I'm still suffering from an emotional hangover from the celebration of life yesterday. I'm drained. Sad. Exhausted. Depressed.
I spoke at the ceremony, and sang. I don't know how I did either. It was a long day. A nice ceremony, followed by food, music and mingling. There was karaoke and a band. Norton would have loved it. We were there for several hours. I sang a few times throughout the day, begrudgingly.
I'd like to share what I said at the ceremony yesterday...
"I was going to try to get up here today and just wing it, but this morning I realized I wouldn’t be able to do that, so I wrote some things down instead.
I met Norton (that’s what I’ve always called him, Norton), almost 20 years ago, at a little karaoke bar in Bangor called The Heritage. We were both singers, but neither of us were just karaoke singers, we both had a gift, and I think that’s what really drew us to one another. From there on out, and for quite a time, Norton, myself, and my best friend Stacie were pretty much inseparable. We were always together at karaoke, and we were always together at Norton’s apartment. Ed was usually hanging with us as well. And Norton’s poor roommate Brian had to deal with us at our afterhours gatherings... I’m Sorry Brian.
Over the years, Norton came to see me in my bands, and I would go to see him in his. Or we would go together to see someone else’s. And there was always karaoke. There were boyfriends and husbands, girlfriends, jobs, I had children, life went along, and Norton and I always remained in close contact, and always saw each other when we could.
Last week I was going through my old photos, and I found so many of us.. so many of him. Him and I, him and Stacie, us at karaoke, us at Halloween parties, us at his apartment, him and I and my mom, when he came to see me at work, him dancing with my sister at one of my gigs, him and I singing together with "Fishwhistle"…so many photos. So many memories. We certainly had a wonderful couple of decades together.
That gift that originally brought us together developed into a friendship that I can’t really explain. I know Stacie can relate. And maybe some of his other female friends can as well. It was just super close, so close that our significant others were probably a little (or very) jealous of it. I know a few of mine were over the years. But we were just that close… Well, that, and Norton was a terrible flirt! He was quite charming, that one. But seriously, we were just so close, and there was no denying it. You just couldn’t. We just loved each other. We were best of friends, and more than that. It’s hard to describe the connection that we had. And I know that that’s not specific to me. Every one of you in this room would probably say the same thing, it’s hard to describe the kind of special connection you have when you’re dealing with such an extraordinary person.
Norton and I loved each other. And it was unfazed by time or circumstance, and it was genuine, and it was real; and we never refrained from telling each other, and showing each other, always, all through the years. I will miss that love in my life, so much, but I will always remember it, and be grateful for it.
And now, I’d like to sing a song, for Norton, for all of us who loved him. I could have chosen any song about love, or friendship, or memories… But instead I wanted to sing a song that Norton always sang. He had many signature songs over the years, but this was one I remember him singing all the time, and I loved it when he did. I’ll try to get through it as best I can."
I sang "If You Could Only See", by Tonic. And somehow, I got through it.
As I sit here, I keep looking at Norton's microphone. He used it in his band "Fishwhistle" all those years. It was framed in a shadowbox and gifted to me yesterday. That nearly brought me to my knees. It is probably the greatest gift I've ever been given. It now sits on one of my shelves, along with a couple of photos of Norton and I, that they had enlarged and framed for me as well.
Yesterday somehow made this nightmare really real.
It's real now, he's gone, and now we have to live with it.
I cannot find solace in the well-meant words of people who say "he'll always be with you", or, "he lives on in your heart"... Because the fact is, he isn't, and he doesn't. I don't have him anymore.
He's gone. And there is no comfort for that.
9 days till auction. 9 days, and I'm starting to freak out.
As I've said before, my bosses will attend the auction and bid (and I'll be there observing, gnawing at my nails and pulling my hair out). But they are aware of the building's condition and needs, and they are financially wise; they know what they are willing to pay for it. If bidding goes above that amount, we are done.
I've been sending out resumes, just in case.
But what skills do I have? No college degree, and I've been tending bar for 15 years. It's not like I'm highly qualified for a full-time office job. I don't know what I'll do. Take a couple of lower wage jobs (no experience or degree required), most likely. Probably retail or something like that. Maybe, or hopefully, a serving job of some kind as well. Two or even three jobs. Work as much as possible to make ends meet.
9 days and I'm freaking out. I could be unemployed in 9 days. With a mortgage. A car payment. A mound of bills. Yeah, freaking out.
The boy just completed all his driving for driver's ed, and we'll be going to DMV tomorrow to get his permit. Holy hell. Holy HELL! He'll be wanting to drive my car everywhere we go now!
Does this mean I have to call my insurance company and watch my premium go through the roof?
Speaking of the boy... Nothing's changed there. Nothing ever seems to. I'm beginning to think it never will. This is how it will be with him from here on out. And that sucks. He still doesn't stay with me. But he does still visit me often. Drives through the trail and comes over to visit. Sometimes only for a few minutes, sometimes longer.
It's premature empty nest, and it hurts. I have to start letting go at some point. I just don't know how. And I don't want to. It's too soon. It's not fair. The fact that my son left me this early, is not fucking fair.
Living alone hasn't been the greatest thing I've ever experience. Some people enjoy it. Some find it liberating, or empowering. I don't find it either of those things. Sure, some would say it's best for me, considering how "nazi" I am about things (as Dawson would say). Yes, I want things a certain way, yes, I'm somewhat inflexible, yes, I'm a little OCD, yes, I'm a bit of a neat freak, yes, I'm a little controlling... But, but, but... I could adapt, change, adjust, compromise. It sure would beat being alone all the time. And I certainly don't look forward to more of it. But I guess I'll have to deal with it.
My cat, whom I thought was lonely and bored and needed a playmate, absolutely hates the new kitten. It's been just a bout a week. I know it takes time with cats. It could take a month. It could take longer (but hopefully not). She hasn't killed him yet. They can be in the same room together. But if he gets near her, she attacks. Not harmfully, really, just a warning attack. And she's basically miserable all the time. Walks around hissing and growling, all the time. She's so unpredictable now that you can't pet her, because most of the time she's going to bite you. She's really pissed. The kitten is persistent, though. He follows her around and keeps trying to make friends. And she keeps getting angrier.
I'm hoping this will work itself out. I'm still convinced that she was bored and lonely and needed a friend (like me). She just doesn't know it yet. We shall see.
The band is trudging along. Nothing good comes easy, and that proves itself once again with this band thing. We're having bass player issues already (jeezus, deja vu?). We have options, just maybe not exactly what I had in mind. And, being the "nazi" that I am, not up to my expectations.
It's so much work. Is it worth it? I hope so.
The boy just stopped in for a few minutes. His now typical surprise, brief pop ins. It seems I live for those now a days.
I look back on my last blog and see how positive and upbeat I seemed. That was nice. It must have been a good day. Granted, there are more of those good moments then there used to be, but there are still a fair share of bad ones. It's still a constant struggle.
I suppose, I should go try to do something. Not sure what.
Vacuum? Make myself go for a walk? Watch Netflix? Look online for a job?