the last goodbye

“You can never plan the future by the past.” ~Edmund Burke

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4.6.03                                                                  beverly hills adjacent, ca

WHEN PEOPLE ASK WHY P. AND I ARE BREAKING UP, I’M NOT SURE HOW TO RESPOND.  I don’t have my sound byte answer down yet.

It’s just so complicated. Seemingly a whole bunch of little reasons adding up to one big sad ending. One of the fundamental differences we seemed to clash over on a semi-regular basis was our vastly different perceptions of the future.

P. was the type to worry about what lies ahead. She wanted to feel like she was in a partnership, working towards common goals. There was a time during the last 7 1/2 years when she would’ve gone weak in the knees if I had said to her over dinner one night:

“I’ve been thinking…I want you in my future, so I’ve come up with a 5- and 10-year plan to get us a house and start a family.”

But I never could do it. I never could buy into the long-term planning concept. It’s just not me. Now I’m sure there are some who find this attitude foolish. Irresponsible. Immature.

But here’s the thing:

I don’t care.

I find it liberating.

Even if I did go to P. and tell her I was ready to settle down and embrace the responsibilities that would come with being a husband and father to our children, I don’t think she’d believe I could pull it off. Based on my past, her future with me would be filled with too much uncertainty.

Or so she thought.

And that’s part of the story of how we arrived at tonight. Standing in the alley behind the apartment we shared for nearly 5 years. Crying like anguished funeral mourners. Locked in a series of big, aching hugs. Knowing each one could be the last.

And laughing.

Still laughing.

At the absurdity of breaking out the digital camera to capture the final crushing moments. Shameless to the bitter end.

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a beginning…

“To me faith is not worrying.” ~John Dewey

4.1.03                                                                    beverly hills adjacent, ca

TECHNICALLY IT’S APRIL 2ND. But April Fool’s doesn’t end for me until my head hits the pillow. I’m sitting amid the half-packed rubble of CDs, tapes, magazines, files and more personal flotsam, trying to squeeze in the one hour of writing I’ve committed to doing on a daily basis for the rest of the year – personal observations during my upcoming nine-month nomadic sojourn around America that I will post on this website.

I chose this particular photo because it pretty much sums up why P. and I are splitting up after 7 1/2 years. Here it is April 1 — the day I pretty much promised her I’d be moved out by — and I’ve still got an office full of CRAP. One final broken promise, one final flawed time-related prediction. (She claims that when I tell her I can write my magazine article in a day, it really means 3 days.)

But this being the Greatest Year of My Life, I’m gonna focus on what I DID get accomplished today: I finally got a storage unit, I finally moved some things in (a heavy file cabinet, my albums, old magazines, etc.), I contacted a guy in Florida who’s very interested in my Scout. And he’s willing to pay $6K right now. (Not the $8K I was hoping to get.)

I also began yet one more Day 1 of the great Power 90 Experiment.

Plus, I also returned a few pressing e-mails. (I’m forever behind on that.) I even had a semi-euphoric moment playing my off-key, yet spirited, rendition of “Summer of ’69.”

Yes, I am a freak.

* * *

It seems slightly ludicrous — not to mention self-indulgent and a tad arrogant — embark on a 9-month road trip around the U.S. while American soldiers are dying every day in Iraq. (Not to mention the innocent Iraqui civilians.)

So who wants to hear THIS story?

Someone in my family recently remarked: “You really think people are gonna check this out every day? I mean, I love you and all, but I’m telling you right now I won’t check it out more than 2, 3 times a week. If that.”

And that’s the thing. I’m not going into this thinking anyone will check this out. No expectations. The truth is, I’m doing this for me. And to share with certain people in my life. But mostly it’s just me creating a living document of what is most assuredly destined to be one the most — if not THE most — memorable years of my life.

How do I know this?

I just do.

Faith.

* * *

So this morning starts with tears. Before P. leaves the house to go to her high-powered TV job, she goes through about a dozen costume changes. Each time she asks what I think. As if my half-asleep fashion judgment is to be trusted.

As I watch her go through the familiar routine — the pursed lips in front of the mirror, hips out, brows furrowed in deep study, the half-turn to check out the arse — I see her vulnerabilities all over again. And I realize I will miss these morning fashion shows. The same fashion shows I’ve groaned about getting sucked into all these years.

I get up to give her a hug. To let her know she was still beautiful. Before you know it, we’re both crying.

And that’s how my day started.