These last two weeks or so have been so overwhelming I’ve been without ability to write. My mind has been burdened by the struggle of everyday life. This post was my mind’s desire to write being honored briefly before I seek the rest I must truly need. I’m drunk enough to write but not drunk enough to want to do so.
It stands to be said again, it’s amazing how time flies. Never enough hours in the day. Somehow I still manage to not work in the things that I want to do. Wah wah. I was just having a conversation with my grandpa who was commenting on the new job I’m starting tomorrow – unloading trucks on the midnight shift – and how hard it would be. Actually what he said was “I hope they work the hell out of you,” but point is the same. I laughed. “You do realize I go to a special place where I pay people money, money that I earned at another job that required physical labor, to go into a big room and pick up and put down heavy, cumbersome objects, right? For recreation.” Maybe conspiracy theorists should look into the sudden boom of fitness trends and their widespread appeal. Convincing the work horses and mules to stay strong, preparing their backs to shoulder the burden of the death of the middle class resulting in their labor camp style existence while the rich stare down at them from their plush high rise condominiums.
Hell, that whole scenario could potentially be hastened by the election of the Queen Loompa. Donald Trump looks like the distended underbelly of the hairy mammal that lays the eggs the Oompa Loompas hatch from. Clearly the hair is the actual animal and the reason he comes across as insane is because we’re hearing the rumblings of a pregnant gut and drawing our own meanings the same way people that play records from The Carpenters backwards claim to hear Satan commanding them to make lots of sandwiches but never eat them, instead giving them to Mama Cass.
“Wherever You May Go” or whatever it is called, by The Calling is going to get a rewrite.
How much wood
chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood…
I’m going to be rich.
Sometimes I take for granted how much we accept certain things as part of society without ever really thinking about them. Even things as simple as the way we say hello are practiced traditions…but never mind those kinds of boring things, we’re talking sex type stuff here. I met a woman tonight that through the course of conversation revealed that she doesn’t believe in sharing food. This, of course, is not really unusual. Lots of people don’t share food and for a variety of reasons. I don’t typically share off of my own plate, not because of any phobia or anything of that nature, it’s just that I put the food on my plate that I want to eat and I have every intention of doing just that (dammit, I’m hungry). This woman didn’t believe in sharing food because she didn’t want anyone else’s saliva in her mouth. That too shouldn’t ring any bells on its own, but it quickly ran the natural course that it must: “I don’t kiss no one, that shit is nasty.”
This was not a teenager. This was a fully grown, adult sized person that had managed to live a full life, have a child, etc. but did not believe in kissing because they did not want to share saliva or germs with someone even if they loved that person…but she would blow a dude for fun. WHAAAAaaaaaat?! Mouth – nasty; sweaty dick and balls – awesome. I know what you’re thinking: why question this logic? This sounds like a career oriented professional that knows which end the money comes out of and what kind of person would I be to sway a person from their chosen endeavors? A shitty one, that’s what kind. But my mind couldn’t let this go for two reasons. The first reason is the simple one; who doesn’t kiss? I’ve known some people that were never really into full-on dog loose in the litter box style making out, but they still kissed their spouse or children, I’ve never seen anyone turn it down on principle but still choose to take a mouth full trouser snake in underwear sauce. But then I really pondered it for a bit. The human mouth contains anywhere from 500-1000 different types of bacteria. Many diseases are saliva borne (mono, strep, herpes, etc.). Maybe it wasn’t so unusual. I mean, let’s consider our mouths are a constant high traffic area both inhaling and exhaling the air and every chemical floating around, as well as being the grinder portion of our human “food to shit” processing system. This gives way to all kinds of new gross things that could be lurking behind every tooth, waiting to jump out and make its way on that pulsing pink muscle attached to our lower mandible into our mouths and infect us with its bacterial or viral neutron bomb of doom. And in that same thought process, our genitals are fairly sheltered from the outside world. The majority of their exposure to the elements outside of our body is being housed in some protective cotton, only subject to the occasional sulfur wind that’s been known to blow from the south and some ocean spray from beneath the surface. Maybe it is cleaner after all.
Staggering. The thought kind of spun me for a minute – until I realized that’s ridiculous cause most of our food is at some level just as gross. Besides, I’ve seen people do far more disgusting things than kiss. But the second reason I couldn’t let it go was that I couldn’t stop imagining trying to replace this kiss with some other sort of act that follows this kind of thinking. Imagine a blowjob in place of every kiss. Goodbye blowjobs? Awesome. Might be awkward to say “hello” in places like Italy. Goodnight blowjobs. I think this paragraph has taken me longer to type than any I’ve ever attempted – that’s how long I played this scenario out in my mind.
It’s pretty amazing to me that we do just accept kissing with our filthy mouths as acceptable, but just consider the alternative. Floppy dong sweat in your mouth just to tell someone you care. For the love of God, people, just no. Kiss.
When I started this blog it was mainly going to be about the traveling I do, often on a shoestring budget and almost exclusively without a plan of where to go or what to do. In the same fashion, this blog has taken new directions as well. I think the plan at this point is to use it to continue working ideas out loud so the theme may change to be more of stream of consciousness style free-form rambling mish-mash of everything that wanders through my brain. Anyone that sticks around to read, welcome and thanks.
I’ve been listening to The Life of Pablo by Kanye West for the last two days. I’ll admit this up front, I’m a fan of Kanye West. I have not loved every album, but I have admired his desire to continue trying new things in his music, life, and expression. I can also admit that some of these directions have been missteps and some may have been misunderstood. But moving on, as soon as the intro to “Ultralight Beam” ends and the music hits, I realized my initial listen on a Sunday morning was appropriate – I was being taken to church.
The album is a spiritual experience. I don’t say this because that’s what the songs are about but the larger context which I feel goes largely ignored when speaking of Mr. West’s work. The lyrics seem to speak directly as if listeners are actually more than just strangers that clamor for the latest beats, but friends or at least casual acquaintances. There seems to be a lingering honesty in the lyrics even when they seem to touch on those aspects of his personality or the lifestyle we assume he leads (or see him purveying on television or in the media). Certain songs seem to have him struggling with concepts that any individual listening may relate to while others are more topical and provide for a good time.
So what’s the point of me telling you this? Because it seems sometimes as if people forget (due to his antics) that Kanye West may actually be the genius he describes himself to be. I can actually hear your eyes rolling after reading that statement. Hear me out, though. There is at least one song on each album that overflows with genuine emotion, social commentary, or a mix of the two. There are typically multiple songs on an album that appeal to a larger demographic, the escapists yearning to dance and whatever the current slang for partying is today. And, most importantly, he seems to flow back and forth between the two with seemingly little to no effort whatsoever. When this quality has been noticed in other musicians it has been questioned but typically is only praised. In an interview featured in Rolling Stone in the early 2000’s as System of a Down was rising in popularity, Serj Tankian (lead singer) was asked about the political nature of some songs and the seemingly silly nature of others in the scope of the band being considered a “political band” a la Rage Against the Machine. While I cannot remember the quote verbatim, essentially he used a metaphor along the lines of “if I have a lampshade, one side is written ‘Fuck the President’ and the other side says ‘I like turtles’, is it a political lampshade or is it not?” The answer is, it’s both, and like anyone, there are different layers and aspects to us as people and I would say that is magnified in the case of an artist. Through his music, Kanye West seems to communicate most clearly (maybe the ability to have more than 140 characters helps?).
Wait, that didn’t prove he’s a genius? Correct, and I’m not aiming to prove he is, just that he might be. So what of his actions outside of music? Proclaimed genius, “unusual” fashion decisions, outbursts of anger or apparent irrationality…these seem to be hallmarks of all great creators. I’m not saying Kanye West will make discoveries in quantum physics, I’m saying he has attained a level of mastery of a craft that only genius and dedication would have allowed him to attain. He should believe that he’s a genius. He should always think his work is the most important thing. Why? Because if he didn’t believe it, would you even bother to care at all? You might listen just to tell him he’s wrong, but you still listened. And whether you admit it or not, that was his goal all along.
Checkmate, Kanye wins.
Most days I’ll find myself walking just to say I moved my feet. Everyone should leave their cave if only to survey the surroundings. All too often I conduct these mundane activities with music bearing plugs smashed deep into my ears preventing any thing out of my eye line to draw my attention. I do this because the walks with music allow me to insulate my brain and stay focused on whatever task I may have it doing, even if that task is simply to meander aimlessly. Tonight’s walk reminded me why it’s important to change that up sometimes too.
About twenty minutes into my walk tonight my phone died. As a side note, how does a phone go from 11% battery to dead by unlocking it? I think I’ve missed something. Anyway, with no music I noticed how deathly silent the neighborhood I walked through truly was after 7 PM on a Sunday evening. Homes were barely lit, no one outside despite the beautiful weather…until I turned onto a street heading back towards my house.
In the distance I heard a familiar sound. So familiar that even as I approached and didn’t know the people I saw standing in the driveway, their voices sounded like they were playing directly from my memory.
“You’re a motherfucker. Hateful son of a bitch. I can’t believe you’re gonna be so hateful to me.”
“Fuck you, bitch. Get the fuck away from me.”
“You two need to leave.”
“Fuck you, you piece of SHIT. You’re a goddamned piece of fucking shit. You ain’t shit. Fuck you. Give me my motherfuckin’ keys.” (though I doubt he would have included the apostrophe at the end of “motherfuckin”).
I know that stopping a house away where I could still listen was me being nosy, but I couldn’t turn away from the scene. Without knowing anything about these people aside from the fact they were yelling in the driveway, I felt like I knew exactly what was going on. I’ve witnessed these conversations so many times that I can hear the alcohol saturating the words even when they’re not slurred. I wondered how many drinks it had taken for this conversation to happen tonight. The more they talked the more of their situation had become clear, an afternoon of drinking with friends and family had led to a disagreement between brothers which turned physical to some degree but from this point I can only fill in the pieces from experience – which I imagine something like this:
History of issues played factor in emotional reaction to incident. Altered perception of event and peer reaction to incident makes “Greg” defensive. Greg, frustrated by the situation can only choose between the two most basic reactions, fight and flight. Feeling as if everyone has sided against him he leans towards flight but alas, he has no keys, he didn’t drive there today, his girlfriend did. Anger couples with pride and now that he has announced his decision to leave on his own he can no longer accept the offered taxi, or ride home with his girlfriend, who by not supporting him completely in his irrationality has, in his mind, taken sides against him.
I floated back and forth through the ether to different moments in my life as if I were but a spectator and had not actually participated in them myself. I heard my dad’s voice. I could feel the pungent sweet stench of the alcohol dripping from his breath as his breath washed over my face, nose to nose, as he threatened to “whoop my ass.” I saw other nights where I was much younger and listened to him get drunk and repeat stories over and over, each time his gaze becoming more and more hollow as he stared no longer into my eyes but through them. I could feel his hands on my arms as he decided physical contact was now necessary, but it always felt threatening, and I suppose with good reason. These moments that I became, as Vonnegut would say, “unstuck in time” felt as if they lasted forever, but quickly I passed through them and my journey in time twisted into another direction and the voice I was hearing deliver those words was no longer my father’s. It was not an uncle, or a grandfather, or even a close friend, it was mine. I watched myself storm out of parties and punch walls. I watched as my eyes hollowed and I became physical. I watched the terror in her eyes as I screamed. The room was small and I was too big for her to pass and get out of the door. My words hung in the air briefly and crashed to the ground, too incoherent to be strung along into recognizable patterns, they entered the night air and scattered like vapor. Drunk and confused, angry, terrified, and lonely. My full moon was available for purchase almost anywhere and I would turn into this monster so frequently that it may have been more of who I was than I would like to admit.
With my mind becoming aware again of the present, the situation seemed to be hitting the wind down stage. With enough time, his energy had now burned up and though his bravado continued in language to try and maintain his pride, he was now beginning to realize the situation was only going to end with him leaving regardless of the circumstances and he left more quietly than he had originally announced.
I, too, left the night air much quieter than I had entered it.
So much time has passed since I’ve been able to make an entry. Here’s my plan for the next few entries:
The Life of Pablo / Kanye West
Why I Can’t Sleep at Night
How hard it is to write 5 min of comedy
There have been quite a few changes around here keeping me from exercising my typing fingers, including much proofreading for other blogs and projects. If anyone needs someone to proofread or edit, feel free to contact me.
More info tonight.