out there in edgeville

12/29/2021 0 By BuddyCushman

Today’s leaked into the afternoon, it’s interesting and often sucky and sometimes wondered-up, when days go no way like you thought they would. Like how today’s been for me so far. But, it’s still young. There are still songs to be sung. Lots of “awe shucks” in reserve.

I’ve said this on calls with a couple of my dearest folks lately, this feeling that I’ve become closer acquainted with the winds that carry people out to the edge. To that place where maybe, yeah, possibly, could happen, giving up. Maybe the final give-life-up act. Or maybe more of a permanent “fuck it” thereafter. Friday, Christmas Eve day, it was a torrent of loneliness. This weeping loss I could feel electric inside me. Today, Wednesday, it’s systems and systems not taking care of the most elemental, it’s what we’re here for, gentle needs of those expecting nothing more. Just do what you said.

Friday I was flooded with loss, with this monster-sized hole in my life, never having had the chance to shop for my soulmate, just about my favorite thing in any year. No conversations, no giggles, no shoulders needed for tears, no confessions, no eyes to fall into, gone, knifed away in a heartbeat, in fact, with no one at all, and I was thinking maybe this is how it is for people who lose their spouse or their child or brother or sister all at once – an accident, a crazy nature event, just gone. And I know it’s not that terrible, but Friday was pretty terrible, and all through the day the idea of suicide intruded. Is this what takes you to suicide? Not like me commiting suicide or planning suicide, no, I’ve got important stuff to do and dreams that won’t quit. No, it was me thinking maybe this is how people feel when they feel it just isn’t worth feeling anymore.

Then, the last couple of weeks, systems just breaking down everywhere in my life, ongoing “Are you kidding me’s?” (Think Bob Dylan’s “Everything Is Broken.”) I bought a guitar from a company in Germany, raved about for quality and incredible low price all over YouTube. Hundreds of gushy ravings. It never showed. I tracked it to a UPS warehouse in Louisville, frozen in place, “warehouse scan” day after day. I wrote the company and they responded and said they were advocating for me, nearly three weeks out from purchase, and I believe they were because all of a sudden UPS emailed they were releasing my package for delivery. Oh, they also emailed there was an “import fee” due. I paid 159 for the guitar. I paid 80 for shipping. UPS said I owed 306 upon delivery. I said F that, and a few minutes ago I received yet another UPS email saying delivery cancelled. I wonder if the company in Germany will tell me they don’t owe me either a new guitar or a refund because, well, wasn’t it me refusing?

Haha, and out here on the edge of edgeville, again, plus the repeated dunce conversations I had with the county of San Diego all morning, and, oh, back to the guitar, two Fridays ago I get a call from a woman (allegedly) from UPS, with my shipping information and a Louisville area code, saying the guitar was being held up from delivery because it was coming from a factory in China, special customs regs and such, and I needed to provide my social security number to free it for delivery. Um, yeah, the check-out woman at Trader Joe’s this morning must have screwed up letting me get out of there without coughing up my social security for a winter squash and three avocados.

The systems are things and when they break it’s stupid and entirely unnecessary – life’s hard enough. The loss of a loved one and the big empty at Christmas time is more, and harder, and sadder. So, the last few days, couple of weeks, I’ve got to wonder if maybe I was sharing a ticket on the train to, next stop, what’s the point. Probably not. There’s endless rain. I’m not getting the guitar I was thrilled to be getting. No wife.

When we were kids we used to say, “Life in the big city.” Like that covered it all. I understand, from what I’ve heard, AA has a line in one of its books which says, “Pain is the touchstone of all spiritual growth.” Down the street, perhaps.

This is some of my weather today, by means not all of it. I’m good. Possibly wiser. I keep looking up for rainbows. I keep coming here to the keyboard. Maybe, if I’m out 250 bucks for a guitar which never (really) was, maybe there’s a bucket of spiritual growth waiting on down the path. Just for me.

Chances are I’ll let you know.

Anyway, Christmas wasn’t the same.