Turntable

It was June of ’86 when I hopped a plane for Port Richey, Florida. My former girlfriend had moved out of New York months earlier and I was in chase despite the fact we weren’t in love with each other. Ours was the kind of relationship that wasn’t interested with being in love. Cliches kicked the shit out of you and made you old before you really got going.

For most of the year and change we were together while she was still living in New York, forever had seemed a million miles long. And then it got lost one night when we were involved in a car accident that took my best friend’s life. Everything, every single thing, changed. We stayed together out of a hopeless desperation to save ourselves from drowning. Until the winter took us to different places, and New York, it became a place full of ghosts.

We broke up but stayed in touch. She almost got pregnant to a college football player while I swore I’d found my future wife in a Hardee’s Drive-Thru, and then we kept turning into someone elses until she called to tell me to get there, just for the hell of it.

It seemed like a great idea until I was touching down in Florida and wondering why in the fuck it was that life didn’t come with annotations. And then we were there, trying to catch up on everything we had lost and not having a chance in hell of getting back to what we had been before our lives spilled out in different directions.

The time I spent with her was filled with the kind of education only experience can provide. Among the things I learned was that the girl had more of my stuff than I remembered giving her. There was a half closet full of my clothes, including winter jackets she had no use for in her new locale but took with her just so she could wear them whenever she thought of me. She had a bunch of my vinyl, to which I cursed myself for giving up so easily. Other items of note included a sweet purple and gold Magic Johnson jersey, a Brooklyn Union Gas pylon I had gifted myself after a night of partying and a football helmet.

The more salient lesson happened from the moment I touched down and she ran into my arms. It was blatantly obvious that we tended to disagree. About everything. She thought the world was flat and I knew it was round. I was a Reagan kid and she loved Carter and Mondale. I read books like No More Vietnams and she read books like Phaedo. She was Mets, Chinese take-out, screwdrivers and U2 while I was Yankees, pizza, Corona and Bon Jovi.

It had never occurred to me that we had absolutely nothing in common back when we had been inseparable. But with the passing of time and place, now it was impossible to ignore. Once upon a time, I just assumed we were passionate and fiery. That’s some interesting shit. But the idea that we were just a couple of stupid kids who had nothing in common? Not so interesting.

So we debated who the best band in the world was and we never got back to even and then we argued on everything else. Until she was telling me to get lost and then I was hopping a plane out of there. Without my Magic Johnson jersey, or my two tone leather jacket . . . or my vinyl.

Twenty years later, we reconnected thanks to an old friend. There was zero expectation of anything romantic happening, but I had to admit it was nice to hear her voice again. She told me she was back in New York and she asked me if there was any chance we might be able to catch up over drinks. We were both divorced with kids and life was flying by and drinks with an old friend felt like a chance. To just forget all the things that time had stolen.

I had to get there. If only to ask how my LP’s were doing . . .

 

 

 

 

53 thoughts on “Turntable”

  1. Dearest B,

    You’ve done it again. You have woven a tale in such a beautiful way.

    Life is like a turntable; each vinyl you set the needle to represents a moment of time, The songs or records that get played the most had the biggest impacts: the good, the bad, the ugly, the ridiculous. Funny how when we are living whatever it is we are experiencing, we can play that record ad nauseam, thereby keeping ourselves in that moment. With time, we finally pick up the needle and replace the record with another.

    And then, comes the day, like today, where you pick up that memory, play that record and actually can smile, albeit wistfully, at what was and how you were changed by it.

    Thank you for sharing a piece of you.

    Lotsa love,
    Q

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Q,

      Like I told ya, it’s the context I needed to provide partly so’s the prompt isn’t out of left field, and partly so’s I could finish the prompt by drinking in that time once again.

      Woven is a good ‘un. 😉

      And I like the album analogy you use there, it’s so true! Ahh . . to be young again. Nope, wouldn’t want to be, lol.

      Thank you for reading this, imparting your super cool wisdom and thank you most of all for understanding the B side. 🙂

      Lotsalovebackatcha,

      B

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, the context shared was something.

        Glad you like woven – trying to be on par with ya 😉

        And glad it didn’t come off as hokey my album analogy. And hell no… I would not go back – no matter how fit and firm I was!

        Please, I dunno about wisdom and coolness but I like to think I’m getting to understand the B-side. xoxo

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you.

        Woven and weaving . . my fave words of the day have spoken. Hokey was there to play some utility infield for good measure.

        I would perhaps go back for the original McDonald’s Big Mac. But only for twenty four hours, after which I would fast forward myself to the Nutri-System ’90’s, the South Beach 2000’s and finally the 2018 “Why in the blessed fuck would I bother with diets?”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well-deserved/

        Hokey is always a good thing to have in small doses, if just to balance things out.

        You mean when it was a reasonable size? Oh gawd Nutri-System? South Beach? Waitaminute…you totes forgot the Atkins! Bacon, fat, more fat, beef, pork, more bacon – but oh… no fruits and only a few veg and fuggetabout any carbs of any sorts!
        Stay the fuck away from any bloody diets!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, if hokey was an actor, hokey would be that character actor who has a rock solid forty year career in the biz, and then settles down as a rancher.
        I never DID the Atkins. I just thought loving bacon was same diff! LOL!

        #nobloodydietsever!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Now that’s a great analogy…
        Neither did I… though many suffered from ketosis along with horrible breath (there were some in my family who needless to say, did try it)
        Nah… y’all can enjoy bacon AND an orange in my world…
        #nobloodydietsever! (lookit you all hashtagging it)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Words do that to me, lol.
        Ugh! I think diets are God’s way of saying “Y’all will do just about anything to change the booty I created!”
        Bacon AND an orange? What a novel approach, I dare say! Orange first, bacon for dessert!
        I never did hash, except for corned beef . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Words are great.
        Diets were created after peeps stopped moving and started eating processed shit and continued eating and wearing stretchy pants and wondered how they got there?
        Why not? That sweet and salty thing…
        Wait… you’re how old? Never did hash? I don’t believe you for a second… Unless you are talking hashbrowns…

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Those stretchy jeans have some complicated math going on. What kind of future can this generation look forward to if we have arrived at the corner of Styrofoam and stretchy jeans?!

        Oh, I’ve gotten wasted on hash browns many times!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great question on the vinyl. I would want to know too. Kind of strange to read of love lost and yet the idea that both want to keep reconnecting. Almost a story of hope or one of those that makes you cry a lot about your own situation. Well done, Marc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The vinyl was gone before too long, and I really shouldn’t have forgiven her so easily for such a high musical crime as that.
      The reconnecting happened within the context of having lost someone and something in two different phases of my life. First it was our great friend when we were young, and later on it was our respective marriages. It was much sadder the second time, what with all the time that had gone by and the knowledge that you can’t go home again.
      I don’t much like to cry about my situation, so I am thankful I can write. 🙂

      Thanks Boss!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You know how to weave a story (and I admire the skill because this ain’t my style or strength). I was wondering and the jersey and the vinyls – and it appears both are gone. Bummer. Nonetheless, great writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You know …
    I was all in on this until I got to the Magic Johnson jersey.
    You lost me there. Anybody with anything involving the Lakers (or the Dodgers) (or the Yankees) (or the Patriots) (or the Cowboys) (or … okay, I’ll stop now) … But the Lakers??? I don’t care if it’s Magic Johnson. You had a Magic Johnson jersey. It’s like I don’t even know you anymore. 😉

    That bit distracted me, but I kept reading. And there’s so much here. The quick hit on the loss of your best friend … and there was something in the next to last paragraph. It hit me and I wanted to respond to that, and in the few seconds it too to finish the rest of the post and start my comment, I’ve lost it. I’ve read that paragraph over and over now and I still don’t know what it is.

    But this piece is incredible. There are so many interactions we have, friendships that come and go, relationships that exist and then are gone, that create these pictures and images that have meaning and value and form who we are years later. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mark,

      First off, thank you.

      Now, as far as the Magic jersey. It’s entirely the fault of Pat Riley. Because while most fans follow players, I happened to follow a coach, LOL. And yes, I do realize this fact does not salve the wound I have opened by having chosen to wear an LA jersey . . especially since Riles ain’t exactly what you would call beloved. But I followed the dude from LA to New York and finally to Miami.

      I never realized how much of myself happened back there. But that IS life, I guess.

      Thank you for this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This piece has such a poignancy that I think most can relate. So many different types of losses: Accidental (your best friend), intentional (all your stuff that ended up in Florida), and “what happened?” (love, or what we thought was love, falling away).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene,

      So much gained and then lost. Life can really leave you guessing.

      I was glad that I went to meet her years later, as it allowed for closure and perspective. It was quite sad, but it was important.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking about you as I was running. Your candor and casual slang, You write like I imagine you speak. I always clean up my fucks for fear of being judged…it’s that lapsed Catholic in me. Candor is key…and let the fucks fall where they may. AMEN

        Liked by 1 person

      2. SB,

        You would be correct, about how I speak. Yep, it’s a fairly seamless thing. Fucks included.
        As one lapsed Catholic to another, when you feel like you might be judged for saying fuck, just push through it. Worked for me!
        And Hallelujah!

        Like

    1. Life,

      We chase love until it bites us in the posterior. And then we keep chasing it. Until we arrive at a place in time where we are plenty fine with having known that feeling.

      Like

  6. So many favorite lines but I settled with “why in the fuck it was that life didn’t come with annotations? I don’t know but it would help. I suppose our life is our own to annotate? I had a couple of milk crates of albums, courtesy of my membership to Columbia Record Club, and I left them in the attic of the home I shared with my first husband. I don’t dream of him, but I do dream of rescuing my records. Loved it! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KC,

      I remember the Columbia Record Club! Haha! Those were the days!

      And yes, I think we do the figuring out. Okay, so most of the figuring out comes after the scraped knee, but there’s plenty of value in that kind of education.

      My dream house would be lined with books and LP’s. The entire house . .

      Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Marco,

    I could go into arias about this post. But sometimes less really is more. You’ve taken me on a 30 year journey for which I thank you. “Everything, every single thing, changed. We stayed together out of a hopeless desperation to save ourselves from drowning.” Love these two lines. Not the best reason to stay together, is it?
    At any rate I was just chatting with our mutual friend about a character in my WIP who is loosely based on a friend who was murdered some thirty years ago. For whatever reason he seems to be coming back to haunt me. You see, the police really didn’t try to find his killer. He was gay so why bother?
    In any event, I’m sorry for your loss. That had to have been a rough time and no doubt your best friend haunts you from time to time.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rochelle,

      Thank you for the lovely sentiments, as per usual. Arias huh? MUAH!

      As for your friend, that is horrible. And yes, there is a haunting aspect to these people who are taken from us much too soon. From time to time, I do wonder about it when something out of the ordinary happens.

      Thank you Rochelle.

      Shalom,

      Marco

      Like

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