Wednesday, January 24, 2007


The Obligations MBW

I was at a party at a friend's house in Vermillion, SD in 1993 or so. I was heading out the door, actually standing on the front step talking to the host about Robert Palmer's most excellent book on the migration of the blues from the delta to Chicago called, Deep Blues when a girl named Jennifer started talking to me.

We talked for a while and ended up back inside. We sat on a couch and started talking some more. One thing led to another, and we started making out. This isn't a normal course of events for me, I'm generally a pretty private person, but I'd had quite a lot to drink and, well, I hadn't been with a woman in quite a while.

She lived in the neighborhood, which was great for me because I was in no condition to drive. We walked to her house and made out some more in her living room. I started pressing for more, but she put me off saying, "You're not going to score on the first night." I let it drop and we eventually went to bed.

In the morning I started in on her again. I told her it wasn't the first night anymore. She agreed, but told me I'd need a condom.

I left her place, in a bit of a hurry, had to walk over to where my car was parked, then I headed home, grabbed a couple of condoms and started to drive back to Jennifer's.

This is where I ran into trouble. I didn't know where Jennifer lived. Oh, I knew it was on Center street and that it was on the east side of the street. I even knew that the house was yellow, that Jennifer lived in a basement apartment with entry from the alley. But as far as exactly where she lived, well, I was just guessing.

And I guessed a lot on that Sunday morning, peeking into people's backdoors, looking for anything that looked familiar. As it turned out, I was a block off when I started my search, I had looked into five or six different basements.

I found Jennifer's place about a half hour later. She asked where I'd been, I told her, she laughed and then we got back to what I had left for in the first place.

We spent the day together. She was nice, but I wasn't really into her. But I coninued to see her. She was my girlfriend for a couple of weeks. I didn't ever call her, she always called me. She complained about that and said she wasn't going to call me anymore. I said fine. Easiest break-up ever.

Jennifer should have been my first one night stand. She wasn't because we had a relationship. We never should have, she didn't do it for me, but I tried to have a relationship with her because I'm a nice guy. Because she was good enough to have sex with me, I thought I should at least try.

Obligations suck. I've done lots of things, not because I wanted to, but because I thought I ought to. I played music with a church group, getting nothing out of it. I did it because I thought I ought to, because I'm not a quitter.

I've done lots of things like that in my life. Things I was ropped into, thing that I considered doing for no other reason than that I just ought to.

Even music was that way to a degree. TSA and I once discussed that neither of us really had a choice of whether to join Patient 957 or not. JB wanted to start a band, he wanted us in it and he wasn't going to take no for an answer. I've always found it odd that it was JB that decided to put an end to it, that it was TSA and I who let the bar owner of our next gig know that we weren't going to be playing.

And that's the problem. I'll live up to my obligations. Other people don't live up to theirs with me. I could go into detail, great detail, but what's the use.

The one time I've walked away from something, it's come back to haunt me. I've quit one job in my life. I quit that job because I was salaried but management decided I should work 60 hours a week, didn't provide me vacation time and didn't provide any insurance or other benefits. I was somehow the bad guy for walking away.

When I've applied for positios at that station, positions I was perfectly qualified for, I've never received a response.

It's the whole thing about how the rest of the world plays by different rules than I'm expected to live by. I try not to be paranoid, but that's the way I see it.


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The Bert Convey
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