music

Closure

It’s funny. I actually haven’t been doing these blog posts in the past two years–have been extremely busy with momming and publishing Macaroni Kid, first, in Northwest Jersey, then on the Upper West side through Inwood, in Manhattan. Life is completely different and much the same since I last blogged on MomPress. The unaffordable dream house is gone. I mean, it’s still there, but we no longer live in it. We’re back in the city–an unlikely financially motivated move that was decided upon in a rare moment of clarity amidst the chaos of mounting medical bills, heating bills, car insurance bills, commuter bills, missed mortgage payments and the like. It helped that it was not just us–dozens of homes in our old neighborhood were shuttered, abandoned, their lawns overgrown with weeds and covered with branches from storms long-passed. Most of them have no “for sale” sign–Who would buy a house that’s worth a quarter of its listed value? Many of them are covered with tell-tale door stickers and notes–warnings to pay or else this or that would be shut off…notices that this or that has been shut off…It’s an epidemic, foreclosure. Not JUST in our old neighborhood, but everywhere.

So we are here now. Starting over again. Older, yes. Wiser? Perhaps. Hopeful that we won’t go under again. Closer to work. Closer to opportunity. Sigh.

That old friend I mentioned in my last post–my old roommate from the 80s–was in town last night. Her band was playing a gig on East Houston Street. I rarely get out at night anymore and always feel guilty when I do go somewhere before the kids are in bed. But my husband was willing to stay home and man the fort, so I went with another old friend from my previous life –another who knew me as me, not as “mom,” who now appreciates me for who I was and for who I am, another ex-and-new-again New Yorker returning to the city to try her hand at hope once more. Together, we braved trains and miles of pavement to show up and show our support for the old friend who never stopped being who she always has been. Still a musician. Still slight, thin, perky, hopeful. Childless, husbandless, happy to make music and do her thing.

We were late getting to the gig–mis-estimated the walking miles–so she was already midway through her set when we arrived, standing awkwardly in front of the stage because there were no available seats in the tiny club filled with college-aged alternative music fans. I was three feet from her, but she looked right through me as she sang. It took me a few minutes to realize that she didn’t recognize her old friend and roommate–me. I was invisible–a mere shape with teeth–and not the shape she remembered, but now a middle-aged mom shape. She sang through her set, and I continued trying to catch her eye or get her attention with catcalls and applause after each song–surely she would recognize my voice from across the room where I finally ended up sitting with my friend when two tables got up to leave…Nope.

The set was over, and I presented myself, tentatively, to offer praise to my old buddy who looked about 20 and wore a short dress and cowboy boots. I watched her eyes widen as she realized it was me–not just a blob with a smile–her old best friend and roomie, changed, but here.

Wild hugs. Euphoria. Surprise. Excuses for not having recognized me at first–not wearing her progressive lenses while onstage, etc. And by the way, look who I am standing beside now–Now it’s MY turn to be shocked. Her ex-boyfriend from 25 years before. Stockier, less hair, a tired smile on his face. It takes him a moment or two to recognize me as well. Then a slow hug and catching up quickly, as he has to be up at 6:30 am the next morning, and it’s after midnight now, so he must leave soon. His son is 14. He works in computers. No mention of his wife, but my friend later tells me that he and the wife have “an understanding” of some sort, and he has joined social networking sites for other married people with similar “understandings.” Oh.

More later. Have to pick up the kids.

So…Where was I? Oh…

This is now three days later, as I posted the rest of the blog post, but it got deleted…

I guess there’s no real point to going on about visit. It was nice to see her.She looked fantastic. We went next door to a noisy Cuban bar to schmooze, then we had lunch at an Indian restaurant the next day and caught up. Brief. Friendly. Moving right along…

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The Little Chat Box

She appears in the lower right hand corner of my screen–a Kelly green dot by her name. My best buddie from the mid-80s in NYC. My once-roomie who abondoned me to LA and a life of alternative folk-rock. There she is, right at my fingertips. I click, and the conversation box opens.

hi

I write.

sup?

She writes back.

The ice is broken. She tells me about the project she’s involved in by sending a hyperlink, and she wants to know if I had a chance to look at the funny cat video she posted today.

yes!

I write.

Did you see the video I posted about the turtle raping a shoe?

She has not seen it but tells me to “hold on” so that she can go watch hit now.

I hold.

I stare at the screen and the blank conversation box, wondering how she likes the video and if she is laughing. I consider navagating away from the page and try to remember how long the video is…a minute, two? I stare at the blank screen, and a message pops up in the conversation box telling me that my friend is now friends with Ted L. She is checking her inbox while I stare at the chat screen. I am ready to navigate away when she pops back on to tell me how weird the turtle thing was…

Yes. I thought so, too. But it was so unusual that I had to post it when I saw it.

 

I write.

Another message pops up.

I have to clean my house and get some Jasmine tea. Give me your number again, and I’ll call you over the weekend.

She writes.

I give her my number and wonder why she suddenly needs Jasmine tea.

Bye!

She writes.

Bye.

I write.

The chat window closes, and she is gone. Twenty years of not speaking to each other…a continent away, and our exchange was meaningless, trite, over in less than 2 mintues. I look once again at the friend list at the corner of my screen and see that her green dot is still beside her name, indicating that she is now chatting with someone else–Ted, perhaps. Not cleaning. Not drinking Jasmine tea. Just having another “chat” with another online “friend.”

I log out of my social networking site and open my blog to think…