Friday, July 27, 2018
When I became, "that guy".
Nature can be beautiful even at its most frightening. Take for instance lightening, at night when a storm is passing in the distance, watching can be almost breath taking. Lighting up the distant sky, seeing the flashing streaks connecting earth and clouds. Beautiful from afar, not so much when it's overhead.
Tonight I noticed the sky lighting up, we had storms earlier but everything had cleared up, the stars were out when I sat down to watch tv. I decided to watch the evening show out my window instead. I thought it was heat lightening at first but soon realized it was another approaching storm. Even though this was a storm, it reminded me of the first time I saw heat lightening.
I was very young, around five years old and I had spent the day at a local church fair, in those days, the church picnics were more like small country fairs. It was getting late and my dad noticed one of our older neighbours had been drinking all afternoon, worried he decided to drive the man home. Since my mom was still volunteering at the picnic we had to go with my father. My dad went into the house with the man to talk and hopefully get some coffee into him. While waiting on my dad in the car, my sister and I were fascinated with a pinkish flash of light across a clear, star filled night sky. Unfortunately after a few cups of coffee the man pulled out a huge bottle of alcohol and started drinking directly from it. My father gave up and came back to the car. We pointed out the lights and he called it heat lightening.
The man was a typical bachelor in our area, a good neighbour, kind, hard working. Probably too shy to meet people, these men often never ventured away from the farm or family business to even have the opportunity to meet someone. Later after their parents passed away, they were alone and lonely, there was not much else to do in those days so many picked up the bottle. Some of those guys got married late in life, at that time being in your fifties was almost considered a senior citizen. They often said if they could only go back in time, they would have married much sooner. I always felt sorry for those guys, to be alone all the time, no family at Christmas, sitting in your house alone every evening. Later on as well when I learned about sex, I couldn't see someone not being in a relationship, being loved and enjoying the fun of sex. I often felt they wasted a huge part of their life. I think that is why many tried to wipe those thoughts away with alcohol.
Now it's hard to accept but time quickly flew by and before I knew it, I became "that guy". I don't drink but I am addicted to other things to keep my mind from thinking about where I am in life. I feel I wasted my time here on earth, that my goal was to take part in life with other people and I didn't. I am that lonely guy, the one I felt pity for even at the young age of five, the one I vowed not to become. Even if I meet some great guy now, I am the guy saying I should have done it years ago, because they finally see life is better when shared with someone.
It's strange to think of that little boy gazing out the car window, one moment staring at the night sky, another moment watching a man through a kitchen window, drinking straight from a bottle. I learned about heat lightening that night, I just wish I understood the other lesson better.