Be surprised at what kinds of things you can screenplay in your head. We are our own worst narrators.
I left there thinking whole heartedly that I was strong as a bull, storming forward through timbers one hundred feet tall. It wasn’t until later when our minds began to subtitle the projections overhead that I began to realize the magnitude of the forseeable drowning. It was an insurmountable attack that left me staring aimlessly and defeated. I’d realized that my own stories became the deafening hum that kept me paralyzed.
“Certain events, which have actually happened, are horrible, but what is more horrible still is what hasn’t happened, what has never existed.” – Solaris, 1970
Sometimes I sit in my car in front of my apartment watching rain break across the glass. The sound is repairing. I may even get lost in it, where I wonder if people think I’m weird for not removing myself from the immediate. It’s a medication like mental floss. It helps me to un feel things that I’ve known, like removing bandages that have long adhered around bound thighs. If it takes me anywhere away from the backsliding, then I tend to lean into it more.
It’s such a dark writhing of backwards composure. It’s your brain in reverse, then forward, then reverse, then slow motion and subtitled – followed by a sinewy commentary to extrapolate any details you may have overlooked. Just to keep telling your insides that you are wrong again. It’s your own horror performance that you cannot shut off. It’s an art of self sabotage that will chip away at the very hope of you being able to reduce your guard to points where you can at least shield off the hailstorm of things replaying in your head. To find yourself grasping for an intermission, a breath, and a lightning bolt of connection that will undoubtedly sever that assembly line of garbage you are lined up to feed yourself in the moments ahead.
Just please undo, that which is done. Wipe those fingerprints away, and begin to peel it the fuck back. Bleach the stain that lingers behind the eyes that you see when you lay down for the fight at 3am. Rewrite the ending and sew underneath it a hand written note that screams “Don’t worry, I’m here – I’m not far…it’s ok”.
Repair, reprogram, rewrite. Find that better ending that you ultimately deserve, and hold on to it with everything you have. Panic, fear and anxiety – are all only temporary, and you are to drown them as furiously as you can.
“Gaff had been there, and let her live. Four years, he figured. He was wrong. Tyrell had told me Rachael was special. No termination date. I didn’t know how long we had together… Who does?” –Deckard, Blade Runner 1982
Last year my horoscope read : “In 2017 you will achieve things that you have never attained in your life that were absolutely deserving.”
If I don’t land anything bigger this year than I will go ahead and credit tying for 1st place in the “Best Performing Punk Band 2016-17” category at the Austin Music Awards to being just that. Well deserved. Humbling as it is, indeed – I marvel at the fact that we got to say “fuck” about seven times upon receiving the award in front of 3000 people at the Moody Theatre that houses Austin City Limits Live during SXSW.
I’ve spent 30 years playing music, discarding to the wayside what most take for granted as a “normal personal life”, playing literally hundreds of shows in 18 months at a time, traveling across Texas and beyond crammed into a van that you hope makes it home at 5am so you can get ‘real rest’. To those stormy times when you had to use your last bit of energy to keep your knees from buckling on stage while finishing the last 3 songs when your body was well done and exhausted, well 4 songs ago. You just do it. You fight as much as you can, relentless as you can. You hold on to every one that supports you, to the fans, to your many brother and sister bands, to your merch team / band member wranglers, to the close personal people you love that weather out ‘the missing you’ when you are afar, when inside you know that you wish that you could ‘just be nearer’.
It’s those liner notes that no one gets to read, the names that people skip past and the faces that blur into the crowded dark venues that make you understand the blood and grit first hand at how taxing all this can be. I’ve sat kneeling, breathing heavily, sweating, counting how many times I have to ring myself in the head to just revel that this is what I am wired to do.
And thankful yes. Honored yes. Knowing that I may never see something like this in my life again, yes. When the party is over, and the doors are locked down, something has to matter in your head – and I am glad that occasionally the ‘fire’ of the fight is recognized, because it fucking damn well should be.
Thanks again Austin.
Some people are better at hiding the disasters, and some wear them like a story across their forehead. You would be surprised at how you will come to know the looks and the mental flinching of personalities when someone has went through any sort of trauma in relationships. Which in actuality, pretty much covers all of us in the functioning world. We all handle it differently on layers and levels, depending on how an individual is wired. I tend to be like a sponge and absorb things very fast, so much that they leave long-lasting fingerprints that never really shave away completely. I know some minds that don’t even shudder around anyone, ever. I wonder if people like that are more like monsters on the inside, somehow staving off the ability to show empathy about anything except for what is the “absolute now”. Some carry it more everyday and some slide out from underneath it all.
I have definitely had struggles with letting things go. I can, and have had unsettled emotions in the past for months and for even years. Love, hate and discord all play and string together more than anyone would think. There has always been this dance that they do. It’s a process, there is grieving and all that – we all know. It’s the cookie mix in the bowl that you cannot ever seem to get all out, but eventually you end up washing whats left away. It’s inevitable, it’s sad, and it feels like too much wasted time. But when it arrives, like an insect that lights on the back of your neck – it delivers the utter and most profound, loud impacted detachment on the human psyche that I know. The art of simply not caring anymore. When it finally ceases to haunt you, it unhooks from your conscious and then and only then are we able to close the chapters. And maybe this time you have to be the monster. Anger is the tool that can fan the flames and eventually snuff them out.
You have to fight in the end to reel back what they took, and use it to rebuild and reprogram things that were lost. It’s always a fight. You will struggle to regain it. And anyone that tells you differently, has not fought enough of those battles. Yet.
A: Dear snake, I ask why that you would hurt me?
S: I will never hurt you. I am always beside you. I offer everything comforting, and loving. I care unconditionally about being close to you always.
A: I don’t exactly feel safe with you. But I know that you care. I will be ok with that.
S: *bite *swallow *leave
A: Why did you bite me, and leave marks that will never go away? Why did you swallow and devour the things that I thought were sacred within our minds? Why did you hide so far away when I needed you the most?
S: I’m a snake.
I don’t even rally in the thoughts of storms and flailing nights too much as I have done in the past. I get closer to most things by launching myself through them rather than around or over them. I’d rather feel the intensity of the falling, knowing that the catch is worth ten fold the ringing of the landing.
The heat and flicker on the lips that causes that flutter, it’s very hard to walk away from every time. It’s rush, roars loud as water forcefully does up against a clouded pane. It pins me and pushes me, and I like that. People need that.
Distance is just a digit. I can sit across from someone and fail to notice an insect on their face but then finely feel the flutters of a heart 200 miles away. Intimacy is the fuel that continually revs that connection.
“I wanted to freeze time. I wanted to savor that moment, to live in that moment for a week. But I couldn’t stop it, only slow it. And before I knew it, she was gone. After the door closed I felt like the last person on Earth.” – Cashback, 2006
There is a curve along your waist and hip that is probably one of my favorite places to rest my palm. It’s cool and smooth and something I always think about when I wake up.
The temperature of rain, the surprise when it hits your face. Streaming across ringlets of hair. Wind wrapping around necks and shoulders, I like that smell it leaves. I like the cold and uncomfortable, and being able to find things warm. I miss you. Maybe I say that too much but It’s ok.
It’s fast. The time between holding on to things as tight as I can, and then waking up to get bagels. The smell of coffee, and clouded jabber in the background and the crinkling of pastry papers. Like wood burning. Familiar but not familiar. I stumbled in my head, I grabbed on to your hand and looked down at worn denim jeans. The air that stops right in the center of a pinhole camera lens photo – that’s the part that matters and that’s where I want to be.
2017 I will let you whisper horrible things, but I’m getting better at wiring those things to street lights as I drive past.
“Your problem is that you’re not happy being sad. But that’s what love is, Cosmo. Happy sad.” – Raphina, Sing Street