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The Countdown - 2

"You were my best friend, but then you died" - The Drums


To tell the truth, I kind of wanted to be him.

I don't know if I would have said that at the time, but looking back, I think there is some truth to it.

We were in high school and he was deep, brooding and popular with the girls. He wrote about things that I literally had no experience with, as in "being deep, brooding and what happens when you are popular with the girls".

He introduced me to a lot of bands, and authors, that I still love to this day.

I introduced him to other stuff.

I have no idea why we started talking, other than being in class together, but we did and found shared interests in a sea of people we didn't *want* to share interests with.

The friendship kept up over the years. This was before either of us were on the internet, but we talked a couple times a week on the phone. As isolated as I was after school, that was a big deal.

He was one of those guys that you warned your female friends to *never* date, and most of them never listened to you, and told you through their tears afterward, that you had been right.

So I guess I knew that I shouldn't trust him. Call be being naive, or male privilege, or just being a dumb kid, I didn't really think that it would ever be applied to me.

Until I got married. He was my first choice for best man. I told him before I told anyone else, and asked him, almost two years before the actual wedding. He knew the date before anyone else as well, to make sure everything was OK.

A couple weeks before the wedding, he lets me know that he hasn't been fitted for his suit yet, he isn't going to be able to make the rehearsal dinner, and oh yeah, when is the wedding again, because he still needs to see if he can get off for it. Needless to say, I replaced him as best man - he didn't even end up coming to the wedding... and the friendship dried up soon after that.


I didn't see him in person until years later. He was at a show. We ran into each other, and exchanged a few words. His first words to me, "Man, you've gotten fat!"

We didn't talk much at the show.

A few years after *that*, he was working the door at another show. We talked for a few minutes and he indicated that we should hang out afterward. I said "sure" and then ignored him the rest of the night.

That was the last I saw of him... until I was dropped off for a show last night, and there he was, working the door again. It was slow, so he immediately engaged me in conversation. He has a wife and a new baby girl, but hasn't wrote a single thing since just after we lost touch. He didn't address any of the above, but he did mention what an idiot he had been over the years, to a lot of people. The cockiness that used to draw people to him, there was still a bit of it, but it was tempered by age and actual experience.

He seemed calmer, better, as if being a Dad had helped finally give him some direction. He also seemed sad to have lost his writing, the one thing he had always prized, and had been sure was going to be his mark on the world.

He asked for my number, and I gave it to him. Will we actually end up talking? I don't know.

But it got me thinking about Idol, and how many people have passed through here - the relationships that have been formed. Some people have made positive impressions, some negative, and some have started out one way and ended up another. Because these are people living their lives. It's not like cardboard cutouts just standing in one place. The person you meet one season isn't going to be exactly the same one you encounter the next. Or, if they are, they are doing something wrong with this "Life" thing. ;)

Maybe it doesn't alter the core of "who they are". But maybe the progress of time can impact how they process things, and how they choose to relate to others. Maybe that's something to keep in mind as you meet and interact with new people. Or maybe not. Maybe people are who they are, and all that's different is your perceptions of them. I guess we'll have to see.

***

If you are looking for it, here is the FAQ: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/708766.html

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Comments

( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
theun4givables
Mar. 1st, 2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
This is one of the things I both love/hate about seeing people I haven't seen in a long time. Because so much can change in a very small amount of time, and that can result in someone who's more subdued or more adventurous, and that's always neat to see.

Also, oh my god, two more days, two more days, two more days....

I am so ready, lol.
n3m3sis43
Mar. 1st, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC)
Only two? OMG, I'm fucking terrified.
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kandigurl
Mar. 1st, 2014 04:19 pm (UTC)
This was beautiful. I would definitely vote for this entry. Where are the polls?
p_m_cryan
Mar. 1st, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
+1
(no subject) - theun4givables - Mar. 1st, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
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n3m3sis43
Mar. 1st, 2014 04:30 pm (UTC)
I always think about the people who stayed in my life and the ones who haven't, and the ones who leave and come back again. It's weird. Getting old is weird.
p_m_cryan
Mar. 1st, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
The journey of Life will always be punctuated with Weird.

And your icon never fails to amuse me.
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p_m_cryan
Mar. 1st, 2014 04:35 pm (UTC)
Lots of food for thought, sir.
lrig_rorrim
Mar. 1st, 2014 04:53 pm (UTC)
You've been in a unique position to see a lot of people come and go, under some fairly intense pressure.

People change.

You're right that they're not "cardboard cutouts just standing in one place". And even if they were, the circumstances around them are different all the time, so the cardboard is getting soggy in the rain or bleached by the sun or overgrown with vines. The fact that people change is a thing I try hard to keep in mind, especially when I'm dealing with people from my past - it's so easy to get stuck on a memory, and to approach someone as if they are still that person, doing those things.

And anyway, memory is a pretty big illusion, too. We shift things around in our own minds all the time and just don't notice. The only constant is change.
theun4givables
Mar. 1st, 2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
Ugh that link. Reminds me of an excellent short story/novella written by Ted Chiang: The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling.

Read it if you haven't already. Have to thank talon for this gem because it always makes me take a step back and think that I might be misremembering things.

*Edited a million times because I briefly forgot how to HTML. I apologize, I've been up since before 3am.

Edited at 2014-03-01 06:12 pm (UTC)
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lrig_rorrim
Mar. 1st, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)
My wrists are killing me today, so I will probably stop doing anything fun like typing or crocheting here soon (boo) but first I wanted to share a picture of my favorite little helper.

[Kitty]
Bubbles shows off her new blue nail caps while helping me crochet.
xo_kizzy_xo
Mar. 1st, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC)
KITTY!!!!
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xo_kizzy_xo
Mar. 1st, 2014 08:51 pm (UTC)
Well, I've been told that I shouldn't be working 6 days out of 7 for too much longer (it's been like this since mid-late January). It's been very helpful with the extra money, and I like being busy. OTOH I think my knees are going to rejoice greatly.

We've got YET ANOTHER SNOWSTORM coming in overnight tomorrow night. Oh dear lord, spring cannot come soon enough.
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rattsu
Mar. 1st, 2014 09:50 pm (UTC)
So I am sitting here on the couch with a cat on my feet and trying to get back to writing. Deadlines are looming, I need to finish another issue of the comic and now there is another secrit project that I need to get done fast. So many things to do... and yet...

... I find myself drifting back here. To this place.To the point in time when LJ was still my thing. To a time when writing was a pipe dream and I joined a contest just to force myself to actually do something with the thoughts inside my head.

Wow how time flies, and still...

... it feels familiar. Like worn out socks, or your grandmothers laundry detergent. Nostalgic. Something that maybe I feared I had forgotten, but then realized I had not. I see names here of people and remember their stories. Their posts about their lives and I wonder... have theirs changed as well?

I don't really have the time to do this, but I'm going to. Because of this. This room.These people. These memories of mine. I can't really fit it into my schedule but maybe it will find a place there anyway, gently pushing aside some of the frustrated random googling and tumblering about things I use to distract my mind.

I don't really have time, but I don't really have excuses either. Just laziness and indifference and fear and over-ambition and those were the things this competition forced me to give up.

So I am here. Again. For the last time.

The cat is twitching on my feet now. Asleep. Dreaming.

And just writing this made me feel better.

I love this place.
similiesslip
Mar. 1st, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
I'm so excited you are coming back!!!!!!!! :)

::hugs:: I hope the timing works out better than you thought, somehow :)
shay_writes
Mar. 2nd, 2014 12:26 am (UTC)
Loved this! and it made me miss you.

As for Idol, I can't wait! It has been too long. :)
clauderainsrm
Mar. 2nd, 2014 01:40 am (UTC)
btw - that's the right number. :)
(no subject) - shay_writes - Mar. 2nd, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
whipchick
Mar. 2nd, 2014 04:13 am (UTC)
ZB?
clauderainsrm
Mar. 2nd, 2014 04:22 am (UTC)
Yep. He was shocked to hear that you were traveling the world with your own show. "Where did that come from?" was the quote. We were interrupted, so I couldn't ask him the first response that came to mind, "Of course she is - were you even paying attention??"

(no subject) - whipchick - Mar. 2nd, 2014 04:39 am (UTC) - Expand
( 57 comments — Leave a comment )

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LJ Idol: a writing rollercoaster with iffy brakes

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