rudy still can’t fail

self-indulgence is the heart of blogging. right? right? right.

tonight at the pub, rudy can’t fail came on and i told my friend that i now associate that song with the film grosse pointe blank (oddly enough, though we’re both big clash fans, so does he). as i did a lot of my growing up in grosse pointe (and watched that film about 50 times in preparation for my 10 year reunion), this led us into a conversation about the people we used to know and where they’ve gone.

a lot of the best and brightest of my graduating class have wound up back where they started, in grosse pointe or the other surrounding suburbs of detroit. i can’t imagine that this is universally due to a lack of ability – but then, why? mummy and daddy could afford (and did, in most cases) a nice flat on the east coast, plane fare abroad, and tuition at a top-flight university. so what is it about grosse pointe that keeps them coming back, these people with the big plans? perhaps it’s fear. or security. or maybe those two are the same thing, really.

i had a chat to some of the girls a couple of weeks ago, and wound up bringing up an ex of mine from years ago. i told them how brilliant he was, and he’s aging well, and we still get on, etc.. so why did we split up, they wanted to know? there are a lot of answers to that question, and a lot of them are my fault, but the truth is we got scared. when we got together we were both still at university, and in that rarified environment we could be whatever we made of ourselves. when we moved out into the “real world” things got difficult. and as both of us were pretty fiercely independent, and as that waas a big part of what we loved about each other, we couldn’t work out how to ask for comfort, support, help. stupid? sure. but that’s not all of it, either…

when i see him now, i can still see what i used to love, but more of the other stuff. when i bring up things or places that are beyond his experience, he gets fidgety. it’s not that he feels inferior not knowing, exactly – more that he knows he never will. there’s something about the challenge of the unfamiliar that rattles him in ways he can’t cope with. and that, i can see now, in a nutshell, is why we didn’t work. i like rattling myself a little from time to time, seeing what i’m capable of; he’s afraid he won’t be able to hack it. simple as that.

so i was talking to my friend tonight and he was saying that maybe it’s time for him to make another move – life in london is starting to feel too easy and he’s gearing up for the next challenge. most of my friends are like that, i guess, one way or another. which means we don’t have to ask for help; it’s already there, whether we like it or not. and when i think about that i feel so incredibly lucky, having these people in my life. they hold me, and they let me go.