Ghosts, Witches, Sisters, Brother, and History

“When I look out my window
Many sights to see
And when I look in my window
So many different people to be
That it’s strange
So strange”

Season of the Witch Donovan

And whatever reason my laptop decides that it wants to post a damn article before I get done with it is besides me…but that’s not exactly the point….the point is that after about four nights straight of insomnia and racing thoughts, I had the straw that broke the camels back this morning. After having a discussion about not being up at three am typing madly away at my laptop in the office listening to weird music…guess where I found myself…in the office at 3:30 listening to weird music and typing frantically away. I was escaping the thoughts in my head, but mostly I was escaping that damn song that was stuck there…an obscure song that most nobody my age knows, most people older don’t know it, and it might as well be ragtime music to some, but it was there.

Infecting my brain like a parasite. Gnawing, but why? that song was reminding me of something, but what? Does psychedelic music and sleep deprivation make you reach some sort of higher learning potential? Was I onto the meaning of life? Was I finally figuring out where I put that damn hairbrush that I can’t find?

Nope. Not even close, I listened to the song in my head, then pursued it on YouTube and listened to the damn thing, it was right there, I just wasn’t getting it. Then, of course to be more obscure, it dawned on me, that song, the way it flows, the demeanor, the everything was like listening to the song “Story of the Ghost” by Phish. Yeah, nothing about it is the “same”, but to me it might as well be the same damn song. I frowned, and went back to typing, working on my next book, and wondering why the hell my mind retains some of the crap that it does. Why do obscure songs stick in my head, why do I analyze peoples actions, why the hell do I like bourbon so damn much?

It’s easy, it’s who I am, and just like in the song Season of the Witch, the more I look out of that window, the more I realize that there is an entire world full of people that I could imitate, but I would never actually be “me”. I could dress up different, I could have a different attitude around different people, I just could never be “me” upon imitation of another. It’s impossible, and although the comparison I made to the song Story of the Ghost was a stretch, it sort of made sense.

“I feel I’ve never told you
the story of the ghost
that I once knew and talked to
of whom I’d never boast”

Story of the Ghost Phish

They paralleled in a weird way, the former song depicting the inability to become a stranger and the latter depicting that confiding in a total stranger (a ghost have you) to get advice on who to be was easier than confiding in oneself. The rest of the song is sort of, well, redundant, but the point gets across that eventually he gave up talking to his ghost, he knew it was still there, he knew it would talk back if he wanted it to, but he never sought it out. He left it alone and became ghost-free. It’s getting muddy, I’ll explain in bullet points…

-season of the witch, trippy tune about observing other people

-story of the ghost, redundant, although jamming tune about finding your own person

-season of the witch, doesn’t really make much sense

-story of the ghost, makes sense, but usually only after having a long psychological session

-season/story – seasons are temporary, stories are told time and time again but can change over time

Season/story – seasons have similar fluctuations and expected outcomes, stories are fabricated my the teller to be whatever the hell the story teller wants it to be

Huh, maybe this is only making sense to me, seeing as how I’m probably one of the only people out there that would take two such obscure songs and draw a philosophical paradigm between them…perhaps I’ll use somebody more, well, understandable for further explanation.

“That’s too far out there, I’m not even sure they play banjos where you go in your head sometimes.” -My Dad

In regards to deep thoughts on where life is going and what the hell I’ve been doing with it for the past few years. Then there was a flash of emotion and his hands flew up in the air, almost as if he was being held up at gun point. “What the fuck am I saying. I’ve spent 20 years wrapped up in bad break ups, between the women in my life and wrapping my head around shit, I’ve wasted more time being stupid than I have actually left alive.” It was true, I saw it, I saw a hell of a lot of it. There was a moment of silence, and all I could do was nod. There were some really ugly times in there, times that absolutely nobody else should have had to gone through (he and I), but at the same time we were always there for each other. I’d watch him go on his warpath, not knowing how long it was going to last for. Sometimes it’d get a hell of a lot worse before it got better. Sometimes it would persist as a slow sting for years.

We hit a mutual understanding, neither of us are very good with break ups, and neither of us are very good drunks. The paths that I saw him take, I saw me going down too. The decisions that he had made, I learned from, my “ghost” was my dads past, my “season” was a season that we perennial found ourselves in with no other decision but to wait until the next one rolls around. Seasons can be shitty harsh and kill people, human seasons are no different. Sitting last night, in total sobriety and honesty, my Dad proclaimed “I’ve given up, I don’t need a woman to temporarily make me happy, I need me to stay happy forever. Women make me go insane.”

I thought about it, and it was true, but at the same time without some of those women some incredible people wouldn’t be on this earth. There wouldn’t be the little sister, big sister, and big brother who have all loved and been supportive. Without my mom, perhaps my little sister wouldn’t have gotten to know the Reetz family who have raised her when my Dad wasn’t there. Without my big brother, perhaps I’d never know how awesome old stick shift trucks are and that song about a squeezebox. Who knows, without my big sister I’d never really understand that it IS okay to be a strong willed female. So yeah, through the 20 some odd years of pain, greatness came from it.

I’m looking, I’m doing math, I’m up to about three and a half years of “break up hell”. The first one is always the worst, and as we spoke last night, we realized there was a pattern….

“After the first guy, that fucker that knocked down my building, what’d you do?”

My response – drive to Iowa because I felt like I needed to get away.

“And, what about after you took him back, because you were being stupid, and he did it again?”

My response – I drove to South Carolina and moved as far away as I could go.

“And that weird one you were married to?”

My response – I moved to Tennessee

“And when you took that one back?”

My response – I see a pattern…

“And the red head?”

My response – I moved to Anderson

“And when you took THAT one back?”

My response – well, that wasn’t so bad.

“And where are you now?”

My response – back in Anderson.

“History repeats itself.”

I shook my head in disbelief, how could I have overlooked that all the time? I pouted for a moment, then thought long and hard about it. There was a simple solution to an overall confusing situation.

My response – “Maybe I should stop taking people back?”

His hands flew up in the air again. “History repeats itself, you can only move on if you don’t look back.”

Damn. And to think the whole conversation started with banjo music in my head – and although it wasn’t ACTUALLY banjo music, it was weird acid trip sort of music, it made sense.

2012-08-20 21.35.50


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