Friday, November 6, 2009

Then and now

I've been going through my old poems, and posting them, one at a time on my other blog, "sonnets." The first 100 are just that: sonnets; after that, a little bit of everything. There's even a sestina in there! Damn, was I fearless, or what? According to my notes, they were written in the early 90's. I was a completely different person back then. Or was I?

At that time, both my mom and dad were still alive. I was a bachelor, living alone in a little one bedroom house. I had an easy job that I didn't take home with me. I drank too much. I wrote poetry everyday. I came and went as I pleased, no cares, no worries. I smoked cigars everyday. I had a small circle of friends with whom I discussed philosophy, poetry, music, etc...

Now, both of my parents are dead. I'm married, and have a little daughter (whom I adore.) We live in a large house. I have a higher paying job, but also more responsibilities (so, my job often follows me home.) I don't think I've been drunk since I've been married. I haven't written a poem since then. I do not come and go as I please. I always worry about my family. My wife does not like for me to smoke (although, she has relented somewhat recently, and said that if I happen to go play a round of golf with her dad, it would be okay to light one up.) My wife is the only friend I have, and she's not interested in talking about philosophy or poetry; and our tastes in music are not what one would call compatible.

But am I really different now? In some ways I feel I am, in others, I don't. I'm still interested in the same things. I still have the same likes and dislikes. But, I have to admit, when your parents die, it changes you.

My dad and I were never really that close. Although, now that he's gone, I feel I understand him better and why he had such a nasty temper; it's a demon I have to struggle with myself. But I had always been close to my mom; especially after dad passed away. I talked with her everyday. She would page me each morning I was at work. When my pager went off, and a series of 1's showed up, I knew she was awake and okay, and I would call her as soon as I could. I talked to her when I got home from work too. I talked to her everyday.

It took a long time before I stopped checking my pager for those 1's. And there were lots of times I would pick up the phone, and start dialing her number to let her know about something that had happened, or maybe I had a question about something, before I realized that no one would be answering it. It's been almost five years since she's been gone (13 for my dad), and not a day goes by that I don't think of them.

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