-by Albert Berkshire
I’ve been missing things lately. And not just misplacing things, though, that, in itself, has been an issue. And sincerely, I miss remembering where I put things. I miss the clarity of though that tells me why I’m in a room, and to what end. I miss that. Of course, that’s usually when I find things I’ve misplaced.
I don’t miss the irony.
I miss 2010. And really, after 2016 (which I’ve officially declared over. I mean, it needs to end two weeks ago), who wouldn’t miss better years. I also miss Albert circa 2010. Albert of 2010 was laid back, stress free, hardly worked, and was without a care in the world. He wrote all the time. I honestly miss him (me).
I miss my wife. She went downstairs to make tea and I haven’t seen her for quite a while. How long does it take to make tea? She probably got distracted by her phone. I miss when she ignored her phone. Back in 2010 (fuck, that was a good year) she questioned why she even owned a phone. I miss her answering my calls and responding to my text messages. Now she only responds to work stuff from Kevin. Fucking Kevin.
On the topic of phones, I miss answering machines. I miss screening calls past the point of call display. I miss seeing the number and letting the machine pick up the call, not because I didn’t want to talk to the person, but because I knew it would be infinitely (yes, that much) funnier to hear the message than the conversation could ever be. Right up until their demise, people were still mystified by an answering machine. The best calls to leave to the machine were those from my father-in-law. I could listen to them over and over. Especially around the time of his introduction to the Internet. Which was right after his retirement. Yes, my father-in-law is retired and armed with the internet. You do the math on that one. Of course, this was all coupled with his understanding that “the internet” was in his computer. And that The Google was there to search his computer internet. Those were the best messages.
Bill: Oh. Hello…Albert? It’s Bill. Your father-in-law. (detailed explanation of the topic, a couple of jokes, some advice on tires or fuel savings, jumper cables, potential camping locations) Anyway, I want you to go onto the computer, and in the Internet, type in: H-T-T-P, colon, the line from bottom left to top right, and another one – the slash thing, double-u, double-u, double-u, period, E, S, D, C, period, G, C, period C, A, that slash again, E, N, another slash, and then the word “jobs””.
He was always keeping an eye out for a job for me.
I miss people understanding that I have a job.
I miss days during said not-imaginary-job-I-have sitting in my acoustically-wonderful, 600 square foot studio listening to Alt J, Clarence Greenwood, Radiohead, and Oasis (classic!). I miss the emotion music can evoke in you, and what it can do to your creativity. I miss wanting to listen to music.
I miss Slackstring. I miss The Polyphonic Spree. I miss Butthole Surfers. I Miss Bowie. I miss Leonard Cohen…already.
I miss not knowing how much energy a toaster oven consumes. Seriously. It’s alarming. If you have one, you should recycle it. (Gaia thanks you.) I miss having an oven that sets temperature in increments of five. I miss it mostly because my wife won’t make cookies anymore because 370 is too low and 380 will ruin them.
I really miss 375 degrees…with pecans and chocolate chips.
I miss people not being allergic to fucking everything. Nuts, gluten, meat, dairy, shellfish. Okay, I can sympathize with the whole shellfish allergy. I sometimes get a little reaction from crab. It’s…itchy and sweaty. I don’t think its an allergy as much as it is a bottom-feeder-fever. That sounds like an addiction to jug band music. Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks octopus tastes like ham? That is, as I remember the taste of ham. I can’t be certain, since I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years. If I were to fall off the veggie wagon, ham would not be my go-to cheat-food. Oh no. I’d be found in an Irving Gas Station restaurant in central Newfoundland having a hot turkey sandwich, smothered in gravy with a ketchup smiley face on top; a chocolate milkshake; and a slice of apple pie with cheddar cheese on top.
I miss going big rather than going home. Tequila optional.
I’ll never miss home. I miss nights crashed out in a Westin Heavenly Bed more than home.
I miss being completely oblivious to just about everything when I get into the flow of writing. I miss getting up in the middle of the night to write down ideas, even knowing I would remember every thought the next morning. I miss looking up to see I’ve lost hours to my keyboard and see that I’ve hammered out three or four thousand words in one sitting. I miss making progress.
I miss those morning runs when I would write an entire article or chapter of my last book in my mind. I also miss remembering every singe word that came to mind. I don’t miss running. ‘Fucking hate running. Love having run, but hate the actual running part. The having done is so much more satisfying than the doing.
I miss Cassis, Niseko, Merimbula, Kata Beach, Elliott’s Cove. I miss the view from the top of Abbott Ridge, even knowing I’ll see it again in about 9 months. I miss being afraid of anything that involved the timeline “nine months”.
I miss having time to spend in great little breakfast hideaways, rocky ledges overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and in dark, low-ceiling pubs. Those are great places for inspiration. They really are. I miss that part of life.
I miss sensible comments, clarity of thought, and silly emails from happy people. I miss Roy Cunningham’s delightfully written morning rants, and Leroy Eggleson’s narration of Roy’s thoughts. Trust me, if you ever stumble across Leroy The Love Toy in your radio travels, you’ll understand why I miss his comedy. For 24 wonderful weeks, my writer/producer colleagues and I were treated to a two-four of the funniest pieces of audio productions we’ve enjoyed. Nothing makes you miss insanity like The Mind of Roy.
I miss laughing that hard.
I miss remembering the next day what we were laughing at the day before.
I miss Emily mountain biking in her string of pearls. I miss my mountain bike. (if you’re the one who stole it – remember, you+crosswalk+bus+getbackup+transport truck=karma). If the world was suddenly wiped clean of thieves, I’d never miss them for a moment.
I miss my cat, Polly. And her serendipitous arrival on my doorstep immediately after we watched “Along Came Polly”. I don’t miss that movie. I do miss good old fashion serendipity. I miss John Cusack making decent films. I that miss for certain.
I miss not having an off switch, and not knowing when to stop. Because when you didn’t stop, you found out what was around the corner, what was next, what others thought, what brilliant ideas were lurking in others’ minds, and how they felt. I miss the stories that came for those moments.
I miss being able to stay up all night writing. And finishing a piece on one sitting.
That, I miss.
Albert Berkshire is a storyteller. He’s pretty certain that getting older makes you miss getting older. He also misses making sense to people. He will never miss being a work in progress, if he’s ever completed. His first novel of fiction, We Made A Pact, is published by Friesen Press. It is available in hardcover, paperback, and in various e-book formats. You should read it. You’ll find it at amazon.ca and at chapters.ca For a much shorter, and less frequent rambling, Albert is found on Twitter @albertberkshire, and anti-socially at www.facebook.com/AlbertThomasBerkshire