Night Terrors

But see, here’s the thing…

I can quote all the cocky lyrics I want, and I can understand the necessity of engaging in Roshomonics at an intellectual level, and I can make myself appear by turns witty and bitter and sympathetic to you, the reading public…

But there’s nothing quite as frightening as knowing that there’s no one to turn to, that you’re completely alone, when you’re feeling pathetic about yourself and your work and bewildered by your industry, and dawn is coming up, and you can’t catch your breath.

I loved this person more than should be allowed by law. I realize, of course, that that doesn’t matter. Human beings are guided by their individual instincts and imperatives. They do what they must and go where they must, and, in the end, without resorting to a gun or a baseball bat, there’s nothing any other human can do to stop them. Hell, that’s why I never even tried to prevent her from getting in the car at parking slot 68. Maybe I should have. Yes, she would easily have beaten me senseless and left me bloody in the street — she was very butch — but at least I’d have demonstrated the depth of my feeling…

It’s too late for musings like that, though, too. It’s too late to do anything but pick up the fucking pieces and try to reassemble them into something that looks like an existence rather than a parody of one.

(I have to stop and smile for a moment, picturing Mary — my writing partner on *Hard Time* — reading this, appalled. She’s such a private person that when she gets back to town she’ll probably castigate me for having just revealed that she’s such a private person. I’m sure she’s completely aghast that anyone would parade their emotions around in public like this. Well, yeah, I am too — but what the fuck?)

Having said all that, my thinking somehow seems a little clearer today. Maybe the antibiotics are working after all. Maybe all the purgation lyrics are having an effect, as well. And maybe, as a result of the meds and the music, I’m coming to the realization that I’ll never be able to love someone that way ever again, because there really is no one who could ever replace her…and, frankly, because I’m getting too old for this shit.

The purgation lyric of the day is the entirety of “For No One” by The Beatles, 1966. It’s the last purgation lyric I’m going to cite, because no one else has even come close to saying it as succinctly, or as heartbreakingly, or as well. Funny thing is, it was one of her favorite songs.

Mine, too — but not my favorite on that album (*Revolver*).

That would be “Tomorrow Never Knows”.

8 Responses to “Night Terrors”

  1. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    Last election, looking at the choices, the following lyric occurred to me:

    Look in their eyes, you see nothing,
    No sign of life between the ears
    Vote for no one
    For President the next 4 years…

  2. Leviathan Says:

    I’ll never be able to love someone that way ever again, because there really is no one who could ever replace her. Steve, one of the most important things to ever learn is that you can never love anybody the same way you ever loved anybody else. All loves are different. All loves are unique. Because each love is specific to the people involved. When you love again, it will be different. But it will be love.

  3. Steve Gerber Says:

    Levi: When I love again, it will be chopped liver. And it will be forever.

  4. Beth Says:

    Three quick comments: When you purge, you kind of have to expect to see a lot of bile. If your body is sick, your brain is chemically altered. Finally, spend some time helping others.

  5. Brian Spence Says:

    As soon as you get better, you need to get out of the house. You should do something for a school or something, where the kids could look up to you for being a comic book writer. I don’t know, just get out of the house. I live alone, and any time I go for long periods of relative isolation, I get depressed.

    I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my first girlfriend, but thankfully, I’ll never be hurt that badly again, either. “Society” puts too much emphasis on the race to find your ‘soul mate’, as if you have to have some significant other for the rest of your life.

    Sorry that I’m replying to old posts all day, I was on vacation this week, and I’m playing catch up.

  6. Mary Skrenes Says:

    Jeez, Gerber!

  7. Mary Skrenes Says:

    Nice comment, Leviathan.
    I’m really tempted to add to it but, it would be much too revealing.

  8. Brian Christgau Says:

    A little over six years ago I had my heart broken for the first time (or “got my diploma”, as Richard Pryor put it) by a rather shallow and manipulative older woman, the hurt made that much worse by the fact that she had done the very same thing to three other chumps I know (can you say: “Ch-ch-chain of fools”?). This sent me on the most brutal of my many self-destructive periods and I almost died. I vowed I would never open my heart in that way again and that Love itself was something I would give up on ever finding.

    Today, it’s been nearly five years since I started dating the woman I’m currently sharing my life, hearts and dreams with. At last, I feel I’ve found exactly the kind of person I always wanted to be with, and she loves me the way I always dreamed of being loved. Just when I had given up, life had a pleasant little surprise in store for me.

    Will we always be together? Will she end breaking my heart too? Who knows. Nothing in life is certain (and here’s hoping I didn’t just jinx things!). But I’ve found that the human heart is a far more resiliant organ than you might sometimes realize. Just when you think it’s given up the ghost, it finds this hidden reserve of power and begins, however slowly, to renew itself.

    Nothing I or anyone else can say is going to make you feel better, but here’s a quote from the great German poet Rilke that sustained me in my darkest hours:

    “How we squander our hours of pain.
    How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration to see if they have an end. Though they are really our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,
    one season in our inner year-, not only a season in time-, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil and home.”