Sometimes I Don’t Let Go


A large number of people I know are at the U2 concert tonight here in Cleveland. I’m sure they paid upwards of $100, $150, or even more for their tickets, and good for them and their good fortune in affording and obtaining those tickets.

I for one am quite glad to not be there.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like U2, though I’m one of those annoying purists who prefers their early work, pre-Joshua Tree. Some of the stuff after was really good, but the albums for me weren’t wholly listenable works of art, put together for solid blocks of time to devote to the production they’d created, while poring over the sleeve and talking about Bono’s real name or whether Edge really had any hair or not. I saw U2 for free in 1983 I guess it was, maybe 84? The Unforgettable Fire tour, at the Cleveland Music Hall. I had gone to see my sister in college while I was still in high school, and a few groups of her friends and I piled into cars and we all went to the show together. I was dating Nick at the time, and I was sick as a dog with a bad fever and flu, but was determined to go as I thought this might be my only chance to see them (it was). I spent part of the concert in the bathroom where the linoleum and toilets were so nice and cold, and the rest in my seat in both misery and wonder, delirious from dehydration and fever, loving the music, and feeling bewildered because everyone was dancing in the aisles and moving to different sections and I was just kind of barely able to make it back to my seat each time I left it. But I went. Nick spent most of the concert elsewhere, absorbed in the music, and I just kind of existed, but I got the t-shirt and all. Long gone now. Some bitch I went to school with stole my U2 cassette too, so I didn’t even have that afterwards, either.

Instead, today we did entirely too much of everything, and lived to excess, and it was exhausting and wonderful. I woke up very early, as I have not been sleeping well while I await an official interpretation of my chest x-ray results, and was up at 6. I finally gave up and got up, and headed out for a run. I was supposed to run a 5K this morning, but one of the beneficiaries of the registration fees is an organization I don’t support, so I decided to keep my money and just go run my own 5K. I ran a little bit more than that, though I had to stop and walk a couple of times. Even though it was early, it was so damned HEAVY out and really hot already, it was like inhaling cream soup. I don’t sweat a lot, even when I run, but this morning when  I came back inside it was like my whole body was streaming sweat out of every pore, and I took an ice cold shower and it was amazing. Almost better than sex, that running high, the extreme heat and then the extreme cold. Alive.

I picked up the kid and we went straight to a play date at an inflatables place with his best friend, a date more than two months in the planning. I actually had a really good talk with the mom, and we were able to just sit and talk while the kids spazzed and spazzed and used every bit of their energy running this way and that, jumping, racing, shooting baskets and laughing. They were both red-faced and starting to get cross after 90 minutes so we called for an end and went to lunch at a chain restaurant. I had a coupon the mom could use and a gift card for me, and sometimes, that takes precedence over local. She had a groupon for the inflatables place, so it was only fair. We like bargains. So the whole thing cost both of us almost nothing and we made plans to get them together again “soon,” which in busy mom language is, “we’ll be lucky if we see you again before school starts, but it was fun.”

Then I took the kid to Goodwill as I’ve been looking for some drinking glasses since mine have all broken, and I spied a much-needed blender while there. I plugged it in and it worked so hopefully it’s not a leaky son of a bitch like the one I have now, which is unusable and yet I still keep it for some reason. Like each time I use it, I think if I can just get the parts together just right and be brief enough in my use, it won’t leak. But it was used when I got it and has never behaved well, and now it’s just an asshole. So, I got the glasses, and a blender, and a CLOCK RADIO, which you apparently cannot buy in stores anywhere anymore, and mine at home is not working anymore, you can’t use the buttons to change anything so it’s fairly worthless. And a couple of nice glass mixing bowls, which I really need as my only mixing bowls recently broke. Yes, I am clumsy and I break things a lot. It was a good score at the Goodwill.

I came home and washed everything and then we watched some Looney Tunes videos and then I said I had to start cooking dinner. In addition to dinner, I made a GIANT thing of pasta salad for a picnic we’re having on Tuesday, and it took a lot of work but was so worth it. I made us steak and rice and broccoli. Well, the kid ate that. I ate his leftover steak and a few bites of rice out of the pan but that was it. This stress thing is really awesome for losing weight, by the way, I’ve lost five pounds in the past week!

I did make us root beer floats for dessert – I said there would be ice cream, didn’t I? He’s never had one, and I love them but rarely to never indulge in something so sweet and caloric. I had bought these huge ass plastic tumblers at Goodwill as well as drinking glasses, and they were perfect for our floats, and I found a couple of straws lying around too. He took one sip and said, “Oh. Mom. How have we not had these before?” Damn I love my epicure kid, he gets just as excited about food and drink as I do. I made him laugh so hard when we were drinking them that he fell on the floor laughing, and was rolling around, literally ROTFL. We both left just about 20% of root beer in our glass, because we didn’t need to finish the whole thing. Hara hachi bu.

A friend came over and helped me right my frustrating electronics setup, with umpteen devices and cabling out the wazoo that had gotten me to the point I was frustrated and done trying. I just want to watch the goddamned movies I get out of the library for free, you know? And now I can, once again.

After I FINALLY got the kitchen all cleaned up, which was no easy feat, son insisted on cashing in on the promise I made that we would go to the pool today, even if it was late. So, against my better judgment and personal desire, we schlepped up there at 8 o’clock, which is supposed to be his bedtime. But it’s summer.

I finally got him out of there at 8:45. The old, crochety asshole who was working at the pool today was stupid rude to us, drunk with the tiny bit of power he has, like he is working at the fucking Mint or something. As we were leaving, I pointed out that the man was much older than us, appeared to not be in the best of health, and probably was bitter because he maybe didn’t have anyone at home and all he had was this job to throw his weight around and feel important, but it was too bad he had to be mean to little kids for no good reason. “Yeah,” my son said. “Maybe I hope he drops dead soon.” I stopped immediately and talked to him about karma. I said we mustn’t wish for these things actively, it is just bad luck and mean and while we might think bad things, to actively wish for them is tempting fate in a bad way. “How?” he said, climbing up on a giant rock in the tree lawn. “Well,” I said, “The things you wish could come back and happen to you, perhaps even in a bigger way than you imagined. It’s just not good to think these things. You can say to yourself, well, if I were to come back to the pool tomorrow and learn he was no longer here, for whatever reason, I would not be sad, but to actively wish for it, just don’t do that.” “Humph!” he snorted, “I don’t believe in karma!”

Then he fell off the rock.

So that was that lesson. He’s fine, but he was pretty spooked. I just smiled.

He spazzed all the way home. I don’t know where it all comes from, the endless well of energy that springs forth from him from the moment he wakes to the moment he finally gives up and gives in and lets sleep take over. I love watching him move. I’m sure I had it when I was his age, but like old concerts, the memories are just fuzzy from those days.

I’m just glad to be here with this kid. Every day I get with him is a gift, even when it’s hard. My shoulder is aching. My leg muscles are sore. And per his request, soon I will go and gather his sleepy bones and wake him to bring him to bed with me, so we can dream together. He will not always want that, and so while he does, he shall have it.


2 thoughts on “Sometimes I Don’t Let Go

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