In our lives we compile a collection of relationships with other people, I don’t necessarily mean “Facebook official” ones, but moments in time where we are close with other human beings. I’ve come to think of some of these relationships I’ve had with others as separate lives, catlike I imagine my existence with these people to be completely secluded and separate from what I am now. When I look upon someone I once knew, shared intimate times with, I think of how little I know that person now. All those times have faded, they are having those moments with someone else, and that relationship is dead to me. I exist in another life, the previous one appears to me as a distant dream I can only faintly recall. This is a technique I have taught myself or more so recently came upon the existential knowledge of. I unfortunately have the ill-fated habit or constantly reliving my most tragic moments, a writer’s curse I suppose. Dwelling on the thoughts until they stir up my brain into a state of frenzy, it is not until I reflect, and sort them out in writing that they can be properly released and my head can know some comfort.
Recently I had my first true test of this theory, I encountered my greatest downfall. The lengthy tragedy I wrote about our time together was removed forcibly after threats from enemy parties, destroying it is still one of my biggest regrets. But that is another story. I was not quite sure I could ever stomach seeing him again, I thought for sure the floodgates would open and seven years of memories would violently crumble my stamina with their tsunami waves. Truth be told the decision to even put myself in harms way was a last minute one, a challenge to see how strong I truly was. I often find these tests of character hard to resist, as I have said before I thrive in awkward situations. Most surprisingly though I didn’t load myself up with alcohol to prepare for the battle, the reason for that may have been because I was still hung over from the night before…but no matter.
I walked into the knitting factory hesitantly for a number of reasons, one because the last time I was there was the worst day of my life, two because I didn’t intend on paying for the show, and three I suppose is pretty obvious. I was arriving from another show that night and had planned my fashionably late entrance very strategically. His band was already on stage meaning he would be much too preoccupied playing to notice me in the crowd. I was like a voyeur, spying on him though he could not see me. But where was what I had feared most? Thundering floodgates unleashing all hell upon my psyche? There were none. Of course I was aware of the awkwardness of the situation, my sister sympathized for me, as my regular source of venting. However, as I continued to gaze upon the stage, upon a band that had once meant the world to me, I realized they no longer did. True nothing could disrupt the encapsulated existence I once lived; a sixteen year old moved by the music and people, completely unaware how my relationship with them would change. But that was no longer who I was. I looked up and saw four strangers, performing songs that I knew, yet merely found far less relevant. I left as the last note echoed from the stage, casting one last gaze upon that which I had once held dear.
What I learned was to take things less seriously, I remembered the lesson Penny Lane had taught me years ago “you never take it seriously and you never get hurt.” I may or may not have gotten far too many life lessons from the movie Almost Famous, but again that is another story. I expect should I run into another one of my past lives it would be a similar experience. Where once I may have felt something, a twinge of what once was, I now have compartmentalized the relationship and shut the door.