“Hi…I believe you are the same Frankenberry I met in Pittsburgh at a bar Someplace Else. Crazy if it is. I heard u on the radio this morning. We watched a movie with Christian Slater n Marisa Tomei. Anyway-cool if it is and I live in Orange County, NY. It was way back in the 1900’s lol circa ‘93-‘94”
This was an out of the blue Facebook messenger note I got about a month or so back now, from a long lost who remembered me while I stretched the brain to do the same and I immediately realized I may have been an asshole, probably was an asshole for some reason as often in those way back in the 1900’s circa ’93-’94 times I didn’t think as much as I should. Not a good look on remembrances and someone reaching out with such Steve.
Yeah, I know, I thought to a me in my head.
Now mind you, there was never any intent on being an asshole if that were the case, obviously, I was always genuine I’d like to think, have always been genuine in new found affections and in generals, always wondering of the down the roads. I’ve never understood temporaries. Down the roads. But I also wasn’t very good at sustaining this thought back then. I was all over the place, disjointed, sometimes haphazard, was hard working a radio working (with a few extra jobs) trying to prove my worth and also enjoying the semi-celebrity status of a jock with a funny name at a well known Rock N Roll Pittsburgh radio station and in places to trot it out I found a cockiness I had never known and that I reveled in …
… for about 5 minutes.
I didn’t like it.
I have since purposely eschewed the whole idea of anything resembling this, having not been a jock now for so many intentional years, having put aside the notion. I just do production now, imaging, fairly nameless, a voice heard in one of our big station’s here identity, a couple of podcasts but with no fanfare. I’m much more comfortable with that.
I responded back to this message with a yes and and an immediate apology for whatever I may have done wrong 30 years ago (apparently I never got back to her – did I mention asshole?) a recount of time and where I had been and she recounted her same and we talked, via messenger talk. We talked. We talked. Continue talk. We talked even out loud. I found myself really enjoying this which was new, now. Not new, as in new, like I had never done this before, but new for me now as to the years I’ve spent trying to NOT have any conversation like this, anything that may have been construed as a possible lead up to something. I had become pretty insulated almost hermit-like, and intentionally so with my free time, and I was Ok with that, plus it kept my any possible asshole at bay.
The last time I’ve been on a date was around 8 years ago now, something that hasn’t bothered me in the least, not that that is something expected here I tell myself (though), it’s a bit of a daunting thought actually after so much time and miles on the bones and a few extra pounds around the belt that make for an awful profile pic and a possible awkward moment when someone asks me when I’m due and a head full of a sort of blonde salt and pepper that I don’t think I can call distinguished yet and some needed quality time with the dentist down the road and worry that maybe I’ve missed a window with my lack of caring blah blah blah and that last date was just a final “let’s go out before you leave” sort of thing anyway so I’m not sure that that even counts. One last Hurrah with a hands on hips her back to my front to the band rocking back and forth and then a kiss on the cheek and a handshake and a can I help you with those boxes tomorrow? The getting rid of our house was pending, she had a new boyfriend now and I was just living upstairs in Frankenberry’s Attic with a computer for words and a couple of cats for company and wondering of where I’d gone and where I would be.
There have been pictures sent of cats and dogs from us both, and the prettiest of Roaring 20’s themed Halloween costumes that would have any warm blooded, or even cold blooded guy exclaim “Holy Cow!”, even the prettiest of half face shots with an orange cat on a shoulder on a couch the envy of any woman who would think to send half face shots with an orange cat on a shoulder … did I say the prettiest and I wondered, “you have seen my old ass pictures in the Attic here right?”
But from finally getting out of the house to a Pirates/Mets ballgame just a few months ago after four years with my bestest of buds Jeremiah, daring crowds and public once again to working not one, but two broadcast gigs with Spectrum News out in the public sphere at a couple of colleges (two posts from one of them in Schenectady) to now doing something like this, even if it’s just fun talking or something with some actual interest, something I had resigned myself to probably never happening again, I’m feeling almost an overload of being all human and social … and giddy?
I find myself singing just a little bit louder to the Rainmakers these days in the car, my most recent band obsession, catching up on tunes I hadn’t heard till this obsession, some from right around that time as a matter of fact, on the way to and from work, BB giving me a nod as he knows my singing and just might notice the change in tenor with a wink, if cars named BB could wink or nod, I find myself feeling just a bit more … happy?
I think I might be OK with this if it is a something … but even if not, just the feeling a little bit more alive again is so well worth it. A reminder. And I have a new (old) friend who maybe has given me a mulligan after all these years.
Well … that is a good pretty I see looking back at me and an in turn somehow looking at my un-pretty and being Ok with that, un-pretty old lines marking my under stickered suit case eyes mapped in years traveled, stickers on a full baggage steamer trunk holiday that hasn’t been all that much holiday that I want to be careful unpacking too near anyone and tired tired’s sometimes but a maybe conversation, conversations still to be had before the next stop, possibly a good one.
Searching a new sticker. Steamer trunks always need new stickers.
Don’t get ahead of yourself Steve.