10 October 2012

At The Dawn Of The Night

After the storms rage and the waters cease to swell, I'm left in the wake of a calm. A quiet and inspiring landscape that is deep, green, beautiful and leveling. The sun sets as the moon rises and, long after the sun has gone down, I'm just as wide-eyed as I was nineteen hours beforehand.

Stars in the sky at 6 a.m. are far more important than those at the dawn of the night. The pathways carved in the daylight are tedious, monotonous, extraneous. Those cut out of weary mornings with breath hanging in the air are more familiar, closer to reality than the manic pace of the afternoon. It is in between these two lines that some semblance of my livelihood can be drawn.

Far too often, it seems, I am left to my own devices. I have the tendency to spend too much time in my head rather in the clouds where it belongs. I grit my teeth, dreaming of the sky. A couple of hours can feel like an entire day given my mood. The in-betweens are what I exist in, the bad decisions and the best ones. The balance is what is important.

Within that balance is another dynamic. It is the dynamic in which I tend to compare the old to the new. It is a self-defeating habit that serves no purpose. However, it serves to keep me in check and in tune with my ideals.

Over the last couple of years, I developed health problems that I thought were the be-all, end-all. I romanticized these afflictions as something noble, something I would carry as a scar of a shitty battle. All the while, I was furious for one simple reason: I swore to protect, support and love Robin with all my being. How could I do those things with failing health? I almost immediately began rationalizing these things into the past. I remembered the fierceness, the veracity at which me and those closest to me lived life. We ran on fumes most of the time, only caring about campfires and each other. Music, booze and keeping ourselves fed at all costs. Even if it meant stealing.

I kept coming back to when Robin and I got together. The almost fable-like history we created for ourselves. We became folklore heroes among our friends. Our stories didn't seem real, but we actually had lived them. Even to this day, telling people said stories, I feel superhuman, weathered enough to outlast the seasons.

I clung to these ideals as a talisman, thinking all the while that something was wrong. I felt like I was at war all of the time, holding onto these ideals as my world burned around me. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. When I finally opted for health insurance at the beginning of this year, I hoped against hope that I was on my way to recovery.

It began with a primary care doctor and wound up with surgery that set me back almost three grand that I didn't have. When, six months later, certain problems hadn't been fixed, a different specialist was recommended. I expected the worst. I went under a gamut of eye and vision tests. It was some of the most painful prodding and poking I've ever experienced. When I was told that I would need to come back for one more test, I figured I was in the clear. I figured if I was in bad shape, the last test wouldn't do a damn thing to change that.

During this process, the looming dread of massive medical bills kept other ideals at bay for a while. The cost of surgery, healthcare and so forth really kept me rooted in my place. I had no where to go if I was in no condition to go. More or less, things were alright. I had enough of a credit line to cover everything at once, even if it meant I maxed out one of my two.

One of my best friends is getting married. This weekend. I had to shirk my responsibilities to attend the wedding because of the pending cost of medical treatment. Responsibly, I could not tap into money that I did not have for the wedding. This bums me out for a lot of reasons. The biggest one being that I love him and his fiance is one of the most amazing girls I have ever met in my life. Oh, and I'm the reason they're still together. Ask either of them and they'll tell you.

Fast forward to the present. I had the last vision test yesterday. Turns out there's nothing wrong. According to my eye doctor, I've over analyzed completely normal phenomena to the point where it was detrimental to my mental health. I'm fine (short of the ringing in my ear because of Against Me!). That puts me on a different plane of existence now. I am in the clear of paying any more medical bills, but I cannot undo the past. I am unable to make the wedding.

Earlier tonight, I saw my same friend's band's video on youtube. They were playing live in the Midwest, two hours from where we all grew up. Seeing him on stage with his guitar and black-rimmed glasses and guitar sent a wave of emotion through me that I could not help but regret and also revel in. He is someone that has always been there. In the late nights and the desperate barfights, he was always a constant. Staying up until dawn, when the beer had all been drank, was how he got his nickname "Campfire Kid". He taught me the importance of coffee at all hours of the day. I can depend on him to play any song on any instrument at my request.

You don't find many people like him ever. And Stacy is a fucking awesome girl. I'm going to keep them around even if at the present moment I am two thousand mies away. I love you, guys. That is all.

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