i began this in november as part of nanowrimo, and i was quasi-inspired, but i've gone back to it and can't really make head or tail of it. so here you go internet. ingest and antimatter.
i guess every time i heard a new record, i sort of expected it to be prepackaged for me the way i'd set everything up for myself when i'd made it for myself. that's not so much to say that i expected to like everything, but generally when i was younger, i saw that if something had come into my path, it came there for a reason. my friends and i, we were all the same: same classes, same teachers, mostly same crushes. here and there, we'd catch a magazine article to throw out there in some vague way, to get the others interested, so we could spread the mass appeal. and generally, if it didn't sit well with one of us, we'd all just give it up. unanimous, or nothing at all.
unanimous or tuesday.
another girl walked up and asked for a small, and i'm sitting there thinking about how it's too big for her, she probably has a boyfriend. or body issues. "you sure?" i hold up the shirt, all plantationed with fold. light blue, got some weird alien on it, i don't know what i was thinking. it was such a good idea when i started it.
she hands me the twenty. another fucking twenty. go into the cash box, break out a five and five singles. running low on all sorts of small bills. but it's all good. we played an hour ago, there's no way we're selling anymore of these things. no tip, nothing in the jar. she walks away. doesn't matter that she's 15.
i miss my cat. i miss jerry o. i miss our shows at home. but it's always the same. i get something started, i get hyper motivated on it, half-ass it enough to blame it on excuses that i make up as i go. then here comes the band or a show or an out of state show, and there goes that. oh well. never gonna finish it.
is that me? no way.
i smell like that?
what's up with these bands that we're playing in front of? not we per say. it's the four of those guys. but still, i see these locals who bring out the kids and it's all the same kinds of bands that make it big, the kinds of bands that show up late, load-in while we're breaking our shit down. gives you an utter distaste for the state of music and where we're at these days. makes you want to change it all up. drop music altogether, the solo projects, the side projects, the out of state shows, the flyering, the cold van rides.
“ten for a shirt, ten for a CD, one for a sticker, one for two buttons, three for a comp, twenty for all of the above.”
when she replies she only has a twenty, i say that’s perfect, she can grab it all. she only wants a shirt. i don’t have change. she says she’ll be right back. she never comes back. i should have shaved.
this is all unreal.
take me home.
alex comes over to me, eyes wide. “dude.”
he holds up three fingers, mouths the words three, two, one, then pantomimes palm-muting and open chords. out of this hallway, and in the main catering area, 5 kids play your standard 4/4 breakdown. i bite my bottom lip, my eyebrows roll together, and shake my head: nonononono.
he’s brought me a beer, something gold and in a plastic cup. it’s cold and tastes like cold. “man. when are we leaving? oh, and i need change.” he gives me a fucked five and a couple of singles which are helixed together, saying keep it. i see that same girl that was just over here, the one with the straight black hair, perfect nose, and delia’s jeans, walking by in some other band’s t-shirt. i clap in her direction, loudly, three times in a row.
“give it another band, man. we aren’t doing anything tomorrow, who cares when we get home? the kids in crash court are kind of cool. we’re trying to work out a show trade, have them come out with us so we can get some shows back here.”
“whatever, man. they’re cool. they’re doing it for the right reasons. i can totally see them hanging if they came through the area. and if our tour comes through here, we’ll totally need a place to stay.”
“so we’ll stay with crash. court.?”
an hour later, we’re packing it all up. alex and i are bringing his drums into the van, piece by awkward piece. i’m starving. these are the last pieces we’re putting in there, tetrissing it all up against other things, the cymbals making ugly sounds against the glass. i tap the bell on the top of his ride with my finger nail a couple times once it’s all inside. jayson and bauer are hanging up front, done with it all, just exhausted. they’re sitting in silence, bauer’s hands busy texting friends or his girlfriend back home, the glow making his face some monitortone. jayson is playing drums with the cap’n jazz record on the steering wheel, waiting for us to be done with the arrangement. “where’s jarrod at?!”
i picture him leaning up against some corkboard in the hall getting a number or some myspace/facebook information from some young little sceney incident that we won’t stop hearing about for months. his hair all leto’d and righteous, his smile taken out of some billboard ad for chewing gum. this fuckin’ guy. but sure enough, he comes running right back out to us through the dark, across the parking lot, keys and belt and whatever else jingling and flopping around. “ohhhhhh!!!” he says as he throws me a high-five. “what’s good now? just heading back? who’s around?”
“tina’s having people over but they’ll be gone by the time we get back. she said we could stop by but,” he starts to read the digitalogue to us slowly, “it might be like too late to do anything like worth it or whatever.” the words spaced apart that make this chick sound dumber than she actually is, which is a stretch to accomplish. sweetheart, though. gotta love her.
“fuck it dude. home. rolling a j, COD til the fuckin’ dickens dude. done.”
“how about you collie?”
i shrug, hands shoulder high. “gonna go home, gonna jerk off, and that’s all i’m gonna do.” i don’t wait for him to catch the reference. “nah man, i don’t know i’m just over this place man. bands were a joke dude. can’t believe you guys agreed to play here AGAIN.”
“here we go!”
“no, seriously! i’m serious! i’m serious! how could we drive four hours van slam-packed, out of the city through all of that traffic, get here, unload, play in front of fifteen kids, all of them too young to really understand what it is we’re really out here to accomplish...”
“yeah? and what are WE out here to accomplish, collie? what message are you trying to send?” bauer speaks up.
“...nothin’ man. nothin’.”
“fuckkk thaat. fuckkk thaat. listen, me and collie are getting in his car, driving back home. i’m taking it easy gonna finish up my own personal miike marathon week i’ve been having, you’re all totally welcome to come, got a couple drinks there waiting for me. tomorrow, practice at 4, then whatever. let’s do something good.”
“all about it. i love it. jarrod, drop me off at tina’s on the way back? bauer, you coming?”
“whatever, dude. i’ll come. whatever.”
alex throws some fists around the van, knuckles hitting knuckles in love. you can see the callouses on his hands. “gentlemen! get home safely!”
i throw up the peace sign while walking back to my car, quiet and brown, chilling and waiting for me.
alex jogs up next to me, laughing. “you didn’t take that personally, did you?”
“ahhh, not really, i don’t know. wasn’t ready for it i guess.”
“he was just fucking with you, man. kinda. i don’t know. maybe not. but i get it. just gotta let the kids do what they’re doing man. this isn’t like some kind of competition to get accepted into NASA. it’s music, dude. some people are gonna get it, and get buried in it, dude. face first, feet sticking out, just disappear in it. others, i mean, shit, people are just gonna wanna hang out around it. it doesn’t make it wrong, man. you can’t like music the right way or the wrong way. just take it easy, man. you’re gonna be that washed up, jaded merch guy forever aren’t you?”
i can’t believe how accurate that statement is. it terrifies me. and all i say is “psh.” air coming out of a deflated tire.
we listen to saves the day the entire way home, first through being cool three times through. barely audible. then he throws in a burnt copy of can’t slow down right before passing out.
i’m the dick.
oh my god.
i’m the dick.
i'm sitting at home. it's the afternoon and it's in the 50s, something cold enough to keep me from wanting to go out there. i'm eating what i guess you could call lunch. a hot pocket with some tortilla chips. i'm already thinking about heating up the second one.
they're all at practice. i thought it best not to show up after bauer's comment. such a shot in the dark. how long has he felt this way, how do the others feel about this, when did i get this distinction? was it just one comment?
i watch this guy ride by on a bike outside. tall, skinny, red scarf, brown hat, blue peacoat looking thing. guy probably talks big about the bands he loves because he has to, only sees obscure movies because that's what makes his little clique go around. i think of how he's probably headed to a record store to buy something to say someone's never heard of it before. maybe pick up a show flyer just in case any of the band's makes it big this way he can say he knew about it when.
there's nothing to do today. everything is organized. books are alpha'd, DVDs and blu-rays, CDs and vinyl are alpha'd. i could be going nuts on some new flyer layouts i have in my head, but i don't want to use the same images that i've been finding on the internet already. i have to make a trip to the library and get some good scans. i should do some research on what artists i'm looking for, or at least the type. i don't have a library card. i don't have mail from this address either. i think i need one to get a card for this location. what a wash.
i check the phone,
no new texts.
no missed calls.
"when're you fags done? ollie's tonight?"
i stare at the text for fifteen seconds after i type it, try to figure out something else to throw in to make the invite more appealing. fuck it, i send it.
i take a shower, thinking the entire time about the process of godhead deciding they want to cover the beatles' eleanor rigby. which band member came up with the idea. how they decided to create the backdrop for the song which was essentially completely devoid of what made the song so distinct. they kept the hook, they kept the vocal fixtures. i would love to see mccartney's reaction to it. i'm sure he's heard it, actually. what a moment that must have been. i'd love to see godhead, all dressed up in their goth splendor, walking up to paul's house with a single CD meant for sitting down in a parlor in front of a living legend, one of the last remaining beatles, and playing that song for him.
thinking the band, godhead, saying, "aw, yeah the beatles are great. they inspire everything we've done."
the beatles are overrated.
no text back when i get out. i throw on the good the bad and the ugly to pass the time. just picked it up on blu-ray. the remastering is fine, but it doesn't match up to what HD or blu-ray should really be. still a fantastic movie no less. eastwood kills it.
i play madden against some kid online who's unbearably cheap. he uses the colts so i knew i'd lose from the start. i send him a voice message saying i would have beat him if he played the game right. he sent something back but didn't listen. deleted.
i sit in front of my computer, and open up firefox. ready to roll through some of the band's blog updates. talk a little about last night. i go through a few of my google reader articles. things about bugs that don't dance the way the bugs before them used to dance. things about the way the white house was built. something about a new sci-fi shooter. a video with a dog. i don't care about any of it, really, once i'm done reading about it. it'd be interesting if i could carry some of it with me when i got out of the room. my biggest contribution to conversations of the obscure is often "oh yeah, i heard of that." i have the info to turn that around, but what's the point.
i got my mind on better things.
let me check facebook real quick, i want to see if anyone commented on that picture. while i'm on there i can actually upload a couple of pictures that were sent to the band's e-mail address last night after the show while we were driving home. oh my god, i can't believe charlie's status update is literally talking about election day like it's something important.
"we can already get married. leave the voting to the gays!"
people are definitely gonna dig that. awesome.
after hitting "older posts" a few times, i can't even remember what i came on here to do. it's 7:15?! what?! where did my day go?
what was i looking to do on here, anyway?
i've been complaining about not having enough time to read too much lately. let me jump back into the garland. i'll figure it out.
11:30 comes by.
no call. no text.
no one likes my facebook comment.
i woke up at 6:30. alarm's set for 7.
fuck it, i'll get up.
no one likes my facebook comment.
new e-mail from amazon.com, borders.com, gamestop.com, miso.
turn off the alarm, shower, dress, warm up the car.
still have can't slow down on in the car.
it picks up midway through three miles down. "letting it rain for hours" conley skipsays. i heard this guy was gay. what ever happened to that? whatever, i hope he's happy. for all the stuff the guy's band has been through, all the lineup changes, he still remains a legend. i still buy records after stay what you are came out even though they've all kind of sucked. all these feelings he's singing about, whether it's for a guy or a girl, for himself, for some extraterrestrial, so be it. guy has these legitimate tears lined up forever.
unbelievable how inefficient most of these drivers on the road are.
pull in, same parking spot every day. got an hour to open. i know at least one person's going to knock on the door instead of dropping their video through the slot. always a question, always an excuse. fat beth closed like shit last night. spend about fifteen minutes making up for her mistakes, count in, all set up. leave to go get coffee next door, and our first windowknocker is standing there as i'm walking out.
"hey, this is a day late..."
"yeah, sorry. unfortunately if it's not back by midnight last night, there's nothing we can do about it."
"that's okay, we fell asleep last night watching it."
"did it suck?"
"it wasn't BAD. not what i expected though."
wordless, she drops the movie in the slot. i think about it sloppily laying in the bin. i have to put it back when i get back after i just made everything perfect. as she drives off, we meet eyes through her passenger window. what does she want from me? i raise my hand in what looks like one of those native american "HOW" motions, which could mean bye, or thank you, or acknowledged, or stop, or even HOW.
coffee, back to work, put the movie away (which was a romantic comedy SEQUEL; what did she EXPECT?), and unlocked the doors to another fantastic day. the owner, brian, came in around noon, i told him all about beth's close. he said it was fine, he'll talk to her about it.
i think about godhead talking to her about it. in a parlor. with eleanor rigby playing in the background.
i tried sleep but it doesn't work. at this point, i'll usually think of some event far off that is tedious and meaningless and mechanical, like sowing a field or counting fiber. i'll try to mentally recreate some painted image, and find brushstrokes to even the sky out. i'll do whatever it takes to calm the hum of restlessness.
what usually holds up the works is thinking about some girl or two that got away, or some new set of friends that i let down. this time, it felt kind of like both. were the guys leaving me? what was i doing wrong?
i can't learn guitar, my fingers are too small. you can't write songs as a bassist. my voice isn't a good singing voice. keyboards take a lot of training. it's not my fault i'm not in the band.
i've found a piece of my friends that i want to nurture and for it to become something of its own organic merit. i want to support it and make it real for them. what others here, those other guys who don't know us, they hear the songs, the result of a family unit. all the hours of the day, all the small talk and small journeys that are actually endless processions formulated down to three minutes and thirty seconds. the passionless turn the page, they skip the track. pick up the needle.
pick up the needle, lay it on the shelf.
this room needs work. i have visions, i just need canvases.
quiet phone for two days straight now. i feel sick thinking about it.
it rained tonight, i must have missed it. the cars pass by, they sound more gravelly. i hear tiny wakes.
there are a lot of things that are going okay, but nothing's going well. i should focus on one thing at a time, and dominate each of those endeavors like milestones. i should be working on something always, full of answers, full of a fire that attracts and repels. i should possess a mantra in my comings and goings. there should be The Work and the background.
i have work tomorrow.
i'll think more about it then.
i work with brian.
i'll take more notes afterwards.
once i watch what the DVR records.