Monday, February 6, 2012
(part 268) ANOTHER LIFE FROM ANOTHER TIME
I had become a complete loner, staying to myself as much as possible. I knew that making myself useful, by working, had secured for me, to some extent, a place amongst people who otherwise didn't want me around. They disapproved of my looks, the long hair, and thought of me as an outsider in their midst. So it was the work I did for them that made it somewhat easier for me to co-exist in this environment.
For the most part I did not see myself as an artist anymore, although I would still write an occasional song or poem. But somewhere down deep inside me the real desire of creativity continued to pump away as usual. At times, I would allow myself to think that someday I would wake from this bad dream, and by some unforeseen miracle, rise again out of the ashes of my life.
I always dismissed this notion though, fearing it would cause me to reject even further, the reality of the life I was living, and make it harder to cope with than it already was. I had learned, by sheer force of will, to accept my lot, for the most part, and just do what was in front of me, no matter how objectionable it was.
Working in a mobile home park, amongst mostly older homes, was a learning process that taught me much about how to deal with things I would otherwise have no interest in. Solving problems and keeping the cost down, became a talent I honed for years. Where otherwise people would have to lay out a lot of money, I was able, in many cases, to do it for far less, by learning to understand how old mobile homes deteriorated over time, and how to deal with them. It was this, more than anything, that kept me working year after year.
With the same mind that had once learned to write, perform, record and engineer a session by myself in a bedroom on micky mouse equipment, I now figured out how to repair old dilapidated mobile homes for nickels and dimes. With the same intensity as before, I crashed head long into each new endeavor I encountered, no matter how mundane it was. I took pride in what I did and would always explain the problem, and its solution, to everyone I worked for. If it was something I couldn't do, I told them they had better get it done by someone, or the problem would get worse and cost more later.
As long as I kept busy, I had little time to spend on the past. I would turn away from it over and over again, avoiding it like a pit of quick-sand. I could not afford the luxury of thinking about Bobby Jameson the singer/songwriter anymore. I trained myself to see me as a guy who worked hard for a living, doing jobs of all kinds for people. I had become a regular person for the most part.
The years kept stacking up, one on top of the other. They turned into a decade, and then nearly another. It was a long way and a long time since I'd left Los Angeles in 1985, and the past had been pushed into the background. It sat there, like an old trunk, locked away in the attic of my mind. In a way I was grateful that I had learned to leave it alone, because it was full of too many bad memories and disappointments. I always knew it was there, but I let it be for the most part, regarding it as another life from another time.
From 1997 until 2002, I pushed on and on in a pointless line to nowhere. There was nothing new, other than some problem with work, and nothing exciting about my life whatsoever. I didn't go anywhere or meet people. I had no girlfriend or hobbies, I just worked, ate, and slept. I bought a small keyboard that I played, but other than that I just existed from day to day in some sort of hardcore exercise in futility.
I stayed clean and sober, and I fought through the headaches which plagued me day and night. My sleep patterns were erratic, because of the pain, and my disposition would always be subject to the effects of that reality. At times I'd lose hope altogether, but would ultimately force myself to go on, in hopes that I would someday get better.
It was a dismal reality, and felt more like a punishment than a life. It seemed to become a contest to see how much I could endure. I'd question deeply whether there really was a god, and say to myself, "If there is, he must hate my guts!" Day after day I would look for something to keep me going, and year after year I would say, "What's the point?"