on the couch a few days ago, not doing much, maybe reading, half-dozing, maybe muttering to myself, was suddenly aware of the Cheers theme song on the television, and despite having heard it dozens of times over the past few years I suddenly remembered a connection I had to it, or it had to me, in the dark smoky years of my fire, during the bed-ridden gin-soaked sorrow, however, I cannot fully remember this connection, it remains submerged in the narrow ether, in the marrow of moments; perhaps, paralyzed on a couch in Shippensburg, during some of the darkest days, with my back turned to the television while my rommates did homework and I was dropped out of school and just drinking drinking drinking and masturbating, perhaps paralyzed on that couch the Cheers theme song came on and it with it’s positivity-laden lyrics but somehow melancholy tune it cemented for me an absolute feeling that existence is definitely worth experiencing while also being utter shit;  I can have no way of knowing if that is the connection I am recalling but it is a likely one and certainly not much different than whatever the truth is.  And while I was on my current couch pondering this connection it became clear to me through some back alley memory loophole that the Cheers theme song had been a source for and symbol of my extreme melancholy for quite a few of the hazy barely-formed years of my most earnest absentia; while I was off tra-la-la-ing in the Land of Drinkers Who’d Rather Be Dead, there seems to have been a lot of syndicated television on in backgrounds (in basements, bars, and bedrooms) and this everybody-knows-your-name trope became something of a razor to my wrist, whatever that means, and what I am now stuck figuring out is how in the world I know this, if I can’t remember any instance of hearing it during those years, and how I forgot this connection in the intervening years and succesfully watched Cheers without remembering that sadness.  None of this has anything to do with Cheers, of course, but instead I am concerned with the terrifying part of our lives which happens without our noticing it; without our ability to notice it if we tried; this submerged, bottom-of-the-iceberg life we all live (whether you drank yourself to death or not, whether you watch boorish sitcoms or not) that transpires below the waterline of our minds.  Suddenly out of nowhere you realize a part of you is dead that you forgot ever existed and then you forget your realization and go on with your day eating a Snickers, riding an escalator, with no idea that hidden parts of you are orbiting.  Suddenly you remember you used to be a different person, with different habits, with different thoughts, and for a moment you hold that image of your former self perfectly in your mind like a microscope snapshot of a snowflake but then just as quickly as it came the structure vanishes and you remember nothing except that you had been remembering something.  Life becomes reduced to shadow structures; edifices with no interiors.  You spend all day trying to figure out what your vivid dream from the night before meant, and then suddenly, at 6 in the afternoon when you go to think about it some more, you cannnot remember what happened in the dream (despite having thought about it all day).  How can this be?  What chased it away?  Where did it go?  Where does it live now?  Surely it lives.  Or you had a dream when you were eight years old that you have remembered your whole life; you go back to pondering it from time-to-time in your waking life.  But suddenly in your mid-twenties you start to think that maybe half of it was real; that your grandma really did take you to that park to see those geese, and that the only part that was a dream was when you rode a goose into the sky, but you never do ask your grandma if it was real and then she dies and now you’re not sure at all.  And then maybe one day you’re 40 years old and you ponder the dream again and you think, maybe the part where I rode the goose was a day-dream; yes, that’s right, I day-dreamed it sitting in school; so half of it was real, and half imagined, but none of it dreamt.  But it probably was dreamt.  How can one not know these things?  Where do we live, in the shadows, in the light?  In the great underneath?  I had a dream a few nights ago that involved a lot of driving, a friend of mine I almost never see, and somehow my old high school parking lot, and I was happy, happy, and I kept on living in that dream world for as long as I could in the minutes after I woke up, until the logic and sense of that universe faded; even now I can remember almost none of it, but I lived there, I tell you; it was me living there just as sure as it’s me typing this.  The dream-me, and the typing-me, and the Cheers-sadness me…I wonder if they are the same.  Or if I am many.  Perhaps it is like viewing something through a crystal, and there are many different versions of the same thing, but existing all at once.  But is the Cheers me, the Fire me, still here, or do I simply hear his echoes (maybe him and dream-me are in cahoots), see his footprints, feel the slouch-pangs of his sinister urges?  In the deepest moments of latest night these are the questions I have when I become convinced I am more than alive

18 Responses to “Cheers”

  1. Holy shit

  2. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    Fuck man! This really struck a chord with me! Here I am thinking I’m the only one who experiences stuff like this. Once again you’ve put shit into words that I previously thought were indescribable.

    I remember in 4th or 5th grade I was switching stations around on my radio and stopped on the local hip hop station. I tuned in to the middle of a song I had never heard before. The line I heard was, “This is what it means to be a neighborhood bleah”. Of course the word “bleah” isn’t the real word, but this is how I remember it. That’s all I heard of the song and I kept switching stations. Cut to 10 years later I wake up about an hour before my alarm goes off and I make my way to the bathroom to take a piss. That line from the song pops in my head, and for some reason it makes me sad! I got all melancholy that I would never hear that song again, which is total bullshit cuz I obviously didn’t like the song then cuz I changed stations. 10 years not thinking about that song or that day and then BOOM pops into my head and I get sad. This may not be exactly what you wrote about, but I guess it’s similar. And please if anyone out there knows this song, you would be doing wonders for me cuz it now haunts me every few months. It was a female rapper singing the line. I’ve googled the line and it comes up with nothing.

    I’ll have dreams pop in my head like that too. Experience a vivid dream that I replay in my head often during the first few hours of the day, and then without knowing I can’t suddenly can’t remember a single thing about it. Then with absolutely nothing to spark it I’ll remember a dream I had six years ago where I was in a parking garage and it will be the most sure of anything I’ve ever been sure of. The brain is ridiculous.

    Sorry to take up so much comment and make it all about me. You really hit the nail on the head though with this post. To inspire this much, even if it’s all bullshit, says a lot about what you wrote!

  3. sethdellinger Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, sir!

    The main question about the song on the radio is…what if you dreamt it? :)

    • Kyle Sundgren Says:

      Ah shit, now you’ve just ‘Inceptioned’ me and I have no idea if this is real life or not because I did not bring my Blu-Ray copy of ‘The Butcher’s Wife’ (that’s my thing that I chose like Leo’s spinning top)

      I never considered that and now my mind is seriously blown!

      • sethdellinger Says:

        haha!!! You chose a blu ray copy of ‘The Butcher’s Wife’….priceless!

        Really though it makes no sense that those lyrics get you no Google results.

        • sethdellinger Says:

          Interestingly, the google search “this is what it means to be a neighborhood lyrics” turns up, the first few results, the song “Neighborhood #3” by one of my “hipster” bands, Arcade Fire.

          • Kyle Sundgren Says:

            Yeah I noticed that too as I re-Googled it. I wanna say it sampled Eazy-E’s ‘Boyz In The Hood’, but I might be confusing it with something else. To have this perhaps be a dream all along though is really gonna up my search for this damn song!

  4. sethdellinger Says:

    Tomorrow morning, somebody is going to come into this comments section talking all their nonsense about “dreams”, and what they mean, and where they come from, and etc etc. Look, smartypants, this isn’t actually an entry about dreams. It’s about the parts of us we can’t see, control, explain, or understand. The invisible parts of us that are “orbiting”, to quote myself. This is part memory, part forgetting, and then a third part that is more hidden than even forgetting is. I think that dreams are a part of that “other” part (but probably just a small part of it), and no matter how many books Freud wrote about it, I don’t think humanity knows Jack Shit about dreams, I don’t think we ever will, and I don’t think we CAN. But like I said, this entry isn’t about dreams.

  5. Bravo, sir. Loving this new iteration of your blog.

  6. Nice…ain’t life grand?

  7. Hey thanks for this post. For some reason again I responded to the last blog and it was never posted. Maybe I’m doing something wrong!

    Either way this was a great post and I thank you for sharing it with me. I also try and treasure those moments when I remember a piece of myself. For a brief moment you step back in time and relive those feelings. Sometimes I notice it happens to me when I taste or smell something from my past.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Yes!! Taste and smell are like some sort of secret passport to the past, or your former self…but often, I find, it is terribly temporary or vague :(

      I have no idea why you’re having trouble posting…sorry!

  8. Whoa. This reminds me of grapenut ice cream. I once tasted it, I think, and it seemed to be the best flavor in the world. Every other flavor paled in comparison and I let everyone know it. When I came in contact with grapenut again it wasn’t very good. It totally changed a small section of my life in a way I didn’t want it to. I hope to be able to forget someday that I actually tasted it a second time and recapture the briliance of the first.

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