Sunday, March 3, 2013

just kidding i love you assholes


 ….

“Oh my God, dude yes, of course I like Piss Blizzard. I just fuckin saw them when they played at, uhh…. Dammit. Whats that venue? Kind of like right near Dave and Busters?”
           .....
          “Yea yea, there. J’you go?”
           …..
          “Dude how good was it? I can’t believe he can still sing like that. He didn’t miss a fucking note. “
           …..
          “Well yea but it definitely didn’t effect his voice, that’s for sure. Or his intensity. It might have even made it better. Look at what it did for GG Allin. Haha.”
            .....
            “Yea, I don’t know. It doesn’t really bother me. I’m too old to get in any mosh pit. Sometimes I just like watching the light show anyways. Standing in the back and hearing every note. You really gain an appreciation for the enormity of putting on a show. How much work is involved. Piss Blizzard is just so good at creating a mood that it’s cool to just, like, get lost in it. Kind of better than being up close and having to dodge all the feces that they throw into the crowd, you know?”
           .....
           “Yea but that stuff got too hokey. It wasn’t sincere. Piss Blizzard are on a different level. It’s a different story. When Evil Awngoria mastubates into that bong you know he means it. He really is feeling the energy of the whole room.”
           …..
           “Yea, tolley. Its cerebral. It’s like… It’s like there are no other possible combinations of melodies and time and chords and space. I put them on at home and drift and peak. Its really almost spiritual. And when they released “Embryonic Party Favors”? Jesus. I..”
           …..
           “Oh absolutely. Hands down.”
           .....
           “Yea I did, only once though. And I gotta tell you man, I got the fucking chills. I fucking seriously almost cried. Seriously.”
           .....
           “I don’t know man, I was just enthralled. I was in a moment that was equal part future and equal part past. And I think that’s really what music is supposed to be, you know? Something that reminds you of a moment you’ve never known so that your experiencing self and your remembering self merge into this eternal moment that exists in the ephemeral for a while. Then, just as you’re close enough to almost reach out and touch it, it blooms into the future."
           .....
           “Haha fuck you bro! I’m serious. Plus I met my girl at a party while that record was on so..”
           …..
           “Yea I'll introduce you when she gets out of the bathroom. She’s probably getting high.”
           …..
           “Naw she didn’t cry but she doesn’t appreciate them like I do. She didn’t even notice their record was on when we met. So I had to like keep looking around while my throat knotted up so she wouldn’t think I was a huge pussy when i finally convinced her to come to a concert with me. You want another beer?”
           …..
           “O.K let me know I got you next time.”
           .....
           “It’s all good. So yea, like, I don’t know. I just don’t have another band like that, you know? One that was kind of speaking to me growing up by being played at all the right times. I heard “Post Coital Suicide” when I was a senior in high school and it was like they wrote it for me. It was cool cuz it was kind of like rap and shit, but then he would sing and you’re like “what the fuck? Who does this?” except now they all do it, you know, but like, then nobody did. It was the feeling I got when I first heard S.H.A.R.T. except now I was a little older and I could make better sense of it. Maybe that’s why I still back them so hard. Because each record reminds me of the first time I fell in love with something new.”
…..
            “Yea I heard that. I follow them on twitter. That’s what Evil was sayin. I’m fuckin siked” 
            .....
            “Wait, they’re NOT?”
            .....
            “Shut the fuck up. Seriously?
            …..
            “Are you kidding me? Why?
            .....
            “Jesus Christ. That fucking sucks. What a bum out. Hold on one sec.”

*Logs onto twitter on iphone*

“@wearepissblizzard U guyz are fuckin pussies. Fuck you you suck dick.”

*Logs off twitter. Puts phone in pocket*

            “So yea, like, Cum Maven's guitar tone? How hauntingly perfect is it?”

Saturday, February 9, 2013

acceptable loss


the first alarm is set to go off at 5:33am. I have no intention of waking up at the sound of the first alarm, but after years of altering certain variables including tone and volume, I have found that this particular one is optimal for shaking me from my 7 hour and 32 minute sleep. It is not intended to jar me suddenly upright, but rather transition my awareness back to my body from its overnight shift spent casually sorting through and assessing collected memories like a child emptying out her Halloween candy onto the floor of her bedroom. Once that first alarm is sounded, I hit the snooze button and remain present but latent for the next 9 minutes until I am called on to hit it again. I do not become more awake with each chime as much as I become more in control of the way in which time will pass. In 9 minute intervals, starting at 5:33am I begin a process which could, mathematically, present me with 3 opportunities to make 2 different choices, though this is only the case if I follow a specific sequence, which I will address momentarily. I can arise and begin my routines or I can grant myself another 9 minutes of uninterrupted, quiet, meditative waking sleep. 100% of the time I have not gotten out of bed until the fourth and final alarm at 6:00am. This is not an exaggeration. The results have been unchanging in every experiment run since I began my job in the Risk Assessment Department of the United States Food and Drug Administration on September 16, 2006. Given that today’s date is February 12th, 2013 that is a total of 2,339 mornings which means at LEAST 2,339 experiments (I say “at least” because this is the number we arrive at if, hypothetically, I were to rise at 5:33am (which I have never done) thereby eliminating all other options. I cannot start my day upon hearing the first alarm and then choose to sleep through the next two (I say “next 2” because there are only 3 moments that I am presented with a choice- the first alarm at 5:33, the second at 5:42 and the third at 5:51 (the 4th alarm at 6:00 has no alternatives, I must arise)) nor can I rise for good on the first, sleep through the second then reawaken at the third. Nor can the choice to get out of bed on the second alarm be preceded by the option of getting out of bed on the first (in which case I will have already been awake) OR followed by the choice to either sleep or rise on the third (since one cannot further get out of bed once out of bed or responsibly go back to bed once out) so while mathematically the probabilities are overwhelming, practically they are quite numerable and measurable if one were to take the time to calculate it, which I have) and in every single one of them the result has been the same extreme outcome. This is the equivalent of landing on heads for 2,339 coin flips in a row, which is highly unlikely but not impossible since chance is not self correcting, nor does the coin have a memory of what it did prior. It IS remarkable, however, to get such extreme results in such a large sample, as absolutes are most likely to manifest themselves in much smaller sets. For example, in a jar of 5 beans (4 being white and 1 being red) you are far more likely to pick the red bean 10 times out of 10 draws (100%) than if there was one red bean in a jar of 99 white beans.
                  The argument to this of course is that my desire to sleep through my alarms is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. One might say that I have developed a preference for sleep, and like a rat who will opt for a sample of a hallucinogenic drug over food every single time until that rat literally perishes, I know what I like and consciously will not divert and alter results. To this is concede. I certainly do prefer sleep over the extra time in the morning I might have to, say, read another section of the paper or eat another piece of whole grain toast and I have concluded this based on tests run prior to September 16th 2006 in which I have both voluntarily and involuntarily risen at 5:33, 5:42 and 5:51 and any and all increments in-between. I then carefully compared the resulting mood to the mood achieved at 6:00am, which I determined to be a far superior mood in every conceivable way. However, if you carefully reconsider and analyze my original statement, I said that I have not “gotten out of bed until 6:00am 100% of the time” since beginning my job over 2,000 days ago. This is a fascinating fact. It means that in this period I have never smelled gas from my stove, I have never had a nightmare I couldn’t recover from, I have never had to use the bathroom and I have never received an alarming phone call which required my presence in a non-bed location. So to those that say there is no chance involved in my early mornings, I say you are tragically mistaken, particularly when you widen the frame of your bias and choose to not simply look at me as ONE possible “phone call recipient”, but instead consider the millions of people in the United States alone who stand to be potential “phone call makers”. Millions of people have, at the exact same time, not called me before 6am. I will say this in another way to fully convey how incredible it is- Every minute between 10pm and 5:33- which is 453 minutes- presents the opportunity for millions of human beings to purposefully or accidentally dial a specific set of seven numbers. Only 1 has to do it in order to refute every previous result- one black swan to negate our previously held belief in exclusively white swans- and yet in 453 chances not a single person out of millions has. Look too at the number of reported gas leaks in New York City alone by owners of the same 30 inch Frigidaire free standing gas range just this year, or measure the size of my bladder proportionate to the volume of water I consume and at what intervals. It will not be long until you begin to realize that the more improbable or implausible and/or unfortunate or fortunate events we take into account that could possibly occur in the known universe at any given minute between the hours of 10pm and 5:33 am, the more incredible it is that 0% of them have. This is not my choice. This is an extreme result in an infinitely large sample set, with an infinite amount of variables in an infinitely vast laboratory which is- if I might use a few word that I don’t get to use very often at my place of employment- fucking impossible. And yet here I am, at 6:00am on February 12th  2013, getting out of bed for the first time in 24 hours and for the first time since time itself began.
                  Firstly I stand up and stretch in order to feed my oxygen starved muscles and get my blood pressure up, which is increasingly more important since being diagnosed with Hypotension after my first heart attack when I was 28 years old which I have surmised was most likely caused by a crippling dependence on alcohol that, if looked at closely, can be seen in its early developmental stages around the time my fiancé left me for someone she met in her Yoga class, though I highly doubt was a decision based solely on that chance meeting as much as it was a combination of both my known numerous transgressions in the months prior and multiple examples of emotional neglect combined with specific character flaws in the fields of hygiene, sexuality and goal orientation. Next I proceed to the kitchen where I place 2 slices of Pepperidge Farms whole grain bread into the toaster. At this point I make a conscious decision to refrain from toasting them until the 3 free-range eggs I next crack in a 12” OrGREENic porcelain ceramic fry pan (a personal favorite as it drastically reduces the need for butter or grease) begin to solidify over a low flame. Usually at around 50 seconds into the eggs new life outside of its shell is when I will introduce the bread to the heated toaster coils and by the time they are ejected, my eggs are perfectly over easy and ready to be plated. It is a carefully choreographed dance, one which has taken months of strenuous heuristic experimentation to perfect. Once seated, I proceed to eat the whites before dipping the toast into the yolk. I do not consume any liquids whatsoever.
                  By this time, about 15 minutes have passed since I have stepped out of bed and I have exactly another 20 before I need to leave my 8th floor apartment in order to catch the 7 Express train leaving at 6:53 from Woodside 61st Street. That normally gets me to 42nd Street at around 7:08 depending on stragglers, where I now have a 14 minute walk to the front doors of my building. I have discovered that upon entering, it serves me best to take the elevator to the floor above mine and then walk down a flight of stairs, as exiting on my specific floor puts me in direct contact with our receptionist Heather who will, if not interrupted, talk for approximately 4 minutes before taking her first breath. On numerous occasions I have found myself in the grips of her insipid banter well past 7:30am, which is wildly unacceptable. The effort expended, therefore, in losing an additional 4 seconds in an elevator, a minute and 12 seconds in my walk down the hall to the stairwell and another 45 seconds in the a quick jaunt down 17 stairs to a door is a justifiable loss when compared to the magnitude of the loss in the alternative option, considering that once the door is opened with my magnetic card, I emerge onto my floor a full 9 feet to the right of the receptionists desk and have an unobstructed stroll to my desk.
                  My showers typically last between 8 and 11 minutes depending on whether or not I decide to wash my hair and how long it takes me to reach orgasm through self-stimulation. I scrub my body thoroughly with Honeysuckle All Natural Pure Body Wash by Simply Pure because it is free of petroleum and SLS’s, which not only strip your body of natural oils but have also been proven extremely dangerous to the environment. As I rinse, I contemplate where things all went so horribly wrong and wonder if perhaps I had not fallen victim to the sunk-cost fallacy so early on in my relationship, could a quantifiable amount of dignity have been salvaged and subsequently parlayed into comparable field of ego validation. My overwhelming aversion to any sort of risk, however, makes these ruminations the most hypothetical of their kind as I am paralyzed by the thought of change. I emerge from the shower and dry myself with my Pacific Blue Organic Turkish Cotton bath towel and once sufficiently mopped up, I brush my teeth for exactly 90 seconds with fluoride free Himalayan Health Care organic toothpaste which claims to be pomegranate flavored but hints more of mango. After that, I put on a pair of black socks purchased at a consignment store in Queens, chino slacks- sized 38/30- which I purchased at Nordstrom’s almost a decade ago and an ill fitting white button down Eddie Bauer shirt I found on sale at Target last week. I do not wear underwear after it was proven that the dermatitis I developed around my inner thigh last March was caused by a sudden an unexplained allergic reaction to polyester, spandex, nylon AND wool. As I have little hair, a significant amount of time and money is saved by not being required to attend to hair related matters and products.
                  It is now exactly 6:34am and I have efficiently prepared myself for the day. I take my keys from the hook behind my door, deadbolt all 5 single cylinder Schlage B660P locks, enter the elevator, travel all 8 flights without interruption (which typically serves to be a wonderful indication of the rest of the days events, and though not palpable enough to be measured against ensuing circumstances, simply makes me feel optimistic), exit my building onto the north side of 61st Street and am immediately struck by an arrow which enters my left shoulder and travels down into my lung.  
                  Judging by the angle at which the shaft protrudes from my Eddie Bauer shirt which is currently soaked in thick blood, I make an educated guess that the archer is no lower than the 5th floor of an adjacent building, though upon a first cursory glance at my surroundings I can see no open window or silhouette. Dismissing that variable as irrelevant, I next proceed to analyze the projectile itself. Though a good percentage of it is now embedded in one (if not two) of my major organs, I can infer that the projectiles point was certainly not blunt, as it penetrated my flesh and muscle quite easily, meaning it is absolutely a broadhead tip used for hunting, though this comes with two possibilities on its heels- either it has a fixed or a mechanical blade. Considering the depth at which I feel unspeakable pain, I posit the blade is fixed, as mechanical blades typically do not penetrate past the first few layers of skin. With this information, I am now faced with the problem of extraction, as fixed blades are rigid and cause excessive trauma when removed, but I will return to this at a later time.
                  The shaft itself appears to be a Gold Tip, which typically
is not as popular as Eastonbut a bit more               favorable than Behmans.
This one seems to be a Kinetic
Hunter                                              Big Game-200, which I
      believe is made of a carbon fiber reinforced                plastic (carbon arrows
REALLY hit their stride in 
     the early 1990’s), though 
it could also
be the case        that it is simplyaluminumWRAPPED in a carbon
fiber shell.
Again, considering the extentofmyinternaldamage           and how rapidly I am losing blood through both the entry wound and my mouth, I theorize the total length to
be 32               inches.
             The fletchings here are your modern             plasticvariety,
which I      would have easilyconjectured since
those made
of turkeyorgoosefeathers are quickly becoming
   outdated. The vanes
attached to the particular arrow which
recently
came into              contact
with more than a few major arteries are,                  i would venture to 
   guess
            about 3 inches tall

and both the hen and cock are a deep,
mesmerizing
black which, coincidentally,
 is the color
                                                             of almost
everything
in my periphery at the moment.
                  The static
spine
of the arrow is re
markable, but

unfor
tunate


ly
without an


Eastman



Fitment

Chart

at my
disposal I                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                           am


embarrassingly ill
equipped        to 

postulate

just     how                                                            ?
                  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

They Had Seen Too Much


It was my birthday so I called my mother. I know that she loves to let me know how much she loves me especially on my birthday. It makes her very happy to fawn over her oldest son. I am never home on my birthday and she is ok with that, just as long as I promise to always call and acknowledge her right to tell her son that she loves him. It’s the least I could do after all I’ve put her through. She picked up, knowingly. It was exactly the right time.
“Hello mudder.” I said, imitating her fathers thick polish accent. She laughed as if it was the most splendid thing she had ever heard.
“My son my son!” she said. Then she began to laugh hard as if she had been unwrapping a present and upon hearing my voice finally realized what was underneath all the paper.
“Happy Birthday my snowman.” She then made a long sigh as if simultaneously both coming down from a fit and transposing herself back to the hospital room over 3 decades prior. When we first met. Then another laugh. Then a sound one would make while hugging someone very hard. She was happy, and being so made her happier. She took great delight in being able to use that nickname. I would say she looked forward to it but I think that makes me sound egotistical and I don’t want to sound like that. On the day I was born snow had fallen for the first time that year. It continued. It seemed like it would never stop. Buffalo New York. January 28th, 1977. I only knew her to use it on my birthday. I smiled. She could hear it. It was my gift to her.
“Almost to the minute this year!”
“I know,” I said “I made sure of it. I waited with the phone in my hand. If I’m off, then its because these clocks around here are shitty.”
“Hey.”
“Sorry. Its because these clocks are slow.”
“My snowman. I remember this moment always. 3:47pm. Do you know you didn’t even cry? Not a whimper. You just looked around. Do-do-do whats over here?” she said in a higher pitch, indicating that she was doing an impression of my inner monologue when I entered the world. I pictured her head bobbing back and forth as she glanced around the kitchen where her phone was. Of course I knew. She told me every year that I didn’t cry. It was a routine that she would never abandon. While growing up, my father too had one. He would play the same Bob Dyan song at midnight on New Years Eve while he drank the same booze out of the same glass. He may still, but I also can never make it home for New Years. My parents valued these touchstones. It seemed to unscramble them for a moment. When I remember my father sitting on the couch next to the record player in my head he is a statue. He wears only marble. He is carved the same way forever, all angles unchanging. And when my mother says “snowman” she sounded enlightened. She says it in a way I imagine the Mona Lisa would say it.
We talked about my father who was, at that moment, at work. I didn’t really know what he did. It had something to do with airplanes. He didn’t fly them but I think he helped figure out where and when they landed. The time to ask had long passed. It was something I should have known my whole life and asking now would only embarrass us both.
We talked about my wife who I hadn’t seen in quite some time. My mom said that she went to visit her often, but she was so rarely home.
“Probably because of work. She’s so busy.”
“Yea, probably. I miss her. I’d like to help her with the yard. I have some really good ideas for what we could do along that fence. Maybe some wild grasses.”
“O.K. That would be nice. When I talk to her I’ll tell her to call you.” Though I knew I was lying, I hoped I wouldn’t have to be.
She asked if I had been reading a lot.
“Yes.” I said. I didn’t think she would be familiar with any of the names I could have listed. “Whatever I can get a hold of. A guy names Hesse. It’s hard though. Hard to focus.”
“You have to make sure you find time to meditate.” She advised.
“I try. But it’s never quiet enough. I can’t find a place.”
“You will. Go outside?”
“I wouldn’t dare close my eyes outside.” I said with a laugh.
“Oh.” she didn’t think it was funny.
“Mom, I gotta go now.” I cupped the phone and held up my finger to the guy waiting behind me.
“ok. Happy birthday, you. I love you. Please be safe.”
“I love you too. Tell dad I said hello.” My guess was that he was in the other room, trying to ignore the fact that his wife was on the phone with me.
“Of course I will. As soon as he gets home.”
“Bye mudder.”
Three nights later my new cellmate learned what I had done to them kids. Luckily for my mother, I survived. I can’t imagine how upset she would be if she lost me. I know that’s egotistical, but it’s the truth. I don’t want to be the cause of even more sadness. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

born again


William Trier was an atheist, so you can imagine his surprise when he put the gun in his mouth, pulled the trigger and found himself in front of god. It was quite a drastic change of scenery to say the least, considering that the last thing he remembered seeing was the elderly lady who lived down the hall floating past him without any eyeballs left, which one is wont to lose when conducting tens of thousands of volts of electricity through ones very mortal coil. That’s when the gun took its position. That is immediately before William found himself standing in the presence of pure light, now very much a believer and feeling very embarrassed about all the things he once said. 
However, just a few hours prior to that, William was standing at the window of his 27th floor apartment condo which now overlooked a rapidly flooding bay area. The first few hours of rain felt like the were doing nothing more than leaving a slick glaze on the San Francisco tile, but now that plates had shifted further west, hell had hit its stride and things were filling up and falling apart with an energy he hadn’t believed could exist but certainly would within a few hours time when he would be standing in its presence conversing telepathically via alternating levels of cellular vibration which he was able to control with a thought process that firstly called for the eradication of thought. The cars that had been lifted off their tires just 20 minutes ago were now filled to the dome lights with water and while once being amusingly thrashed into each other like drunk teens in a dark room, were now completely under the cold swell. He wondered how long it would take for his Lexus to be given its very own version of a Viking funeral- shipped off to sea, its electrical wiring sparking and perhaps setting the headrest on fire before it was completely engulfed by the indifferent waves- with it being parked on the 5th floor of the parking ramp. He checked his watch. It was only 10am. He realized that, for some reason, whenever he heard anything about the apocalypse it was always a vision of the horsemen charging in under the cloak of night and yet here they were in the post sunrise hours on December 21st while Le Meridien was still seating for breakfast.
“Eggs Benedict” he thought and that was all he thought. Had his maid not abandoned ship to join the rest of the church congregation after the first sign that the end was upon us, maybe he would have asked her to make one for him. He remembered his favorite author Richard Dawkins called last minutes prayers “cramming for the exam”. He liked that. There would be no studying for him this afternoon.
The first earthquake hit at 5:30am like a cosmic alarm clock, summoning everyone to roll call lest anyone assume that judgment day would not occupy the 24 hour duration of an earth day. Yes, it would be swift and it would be final and though the sun would stay down once slain, there was no reason it should not fulfill its duties on its last day of work. William took a sip of his imported ale and set the gun on the table in front of the mirror. He looked down at it lovingly now and back up at his reflection which he used to help straighten his tie. He took a deep breath and with both hands, firmly pulled back and pushed flat his greasy black hair. Undoubtedly, he believed himself to be Patrick Bateman at this particular moment in time- handsome, successful, hopeless and perfectly capable of the most terrible of things.
“We have spent a wonderful life together” he said to himself sneering, thinking himself quite clever, taking great pride in the fact that he had indeed done it all alone. The wealth was all his. The small level of local celebrity-dom he had achieved was also his. His business had his name on it. He had fucked every woman he had ever wanted to. He ate like a king. He had no children, though this hadn’t always been a source of pride for him as he felt a son could have obviously carried his legacy into the next- wait, there was no next. Yes, again he was proud. He was always proud.
A scream from the hallways shook him from his brief reflection on his life. William casually walked to his door and looked out of the peephole. Looting. The species was in its final stages. He double checked the locks on the door and returned to the window after making himself a dirty Belvedere martini which had become his trademark at parties. He was never an avid drinker because he felt it “temporarily paralyzed” his “ability to think big” but big thoughts couldn’t save him now so
“Down the hatch, right ol’ boy?” he actually said out loud to himself without being the slightest bit embarrassed that he was the kind of person who talked about himself in the 3rd person. More screaming. He looked down at his gun and thought for a moment about coming to the aid of the woman in clear distress. He would wade through the knee high freezing water, sparks bursting out of exposed electrical wiring and he would turn a corner to find the thug attempting to pull jewels off of a scantily clad socialite and he would put a bullet in his head and the woman would sigh and the next day the headlines would- no headlines. No next day. “What a fucking shame.” he thought as the mental image of a bold headline fell 27 stories into a snarling flood and sank.
Now he smelled smoke and heard what he could only assume was the sound of metal being bent under great force. He could see in the reflection in a building near his that the right side of his own was on fire. Water was carrying houses and poles and garbage and trees and bodies and throwing them around like a killer whale throws a seal. His feet were cold. William looked down and saw that it was now and it was ok. He felt even more confident in the promise he had made to himself. William Trier would go out on his own terms. His own thinking, highly functioning brain would send a signal to one of his tanned and muscular extremities to pull the trigger and shut it all down. One final illogical lap around his neurons that begins and ends in the brain which signals the beginning of the race even though it knows that when the lap is done all memory of that last glorious task- that task that took us billions of years to perfect, that final sprint through the cosmic countryside and deep, molecular intake of natural beauty- will be lost. The brain that has started fires and written Hamlet and painted chapels and carved marble had reached a point where its final command was to erase everything it had done with no chance of starting over. William for no reason at all walked to his door and unlocked it. Water moved past him like it had somewhere to go, which it of course did not and that was the problem that would inevitably lead to Williams death had he not put the gun in his mouth. The elderly lady who lived down the hall floated past him without any eyeballs left, which one is wont to lose when conducting tens of thousands of volts of electricity through ones very mortal coil. There was quiet. And then there was light.
“I don’t know what I’m doing here.” William didn’t think. “I never believed in you. I wasn’t down there cramming for this exam, I promise. I always liked to think that if you did exist, you’d be smart enough to see right through people like that.“
“You are only here for a moment.” god didn’t respond. god never responded. “We must prepare your next step. “
Beneath them, the earth cracked. The end was in full swing now. Continents were being chipped away by boiling waters. Orbits were falling out of alignment. The sun was hungry and then it would be tired, there was no doubt of that anymore.
“Your last thought. Do you know its source?” god didn’t ask. An entire quarter of the pale blue dot was ripped from itself and thrown into Mercury which, together, entered a tight decaying orbit around the sun like a penny at the bottom of those make a wish funnels at the mall. All that we had accomplished with creation was on fire. Jupiter was drifting at an obtuse angle away from the sun through the cold blackness where no one would know of its magnitude
“My head.” William vibrated. “I said goodbye to myself. I said goodbye to William Trier.”
The whirring sound and the winds of ethereal music and the bursts of color manifested themselves to no one. They danced for an empty room. There was no need for them at all but still they were.
“Therefore the void is inaccessible.” god looked aside.
“So now what? What does that mean?”
“You go back.” god vibrated matter of factly. “You will be born again until you learn to leave with your heart.”
William was not opposed to this. He had loved his life and now he could do it all over again. He could get another chance at the things that had eluded him which, frankly, were not much. As he thought about all he would reacquire, he paid little attention to the light that began its slow fade as it moved further and further away from him, no doubt onto one of the billions of earthlings that would seek council after a day like today. A day like today when the world ended. A day like today when the house of man was vaporized. The orb our species had inhabited which had optimal calibration in the vast, infinite universe necessary for supporting oxygen-based life forms such as himself was no longer. And yet he was told to go back?
This is the last complete thought that the spirit of William Trier would compose. Over the course of the next 100 million years it would, however, eventually learn to hold onto an idea in order to apply it to the next and thereby form a weak pattern which- one could say- resembled a cognitive thought as us humans used to know them. It was difficult, understandably, considering that up until that 100 million or so year point, the soul of William Trier was born every few seconds from a rip in the galaxy where his mother would have been lying (if she had existed) in a hospital bed (if it had been built) in Jamestown New York (If it had been settled) in the United States of America (if it had been discovered) on planet earth (if it had been created) starting on December 22nd 2012 (if time had been kept) in the year of our lord (if he could have been bothered). Immediately after its physical manifestation, that oxygen-breathing life form would suffocate within seconds, die and drift off into nothingness while the soul repeated this horrible, unfortunate process. It was never alive long enough to evolve lungs that could better adapt and unfortunately for Williams soul, when something is alive it knows it exists and therefore could never actually meet the qualifications set by god for escaping the perpetual process of birth and very painful, not so instant death.  
Consciousness, however, is an astounding force which will belie itself whenever possible and seemingly for no reason. Because of this unpredictable quality, it- some might say “coincidentally”, though we all know that term is not appropriate when dealing with inclinations from the source- stumbled upon (though perhaps sought out intentionally) our cursed soul in point and let it be possessed. A few million years later, a concept was born. It was vague and it was blurry, yes, but it was there. This was the beginning of something remarkable, something unprecedented, something powerful and something huge. This was the beginning of a thought and a thought was the beginning of a realization and a realization was the beginning of something real and something real was presence and in presence and ONLY in presence did everything happen. It never happened in the future. It never happened in the past. It happened now. Only now. Now the soul had a thought. 100 million years of consciousness simmering in a tiny yet soon to be lifeless body actualized since, as it figured, genetic improvisation could not.
“Given an eternity of time in an infinite space “ the soul thought, “everything will happen once.” Then it passed, and we would never know of its profundity. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

you don't stop.


The first time I remember seeing my father sad was when Roy Orbison died. Until that point I had seen my father in the throes of numerous emotions but a sincere, genuine sadness was never one of them. It was hard to take seriously for a number of reasons. A) a sad father was something so unfamiliar to me that when he came downstairs and asked that we observe a moment of silence I figured he was being jokingly dramatic. B) I didn’t really know who Roy Orbison was and C) my father didn’t know Roy Orbison. When his records were played, they were played loudly and I immediately developed an affinity for his warbled falsetto but his death didn’t mean that someone would be coming around to remove his music from our house. To me, mourning seemed, I guess, unnecessary. My father didn’t lose a friend that he shared common memories with and in a sense he didn’t even really LOSE one of his favorite musicians. He may never again be able to make music, but its not as if Roy Orbison handed my father a list of all the great songs he would one day write and died before fulfilling his promise. I didn’t understand what the big deal was. Just put his record on and bring him back to life. Easy.
            

When Kurt Cobain died I was shocked for the simple fact that he did it himself. I loved Nirvana but more than that I loved being alive, so the idea that someone who coerced me through their music to actually FEEL alive would now go away without considering me? That made angrier than it did sad. I was 14, so being self important was second nature but so was being confused. Again, I knew I could still listen to his music whenever I wanted, but no one I had read or listened to or cared about or knew or even knew OF had ever killed themselves and it always seemed to me that pulling the trigger on a gun aimed at yourself defied certain laws of self-preservation or physics or something. Like M.C. Eschers hand drawing a hand, or Jerry the mouse picking himself up by his own tail in order that Tom run right under him and into a wall. His death didn’t sadden me as much as it did usher in the realization that the ethereal world of music was anchored in a very real collection of moments, just like the ones I had, and those moments existed independently of anything I ever may have gotten out of a song.  Until that point, music had just been a bunch of sounds being pushed out of this huge black box sitting on the dresser in my room that were- if I was lucky- attracted to certain thoughts I was having and given a form in the meaning that actualized inside of me. The lyrics came from a person and the riff from an instrument in a studio somewhere but once that tape stopped, those people disappeared. They were there to entertain us and could arrive and vanish at my discretion.  Whenever I needed a distraction or an incentive or a mood I would take their voice out of the little plastic case and summon it. They got a lot of money and all the happiness in the world and I got a CD or a tape and that’s how it worked for a 14 year old suburban kid. Until I heard Kurt Loder report the news. Cobains death changed everything for me. It got my attention. It made me aware that music wasn’t for me, it was for the people making it and all I could ever do was hope that somehow I could make a connection to the ones that did. It showed me that there was a depth to music that I never thought to consider, one that housed demons of unparalleled strengths. I couldn’t believe how much of the music experience I had been missing out on by failing to realize that. That gunshot startled me awake.
            

When Dimebag was killed, it was the first time that a musicians passing could actually be considered “close to home”. Aside from Pantera being the first band I ever “headbanged” to (Darien Lake with Sepultura and Biohazard, 1994) people I knew actually knew him. They drank and partied and talked with him. As children, like me, they saw him as a legend and got closer as he moved from “legend” to “friend” and then back to “legend” just because of the kind of friend he was to those he knew. All of a sudden that was gone. To say that that news was tragic is a vast understatement. It was a game changer for anyone who took the stage. There was no feeling safe anymore. There was no trusting people who “loved” you or what you did. It made the world as I knew it slip further out of my own control and instantly shifted the paradigm back where it was before I had learned of Cobain. On that day and forevermore, music was ONLY about the people who listened to it. They had your fate as a musician in their hands. You may disagree completely and say that it HAS to be about the musician or else its soulless and I agree, it must start from there but I firmly believe it must end somewhere else. That somewhere else is in the hands of the listener and what they do with it and with you is none of your business and it is hopelessly out of your reach. If you think I’m wrong, budding musicians, write a record and don’t record it. Don’t tour on it. Just keep it to yourself knowing that at least its yours. Your “career” as a musician will be over before it started.  What matters most is how carefully you preserve that understanding while you make your art. Some chose to pander to it with a surgeons precision, others ignore it completely but every musician and artist and director knows that it is there, the proverbial elephant in the room. It is the level of consideration of the audience that establishes the tiered and often biased scale of “cred” we assign to those who we give our short and rapidly dwindling attention span to. Now, I didn’t know him personally so I will not use this paragraph as an excuse to co-opt others grief and regress into a 14 year olds sense of self importance, but I will say this- I miss the riffs that man could have one day written. I understood on that day why my father felt as if he “lost” Roy Orbison. Just think about how important Dimes riffs would be today in a “heavy music” scene dictated by synthesizer breakdowns and makeup.
            

That brings me to the reason I sat down to write today at all. Adam Yauch passed away of cancer last Friday. I was in Vienna when I found out and my first reaction was “yea, cancer will do that. what a shame”. But as more outlets started posting the story and my twitter feed became clogged with old videos or memories that people had of first hearing License To Ill or Pauls Boutique, the sadness went from something I knew I should feel but for some reason couldn’t to a very palpable
sense of loss. When I say I “couldn’t feel” sadness its not because I am impartial to death, but my understanding of it as ruthless, unprejudiced and inevitable fails to allow much room for surprise. He was sick with a terminal disease. Death will come. It was the hearing of THAT news that really shocked me. But as the night went on and I got closer to our set time, I began thinking harder and with more clarity about why I was there at all, about to perform on the other side of the world with a band like ETID and soon something unmistakably set in as “gone”. The world had experienced a real loss, like someone was telling you something important and never finishing the sentence. The breath was spent before the last number of the sequence could be revealed. The Beastie Boys were an enormous part of my growing up and because of that, they are an enormous part of who I am today. Nothing can take that away from me, not even cancer. It had been years since I thought about the excitement of getting one of their CD’s for my birthday or how every weekend of every winter was spent in my friends car driving 45 minutes to snowboard with their music blaring on the ride there and back. Why did it take MCA’s death to get me to cherish my childhood once again? Why have I come so far from that unexplainable, almost spiritual sense of relief and love and envy that I felt when I saw the video for “So What’cha Want” to where I am now where mainstream music can barely move me at all? Did their music do to the world what it did to me? Did it make you want to do nothing but love your friends and give you a confidence you never had as you timed your steps through the halls of your high school with the beat that played in your headphones? The Beastie Boys made music fun and they made me smile but not because they were solicitous of a child my age, but because they were inventive and consistent and you got the idea that they were friends. They were a crew you wanted to be a part of- rowdy, creative, sincere and forever. Every time you got on your skateboard with a Beastie Boys tape in the boombox you were staring in your own video. Fuck, I’m a white kid from an affluent  suburb of buffalo NY and it made me wish I could RAP.  They had been lodged in my subconscious as the representation of an ideal I had become too jaded to acknowledge anymore and the news of his death jarred it loose. Music can be for everyone. The musician and the fan are not mutually exclusive. You can create exactly what you want because you are not an island, there will always be someone to revel in the human experience of your art like I basked in theirs. The lyrics were so clever and the music was so inspiring that all I ever wanted to do was write in way that made people read it and go “oh! I get it. cool” and play music with my friends and I just wanted to have fun and give myself over to excitement and stay possessed by awe and live life as loudly as I could and I wanted to sweat and sing and make people laugh and remind them that its ok to look stupid sometimes and its ok to be proud and young and weird and as our intro played everything suddenly focused and I realized something I hadn’t before. that’s exactly what I was doing. A stone was taken out of the music worlds foundation, but what was built around it is too big to fall. Thank you MCA. Rest in Peace.
            

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

revisiting


I was digging around on my computer and found a folder full of things I had written when I moved to Virginia in 1998. its fucking awful. I was an absolutely terrible writer, but whats worse than just being bad is that you can tell when reading it that I was also in possession of a righteously juvenile confidence that, if unchecked, could have snowballed into an actual career of pumping out “clever” works of fiction aimed directly at the wheelhouse of undergraduate girls who only have fat guy friends. It happened to Colum McCann, it could have happened to me.
But, despite actually being published that year in some tiny literary quarterly, the disastrous side effects were avoided thanks solely to my two best friends at the time who simply told me to stop. Stop writing. Or, more specifically, stop being a writer. It was devastating. Hadn’t they read my horrible fucking poem in that shitty yellow magazine over there in the coffee shop that nobody goes to because anybody who knows anything realizes that a genuinely interesting and inspired conversation hasn’t actually happened in a coffee shop since the 1600’s in western Europe? How could I "stop being a writer" when I had just bought a pack of cigarettes and a little notebook to carry around and “catch my ideas in”? I was completely blindsided. I was so confident in my “abilities” that telling me they never existed in the first place was the first time I experienced the feeling I would later feel when I saw The Sixth Sense. My brain just couldn’t comprehend how I had been fooled for so long.
It sent me through two emotional stages which still have a mark on me (the derailing, not the movie). The first was obviously denial. What did they know? They weren't in the English program. I was a writer and I had a magazine to prove it. Then, that denial was followed up by an immediate, deep sadness which I realize now was the acceptance stage. I completely skipped the anger part because I knew they were right. i didn't want to write. it was hard and unfulfilling and often pointless and my friends didn’t have to be writers to know that i did it terribly. Actually, its more often the case that impressing a writer is the easy part just because they are so unwilling to be wrong about anything that the possibility of “not recognizing brilliance” must mean that they aren’t brilliant and their own analytical abilities are stymied by their intellect. More importantly, however, was the fact that since they were right, what I thought about myself was wrong. That became very important to me later in life when I got involved in music and the amount of people that would eventually read things I had written rose exponentially with touring and the internet. what i thought about myself was wrong because it wasn't what i knew. If your life, your day to day existence, is driven only by the things you tell yourself you SHOULD believe in order to accomplish something that contradicts your true self, you will starve. there is no 10,000 hour mastery through practice program to make you something you're not, and the longer you ignore yourself to craft an appearance, the quicker you will emotionally, spiritually, creatively and physically starve. Or die. Imagine if R. Kelly literally believed he could fly and tried it? I’m not saying you shouldn’t believe things, -its usually a “hunch” that gives way to greatness- but those faiths probably should not serve as the only foundation for your own, tangible reality and replace inner knowledge completely. Reading back, I remember KNOWING what I wrote was bad but I believed I could convince people otherwise if i just kept the act up. The lyrics to our first demo are embarrassing. they were what i thought i should write about in order to be in an aggressive band and therefore completely distant from me. it would be quite some time until i learned to align myself with what i really wanted to get out of my writing and discover its importance.
the truth is, if you are incapable or unwilling to get in touch with things you know to be true, you will be the dude who is walking a bike with a flat tire down a dirt road wearing a hat that says “I’m the greatest” which I actually saw today and it will be your own fault. You will be the single father of 4 kids and have a demo tape. You will be Scott Stapp. sure, you can tell yourself that you don’t care what others say and you can invoke a new personality to bolster the first which tells it that you ought to be heralded for your pride and vigilance but the energy that goes into such an enormous overhaul of reason is misplaced and now you’re officially a religious zealot. or (in my opinion even worse and infinitely more infuriating to see in action), you will surround yourself with flatterers which guard you against criticism, suspending you in a dream like state indefinitely and insuring that reality no longer applies to you. what’s most maddening about these people is that simply by existing, they not only offend the senses of genuinely good people but they dumbly, inadvertently make “reality” a subjective term, which is a feat that only a genius physicist or philosopher should be capable of, not a fucking Juggalo or a creationist. But honestly, how can you say that someone is “wrong” when thousands upon thousands of people are the same kind of wrong? Creationists ignore LITERAL, ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC PROOF (!!!!) and so many other people agree with them that they truly “believe” they are right. this will always be a problem and since we cannot solve it, we simply must outgrow it.
I am not great at anything I do, so in no way am I trying to be an authority on any subject matter. To a lot of people I am still a terrible writer. but what differs between my terrible writing back then and my terrible writing now is that now i am not plagued by the thought that i should have done something differently when feedback proves negative because i know that the greatest feeling in the world is not being complimented or approved of or rewarded. it is finding that word, whether or not anyone is going to read it.