Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Go Crazy (The Soundtrack of My Life)


My blog buddy, Robin, of Your Daily Dose (check it out, people!) has been encouraging me to do "the soundtrack of my life" - a theme she does on her blog. I have to admit, I really like the idea. In fact, I've done one similar to it with The Armchair Squid, Cygnus and Suze when they hosted Songs of Summer last July. The specific song I wanted to address eluded me, possibly because I'd just spent a month totally devoted to song. Cherdo does love the tunes.

Then, it hit me. A memory of a bygone time. A little tale of love...er, no, not love...and loss...well, kinda about loss. More on that part later. It happened when I was a young single person. Single days, don't you love 'em? I dated some great guys 94% of the time. I've done the math.

I met a fellow I'll call Jerry (because that isn't his name) when I was out with a friend one night. He was attractive, funny and charismatic. Lo and behold, he asked me out and at the time, I was thrilled and flattered. We went out a few times; it was fun.

Then I realized that he looked familiar because was a member of a band. Duh. Not only that, I had a friend that had several of this band's albums. He would freak, I thought, if he knew that I was dating this guy - we actually went to see him once. I think he got a kick out of it and I have a fond memory of Jerry and my other pal sitting in the living room singing songs from an album of Jerry's.  Man, I thought, I hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, that was one of the last fond "Jerry memories" I would have for a while. 

At the risk of being indelicate, Jerry was nuts. It seems that somewhere between the last album and the first date, Jerry had some sort of break with reality. As a mature adult, I would never mock a person with "issues," but as a young person experiencing a very real person going down the wackadoodle rabbit hole while holding my hand, I didn't know what to do or think.

Jerry would ramble on about how he was a new prophet; in fact, he told me, he had a big part in the Second Coming. He might be the Antichrist. I'm not a biblical scholar but I've read the good book and though it doesn't say it specifically that you shouldn't date the Antichrist, I think it's a given. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say my concerns were not unfounded.

In desperation, I called his father (whom I had never met at that point). Apparently, Jerry had talked about me and his Dad referred to me as a "stabilizing factor." Stabilizing factor? That was not what I shoot for when I date; in fact, I was buying into de-stabilizing in a big way. Jerry started to scare me a bit with his delusional ramblings and I began to think that I, personally, couldn't help this situation. My presence might even aggravate it. I'd informed his family; that was the right thing to do and they were the people to handle the situation - not some girl he dated a while. 

Dad called me. Would I consider staying with Jerry? I stressed the fact that I'd actually just gone out with him for a few months and really - he scared me now. Dad confessed that Jerry had been in a high dollar mental health institution. Oh, for crying out loud, that was a gem you didn't want to keep to yourself, did you, Dad? 

Using every cliche I could muster ("Let's be friends," "It's not you," "I'm not looking for a serious relationship, " yada yada yada), I let Jerry know that I was calling it quits, best wishes, if the phone doesn't ring - it's me. 

Jerry wasn't necessarily down with that but he did back off - until Christmas Eve. If you're going to guilt trip someone like me (you know...a sap), call me on a holiday and tell me how you're housesitting, all alone on the holiday, and you just want to give me this small gift. Coward that I am, I took a friend (male!) with me and he sat in the car, waiting. 

It was freezing and the snow was blanketing the whole neighborhood. Jerry asked me to step inside out of the cold while he got the gift. I could tell it was a record album and as he started to hand it to me, I saw the wackadoodle expression slowly appear. He started talking crazy and at the same time, opening the present. Walking to the stereo, he was jabbering about this song that expressed exactly how he felt."

"Jerry, I can't stay...really."

He argued the point: it's Christmas, just three minutes to hear a song, what's the harm?

Then the album started to play: it was Paul Davis' song, "I Go Crazy." This can't be happening, I thought. My face started to contort in a way that only happens when I am trying not to say something snarky. Keep. Snark. In....Not. The. Time. Or. Place. 

"Goodnight, Jerry. Merry Christmas - I have someone waiting in the car." I beat feet out of there. I left the album.

The soundtrack of my life. You can't make this stuff up.




Postscript: 
Years later, I am a divorced mom with two very young children, living in a duplex. A little market was about a hundred feet from my front door. As I went to my car one day, I saw Jerry taking out the trash - he was working at the market. I froze; I didn't know what to expect and the thought occurred to me that he might not realize it was me. A broad smile appeared on his face and he announced that he was so thrilled to find out I lived there! We could have lunch and talk about old times!

I moved.

That's how I roll.

29 comments:

  1. So you could have been Mrs. Antichrist and let it slide by. You had your chance.

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    1. Well, now that you put it that way...oh, yeah, baby!

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  2. A well told life story. I would have moved too. With two young children who knows what could have happened.

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    1. That was a story that wouldn't end well, for sure. Actually, I think that would have happened with anyone.

      Nice to see you again, Anna!

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  3. Now that is scary, bigtime scary! Btw, haven't forgotten the recipe request, I'll message them to you on FB tomorrow.

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    1. Thanks, Jacqueline! It will be worth the wait. :-)

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  4. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    This disturbing story about a creepy rock star wannabe and the song that triggers not so fond memories of your experiences with him is an excellent contribution to Robin's Soundtrack of My Life series. Along the way I have met people like Jerry. They envision themselves as prophets, the smartest person in the room, and have a highly distorted sense of their own importance. You were wise to distance yourself from him more than once if that's what it took to remain out of harm's way. I shudder to think how many other girls stay in shaky or even explosive relationships with rock musicians, athletes, actors, male models, etc., just because it gives them a chance to have a glamorous life and hang with an exciting crowd.

    Dear friend, at the risk of coming across like creepy Jerry, I would like to remind you that today is our anniversary, the one year anniversary of the day our great bloggy friendship started. It was the day I showed up on your doorstep, wet, cold and shivering, and delivered my "I Have a Dream" Speech.

    http://www.cherdoontheflipside.com/2014/05/my-least-favorite-feature-all-rage.html

    You took me in, placed me next to the fireplace and gave me a bowl of warm milk. Your nurturing over the 12 months that followed changed the trajectory of my blog experience and, I believe, yours as well.

    I would like to dedicate this song to our very special one year bloggy friendship. Here is a brief excerpt from "our song," dear Cherdo:

    "The Day Before You Came" - ABBA

    I'm sure I had my dinner watching something on TV
    There's not, I think, a single episode of Dallas that I didn't see
    I must have gone to bed around a quarter after ten
    I need a lot of sleep, and so I like to be in bed by then
    I must have read a while
    The latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style
    It's funny, but I had no sense of living without aim
    The day before you came

    And turning out the light
    I must have yawned and cuddled up for yet another night
    And rattling on the roof I must have heard the sound of rain
    The day before you came

    Thank you very much, dear Cherdo, for a year filled with snarks, smiles, laughs and a lot of love. I am very grateful to have you in my world.

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    1. "Jerry," sadly, had a real recording career that went down the tubes with his delusional decent. I think he had at least four albums out with his group. But I didn't recognize him when I met him. He had talent and it is kind of sad that everything took a bad (and surprising) turn, but that "turn" occurred before I came along, as I soon found out.

      The Antichrist thing - naw, he never had that career on his radar. I need to drop an anonymous note that says, "I told you nothing would happen in 1999!!!"

      As for the anniversary...you have a mind like a steel trap. No wonder you were in production.

      In honor of our friendship, commitment, and theme (could be creepy...but NO! It's not), I've chosen this song with the appropriate substitutions:

      (More than a passing reminder of Michael Jackson's "Ben")

      Shady, the two of us need look no more,
      We both found what we were looking for.
      With a friend to call my own,
      I'll never be alone, and you, my friend, will see,
      You've got a friend in me.

      Shady, you're always running here and there,
      You feel you're not wanted anywhere.
      If you ever look behind and don't like what you find
      There's something you should know, you've got a place to go.

      I used to say I and me, now it's us, now it's we.

      Shady, most people would turn you away;
      I don't listen to a word they say.
      They don't see you as I do;
      I wish they would try to'
      I'm sure they'd think again if they had a friend like Shady.

      Thank you for speaking my language, Shady. Love, hugs and oh-so-many smiles.

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    2. Thank you, my dear, dear friend! :)

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    3. I love the banter between the 2 of you!! Truly Golden!!!

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  5. I would have moved as well, Cherdo, and you might be safe because you made that decision. Mental issues can be very volatile. You and Shady have a good interaction going!

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    1. We're a mess, ha ha. We milk it for all it's worth.

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  6. Holy Cow! Now that is a story for sure. I should definitely put more thought into the soundtrack of my life. The songs are forever changing and many put me right at the time and place when the song made impact. Very cool that you dated someone kinda famous that had albums but definitely not cool that he ended up slightly Loco.

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    1. He was full on loco, Holli, ha ha. Talented, but loco.

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  7. Good for you. I don't think I would have hung around either.

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  8. And then Jerry put on a mask made of skin.
    Yikes.
    Hey, I'll go for "stabilizing factor" on a date if it will get me la...well, I've said too much.

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    1. Ha ha ha...that may have been coming.

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  9. DOCTOR CHERDO ~
    Poor Paul Davis. I never really thought of him much... until now. Of course I heard his 'I GO CRAZY' song a million times, but it wasn't really my thang. Now I wish I had purchased some of his albums. It's not a bad idea to throw the anti-Christ a bone or two just in case... just in case... he wins (and right now, he's WAY AHEAD in the score!)

    <>>>... if the phone doesn't ring - it's me

    Ha! Classic. Consider it "stolen".

    I was just at Shecky Shady Shaft's place of residence and I said we need to get you into BOTB, and Sheckshasha TOTALLY AGREED with me. (Well, actually, I don't think he's seen my comment yet, but I could FEEL his unspoken agreement. I have that kind of power because... I'm aligned with BOTH supernatural teams in this struggle.)

    Maybe THIS will help...

    In that "other" blog bit's comment section, I meant to yak about how I intend to buy a CD copy of Costello's 'MY AIM IS TRUE'. You see, There are 3 things I'd given my Brother as gifts over the years, 3 things that he and I both really like: 'Beautiful Loser' by Bob Seger, the movie 'American Graffiti', and the album 'My Aim Is True'. I never needed to own these things myself, since Napoleon had 'em and I could watch and listen to his copies.

    But when I left Nappy in Phoenix and moved to Reno, I lost my access to those 3 things. Since arriving in "The Biggest Little Schoolyard In The World", I have acquired my own copies of 'Beautiful Loser' and 'American Graffiti'. I've just got 'My Aim Is True' to go. And we have a couple neat-o used CD shops here, so it shouldn't be hard to find. But I probably better find a job first.

    So, are you IN now, or not. Be aware that the window for registering as a BOTBer closes in 8 hours, 26 minutes, and 14 seconds. And that window will NOT reopen again until... tomorrow morning at 6 AM. So, you better move it or lose it!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Okay, we are in sync here - I love "Beautiful Loser," too. On the Seger train of thought, I may have wore out the whole Night Moves and Stranger in Town albums.

      You're heading the right direction with My Aim is True! But I'm telling ya, get Spike while you're at it. Free those mighty dollars from your moth condo wallet. Do it, come on! You'll thank me or you'll never let me forget it (if you hate it).

      You guys....(holding my breath till my face turns red)...Okay, I'll do your BOTB.

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    2. DOC CHERDO ~
      Yeah, I loved 'Night Moves', too. Played it a lot. I also owned 'Stranger In Town' and played it plenty, but to be honest, at that point, Seger was starting to sound a bit too "commercial" for my tastes. He was starting to sound a bit slick, whereas I liked the grittier production on 'Beautiful Loser' and 'Night Moves'.

      Now that it's past 6 AM on the 8th, we can let you into the BOTB community. (However, I didn't hear any foot stomping, so I'm not sure you put up as much of a fight as you could / should have.)

      Seriously... WELCOME! I will add your blog to my BOTB sidebar today, and a link to your site will be included on my BOTB blog bits from now on.

      But remember, Cherdo, no using Tiny Tim or the stripes will be unceremoniously ripped from your sleeves and you will be kicked out of the camp into the wilderness. Only Dudley Do-Right could save you then, and frankly... I wouldn't like your chances.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. On my honor, I will try
      To review the bands
      To post the review
      And to obey the Girl Scout Laws.

      (I didn't put up too much of a fight 'cause I've been thinking about it for a long time.)

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  10. Oh my..I have to one day borrow "wackadoodle rabbithole" as that was so funny. I think this guy probably has a button that says "Charlie Sheen Fan Club". He sounds like he suffers from bi-polar plus so many other issues. The dad was praying you would stay and thank God you ran! I am also glad that you moved because he may not know what "no" truly means. One has to listen to ones gut in this scenario. I agree with Stephen, you should join the BOTB cos you know your music. I love listening but I don't think I know it well enough.

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    1. Sometimes,I use the blog-o-sphere to expand my vocabulary, too. The idioms get tired and need replaced.

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  11. Replies
    1. He seemed harmless...and then...

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  12. Wow. I believe you, no one can make that up. I Go Crazy? I'm surprised he didn't come out with "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha". It is sad to see someone end up like that- no one deserves to lose who they are like that. But it sounds to me like dear ol' Dad was trying to cut his expenses and palm him off on you. If you were really stabilizing him at that point, either he was really messed up before or you became his outlet and he stopped preaching to the family (hence Daddy thinking he was stabilized.) Either way, I'm just glad you got out of that safe.

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    1. I think when he started to lose touch, he also lost connections to people he knew. He was very talented; beautiful voice.

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  13. Wow. That was some story. I really thought I'd had some whackadoodle crazy dating stories (and I do). In fact, this post made me remember a non-dating story that might be crazier than all of my dating stories combined.

    Isn't it sad when you meet someone that you know COULD be great, but instead they slip into mental illness? I think it's safe to say that if you believe you're the AntiChrist you're mentally ill.

    Also, I did read the comments... welcome to Battle of the Bands! I need to add all the new people for the next round (there are several). So happy to have you!!!!

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo