Get Down, America! Howard the Duck and Beverly by Frank Cho
I bought a wallet. It was black. Pretty cheap. $2.99
I was in the in the Oak Park Post Office recently, they were playing music over the PA. It’s usually middle of the road pop hits, but this time it was “Ten Years Gone” by Led Zeppelin. I’m not the biggest Zep fan, but that’s my favorite song by the band.
I saw the “Old Navy Guy”. The “Old Navy Guy” is a self appointed preacher who’s been around for years. He stands in front of The Old Navy Store on State St in downtown Chicago telling people they are going to Hell. His favorite line is some thing like ” How you goin’ to go to Heaven smokin’ cigarettes?! How you goin’ to go to Heaven bein’ a homosexual?!” There’s been times in the past when people have shouted angry words at the man, but this day things where calm as I far as I could see.
On the way home, I ran into my ex-girlfriend. We lived together for a little over five years. I thought maybe I might have some intellectual observation on lost love to share. Instead, I have this…
Random Ex-Girlfriend Story: She and I lived together for a while. We had our wild days, but it couldn’t continue. I was the one who ended it. We stayed friends for awhile, but gradually we drifted apart. I’d heard a couple stories about her, but I hadn’t seen her face to face in over two years.
Using the title of an old Tom Waits song for my own purposes (Downtown Train)
I was getting off one subway train and she was waiting for another going in the opposite direction. I was heading toward the stairs when I heard someone call out my name. Before I could wonder if maybe someone was calling for another person named Edward, I turned and saw her looking at me. I gave her my number and told her to call me anytime on the weekend.
I have to admit that I had been thinking about her recently and kinda missing her a little. I remember that for all our problems together, she was a person that never judged me and completely accepted me with all of my faults (and I had many faults). That’s actually kinda rare in today’s world to find a person that’s forgiving and non-judgemental in general. And its especially rare to have that in a person you are involved in a romantic relationship with. I’ve been a failure in the romance department in the recent past, so this subject had been on my mind.
Now I remember why we broke up
I got a phone call around 4:00 am in the morning. It was from an unknown number, so at first I thought it may be a wrong number. I mean, this couldn’t be a call from her could it? You know where this is going…of course it was her. She’s like, “I didn’t know when was a good time to call you.” Wha…? When has 4:00 am been a good time to call ANYONE, like EVER?? I’m like, I’m sleep, call me in a few hours. Ok, so at a more reasonable hour, I talk to her again and she asks me to meet her downtown. At first I agree, then I phone immediately back and say that I actually have errands to run and to let’s meet later. She then informs me that she’s almost at the meeting place and why can’t I just meet her now? Because I have things I told you I have to do and I certainly didn’t tell you to leave the house yet. I told her that I’d call her back in a few hours. I went to run my errands and purposely left my phone at home.
Ed is a jerk
When I got back I saw a message on my phone. Something to the effect of, “If you want to meet me, fine. If you don’t that’s fine too.” Hell, at this point I almost didn’t want to meet her. Like I said, I missed her kindness, her forgiveness, and her compassionate spirit. I DIDN’T miss her daytime drunkeness… her half truths, her talking over people, or constant repeating herself. From our last phone conversation I could tell that she might not have been drunk at that moment, but she had been at some point in the last twelve hours. I say this without judgement. Lord knows I still like to drink, but I like to think the worst I’ve done in recent years is post incoherent internet comments. I certainly haven’t appeared to someone face to face to pontificate about everything under the sun and how everyone we know and everything have done is wrong.
We’ll always have Huron St.
Anyway I did meet her downtown and it wasn’t such a bad reunion. I admit that I kinda made an ass of myself because I kept stating at her trying to determine what state of mind she was in. Just like I can read her, she can read me and I’m sure she noticed this. That’s why she probably felt the the door was open to bring up why our relationship didn’t work in general and imply what was wrong with me in particular. I wasn’t mad because most of what she said was stuff that I’d thought of myself. While I know I did the right thing when I broke up with her, sometimes I wonder…I believe that if we’d stayed together and if somehow we ended up in the gutter somewhere, I think she still wouldn’t have left me. I believe it’s not easy to find that level of devotion in other people. People talk about soul mates, what if your soul mate was another “damaged person” and the only way for either of you to get your act half way straight was to split up? I’m being a little overly dramatic. I don’t consider either of us “damaged goods”. After a while, it was time for us to part company. I know she wanted to hang out a little longer and subtlely implied going to her house, but I kinda wanted to go home. Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound macho or suave, but screw it… I was ready to retire.
I kissed her a few times on the cheak and lips. One kiss was particularly passionate. It was bittersweet in the both the literal and metaphorical since. It was in the 90’s temperture wise and she had been sweating all day. When I kissed her, I could taste both the salt in the sweat that dripped from her brow and the sweetness that’s only present on the lips of someone you once loved. As I walked away I told her to call me next weekend. She said that Thursday was her next day off. Then she said, ” I’ll call you six years from next Thursday.”
When I was on the El, I thought that if this was a romantic movie, that would’ve been a cool line to end the film on.
I had another thing about an old guy on the El, but maybe I’ll save that for another column…
Avengers, Children’s Crusade #6: Great comic book. Heinberg and Cheung have been doing good for a while now. Great dialogue, great characterizations, great art. Easily the best Avengers title out right now. But I think now we might be sliding into weird conituity area. Hank McCoy shows up and he seems to be on the Avengers team, but if this story takes place in the recent past (after House of M and right before Civil War) he should actually be on the X-men.
Butcher Baker the Righteous Maker #2: I wanna know Joe’s influences for this comic. Some folks have brought up the Comedian from Watchmen and Marshall Law. I bet there’s some Wonder Warthog and Cheech and Chong in there as well. Joe is my guy. Cool art from Mike Huddleston.
George Clinton for president. Peace!