Friday, November 4, 2011



This week has been ‘one of those weeks’ where I feel as though Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo is shouting at me and the other players in a huddle. It is a second round game in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament and we are playing one of those dogged ‘mid-majors’, like Old Dominion or Northern Iowa, and the arena is rocking, the score close and the crowd in anticipation of an upset. Repeating his instructions, his usual foghorn of a voice barely being heard over the din, rises with the team as it readies to take back to the court. “Remember,” he screams, “win this one and let’s get ready for next week, next week. It is about ‘survive and advance’, so let’s advance!” And I take the court with the other four players, relaxed but ready, the dynamic tension in my mind and body waiting on the official signal to be release and the game to resume…

My empty little apartment stays cluttered… and at this point and time I am going to leave it at that. Trying to put stuff up with nowhere really to put it (or put it in) tires me out as much as keeping up with my school work does! My last entry was as much as a segue to this entry as much as it was ‘re-introduction’ for those who did not know my story. I have already gotten my classes for next term, one is college math and the other is Comp 2 with the same instructor. I really don’t ‘enjoy’ my comp class as I don’t feel as if I am getting as much as I had hoped out of it… but I do think that it is a ‘passable’ class and I can commit more of myself to my math course. Got to take the ‘gimme’s’ when they are ‘given’.

This is a song that I have posted before and while I still enjoy the album version of it just as much, the acoustic version seems to convey the resignation that I am feeling regarding my intimate personal life, especially with Kele Okereke’s emoting as he sings in the voice that sounds like… heartbreak? Resignation? I can’t exactly say but there is something to the ‘Modern Love’ that he sings of that is mirrored by the ‘modern love’ that I have lived in regards to Nebraska and I.

Nebraska and I are not a couple and we have not been remotely close to being one as far as I have been concerned, since I have arrived in Omaha. It has been very disappointing to say the least, because a healthy relationship with her would conceivably have added so much to my experience, and yet, absolutely NOTHING has been lost without one with her. A few times back in the way back… late ’07 (when I started to actually ‘journal’) and early ’08, I would get comments that seemed to be cautionary if not warnings, to be careful about moving a ‘billion’ miles to be with someone you’ve met only once and you know from the internet. But my move to Omaha was always about more than our relationship and while I don’t mean to understate the value I place on love, particularly what the love I have towards Nebraska, it was never the ‘end all’ that some who have kept up with me may have thought a relationship was.


You know, I really can’t separate the look on Kele’s face as he sings from the anguish that I have felt about Nebraska and I. It is the visage that I see my soul wearing when I think about how many missed opportunities that we have had over this year, and the crushing weight of disappointment that we have not got on better. And Kele’s is the face reflects that confusion so accurately that when I am thinking about our ‘Modern Love’, he is ME, and a small part of me wants to go all ‘high school’ (or even John Cusack) and have her listen to this song, as if she would understand what I am going through. Or was going through… something like that. Though we’d both have agreed to ‘start over’ several times, that would be the end of our ‘starts’ as we’d just view ‘over’ the same things, our relationships seen through different lenses, and our paths still poles apart.

After what would be our final contretemps, I though hard about whether or not I really wanted to stay in Nebraska, thinking back how I would poke fun at the ‘internet love story’ gone ‘Dateline NBC’ back when the idea (for her, at least) that I would actually move to be near her must have seemed unlikely. Each day that I get up and look at Hanscom Park and I think what a cool view to have, which then reaffirms how I feel about the decision to move to Omaha. And while it did not make my decision any easier, it did make the ‘complexities’ surround the choices a lot simpler.

Another reason that I am combining my ‘re-introduction’ with this assessment of how things have developed for my intimate relationships has to do with my practical applied theory on intimate relationships, as well as, ironically, something Nebraska shared with me this week. It was a video about relationships, focus on African-American relationships but if you work with me, I will show how I interpret the ideas and concepts that the cat discusses, and how I apply them to my everyday life.


The date that I thought was rather lackluster has suddenly showed promise. There is a chance that there will be a movie this weekend. Though I still need to hook up a powerpoint thingy for my research paper/presentation, I am relaxed about getting it done.

Still I am a little surprised that she has showed not just ‘interest’ but the level of her interest. Part of my surprise has to be due to my lack of integration into a social strata and not yet having compiled enough information about Omaha to form any proper data sets, to assign any values to social cues. Maybe she saw what I see when I look into the mirror… one helluva guy! (No really, I do!!)


FrankandMary said...

These last few years I suck at social cues, so I get that part, totally....& I know I generate mixed signals as well. I'm glad...however you got there...that it seems to be working out for this weekend.

Beth said...

I like to call that feeling "Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood," because I feel like I often say the wrong things, or don't pick up on something I should. I often feel quite socially awkward, although I've kind of learned to just say 'fuck it' and stop worrying about it. I yam what I yam!

Hope all goes well this weekend!

Have Myelin? said...

Oh man I always feel socially awkward now.

I didn't before but I live a pretty quiet life so I can kinda hide out...and not worry too much.

* Ashleigh * said...

<3 <3 <3 this song and this version was beautifully painful. And you're correct - his anguish is captured in essence and written all over his face.

Another song that does this is a cover of "Wonderwall" by Oasis, done by Ryan Adams. Listen here:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Hope you were able to go see a movie. Glad you are getting ready for the next set of classes, it must feel satisfying to be almost through the first set.

Toon said...

Your readers all see one helluva guy, Mark!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I hope you had a good time at the movies, Mark.