Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

OT: A Week of Many Feels

This is a week of emotional overload for me. On the happy side, yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the day I met John. He sent me a bouquet of 25 roses. I posted a joyous picture of us on Twitter and got over 100 likes. But on the flip side, I am feeling deep sadness about the Shadow Lodge party at the end of this week, the one we will be missing. John and I decided to celebrate our anniversary this coming weekend, in hopes that it will distract me from thinking about the party and our friends.

But today, on what was his birthday, I’m thinking of my big brother, who passed away in 1972.

For those who have lost someone, you know this: You never forget. Time softens, dulls the pain, settles the anguish into a quiet background sadness that never quite goes away, like a scar.

Some deaths, like the passing of parents, are a rite of passage. You know they’re coming, and they still suck, but they are expected. But the sudden death of a 22-year-old is not. My life was forever changed that day. I saw my parents gutted with grief. They had lost their firstborn, their happy, curious, talented boy with so much promise. And here I was, left to pick up the slack alone. To deal with things I was way too damn young to deal with. I mean, Jesus Christ… for several years after his death, my mother would give me a present on Mother’s Day. She’d always say the same thing: “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be a mother.” Yeah, that wasn’t heart-wrenching at all.

Memories of Ken are fragmented, blurred over many years. He was a popular kid in high school; his friends were always coming over. Every year on his birthday, he had a massive party. The house exploded with teenagers and music. My mother once cooked beef stroganoff for 65 kids. The living room was packed with bodies, and some of them spilled out the front door and out on the lawn, into the street. But mine wasn’t one of them. I was never allowed in the room. Teenagers don’t want a pesky little girl among them.

I could watch from the staircase. But I couldn’t enter. Which broke my heart, every year. Except the year of his 18th birthday, his last year at home, his final party. At long last, I was allowed to join. I sat quietly off to the side, sipping a soda, in awe of everything going on around me, watching my brother’s band play, my head bursting with noise and sensations. His friends mostly ignored me, but a few of them were nice, commenting about how I got to “hang out with the big kids” tonight.

Never forgot that… I felt included. I felt a part of, that night. And of course, I never had parties like his. I was an isolated loner with eating disorders in my teens.

I remember he gave me the first record album I ever got. What was it? Of course. “Something New” by the Beatles.

I remember him trying to gross me out, telling me that chocolate mousse was actually made from the pancreas of a moose.

I remember hearing him sing “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” and I asked him, “Do what?” He didn’t answer me.

I am an atheist. I don’t believe in heaven or any afterlife — when you die, you’re gone. But… sometimes I wish I could believe that our loved ones are on another plane, reuniting. I have images of my dad, mom and brother together again, a tight unit like they were in the years before I was born, before divorce broke us apart. My dad is clowning with my brother, singing him his song parodies (for example, he’d sing “My Boy Ken” to the tune of “My Boy Bill,” a song from the musical Carousel). Probably telling him dirty jokes too, and yanking my mother’s chain. (“Mommy makes her meatballs, taste like people’s feet balls.”) Yes, he really said that; he had a whole little song about it. And Mom would be saying to Ken, “For God’s sake, get those wings trimmed already.”

Even after all these years, I wonder about what could have been. What kind of man Ken would have turned out to be. Would we have been close? Would I have been an aunt? Would we have talked; would he have given me perspective on our parents? And… every time I hear Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Look At Little Sister,” I think of Ken. What would he have thought of his little sister, and who she grew up to be? Would I have ever shared Erica Scott with him?

So many questions, unanswered.

Tomorrow, I’ll put these memories away, back on their shelf. But for today, they surround me.

Like I said, a week of many feels.

Thanks for reading.

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15 thoughts on “OT: A Week of Many Feels

  1. 0thistle0 on said:

    Sis, you don’t have to subscribe to religious belief to have belief in an afterlife….life sucks so much already, it goes against my sense of balance and fairness that this…is it.

    Besides, it costs me nothing to believe that I will see Steven again, my parents, and my youngest son (whom I lost last July).

    If it turns out that this is it, and I’m just gone, I won’t know the difference If it turns out there is something, then yay.

    That’s just how I get by every day, because as you said, you don’t get over it…ever. And if I’m just fooling myself, I don’t really care because as I said, I won’t know the difference.

    My philosophy, though inexpertly said.

    Hugs to you both on your anniversary. Many Many more.

    My party FOMO has turned into FONGA….fear of never going again, that Covid is the new perpetual reality slowly stealing whatever time I have left.

    It’s just sad, and it’s not fucking fair…..as if the universe ever cared about that lol.

    Rough day today here too….but this day shall pass.

    Love to you sis

    Tash

    Like

    • Tash — oh, no. I didn’t know about your son. I am so sorry. The unwritten rule of the universe — parents are NOT supposed to outlive their children, goddammit.
      I dunno… I couldn’t deal with the idea of another life. Just this one is more than I can handle sometimes.
      FONGA… yeah. It’s real.
      Love to you too, my friend. ♥

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  2. I’ve dealt with loss by growing cold to it. I like your way better …….even if it’s a little more painful. Kind of of a rough subject for me and I’m not good with consoling people, but I wish you the best.

    The afterlife boondoggle is a sticky thing. I too am an atheist and while I suppose one can envision something of an afterlife sans deity, it feels more like a rationalization, not that I have anything against them either. I’m a ‘whatever works’ kind of person. Getting older has me wondering if I might ease my eventual passing with a “maybe I’m wrong” kind of backpedal.

    One thing that always made me want to smack a theist in the face with a plucked chicken was when I would tell them my position and they would respond incredulously with: “but don’t you WANT there to be a god?” ‘Duh!’ I’d like there to be a Santa Claus too, but I haven’t seen any bootprints around my chimney on December 25th as a result.

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    • KD — there is definitely something to be said for developing a degree of stoicism. I have worn my emotions on my sleeve all my life. On the plus side, I feel tremendous joy, great love, etc. But on the flip side, going through life feeling like a walking open wound a lot of the time is wearing.
      I sometimes envy the believers, because they have something to give them comfort in their darkest hours. Like you, I don’t judge them for believing… as long as they don’t judge me because I don’t.

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  3. Erica,

    Many of us spend these strange days drifting among hope for the future, regrets from the past, anxiety about the present, and a gnawing sense of opportunities lost. Please know you’re not alone. We survive together through mutual support and love. That’s what I think is most important today.

    So, congratulations and condolences. We, your many friends and fans, wish you the very best in all aspects of life.

    Big hugs,
    Bonnie

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  4. Erica –

    Death is never easy no matter the age nor the circumstances, but yes some situations are harder than others. As you said, and unfortunately experienced, death outside of the expected circle of life is immensely difficult because it makes no logical sense nor follows the paths we expect.

    I unfortunately have dealt with a lot of death in my time and what I’ve learned is that grief never goes away nor should it. There are simply days when the grief is heavier to bear than other days.

    Whatever anyone chooses to believe as far as an afterlife or not, I have learned that there is truth to that as long as we remember someone and say their name they never really die.

    Thank you for sharing those memories with us and those photographs are truly beautiful. I’m glad you have them.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your brother and all the subsequent pain and grief. Sending hugs and strength.

    Best,
    Enzo

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  5. Bonnie — you have such a kind and comforting way of phrasing things. I appreciate you so much. ♥

    Enzo — I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this too. And you get it; the feelings stop eviscerating you after a while, but they never leave.
    I remember in the 80s, I was crying at work on the anniversary of my brother’s death. A coworker said, somewhat in disdain, “That was years ago. You should be over that by now.”
    Really?
    1. Excuse me for my feelings not coming with expiration dates.
    2. Go fuck yourself.

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  6. Jenny Bell on said:

    Hi! Erica, what a touching story, I hope you and John have a very nice time, please try to have happy memories. I have lost both parents, an older brother and a younger sister and I know how you feel. Buck up ok? be happy. Bye for now, Jenny, Adelaide S.A

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  7. Erica, I feel for you on this sad day. I’m sorry you lost Ken, and it would be comforting to believe that your family is reunited in an afterlife.

    Happy 25th. Stay strong, and hopefully this strange time in our world will one day be a distant memory.

    Hugs,
    Hermione

    Like

  8. Thank you for sharing this deeply moving tribute, Erica.

    Anything else I’ve tried to add to that sentence seems insufficient.

    Like

  9. Always rooting for you, Erica. Thanks for sharing your happy and sad anniversaries and memories. Hugs, Windy

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