The Agony of Atrophy

January 14, 2017

We listened to Sirius satellite radio on the drive down south.

We always do.

Been a big fan since its inception. Like radio but better. Musical journey’s for days.

It’s an 18 hour straight drive usually done over two 12 hour days when you take breaks, meals and gas station stops into consideration.

For the first 15 hours in the car we had on Lithium.

So the same musical journey on the same actual journey.

All 90’s alt rock all the time. Way too heavy on the Chili’s.

Unpopular opinion…I do not like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Never really have.

One song I like Breaking the Girl. Go figure.

They have DJs on Lithium now. So instead of a six hour loop with a few gems thrown in, the rotation is spaced out a little better.

3rd time on this trip and it always starts the same. 12-15 hours of 90’s alt rock.

1997 was 20 years ago.

I was 22.

Don’t get me wrong. It was a good time for me.

I was like Skynet and sometime in the 90’s I became self-aware, came online yada yada.

Do I enjoy little jaunts down memory lane?

Y’all know I do.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand Postcards from 1952 just came on. I am listening to iTunes due to lack of internet just now…this is what shuffle does.

I didn’t cry so that’s progress.

This time last year I think I was just about to head out on my first date with him. 52 weeks ago. Huh.

Happy breakfastaversary Giant.

Never mind him, we are going way further back than that.

I have this unfortunate agreement with my muse. She doesn’t come when I call. Rarely when I am sitting at my laptop ready. Usually she hits me 2 drags into a cigarette that I put off too long and want to finish.


Her favorite place to visit? The car.

Usually when I am driving. I have come home many a night with chicken scratches on the back of my hand in an attempt to remember some of what she whispered in my ear. I am about 80/20 with ‘what the fuck does that even say’ versus ‘I can kinda decipher this’.

I have even had kiddo take notes while the vehicle is in motion and fond these point form ramblings at a way later date and thought huh? One says razor, Jon Stewart and cotton candy or some other such nonsense.

So back to the drive down.

The first year in the car and I was so stoked to hear all these old songs that transported me back to the 90’s. I had just moved to Toronto, I had a bunch of new friends. New places to hang out. Future Bakery Patio, the Green Room, the Dance Cave all of my old haunts and there live all of my old ghosts.

I wrote down all the songs and made myself a playlist.

Pepper by Butthole Surfers made me think of Jesus. Bittersweet Symphony made me think of my old best friend Squishy. Dave Matthews Band brought about recollections of a fight with the Waiter wherein I really just wanted to hear one song all the way through and he wouldn’t shut up (Crash by the way). Closing Time by Semi Sonic made me think of him too. Him being a waiter and all. Walking After You by those who fight Foo made me remember bawling in the back of a taxi while I was en route to see ‘he whom I stalked for a year’.

See the progression here?

Some of those memories aren’t worth having, reliving, rehashing etc.

Jesus is. I have spoken of him and too him recently. He came with me into the present.

I had a pretty grand revelation on my way down here. And everything that has happened whilst on vacation is just one big punctuation mark after another on that very thought.

I remember looking in my grandmother’s closets and jewelry boxes. No idea why exactly. I think the smell of their clean clothes, permeated with years of the same perfume was comfort to me. Also, magpie tendencies. I don’t think I ever wore their jewelry but I loved seeing it sparkle.

I am currently in Florida and there are a lot of old people here.

I noticed something, both then and now.

At some point in some people’s lives they hit a full stop.

This is who I am, this is how I dress and how I like my hair.
The radio gets dialed in permanently to an oldies station, the TV is all reruns and the movies from back ‘then’ (whenever that was) and that’s that.

They don’t deviate from this or make room for anything new. New becomes bothersome. As is, is just fine.

But is it?

I am guessing, by recollection of my grandmother’s closets and current observations this point is right around retirement for most.

But I am starting to see it in friends my age and it scares me.

Tell you why…

“You can’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”

And I know beyond all doubt the best times in my life haven’t happened yet.

I still get excited when I find a new song or band I like. I will go a season or two and not see any new clothes on display that do anything for me sure. I have always been a hippy gypsy with a little goth thrown in but I am also in a constant state of redefining this, fine-tuning, evolving when I find something wonderful. I am on my third round of ponchos being cool in this lifetime.

I get the same spark of fear in my belly when I see someone announce that they have met or lost the love of their life.

Is your life over?

How do you know?

For some, I get this is true. There are people for whom the idea of ever loving someone new with that depth of connection is not possible. They can love again sure…every person is different so every love must be, by default, different too. I completely understand however the desire to hold that sacred and not sully it. I am totally never going to do that, but I understand it.

I think when we stop trying new things a huge chunk of our enjoyment of life goes with it.

I tried to build a house on memory lane but the postman only brings old news and the radio keeps playing the same songs over and over.

For some the scariest word in the world is alone.

For me it is atrophy.

Never let me stop changing, evolving, learning and living.





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