When The Past Takes A Good Chomp Out Of Your AssSitting here drinking some beer, I decided to type a person's name into Google and see what turned up and got a rude awakening Go ahead and read it -- I wait to fill in the gaps.
Ready? Are you back? Cool ...
Angela Smithers and I go way the fuck back. It was around 1990-1991 or so. I had just stopped doing drugs after LSD scared me straight and my friends Tim and Dizzy (real name John) spend most of our days going to school (I was going to drop out because my father was a drunk, my mother was gambling addict, and I was sick and tired of coming home to a house with no food and wanted a job so I could eat), going to work if we had jobs and playing marathon sessions of D&D and Middle Earth. The LSD trip scared me so straight that I not only quit all street drugs, but I stopped smoking cigarettes and drinking. Reason why was because doing any of those things brought on anxiety attacks as a result of the bad LSD trip I had. I figured drugs had been a daily part of my life from age 8 to 15 -- I had a great run and enjoyed it while it lasted.
Dizzy started to date a chick named Star and he'd always want to drag Tim and I over to her place whenever we went and seen her. We all got along fine -- Star loved Tim and I because we were the boneheaded, hairband listening, mullet-wearing hams of the group. Personally, I was torn between a chick I had a crush on at school and Star's sister. Star's sister, dammmit all to hell, had a thing with Tim's younger brother Eric. So, basically Tim and I were dateless ... but that was cool! We were the entertainment and fuck if we didn't provide it by goofing off swinging our long blond and red mullets around to Metallica's "And Justice ...", headbutting signs, chest butting each other, doing voices (Tim could do both a Scotsman and an uncanny Butthead impression while I would do pornographic "ThunderCats" dialog between Lion-O, Snarf, Slithe, and Mumra) while Star and John necked on the fuckin' porch.
It was on one of these days spent at Star's place where I met her sister's friend Angela Smithers, who was in the 7th grade at the time. That would make her about 14 going on 15. I was 18 or just 19 -- something like that. Angela kinda wanted Tim's brother Eric but she wouldn't move in on her best friend's territory. So, here we are were just hee-hawing around and when Angela had to go eat supper, Star's sister walked her home. When she came back, she told me, "Angela likes you."
Well, hot damn!
Of course, like a ninny, I said that I already had a crush on a girl named Heather Braden at school but didn't have the balls to persue her because she was dating some shithead on the football team named Jason Smith -- a shithead I was sure I could take out since he was drunk all the time but I was such a shy, timid, ol' fuckstain that I let the crush torture my ass for long time. I was reassured that Angela really liked me and, after a few cajoles from Tim, John, and Star who told that it was in best interest to drop the idea of ever getting anything going on with Heather in favor what was clearly under my fucking nose -- an adorable, pitite, brown curly haired Angela Smithers that had the balls the make the first move. So I buckled and gave her chance.
We went steady for about 2 weeks but we never kissed. I think the reason why was because I didn't get that vibe from Angela that approved of PDA because goddamn Dizzy and Star we like sucker fish on each other. Every time those two would suck face and neck, I'd think it was my time to move in for a kiss on Angela only to see Angela rolling her eyes and the hornivores. I said to myself, "Nawp, if she's rolling her eyes are Dizzy and Star, I don't want to botch anything!" so I'd check myself and be content to hold Angela's hand. But after a while, I started getting the feeling that Angela didn't like me and when she was around and Tim, Star, Dizzy, and Star's sister were up in their attic shooting the shit, I mentioned it. I said, "I don't really think Angela likes me."
Immediately, Star's sister left us. When she came back 5 minutes later, she had Angela with her. Actually, no. Angela was in the lead walking up the steps to the attic and when she got to the top, she looked dead into my eyes with her hands on her hips and said bluntly, "Why would you think I didn't like you?" I had no goddamned response to that at all. Let me shoot straight with you -- of all the women I ever had in my life (which hasn't been many - after Angela and I parted ways, I think I only had 3 or 4 relationships up to my current age of 31), Angela was the only one that has ever reduced me to having a Ralph Cramdon moment. That's right! Not even Christina -- who gave birth to my lovable wench of a daughter 4 years ago -- could do it.
"Homina-homina-homina", was the only thing that could escape my yap in response to Angela.
All I could do is take her hand and say I was sorry.
But I can't say Angela and I were happy. As I said, I was rather boneheaded. What really hurt Angela and I from ever finding out if we'd have a rewarding relationship was, first of all, the AGE issue. Gotta remember she was going on 15 and I was around 18 or 19. Despite us both being fuckin virgins, society alone saw that as statutory rape waiting to happen. As Angela tells in the article, she hated school and was getting bad grades. What she doesn't tell you is that her mother attributed her bad grades to me and wanted Angela and I to stop seeing each other. I've always been respectful of parents wishes and I told Angela at the time that she needs to keep her grades up and no be dropout like me. My belief was one can pick their lovers but can't pick their parents and I wanted to always be on the good side of Angela's parents.
To compound the issue, Dizzy's bother Duke -- a former football player for MHS and on his way to the Navy -- hammered me real good when he found out that my 18-19 year old ass was seeing a 15 year old chick. His exact response was: "Dude, do you have to put diapers on her before you take her out?!?" So, between that and Angela's parents, it made want to crawl into the nearest whole. Another thing was Angela and I never got any time to ourselves to got to know each other. Every time we got together, Tim, Dizzy, and Star were around. That left Angela and I with phone calls as the only avenue to really talk and communicate one and one. But what really fucked it all up was me. With Angela in 7th grade and me in High School (I flunked two grades), Heather Braden would always be at the table behind me at lunch. After two weeks or so, Angela got suspended from school and her parents forced her to break up with me. I remember at the time being relieved because my mind was torn between the lover I knew I could never have and the lover I actually did have. When Angela called me up crying to break up with me, she asked me if I would wait for her. What she meant was would I hold off dating until the age issue was no longer an issue.
My reply is something I don't want to repeat here. Even though it was 4 words in legnth, it was the most coldhearted thing I ever said to anyone up to this very day and if Angela were to go on with the rest of her life despising me for it, I wouldn't blame her because for the next two years, I despised myself for it. How come? A few days after we broke up, Star's sister gave me message from Angela that would haunt my every living day:
A day will come when you will be starving for someone to not only love you but for someone you can love. You'll look at the future and see nothing but a blur. You'll look at your present and see only those who you want to have but can't. Then, and only then, will you look at your past and realize that the person you always dreamed of was there under you nose the entire time ... and you swept that person under the rug.
It haunted me because she was right. Not only that, but the person I saw every time I lifted the rug of my past was her. She was the only person who loved me unconditionally. She didn't say that to guilt trip me. She didn't say that to get even with me. Through her sorrow and grief, she said that to teach me what love is, was, and always will be. And it beat me over the head for years. Here was a 15 year old girl who knew more about love than I did -- knew so much more about it that she didn't let the way I treat her phase her one single bit even though she had ever single fucking right to do so.
It haunted me so much that one day in 1993, I sat in my room with the muzzle of a loaded pistol in my mouth. Just 3 pounds of pressure from my index finger would've ended it all ... and if it wasn't for my radio being turned to WIOT's simulcast of "Rockline" which was debuting a solo album entitled "Back To The Light" by founding Queen axeman Brian May, I wouldn't be writing this right now and my mother would've scraped by brains off my bedroom wall. See, Angela forgave me ... she forgave me the moment I hung up the phone after telling her those 4 words that ended it all. My problem was that I couldn't forgive myself and it brought me to the brink of suicide that only Brian May's "Too Much Love Will Kill You" (later recorded by Freddie Mercury for inclusion of the final posthumous Queen album "Made In Heaven") stayed my hand. After the song was over, the voice of God told me that my life wasn't mine to take for I had turned it over to Him in 1989 when I quit drugs. He wouldn't allow me to pull the trigger and he used Brian May's music to drive that truth home. Instead of blowing my head off, I dropped the gun and had a nervous breakdown.
I never cried so much in my life and I made decision that no matter what, I had a shitload of sins that I had to confess not to God but to one very special person: Angela Smithers. There was no way I would forgive myself until I could make peace with her.
A few months later, Tim was dating one of Angela's friends named Shauna. I sent word down the grapevine that I needed to see and talk to Angela. Angela was dating someone else but she agreed to meet with me. The 4 of us hung out at a mall for a few hours and when Tim dropped me off, I took Angela's hand and bared my soul, telling that I was willing to do anything it took to have her if she could find it in her heart to give me the chance to make it all up to her. She refused saying that she was happy with the person she was with but if things didn't work out, I'd be the first to know. It was like a big burden lifted off my shoulders but it also made me want her that much more. I have never been more proud of a woman for Angela in that moment for shooting me down. It wasn't because I deserved it. God knows I did deserve it. No, it was because she was so damned loyal that it solidified the fact that this awesome girl was what I really wanted all along. I knew that if I had her, she would never cheat on me or do me wrong. I hugged her tightly, got out of Tim's car and away they went.
A hour later, Tim calls me up and tells me something that I will cherish to my own grave. He told me that when he pulled away, Angela started crying and said, "Saying 'No' to him was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life!" Her head was telling her to take me but she let her heart rule her head -- more proof that she was the absolute queen of my world all along. Her saying 'No' to me was exactly what I needed to forgive myself.
Fast foward to just a few short years ago. I came from Georgia and with in weeks started seeing Christina - a girl that I've been friends with for 7 years. She had just left her husband when I came back. I lost my virginity in Georgia and somehow it changed me into somebody that was more appealing to Christina. I really didn't want to get in between her and her husband but I must admit that when she did get married, it was one of the many reasons why I upped and left Michigan for Georgia out of the blue. I always thought that her husband Jeremy was garbage and that I could've treated Mouse (Christina's nick-name for she was tiny) better than he would.
When I left Athens, my former room-mate Karen told me that once I ended the relationship I had with Dawna, I would immediately find a more rewarding one upon my return to Michigan. She literally said, "Someone will be waiting for you." Karen was cool as hell and she was a Shaman. I wasn't attracted to her but the day before I left for Michigan, she whined and complained for me to stay and date her. I couldn't oblige -- I missed my family and friends back home. When I came back to Michigan, all I wanted was to tinker on my own PC and hang out. I spent the days with Tim and his wife hanging out and at night on the PC getting drunk and playing Baldar's Gate. Mouse and her husband were having problems. One night at home, Tim called me up and said, "Somebody over here wants you ... and in a bad way". Oooooh boy, that narrowed it down and the next day began the a 2 year long relationship with Mouse. It was a relationship that I should've ended within weeks because Mouse has cheated on every man she was ever with. But, dammit, the sex was good. Damn good.
While we were still together, I got laid off from Meijer's on my 90th day (rat bastards) and started my next job soon after: being a relative child care provider for my sister's kids. The MI state FIA paid for it. I was drawing $600 every two weeks -- much better money than Meijer. Mouse was pulling in $9 an hour at a Lutheran home. We were doing pretty damned good.
Upon starting the job at my sisters, her next door neighbor was someone my family has known for years: The Gordons. Donna Gordon had a friend named Angie. She had two toned hair parted down the side and piercings up the wazoo. She was only a few inches shorter than me and a little on the portly side like me for my daughter was on the way. The worry of being a Dad had me eating pizza like mad. Anyway, Angie would regularly hang out at my sisters with me while I jammed music or played my PS2. She would just sit there ... and every once in a while smile at me when I looked at her. It was wierd because I was wondering, "Who the fuck is this chick and why is she here?!? I'm taken, for Christ sakes! If she things I'm going to cheat on Mouse with her, she's dead wrong!"
After a few weeks of that, Angie stopped hanging out which didn't bother me at all because it was rather strange. The only time I saw her was early in the morning when I got off work at the bustop on the way home. Fast forward a few months, the security guards of the apartment complex were handing out eviction warnings. They came to my sister's door and I had to sign the clipboard. On the cliboard plain as day, I saw the name ANGELA SMITHERS. No shit, I thought. She lives around here? Damn, I need to talk to that girl -- it's been a long time. Tim lived just a hop, skip, and a jump away so I asked him if he could turn up anything. He couldn't -- he believed that she had allready been evicted. Oh well, no big deal.
Earlier this year -- long after Mouse left me and the end of working for my sister -- I came home from a hard day's work under a rolloff trailer fixing slack adjusters all for a weekend of some vodka and online gaming with my clanmates. After it was all done, I'm sitting here at 3AM or so tinkering on my PC, letting my mind wander. It conjured up memories of working with my sister and how the money was better. I then remembered Angie who hung out there .............. and it all clicked together. Angie was actually my Angela Smithers from way back and I didn't realize it. Of course I didn't realize it -- she wasn't the same petite, little, adorable thing that my mind kept as a memento. This "Angie" chick had two-toned hair, for crying out loud. She didn't look like she did in those newspaper photos.
When I realized that, I shed some tears because I should've known. She hung around and gave me that expectant look every once in a while as if to say, "Do you remember me yet or what?" and I it just didn't click. Once again, she's under my god-damned nose! Once again, I owe her a huge fucking apology! Once again, timing makes it impossible for us to see if we're each other's soul mates. Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck! And it saddends me to find out just a few hours ago by the article that life has been kind at all to her and she has more pressing matters with her poor daughter's battling lukemia. But what that article does not show is that earlier this past Summer, Angela's mother had passed away. She wasn't that old, either -- something like in her late 40s - early 50s or so. I can't remember what caused it but I do remember actually picking up the Monroe News, seeing her obituary, and being floored with it.
Angela's plight in poverty is not a burden she shares only here in Monroe. But since we've got a long history, my heart goes out to her ... and I've been sitting here as I type this wondering if I hadn't said those 4 words in the first place, would her life turn out different. You know what, I'll go ahead and tell you what those 4 words I said to her back in the day were:
Only God waits forever.
It was cold and heartless. But it came from a stupid boy who really was cold and heartless. Confused as well. But that boy is me today at 31 years old and I can say from the bottom of my heart the same thing the rock group YES has for one their songs: Angela Smithers, wherever you are, I would've waited forever for you to come into my life.
Often times at night, I wish I would've stayed in yours.