Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Radio, Transmission: She's Lost Control Again

I met him when he was just 19. He was skinny and hungry. He'd been mugged for his winter coat just a week earlier.

His dwelling was a basement studio apartment. It wasn't even the size of our basement room at this moment.

It was small, dark and dingy. You had to walk through the mildewey basement and the laundry room to get to his front door.

He seemed hungry. Hungry for food. Hungry for love.

I loved him instantly. The second I saw his ashey, pale blonde hair. His cold, blue eyes. So longing, so hungry.

I was touched. I was touched by his poverty.

Only later would I learn that his mother was in prison, his father? Later his father would be homeless.

Nights were spent holding his skinny frame. I taught him my comfort. My comfort. He held me, I taught him that when we didn't have each other, you simply put one pillow under your knees and you hugged the other.

Pillows were the mothers that didn't want us. My nights were spent thinking of the highest building I knew that I could jump off of. Instead? I waited for his call. The call that would inevitably end with me rushing to his door.

Tonight I watched Control. A film by Anton Corbijn. Ian Curtis. A lost soul. Had no one to guide him. No one to hold him... truly.

He had people around him, but no one understood the imbalance in chemicals. The brain, the thoughts, they didn't sleep. Warm arms around you don't always mean comfort.

Sometimes the pillow under your knee can be enough. Teaching the use of the pillow can be enough.

I held a shaking, skinny boy in my arms. I knew all he needed was love. If someone, anyone just truly loved him.

Twelve years later...

Two sons.

One living.

One dead.

He knows. He knows I love him.


She's lost control.


He knows.


Sarah said...

I'm a huge Ian Curtis junkie, I've read tons of biographies. So yeah, I really loved this post. Control was a great movie. Loved it. Loved hearing the music up on the big screen. Have you seen 24-hour Party People? The music really means a lot to me and has got me through some tough times. Especially at the moment, when I just found out that my baby is blind in one eye. Life is so hard sometimes. Sometimes you just have to survive.

mongoliangirl said...

"Pillows were the mothers that didn't want us."

I love you Betsey Booms.

Betsey Booms said...

Sarah, so sorry about your baby, hon.

I know what a punch to your soft belly it can be to get devastating news about your little one.

Let Ian's voice wrap around you and hold you like I did this morning.

And not only have I seen 24 Hour Party People, but my husband can practically recite it backwards and forwards.

My son was named after Mr. Curtis.


Dirty Pirate Hooker said...

This is a fantastic post Booms. Fantastic!

Deb on the Rocks said...

Teaching the use of the pillow...
amazing survival image.

Awesome writing, Betsey.

Miss Yvonne said...

I wish I could open up and write like this.

rachie! said...

Love it, BB. You are fantastic.

Rassles said...

I knew you weren't really retarded. This was so pretty.

Betsey Booms said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Ross. I can always count on you.

Miss Merry Sunshine said...

Aw I loved this and I wanna go hug someone now.

Gypsy said...

This was so moving, especially now when I'm contemplating my difficult, damaged love.

for a different kind of girl said...

plain and simple - this is bliss.

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here trying not to cry. (And I probably won't, after reading Rassles' comment. You scamp.) I'm torn between wanting to run across America to give you a hug, and just admiring some really breathtaking writing.

KaritaG said...

That was awesome. And why you guys keep going strong. I'm a little teary eyed right now! Pretty.

Lisa..... said...

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I must admit i sometimes get lost in your post`s (totally my inability to pay attention) But this I get, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Another mother! cool blog been browsing it here and there.
Just wanted to say hi and pass along this site. its a custom
search for free stuff and deals. with the way the economy is
and all its pretty nice. esp. if you have kids!

formerly fun said...

Oh Betsey I can relate. Sometimes I wonder how my husband can handle me, the unstable me, the part of me that knows I am being irrational even as it's happening. The me that laid in bed crying for three days until I finally relented and started taking the meds again, the me that sometimes feels unworthy of everything. But then I remember that I'm his life raft too. I make up for the father who never believed in him and withheld love, he makes up for my absent father and naricistic mother by offering me the only truly unconditional love I've ever had. I think this is when marriage is a good thing because I would never be the person or parent I am without him. I'm so glad you and Jason have each other.

Jason said...

I love you honey

Maggie, Dammit said...

I love you babe.

Mia Watts said...

Beautiful post, Betsey. Evokative and aching.

Sarah said...

Thanks Betsey. Glad to know you and your hubs recite lines from 24 hour party people. It's a very very funny, yet strangely profound movie:

"It's my belief that history is a wheel. "Inconsistency is my very essence" -says the wheel- "Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don't complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away". "

~Rubyredruca~ said...

So sad, yet so sweet. You're bad ass Betsey.

King of New York Hacks said...

Well done. A rollercoaster of a short read which will linger in my thoughts today. Kudos BB. First time here, I'll be back.

IB said...

My first visit to your blog. A really excellent post. I will be back to read more.


Vodka Mom said...


Anonymous said...

Man that was some really therapeutic stuff there.


I need to come by more often than I have been.

I apologize. I'm a dick.