Monday, July 23, 2007

IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES...

I'm back... better than ever.

I haven't posted in a while for two reasons. One, I've had some health issues and didn't really feel like posting. Two, my last post was made in anger and I had tried to prevent that from happening so I figured I'd take a break.

My feelings about the comics industry are like watching a friend strung out on drugs or in a bad relationship... it's frustrating and there's nothing you can really do until they hit rock bottom and ask for help. So, while comics should be hitting rock bottom very soon (I can almost hear the "THUD" now) I'm going to try not to vent my frustration in this forum. Now, I said try... sometimes I can't help myself and sometimes these people need to be called out. We'll take it one day at a time.

Back at the end of the Mark Gruenwald run of Captain America (I've been rereading my Cap comics lately), there was a storyline about the supersoldier serum, which allowed Steve Rogers to become Cap, breaking down in his bloodstream and causing him to become more and more debilitated. As I've dealt with my health problems, it was rather ironic that I was reading about Cap's own health issues again. It was not Gruenwald's best work and it was particularly troubling when Cap eventually was so physically weak he resorted to wearing "Cap Armor" designed by Tony Stark. That was awful. But the storyline did have merit (as most of Gruenwalds work did). To see Captain America, the living embodiment of human potential, come to grips with the fact that he couldn't function at his normal level, couldn't do all the things he was accustomed to doing, was an important life lesson for all readers. Of course, at the time, I didn't see the parallels to real life. But it's an undeniable fact that as you get older you become more and more aware of your own limitations and have to adjust accordingly. It's also a fact that it's kind of a trial and error thing. After a few muscle pulls or failures to reach the green in one, you begin to get the picture. If you don't... well, nobody wants to fall down and not be able to get up.

As you get older, you also learn about life. You look back on your myriad experiences and it becomes much clearer what you SHOULD have done and how stupid you were for making the decisions you did. I always thought a happy life was a life without regrets. As long as I followed my heart and took chances, I figured I wouldn't have any regrets. That's a young man's way of thinking right there. Regrets are as inevitable as death and taxes.

Back in my "A Destiny Interrupted" post I mentioned a girl named Margaret that I was dating when Melanie was killed and my world fell apart. This is a girl that was my first true love (possibly my ONLY true love) and my biggest regret is the way I handled almost our entire relationship. When we started dating, I was 19 and she was
18 and, due to our ages and inexperience with serious relationships, we made a mess of it. Don't get me wrong. There wasn't much we could have done differently given the circumstances. But with hindsight, I realize how important she was and how special the love we shared is.

I always find it ironic that the best thing that ever happened to me came during the worst time in my life. I guess that's life's little joke. I'll let you know when I think it's funny.

Margaret was dating one of my best friends, Mike, when I first met her. (In my teens, that's how I met most women for some reason) Mike had a longtime girlfriend who was away at college and they had an agreement to see other people during the school year. I knew that when she returned home for summer they would get back together and Margaret wouldn't be with him anymore. I knew I shouldn't be attracted to her but I was still so smitten from the first time I met her that it was losing battle from the beginning. She felt the same way. It was powerful. After it became obvious that I couldn't just ignore it anymore, I went to my buddy and told him how I felt and we talked about the situation. It caused some friction between us but Mike knew I'd been hurting about the betrayal of Melanie cheating on me with my brother and after a short time, we were okay. Plus, I think it was obvious that I was head over heels.

That's the way Margaret always describes it: Head over heels. It is about as apt a description as you can get. Things in my life were chaotic and stressful but every time I saw Margaret smile and saw her eyes light up, everything else just melted away. The air between us seemed to crackle with energy and it was apparent to anyone
who saw us that we were very much in love. Truth be told, this love should've lasted all our lives.
But teenagers are very odd creatures and we created problems where there weren't any. Things that seemed very important at the time weren't really things that should have gotten in the way. But get in the way they did. Time and time again.
At one point, Margaret broke up with me (neither of us can remember why) and things got strange. It seemed like we kept dancing the same dance but neither one of us knew the steps. If we would've just gotten out of our own way, we would've been very happy for a very long time. But we broke up and got back together and took two steps forward and one step back. By the time Margaret ended it for good, my life had already disintegrated into a shambles and I was incapable of realizing the huge loss I had just suffered.
Over the years and the countless dead end relationships, that realization became all too clear. Margaret was, and remains, a very special person in my life. She is an amazing woman. I don't know if she realizes how amazing she is.

I know now that it's important to have something in your life that inspires you, that makes you smile even when you don't want to smile. Whether it's your garden or your car or your comic collection or a very special person. Without that kind of energy in your life, you can lose your way and become something you were never meant to be. I'm glad to have had that energy and that someone in my life, even if it was only for a short time.

Margaret has always made me feel like I can do anything. She brought a joy to me
without even trying. She brightened my life. I'm glad she is my true love.

I hope that when she thinks of me she feels the same.

Head over heels.

1 comment:

mshaw said...

I hope you get things sorted out very quickly and your sadness turns into happiness before you know it.