Excerpt from Losing Lisa: The End of Groundhog Day

(The following is just to give you a sense of the overall tone, etc., for those who might be curious)

Dec 7, 12:55 p.m.

The news has come from the ME: Overdose. Not suicide.

Thank You, God. Thank you, Lisa beloved. Strange as that sounds, crazy as it is. Groundhog Day is over. Today, madly, becomes my Alive Day although, if I like, I can also make it the date of the ME’s decision. Pearl Harbor Day’s an especially strange juxtaposition. However, I just heard on MSNBC that the PH vets’ group is disbanding on the 31st and the remaining survivors won’t be returning in any official capacity; maybe it’s not so presumptuous of me to sneak a personal remembrance day in there as well.

There’s now so much to do, insurance-wise, money-wise, bill-wise. That’s why I’ve called this period Groundhog Day, of course—until this decision came down, there’s been nothing I could do. That all changes now. And yes, it’s like a huge emotional levee breaking.

I am beyond pissed at the ME. Fucking Christ—couldn’t one of those cracker-ass motherfuckers have dropped a dime to me on this? Touch base? Reach out? Something?

You worthless redneck bastards, every last one of you involved in this, also at the funeral home. How dare you not at least take me off the fishing hook? I might just have to get busy on you now. I’m going to take this out on somebody, motherfuckers, so it might as well be you.

Love, I know you didn’t think I was just going to cast my rage with flowers to the sea, now, didja? You know me better. Somebody’s 2012 is getting ready to suck some major motherfucking balls. Even if this is all I do, make sure people know what happened, that’d be good by me.

OK, SO: There’s business to conduct, but for the first time since the 9th of October I’m able to breathe. Now I feel something like alive. I apologize to James Gandolfini for nicking the title of his documentary, not that he’d necessarily learn about it or overly care (or so I hope, but I do it with all respect). It’s that I understand what Alive Day means in a much more personal way now. It’d been decades since Trish, and memory has a way of calcifying. It hurt so much that those first anniversaries of her death became nothing more than occasions for serious alcohol abuse. Now Lisa’s death crosses Trish’s, and maybe what I’m feeling is an enormous rush of enzymes from Trish’s death. The second heart attack has a strange effect sometimes on the patient. I don’t know what this is doing to me, but I know now it’s possible to survive this experience. Pat hasn’t taken me with her. She’s finally lost, and now she knows, too. It’s like the end of a movie where the villain screams his/her last, while the protagonist stands there watching—think Alan Rickman in Die Hard, which I’m sure Pat did. Die hard, I mean.

And now she dessicates. Now it’s up to me. I have work to do, not just phone calls.

I will not marry again. It’s like the promoter at Monterey asking Pete Townshend to follow Hendrix at the festival. What did Pete and the lads do? They blew up the stage.

I don’t need my stage blown up. Thanks awfully.

Another sudden sea-change: I don’t have to fear the ringing telephone anymore.

Of course everyone I know on Fb (F Flat?) has been writing congratulations. I hope they know how good that feels. What I’m doing right here of course is old-school as the moon—I mean, a journal not a blog?—but it isn’t like I worry about that. Those are only considerations of style and choice of platform. Of course, I want this to see the light of day as raw feed, unadulterated as possible because if there’s going to be an actual readership (we’ll see), the reader should see it, as it were, live.  This is what it’s like to lose her. “Human experience” before tranquility, whatever the fuck that is. I don’t want a readership for entirely selfish reasons; in fact, I hope people wouldn’t see it like that. I’m hoping people will see a living figure in Lisa: three-dimensional, wise, and entirely imperfect. Above all, she was loving. She loved me, you see, in ways she did not love anyone else, and never did. I’ll know that for the rest of my life. After Lisa, as I say, no one could follow her. You don’t ask that of anyone. I’m too much on the side of sex workers to trade in sex as a customer, so there’s no option there either. Come on—STRIPSHOW taught me once and forever that the women are in the end culturally victimized by the old-boy patriarchy in whichever country, so all I’d ever do is buy the woman a drink so she can take a break. The sight of naked women dancing isn’t going to give me any pleasure, either. Prostitute? I kinda doubt it, Jack. Also, we still live in the age of AIDS. I always told Lisa that if the worst-case scenario—this—ever happened, I’d never date, never get involved with anyone else. For those reasons it’s clear I’m going to be the monk I thought I’d be. That thought does not scare me. Not a bit. It’s a more or less honest representation of who I’ve become, insofar as any of us can be completely honest in that way. I try to do right by the world. That’s all. And I try my damnedest to stay out of its way.

So, love, have I passed the audition? The cats take my lap now and everything

My Alive Day will never be an occasion for celebration; it should be more like this, a time to quietly reflect.

And in news of other people’s Groundhog Days, Jerry Sandusky was re-arrested. Ah, shadenfreude, I love you sometimes.

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About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This entry was posted in On Lisa's Death: Trying to Survive the Unsurvivable. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Excerpt from Losing Lisa: The End of Groundhog Day

  1. This is great news John. I’m thrilled that you can finally have some measure of closure.

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