Sunday, September 06, 2015

Don’t Look Back

Oh, summer, how can you do this to me?

It’s suddenly Labor Day Weekend and the bright, seemingly endless supply of beautiful summer days have dwindled down to a precious few.

I must confess this has been a great summer, with a lovely vacation in California and nice nostalgia ride to Coney Island.

But as usual I’m shocked at summer’s swift departure and I now dread the coming cold weather.

And, as usual, I’m making my annual threat to pull up stakes and finally move the hell out to L.A., something I do with the same dependability as geese flying south for the winter. Except the geese actually leave—as opposed to yours truly.

My late mother and I shared a strong aversion to the end of summer. When we vacationed at my aunt’s house in the Berkshires, where the fall starts even earlier, I remember my mother shaking her hand at the rapidly changing leaves.

I went to the Chase branch on Fifth Avenue yesterday, where my mother worked for so many years back when it was the Lincoln Savings Bank.

I made sure to stop at the spot where her desk used to be to say a prayer and recall the good times. The bank was nearly empty due to the holiday, so I really took my time, just standing there and remembering her.

I feel like there are some major changes and some severe disruptions heading my way, and while they may do me a world of good in the long run, they could suck beyond belief in the short term.

Sometimes a fabulous gift can come to you disguised as swift kick in the cojones.

We Gotta Make it Last…

And while I was standing there in the bank, thinking about my mother and worrying about my future, a line from the Eighties song “If You Leave” by OMD popped into my head.

I need you now, like I needed you then…”

At first I couldn’t understand why this song and that particular lyric was playing through my mind at this time and place. But I realize my subconscious was reaching out to my mother, asking for her guidance and support.

I really do need her now like I have so many times in the past.

I have been talking and talking and talking about California pretty much since I entered into this life. I used to talk to my mother about it and she told me I should go if that’s what I really wanted.

“But I shall miss you,” she would always add with a touching note of sadness.

I have to yet to make the cross-country move and it turned out that my mother left us first and we miss her every day of our lives.

I can already feel autumn in the air. The leaves are starting to fall, the days are growing shorter, and the wind is getting cooler.
I don’t want to wear jackets or gloves or scarfs or any of that other crap that weighs me down.

I don’t want to see my breath every time I open my mouth and I don’t want to guzzle chicken soup, hot chocolate, or herbal tea to stay warm. I want the weather to be warm without any assistance for me.

I’m trying to remain sane about the change, telling myself that it’s inevitable, that it’s the way nature works, and that if it really bothers me so goddamn much, then I should make like a goose and honk on out of town.

We don’t have time on our side and I’m going to have to make some hard decisions soon—or have them made for me.

The first thing I’ll do is quit talking about California. I move, I don’t move, whatever happens, I’m going to stop flapping my gums, make an honest-to-God decision and live with it.

If I leave I won’t cry, I won’t waste one single day. I’ll hold onto the memories of my mother and I won’t let go at any price.

4 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

I love fall! But this summer was our first season in our new house...so I have a bit of sadness at seeing it go. Such a great summer!

Bijoux said...

Rob, is there a part of you that doesn't want to leave because NYC is where all the memories of your Mom are?

I'm with you on lamenting the end of summer.

Rob K said...

That's interesting, Bijoux. I think it's more like I associate my current location with all the bad things in my life. And I definitely have this "grass is greener" fantasy.

Rob K said...

@Stephanie--That's great! I wish you many more great times in your new hone!