A Taller Kind of Eddie

I am on the subway and there is Eddie. But not Eddie. A taller version of Eddie, obvs much younger than what Eddie would be now. Late twenties, same hair, same jaw, same energy; just…younger.

I remember my version of Eddie. He loved to sing, good dancer. He shook his fist at the moon and swore he would stay in the arts his whole life and pursue his dreams instead of swallowing anothers’. But practicality, bitches. The older he got, the more he changed his tune. Around twenty-five, he took a job at a bank. That usually means security for the rest of your life. People complain about banks but they do take care of their employees if you can get hired full time and not get laid off.

This taller kind of Eddie seems to be about the age of reckoning. He wears a suit, clutches a briefcase, looks a little like a little kid playing dress up. Wonder if this version of Eddie will take that middle management corporate job and move to Cincinnati? Almost sounds like a joke now. Or sort of cliche.

I’m on the subway when I see this taller kind of Eddie. I am off home after seeing the doctor. She bemoaned my little ear canals, the nurse bemoaned my wee veins. Nothing new. It’s a wonder I am here and can hear at all.

Thirty years gone, I look back at my twenties and I have a lot of friends like Eddie. I am pretty sure I could have made the choices those folks did. My own crossroads came just a few years later, at twenty-nine. I went a very different way and am only now looking back, when my position is so precarious, and my future still so foggy. Eddie is thriving, actually. Almost retired, he travels every year with his partner. They are really happy. He transferred back to Toronto a few years back. Unlike me, he rides the subway ironically, complaining about the dirt and the bums. That kind of privilege is bred of a security I have only had for short periods of my life. And not right now. Now? Now, I say, “yessir” a lot.

The taller kind of Eddie exits the train to his Associate level job somewhere. I am gonna assume he’s given up dancing.  But me? I go home and write this. No idea who has it better.

Ennui. Lifted.

I am looking out the window this morning and I am relieved to see the sun burning off the haze that was covering a subdued landscape. Sadly, my photo does not capture the real change from grey up to a clean blue but that’s what I see.

Not gonna say I am my old self but I am feeling pretty good today. Right on cue (according to my frantic googling about four days ago), I woke to a monochromatic world washed in gloom. And, after almost a week of a dragging ennui, I can see why people drink. My heart really goes out to folks with depression cause, I wanna say, this week almost killed me.

I can take adversity. Many of you know that I have dealt with my fair share. I usually have this ability to soldier through (sometimes with a sense of humour) and also keep my eye on that wee point in the horizon: I can pretty much always see where I am going. These are super-powers. Run of the mill, boring — but super-powers nonetheless.

WTF when the super-powers disappear! It’s the utter pointlessness of it all.

Enjoying your coffee?

The why is usually pretty easy for me. Not being religious, I tend away from needing an external source to justify my existence and instead put my hand on my chest and, feeling the beating of my heart, I am reminded what a gift life is. Well, that’s normally  enough. Otherwise, I just look at my daughter’s face. That clinches the thing. I know why I am here.

For about a week there, nothing was working and I figure that’s gotta be something like what depression is like. My heart, my head, my hugs go to the folks for whom the world has frosted and the sun’s light thin. I only had a week of this.

Oddly, I feel like the world is new. (This feeling is pretty much right on cue as well, apparently. I say this because taking a break from alcohol is a quantifiable process – everybody has to go through the things.) Even though all the problems from yesterday still dog me today (and there are some number, let me tell you), I am looking out the window this morning and seeing a brighter sky.

I would like this re-birth to find me standing on solid ground. I would like this re-birth to light my path as I launch my daughter and I prepare for my own quiet years.

Wait. Who the f*** am I kidding? I will never be quiet.