And to think I once thought that song was cute, in a schmaltzy sort of, were all in this together, cum bay ya, hands across America, brotherly love, bullshit way.
And then again, I was at the pool. A place that I should clearly stop going to. When, oh when will I learn that nothing good ever comes of me trying to be a proper parent? I should just stick to serving them sugar and letting them play video games all day long while I sit in a robe, hair in curlers, smoking cigarettes and talking on the phone all day? Honestly, life would be a lot less agonizing.
But no. I decide to go to the pool. According to my husband, this is not hard work, but clearly he does not know. He can dress for the pool in 2.5 seconds. Slip on swim shorts and he is done. Anyone who has seen the sex in the city movie will recall Miranda's pool faux pas. I'm not one of the psychos who shaves my legs all winter long every day in the shower. For God sake, if I'm in the shower everyday, it's a miracle.
Then I have to get the children ready. This involves me saying get your swimsuits on, overandover again, until I am hoarse, or blue in the face, or both. Then we have to pack the pool bag. Towels do not dry and fold themselves from day to day, nor do swimsuits, t-shirts;etc.
We need clothes to change into afterwards, or at least a dry t-shirt and underwear. We need sunscreen, swim goggles, pool toys, diapers, snacks, the car keys, and everyone needs shoes on their feet.
As I said before, its a major effort. I make this effort, and into the pool we go, where a woman, who taught my brother in hs is sitting by the baby pool with her two children, who are younger than my four oldest children, despite the fact that she is about eight to ten years older than I am.
I have seen her at the pool before, and we have spoken, but only as strangers, not as acquaintances from a past life. I am hoping that we can keep it this way, but almost immediately, I see that we are going to go down the road less traveled.
Are you Jake and Joe's sister? She asks me right off the bat. She knows that I recognize her, so no need for easing into the conversation.
I breathe in, as if I am boarding a roller coaster car. I hope the drop off peak isn't really high.
No, they are my cousins. I tell her my brother's name. She remembers him, but did not know him as well as she knew my cousins, who were more into music, since she is a music teacher.
She begins to explain to me more about who she is. Now normally, I would just go along and play stupid, but since she has already recognized me as who I am, I figure I may as well put my cards on the table. Yes, I know who you are I say, because I used to date soandso. Soandso, my longtime serious hs boyfriend was a musician and was also her student. At the time, she was a young teacher, and he was eighteen. So, of course, they had a friendly relationship, and of course, I knew who she was. In fact, in my previous life, I had met her many times at various performances that soandso was in.
Now I don't like to mention soandso, at all. Let's just say, he turned out to be a real asshole. And when I say real asshole, I mean it. Things that happened between us essentially altered the entire course of my life, and not necessarily for the better. Because he was the guy, he was relatively unscathed, at the time, but up until my meeting with this ex-teacher at the pool, I liked to think of him, on the rare occasion that I would even think of him, as struggling somewhere to survive. Maybe collecting coins in the subway, or selling his plasma to pay his rent in some broken down apartment building that was crawling with roaches or rats, or ideally both. I know this is healthy and not bitter of me, but what can I say, that's just how I am.
Unfortunately, when I mentioned this to this ex-teacher of his, she began to tell me all about what he is doing now. I wanted to put my fingers in my ears and say lalalala, so that my vision of him would not be shattered, but I figured maybe my hopes and dreams for him actually came true. I thought things were going as planned when she opened with... He never did graduate from college, but when she told me, it didn't hinder him professionally, I knew it was trouble.
She mentioned something about him working in the field of music, which basically amounts to the fact that he is living his dream. He has even worked with Stevie Wonder, she tells me, and now I want to vomit. I want to blow big chunks into a padded Manila envelope and mail it to him with Stevie Wonder's name in the return address spot. Is that wrong?
When I came home I couldn't resist the urge to google him. My friend, Moira, wink wink, (how do you like that pseudonym) who has recently told me that my blog would be infinitely better if I mentioned her more often, so here you go Moira, told me that she found my blog via google, so I figured, if she could find me, I could find him. Within minutes, I was staring at a picture of him in a fucking ugly as shit red velvet blazer, standing next to Stevie Wonder. Incidentally, since he is a con-artist in my mind, (and don't tell me people change because that is bull shit) isn't it possible, since Stevie is blind and all, that he simply impersonated someone and then quickly had his picture taken, emailed it to every school he ever attended, and made up some bull shit about him "working" with Stevie Wonder. Maybe it's a cardboard cut-out, or better yet maybe it's the miracle of photo shop. Anyway, I'm not as naive as I used to be.
What I'm wondering now, however, is why the fuck I never really took to heart Thomas Woolf's claim that "you can't go home again." I mean for fuck's sake cliches become cliche for a reason, because they are true. That bastard is off living his dream and working with Stevie Wonder, and I ' m sitting at the pool with my five kids, being interrogated by a woman who was his teacher in hs, and who still obviously keeps in touch with him.
Is this your nanny, she asks me about my oldest daughter. No, I say smiling, this is my daughter(the one that I managed to raise and graduate from college while doing so, not that I' m working with Stevie wonder, or anyone else, for that matter) Now, I imagine, this teacher scurried home to email my famous by association ass of an ex boyfriend to tell him, that while he is working with Stevie Wonder, I am sitting poolside with my five children, one who she mistook for my nanny, until she learned that my life had taken a tragic turn, and that despite my best efforts, I did become a teenage mother, after all.
There is no justice people. no. justice.
It truly is a small world, but that is no reason to slap on a stupid smile and sing the same verse of a song over and over again like some type of demonic energizer bunny. It is, however, a great reason not to move back home again to the small town where you grew up, and where not only does everybody know your name, they also know the names of all the people that you ever met, and all the details of all the relationships that you've had with those people. It's like living on a goddamn soap opera. Only without hair and makeup. Cum buy ya.