AMBIENT THOUGHT – EPISODE One Hundred Twenty Two: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town…

The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED TWENTY TWO:  The Darkness On The Edge Of Town…

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Where no one asks any questions or looks too long in your face,
In the darkness on the edge of town.
– Bruce Springsteen

 

I have a recurring thought. It may have started out as a dream at its creation but it’s been so long, I don’t remember. But the thought (or dream) is always the same and I think about it constantly.

I’m standing alone next to a black car in the light of a warm dusk. One lone streetlight above me to give my shadow some life in the dying evening. In the distance, I see the lights of a town or a small city. Behind me, toward to East, is darkness. The night is rolling like a steamroller. It always seems like it’s near the desert and I always hear a train horn in the distance. I’m waiting for someone but they never show. I keep checking my watch to mark the passage of time. There is a moment that I wait and try to decide if I should stay before the darkening sky can envelop me.

And…that’s it.

I have had that image in my head for a few years now. I’m not sure if it’s based on anything in my memory or something I have seen in a movie or if it really was from a dream. Maybe it’s a mixture of all of the above. But it feels real.

Hell, maybe I imagined it from the Bruce Springsteen song. But that doesn’t feel right. The song doesn’t fit the scene in my head. This place I’m standing in has no music. Just the sound of traffic rising over the road from the town and that lone train whistle.
But the title of his song nails it.

Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever waited for somebody to show up at an agreed meeting and they never did? Maybe it was somebody that you had a lot of hope in, a lot of trust, and they let you down. Maybe this meeting was the last straw.

I have waited on lots of people. Luckily, there were ones that met me at the appointed time and all was fine in the world. Then there are those that I put my trust in, I put time and energy in, and I took their lies as truth. I waited for them, checking my watch when the time had clicked on. And they never showed. Then, later, you finally meet them and they give you an excuse on why they didn’t show up. It feels flat and fake. Sometimes you let it go (fool me again). Sometimes you decided you have taken all that you can take. It’s time that you wait for that person no longer.

We must all come to that decision in our lives. When is it time enough to wait for someone? How many times can you extend your hand and not get a hand back?

Is it that I put too much into a friendship and was too blind to see that I wasn’t getting the same thing back? Was I hoping too much for someone to rely on?

Let me get something straight. I’m not the best friend in the world. I have become quite the recluse and almost have come to hate to go out. I’d rather sit at home and think about going out. Call it being a hermit. That’s pretty much true. But I have made an effort to make sure I have an ear for my friends, someone they can talk to when they need a sounding board. If they want to run an idea by me, I’m the guy. I don’t judge. I honestly prefer to be that kind of person. I’m not the guy to go out drinking with or going to parties. I have never been that guy. I’m not one to go to clubs or go where the noise and the people too loud. Want to go to a movie? Want to grab a coffee or a bite to eat? Want to walk and talk? I’m your guy. I’m the guy that turns down the radio in the car when someone else is in there with me. I like the conversation.

I have waited there in that spot many times. I have seen cars come closer and then realize it’s not whom I’m waiting for as they drive by, staring at me.

Use the phone? There is no cell service in this spot. Once you say you’re showing up, you have to show up. There is no calling to this spot.
This is the spot in my mind.

Eventually, I look at my watch one last time. I see that person is so late, I know they aren’t coming. I look at the dark sky and shake my head. I open the car door, slide in. I slowly drive from where I’m parked and slowly pick up speed, hoping to see that person pass me on the road. After a few minutes, it wouldn’t matter if they did.
You just keep driving. You go home for the night.

It can be hard to be friends. Some friends are just barely holding on to each other. One may do all of the work while the other wants all the work done for them. One does all the planning, trying to make things happen, trying to have a good time with the other. The other takes it for granted and doesn’t give back.

Sitting in that spot in the darkness on the edge of town many times, I have been able to think about this subject over and over. I have come to this decision. You’re lucky to find one or two great friends in your life. Friends that you would turn Hell over for. Friends that stick to each other through thick and thin. They are always happy to see each other and can tell each other the way it is because it comes from the love in their heart for the other.
Like I said, maybe one or two. In your lifetime. If you get more than that, consider yourself blessed and lucky.

Then there are other friends that good people. They like you and respect you. As for being dependable people, they save that for other friends.  They won’t treat you like you want to be treated. Maybe it’s not their fault. Maybe it’s yours (mine). You give them too much, more than they want.

It’s hard to figure out what to do. I guess until I do, I’ll sit her on the hood of my car and watch the stars come out. I’ll check my watch a couple of more times.
Then a couple of times after that.

-Loyd Elmore
August 17th, 2018

 

I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.

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