7 Things I Wish I Did Not Know
Thinking about what we wish we didn’t know is a dark and quirky task, often signaling regret and loss. It usually leads to the kind of melancholic soul-searching that in turn has me reaching for the Haagen-Daz and a hidden pack of cigarettes, with Sara Bareilles in the background.
1. I wish I didn’t know every single damn word to “Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque,” by the Partridge Family. This tune was apparently tailor-made for a specific episode of the iconic ‘70s hit TV show. In the episode, the goofy family of musicians and their sort-of creepy manager, Ruben, are on the road in their psychedelic bus when they meet a teenage runaway at a diner. I can still remember the way the dust flew up off the back of the bus as they hit the highway, almost as clearly as I remember Laurie’s (played by Susan Dey) perfect long brown hair and David Cassidy’s perfect long brown hair. The show holds a sweet little spot in my heart, but the song never ceases to annoy me, popping up in my mind as it does way too frequently. I’ll probably be humming it on my deathbed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38XsRcDmTFc
2. I wish I didn’t know that my kids have blood. Or at least what it looks like. I am one of those parents. Strong and brave … until the blood appears. Then I’m a wobbly mess.
3. I wish I didn’t know the ending to Liz Moore’s fine novel, Heft. I connected so deeply with this honest and beautiful story that I literally started turning pages slower as I neared the end. I wish I were still reading it—or better yet, that I hadn’t even started it and had it before me some years off, as a treat. The story of a 600-pound recluse finding solace, connection, and purpose is lovely, surprisingly positive, and deft. It’s one of those books that added sunlight to my soul.
4. I wish I didn’t know the ending to The Da Vinci Code. My reasoning here is opposite to No. 3. This book is so bad I wish I’d never started it.
5. I wish I didn’t know what it feels like to have done something stupid and hurtful to someone else, and what it feels like to not be able to forgive myself. I realize that this sounds like I wish I weren’t human. Well, yes. Sometimes I wish I were Buddha.
6. I wish I didn’t know what it feels like to lose my parents. It’s something most of us can’t avoid, and we know this from a very early age, but there’s really no preparing for it. One can only accept. (See No. 5, re: Buddha.)
7. I wish I didn’t know how it felt to be too old to go flying down the sidewalk at dusk on metal skates, ignoring my mother’s voice calling me to dinner. No helmet, no knee-pads, my hair flying long and tangled out behind me as fireflies start to wink through the bushes of the neighbors … I wish I didn’t know that I’ll never do that again. (And don’t tell me that I will, that I just need the gumption; walk a day in these creaky knees and you’ll know what I mean.)
So, as I predicted, I’m reaching for the Chocolate-Chocolate Chip and the Marlboros right now. But there’s a lot still that I wish I knew. And as long as I keep checking things off that list, I figure I’m OK.
“ I connected so deeply with this honest and beautiful story that I literally started turning pages slower as I neared the end.”
By Chris Campbell www.campbellphotoco.com