Wednesday, November 28, 2012

No. 554 – Woman in Chains

Performer: Tears for Fears
Songwriter: Roland Orzabal
Original Release: The Seeds of Love
Year: 1989
Definitive Version: None

You know how when you fall in love with someone and you move in together and everything’s great at the outset? Well, sometimes it doesn’t always work that way.

When I moved in with Laurie in September 2005, I was as happy as a clam not about to be dunked into a pot of boiling water. I was in love; I was in Chicago. I didn’t have a job, but I would work on it.

Laurie was happy, too, but … well, she was making a huge adjustment. She had lived with a guy nearly 20 years before, and since then had only one serious boyfriend, who didn’t live with her. Now, all of a sudden, here I was—a total leech. (At least I wasn’t just lying on her couch and watching TV all day.) I mean, she did offer me to stay with her until I got a job, so it wasn’t as though she were having a change of heart or regret. She just needed some alone time.

I had wanted to go to Milwaukee at some point and go through whatever baseball-related files that were at the library, and as soon as the Christmas season was over after New Year’s, Laurie asked out of the blue: “You know how you said you wanted to go to Milwaukee? How about this weekend?”

What do you say to that? Um … OK? So, yeah, she was giving me the boot (temporarily). I wanted to go, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t say I wanted a helping foot out the door.

I hastily made a reservation at a cheapie motel near the airport (I hadn’t yet made any money at AM News, so I couldn’t afford anything more) and drove up Friday. I figured if I were going to do this, I might as well do it right and get as much research time in as I could.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t really all that much to be had there. Milwaukee is a great baseball city with a rich heritage in terms of minor-league and major-league baseball that reaches back more than a century, but you’d never know it gauging by the materials that are at the public library—the minor-league part of it anyway.

I don’t know what I was expecting—clips files, I suppose—but apart from access to microfilm of old Journals and Sentinels, the library had nothing, at least the downtown branch. I went through as much as I could over the weekend, but I discovered only one interesting tidbit about a long-forgotten pitcher named George Harper.

The rest of the time, I worked on other things I brought with me—job-hunt-related as well as book-related. After Cleveland, I found I was (and still am) very much at home and productive at a library, so it was no trouble passing the time. The trouble was when I got back to my room. I had free Internet through my dial-up provider, so, again, I didn’t lose too much in terms of productivity, but dinners were another matter.

Mostly, it was fast food. One night, I decided to treat myself to a nicer dinner at an Italian place within walking distance from my motel. I don’t remember the name, but it was among the worst Italian I’ve had. How do you mess up Italian? By making it flavorless and the pasta doughy. I don’t think I finished my meal, which was saying something back in those days. At least it didn’t cost much.

Finally, my exile was up, and I headed home Sunday. Laurie greeted me warmly and said that although she enjoyed being home alone again, she found she missed me more than she expected and said she didn’t think she’d need to send me away again. Thank goodness for that.

Since then, we’ve been apart for one reason or another for even as much as a week at a time, but it’s never again been for reasons of “space.” We all need our space—and one measure of a good relationship is how you work that out between the two of you—but in January 2006, when The Seeds of Love was a regular play on the tape machine, Laurie discovered that she didn’t need quite as much space as she thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment