blogger purplesimon said...

No way is it right to start bidding on anything like that, at least not until it's on eBay. And, I don't mean to trivialise your post with that comment. Are you sure this is someone you choose to call a friend?

You deserve a hug and if I were there, I'd consider giving one if I thought it were appropriate and, more importantly, welcomed.

Things do change, get better and sometimes get worse. However, a constant state of flux is better than a static existence.

Writing it all down on the blog will have started you on a new journey already, even if you don't recognise it yet.

I currently am losing my mother to a nasty disease that is incurable (not cancer, in case you were wondering, it's very severe aplastic anaemia). It's no fun. However, I've learned so much from it - about myself, my parents, my extended family. Yes, it hurts but I've found a purpose in it. Maybe the same will happen for you and you can move forward again in life.

Wishing you big smiles and sunshine.

purplesimon out...

2:10 AM

 
Blogger wallycrawler said...

I don't care if it's appropriate your not I'm giving you a hug . About 10 yrs ago I lost my business along with it my long-time girlfriend . It's funny you really find out who loves you when you lose everything . Friends that I thought were close were anything but . That being said people who I thought were distant were very supportive . "Ya never know" ! Looking back , that experience made me what I am today , a much better , richer man . If that didn't happen I wouldn't have met the two most important people in my life , my wife and my daughter . My advise is to keep family and friends close , keep busy at work , get out'a da house [room sorry], meet new people and everything will work out , I guarantee it . Also I think it's time to brake all ties to that "friend" !

6:45 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

I’m moving through some changes
I’ll never be the same
Something you did touched me
There’s no one else to blame

The love we had has fallen
The love we used to share
We’ve given up pretending
As if you didn’t care

Change changing places
Root yourself to the ground
Capitalize on this good fortune
One word can bring you round
Changes

I look into the mirror
I see no happiness
All the warmth I gave you
Has turned to emptiness
The love we had has fallen
The love we used to share
You’ve left me here believing
In love that wasn’t there

Change changing places
Root yourself to the ground
Word to the wise - well you get what’s coming
One word can bring you round
Changes

When I look into your eyes and try to find out how
There’s no way to save it now
And everything I feel
Changes
Keep looking for
Changes
Changes

For some reason you’re questioning why
I always believe it gets better
One difference between you and i
Your heart is inside your head

One word from you
One word from me
A clear design on your liberty
Who could believe when love has gone
How we move on like everyone

Only such fools
Only such jealous hearts

Only through love changes come

Change changing places
Root yourself to the ground
Capitalize on this good fortune
One word can bring you round
Changes

One road to loneliness
It’s always the same
One road to happiness
It’s calling your name

Change changing places - changes
Root yourself to the ground
Capitalize on this good fortune
One word can bring you round
Changes

Change changing places
Changes
Root yourself to the ground
Word to the wise - well you get what’s coming
One word - one word can bring you round
Changes

-Jon Anderson, Yes

10:38 AM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Oh Ing,
Of course that jerk was wrong. How could he? What is he, on some spiritual quest to lower his Karma?
That said, everyone makes mistakes. Let's identify what he did as a major MISTAKE. Flip to the next page.
Your home seems so wonderful. I am sorry it didn't work out for you. But everything changes; good to bad, bad to good, bad to worse, better to best.
I'm sending along my wishes for your good karma to come 'round to you. And those blog hugs are coming through the grid.
Wish we could go have drink. Chit, chat, all of that.

12:34 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Oh yeah
Mm
Still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But stil the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah changes are taking the pace I’m going through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ’n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

-David Bowie

5:54 PM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Good job Ginab!
That David Jones makes a good point, doesn't he?

6:41 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home