Monday, July 12, 2010

The Story of Blaine....

This used to be the place I ran to

Whenever I was in need of a friend,

Why did it have to end?

("This Used To Be My Playground", Madonna)

*

Can you help me remember how to smile?

Make it somehow all seem worthwhile?

How on earth did I get so jaded?

Life's mystery seems so faded...

("Runaway Train", Soul Asylum)

*

If you knew Blaine you'd most likely think that he is a kindhearted, quiet sort of man. People always describe him as being "easy going" and "a nice guy"--but quiet and somewhat melancholy.

What most people don't see is the despair behind his soft, strikingly beautiful green eyes. That was what had attracted me when I first met him---his eyes.

Blaine doesn't talk about himself much. In fact, he rarely mentions his own emotions at all. And he also never talks about hopes and dreams for the future. He has no trust in the future. And if I ever ask him about a future event; i.e. if we can go on a vacation next year or buy a house, he always replies with the same sentence: "We'll see....." And in all the years I've known him, these facets of his personality have never changed.

And it took me quite a few years to find out all the details of the horrific tragedy which broke his heart and left him forever ensconced in the murky, solemn demeanor he has exhibited in all the years I've known him.

And I think the horrible secret behind his sad eyes is exactly what causes him to indulge me in my numerous whims and to spoil me to death. Because over and over, every single time he buys me something, even if it's just a knitting magazine, he never fails to ask: "Are you happy now?" He isn't being sarcastic---he says it in earnest, really wanting to know if he made me happy. In fact, if I ever have a really bad day, what with my mental issues and constant anxiety, it is not uncommon for him to ask: "Can I buy you something which would cheer you up?"

Yes, Blaine tries to make me happy.

During the years after our divorce, when he lived here in Kansas and I had moved to Austin, Texas, he never wavered in his feelings for me, year after year. He never went out with another girl. And he kept calling me periodically---and even frequently visited my mother in a different part of Texas. On one of his trips to Austin, which he said was to visit friends, he brought me a kitten, which I almost named Pasquale but ended up naming the idgity thing "Squealy" since he bawled his eyes out all night for the first week I had him.

Basically, Blaine was waiting for me to come back to him---which eventually I did a couple of years ago. And now things have come full circle.

And I want to tell you his story because it's a story which needs to be told. It is a cautionary story which serves to remind us to always appreciate those we love---and never, ever take them for granted.

So here goes....

It happened when Blaine was 19 or 20, a long time ago, before I ever met him in Texas....

During his childhood he grew up in a small town in upstate New York. He was a child of a broken home, his mother having left his father when he was very young. She took Blaine's sister with her and moved back to the Queens area in New York City. And, like his two older brothers, Blaine opted to stay with their father.

But it was a very lonely existence for Blaine. His two older brothers soon left home themselves and his father, who was a raging alcoholic, paid little attention to Blaine. So at a very young age Blaine learned to fend for himself--- to cook for himself, do his own laundry, clean the house, and all the other things that a mother might do for a son.

Blaine had grown up with two best friends, and those friends became even more important to him after his parents split and his two older brothers had gone their own ways. Blaine's sister, Lexie, once told me that she had felt sorry for Blaine during those years because he always seemed so lonely, especially since neither his father nor his older brothers ever seemed very concerned about young, lonely Blaine.

And so, Lexie told me, after the family disintegrated, Blaine had clung even closer to his two best friends, trying to fill the cruel loneliness of a boy without a mother--- and feeling cast aside by his alcoholic father and two older brothers. Because, sadly, neither Blaine's father nor his brothers ever showed the slightest concern about how Blaine was growing up.

Thus, Blaine and his two buddies were rarely seen apart. They ditched school together, they graduated high school together, got jobs, and usually spent their weekends hanging out with each other and female acquaintances. And they had gained reputations for being somewhat delinquent youths---seen frequently and recklessly careening around town in one of their cars, running as high-spirited, free, and as beautiful as wild horses.

One Friday night, Blaine's two friends, David and Bruce, had planned to go out to the movies with their girlfriends. Of course they asked Blaine to go along but he said he'd skip this one as he had no date that weekend. He decided to stay home and watching TV while drinking a little beer. He later said that he had gone to bed early that night.

He was awoken at 3:00 am by the insistent sound of the ringing telephone. It was Bruce's sister. At first Blaine couldn't understand a word she said as she was screaming so hysterically and he was groggy from sleep. He kept telling her to slow down until he could finally understand what she was saying.

"They're all DEAD!" she screamed, nearly hyperventilating. "Oh Blaine, they're all dead! And I thought you were dead, too---but then they said you weren't in the car!"

"In the car? Who's dead?" he had replied stupidly, not comprehending.

"Oh honey! David and Bruce are dead!" she sobbed. "And also one of the girls that was in the car with them!"

Gradually, Blaine pulled it out of her that there had been a terrible car accident. Nobody knew just exactly how it had happened, but it looked like David had lost control of his car after being broadsided by another vehicle. Of the foursome, David, Bruce, and one of the two girls had been killed on the spot. The other girl, who'd sat on the passenger side of the back seat, had survived. No one had been wearing seat belts.

Blaine was aghast--- and traumatized.

His most precious of friends had all been killed. And if he had gone with them that night he probably would have been killed as well. It was so much for him to comprehend that he walked around in a daze for the next several days, almost catatonic, as the families prepared for the funerals. Blaine was to be a pallbearer at David's and Bruce's.

And then the next blow came.

David's mother asked Blaine if he would go to the impound lot, where David's car had been towed after the accident, to arrange to have it towed home. Blaine said of course he'd go. But when he arrived at the impound lot and the caretaker had taken him to David's car, Blaine was shocked and traumatized all over again.

The entire interior of the car was awash in his friends' blood---from front to back and even on the car's ceiling. And worse yet, there was a lot of brain matter and other parts of his friends' broken bodies scattered all over the place.....

....and good, kind Blaine didn't want his friend's mother to see all that. And so he painstakingly cleaned as much of it up as he could, to the amazement of the impound lot's caretaker.

* * * * * * * *

Everyone said Blaine was never the same after that accident. Whereas Blaine had once taken boisterous, gregarious joy in hanging out with his closest friends, he was now a quiet, sad, isolative shell of his former self. He began drinking heavily and had difficulty making new friends---nothing would ever be the same forevermore.

And Blaine would never, ever be able to get the picture of the interior of the destroyed car out of his mind.

Suddenly, the town seemed vacant and lonely to Blaine. And that is when he decided to move far away and start a new life. An acquaintance of his was going to move down to Austin, Texas, and advised Blaine that he should do the same since Austin has tons of computer related jobs. Blaine's father had worked for IBM in New York and so Blaine thought he might as well go down to Austin and apply to the branch of IBM there.

And that is where I met my Blaine---in Austin when he was working for IBM. Eventually, we moved up here to Kansas since his sister and brother-in-law were here and invited us to come live near them, especially since computer jobs are plentiful here as well. And not only did we move here, but one of Blaine's older brothers moved his family here as well.

I divorced Blaine 4 years later......but as I related before, Blaine never lost faith that I'd come back to him. And eventually I did.

And when Lexie told me how rough Blaine had taken our divorce, and how much it had hurt him, I felt terrible--- and I have decided that I will NEVER, EVER take him for granted again.

So that's the story. And now I know why he always asks me, after he's bought me something, if I'm "happy". I think that deep down inside of his fractured heart that he, too, doesn't ever want to take someone he loves for granted again. He's lost enough--- and there will always be those two terrible, tragic holes in his heart of hearts for David and Bruce.

And so I allow him to fret over me, which he does faithfully, even in the face of all of my crazy, mental insanity problems and substance abuse issues. And whenever Blaine asks me "if I'm happy".....

... I always give him my most excited, thrilled and happy facial expression while replying: "Oh yes, Blaine! This makes me very happy!"

And then I am gratified to see that satisfied look come over his face with just a flicker of some lost, forgotten light in his lovely green eyes.

And all is well....

*
Someday little girl,

You'll wonder what life's about,

What others have known,

few battles are won alone,

So, you'll look around to find,

Someone who's kind,

someone who is fearless like you...

("True Grit", Glenn Campbell)

*

*

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bo
that was heartbreaking
I'm glad he has you back in his life and I'm glad you have him.
It looks like God put you together to take care of each other.
Donna

I, er....Hi. I'm Rayleen. said...

An accident scene and vehicle are very traumatizing. I onced cleaned the scene of an accident in which a relative died. It was several days later and yet you could still smell the rotting blood in the grass over a 30 foot stretch along side the road. I only cleaned it because the heartless ex-wife of this person was going to have her 9 and 13 year old daughters clean up the accident and I couldn't bear to have them go through it.

Later, I went with my Mom to the truck to get some items out of it. It had congealed blood in it, everywhere. Like big chunks of liver. You could smell it from 20 feet away.

As we drove away, it started to rain and the rain drops on the windshield reflected the red paint from our truck. Mom started to freak out and I yelled, "Use the windshield wipers! Use the windshield wipers!" We were so traumatized. It's been seven years and I will never forget. Never.

Bo... said...

Hi, Rayleen. You poor little thing--I imagine it was very traumatizing to have to do that. And you're right---blood has a distinctive smell. I worked in the ER for years and I never got used to it. Some people came in so horribly injured that they had lost enough blood for "that smell". And you're right---you never forget it.

Sue said...

Aw Bo - a huge hug to both of you!

Bo... said...

Thank you, Sue!

Cindy/KS said...

Oh Bo! I have no words to describe how that makes me feel! I know it changed him & it brings to mind the question I have had for a while about my own mother. I wonder if watching my father drown in some way caused a change in her. I know that I once had her described to me by someone who knew her when she was first married to my father & the woman that was described to me wasn't the same woman we were raised by - the later woman was a very angry person. {{{HUGS to both of you!}}}

Bo... said...

Hi Cindy: Yes, I would bet that watching your father drown probably traumatized and changed your mom. PTSD is a lifelong thing for many people. And anger can be a symptom of it. Blaine sometimes exhibits a short fuse and a lot of anger. I try to calm him down supportively. (And his sister says he was different after the accident.)

tottergirl said...

Definitely a keeper, Bo, definitely a keeper!

Bo... said...

Thank you, Tottergirl!

Anonymous said...

Bo!
I'm excited to read you are working on LRRH
look forward ti some pics!
Donna

Bo... said...

Hi Donna! Yes, I'm finally working on it for real!

Cindy/KS said...

Bo - the biggest part that gets me about my mom was that you would think if you have just 1 child with a man that you say was the love of your life that you would treasure that child, not abuse them in multiple ways. But who knows - she is gone & I did what I had to do to preserve myself.

Bo... said...

And, Cindy, sometimes that's all you can do is to take care of your own self if you're dealing with a toxic relationship. My family drove me so nuts that I went back to America a year early, when I was only 17, to start at the university. (Thank God I'd skipped a grade.) It's taken me years to come to terms with those type of issues you talk about.

Anonymous said...

you are a fucking drama queen.

What an asshole to tell a story that is NOT yours.

Bo... said...

Excuse me, Anonymous, but Blaine gave me his permission for me to tell his story on my blog. He knows he is a frequent character in my blog. He doesn't mind. To him, this is all "women stuff". God, if anybody is an asshole, it's YOU, honey.

As Glenda the Good Witch said to the ugly Bad Witch:

"Begone! You have no power here!"

Cindy/KS said...

Ignore them Bo!

Bo... said...

Thank you, Cindy!!!

Anonymous said...

Bo,

Regarding your recent twitter updates about your sister, please don't do or say anything in the heat of the moment that you might regret later. If you need to, take some time to think about things and cool down before responding to anymore text messages or phone calls. You have always talked so glowingly about your sister and I would hate to see your relationship suffer because of something that might be quite minor.

Anonymous said...

I understand how hard it is to worry about a family member when you know know something is up but they think they are sparing you from worry and anxiety by not telling you.When infact the verY fact they aren't being up front with You is driving you crazy.

It would be so much better for everyone if they would just tell you and let you deal with it!
Right?
Donna
sorry you are feeling do stressed right now.

Bo... said...

You're right, Anonymous. Tomorrow....I just going to do what soothes me and knit....

Bo... said...

Thank you, Donna! I am frustrated. Very frustrated. I worry so much and I worried that her skin cancer had returned. My mother worried that she was in a motorcycle accident on her fiance's motorcycle. And I did express my frustration on a text, but I'm going to lay it down and take people's advice not to make it any bigger. I have always loved my only sister and I can't believe she wouldn't realize how much I'd worry. Oh well, I guess I won't find out till she feels like talking. But I just didn't feel the need for the secrecy!

Anonymous said...

I'll bet she's had a peel for the wedding and wants to surprise everyone.

Jenn said...

Sometimes the people who we love think they are doing us favors by not sharing certain things with us. What they may not realize is that not knowing is worse than knowing. Please don't do anything you may regret - it may be your sister will need you down the road. Give her the benefit of the doubt, even though it is seriously hard. Hang in there, Bo!

Bo... said...

Thank you, Jenn and Anonymous: You may be right. My sister once had a skin cancer removed and it was deep enough to leave quite a scar. So what went through my head yesterday was that it had returned and had metastasized. And so it was worse not knowing---because my imagination ran to all kinds of bad scenarios. My mother is livid over it and says she's going to "let her have it big" whenever my sister does get around to emailing us an explanation. That alone will cause a BIG rift between them. Oh....the things that happen in families.....

Anonymous said...

sounds to me like your sister is the most sane person in your family. It's none of your business. Just because you throw a tantrum doesnt mean you are entitled to know anything about her life. I bet it will be a relief to know you aren't going to the wedding festivities. Who wants a drama queen to suck the life out of their wedding day. Not everything is about you.

$100 says you are going to post "it was all a misunderstanding"....like you do every time you stick you giant foot in your mouth. step away from the computer.

Bo... said...

Look Anonymous, my sister has had skin cancer before---and it was a large tumor and left a long scar from where they removed it. I'm an RN, so when my sister makes a cryptic remark like: "It was a skin procedure" I thought the worst. I thought the skin cancer had returned, which would mean it had had years to grow and metastasize. Then she sends an email which says she "chooses to keep it private", that makes me MAD. Blaine and I were going to spend a small fortune in clothes for the wedding festivities and a lot of gas to drive down there. And she's been ignoring my mother's emails lately----even before this thing happened. So my mother is mad, too. Both my mother and I feel that the longer she's with this controlling fiance, the more he influences her to back away from her family. He doesn't want he to have a relationship with us. She is a different person since meeting him.

OH, and it's none of your business whether I get mad at my sister or not, idiot.

Jenn said...

Glad it's nothing serious with your sister.

Ignore the harpies!

Jenn

Anonymous said...

I thought you loved your sister's fiance?

Bo... said...

Thanks, Jenn!

Bo... said...

I do love her fiance, but he is very controlling. And ever since they met, I believe he fans the flames of arguments my sis has with my mother. And probably myself. But otherwise, I get along with him when we're in Dallas.