For my homie!

I have been trying to write something for a very long time. It‘s been nearly a year since I was blogging regularly. This is no one’s fault but my own. I had the time and the means, but I felt I had nothing to say. I had things I wanted to say, I tried to write them down both on paper and on the keyboard. I have notebooks filled with notes and have started essay’s on whatever was happening in the news at the time. None of it feels like it means anything. The internet has become so filled with people voicing their opinion about everything that it felt pointless to add to the cacophony. This past year for me has been so filled with varied emotions and realizations that I could not possibly try to recap them all. With each passing day that I remained silent to the world at large, the more what I felt a few months ago seemed irrelevant. When last I hit the publish button on one of my many blogs I was in the midst of a terrible (for me) break-up and wallowing so deep in self pity and hopelessness that I thought I would drown before I ever reached a safe shore. Once I washed up on beach in Atlanta it took me a while to dry out before I dive head first back into the ocean. I drank most of the last year away. On top of that I compiled a number of drugs and tied myself to a world I had already left behind even more than I was when I escaped the third time.

There comes a point after you end a relationship with someone where you realize the person you were once so hopelessly in love with is no longer there. You realize that they have changed. And you can blame them and be angry with them for changing or you can ask yourself why you haven’t changed, or more importantly if you have changed that they were the one was false. It was. It is based on a lie. The lie that there is someone out there for everyone and that there is a twin human soul we are all per-destined to be with. There is no such thing because destiny is a lie. It is a control technique meant to keep one from exceeding ones potential and binds one to servitude of some mythical higher power. There is no power higher than that of the human imagination. It is bound only by the wielder. The collective unconsciousness of man has driven us this far. When you cease to believe that you can accomplish anything you want is when you lose.

I hate when people talk about winning and losing in life though. As if life is some game to be won or lost. I mean seriously what are the prizes. If you believe in an afterlife how that is a greater consolation than the life you have. Perhaps you should strive to make the life you are living more suitable to you so you aren’t stressed out to reach the great beyond, and you aren’t stressing me out with your nonsensical belief system. Not that I am denying the afterlife I simply do not feel there is enough evidence to support a blind faith in something that is plausibly intangible or definable. There is no grand unify consensus on what said after life is going to be like even by those who believe in it. This is not Atheism mind you but an astute skepticism. God and Heaven could very well be more real than me, but I have no proof, not enough and substantiating enough to bring me to that conclusion. It is my experience and my first hand knowledge that when you are dead you are dead.

Death has swirled around my head for the better part of a year. T100MEDIA_IMAG0235oday is the one year anniversary of the passing of one of my closest friends. If you look back to my last post his is the second comment. His name was Matthew Guin and he was like a brother-no he was my brother. We lived together during 2006, before I moved away to St. Louis. We had been friends for a few years before and had more adventures than you’d believe, but that year we tested everything we knew about each other. Living with someone is sometimes the greatest test of a friendship. That’s double-y true if both of you are alcoholic monsters tearing through your youth with no regard for tomorrow. For the first time in years I became the responsible one, I became the voice of reason when things got way out of hand. Things got way out of hand a lot. We fought, physically and verbally quite a bit. Yet we came out of it with a bond and brother hood that was stronger than before.

The first time I was introduced to Lil’ Matt, I was living in New York with my cousin. I had gone up chasing the memory of a girl that wasn’t there when I got there. A mutual friend and former lover in Atlanta had met him and decided that he was (in attitude) the spitting image of me when I was 17. He was 17 and from the middle of nowhere, loud, crazy and out of control. She put us on the phone together and I instantly knew she was right. We talked for about an hour and when my time in New York was through and I came to Atlanta to be with her, I finally met the kid who was me if I were white and born in Georgia. We became joined at the hip for little while, but after I became better acquainted with the city I stated going to places he wasn’t old enough to get in, and he started doing things I would never do. We still partied together when we could but bars have a special place in my heart. I work in them, I drink in them, and I live in them. The thing he was doing was also having a bad effect on him. And it was driving a wedge between us. It came to a head one night when he overdosed in my bathroom after he was supposed to be cleaning up his act. I broke down my bathroom door and gave him CPR. At his wake his parents thanked me for giving them ten more years with their son, but I always wished I could have done more.

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After several ups and downs and struggles to break free of his demons he fought his way back and when I needed a roommate in 2006 he took me up and the adventure truly began. We both had our demons then but it was a common one that came in a bottle you could buy at the store. We drank so much we decided to forgo heat rather than booze that winter. I could tell stories of that time for the rest of my life and probably will, but I won’t publish them here in case his parents see this. Through it all though we were always there for each other, no matter what I did what I could for him when I could, getting him work and making sure he had smokes and money. But together we were just too out of control. When I saw an opportunity to escape with my life I took it. I went away and toned down my drinking a little. I look back on that year as the last great hoo-rah before I crossed over into my 30s and I credit him with helping me grow up a little. When you hold a mirror image of yourself up to yourself like that it makes you realize a thing or two about your own actions. After I left he stumbled a bit had a few accidents and joined the Army. The Anarchist in me wept, I felt I failed him worse than ever, but he needed discipline in his life and he wasn’t going to find it on his own like I did. He needed guidance I couldn’t give him half way across the country.

After a few years I found my way back to Atlanta and he had found himself in Tennessee. He had reached out to me when I was in California in 2011. He wanted to come with me to L.A. where I was going to spend the summer. I had already booked a room in apartment with these kids I never met before and I didn’t have the money to support us both. I wasn’t even supporting myself after a few weeks. I couldn’t help him and that haunts me to this day. In the end though it seemed to have worked out, he had found a girl with two kids and started to become a father to them. He was working steady and even got a great gig at a Nissan plant. Things seemed to be turning around for the kid, although he stumbled occasionally, he held it together for the most part. In the end though it wasn’t his demons that finally caught up with him, it was a freak accident. He had left work not feeling well, and no one knows what happened but his car careened off the side of a mountain and in the wee hours of May 2nd 2013 he left us. I couldn’t think straight for months afterwards. I threw myself in to drugs and alcohol and the arms of a horrible woman who was spiraling out on her own pain. The summer was a mess and I looked like hell through all of it. As the summer ended I tried to break free, but I just changed one bad decision for another. I ended the year with an arrest and a whole set of headaches. By the New Year I had begun to piece things back together but I wasn’t ready yet to sit down and write about the loss of my little brother. Even as I type this I can’t stop crying.

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I have dealt with loss before. My mother died when I was 14, my grandmother who raised me passed away when I was 22. I lost an aunt to breast cancer when I was twelve and a cousin to a lunatic when I was just six. I have lost friends to suicide, murder, and a fascist police state. I am no stranger to death. The girl, who lived in the room I stay in right now, blew her brains out in front of another one of my friends just a month before Matt passed. As you get older you realize the price of aging is that you have to bear witness to others who weren’t so lucky. It’s heartbreaking and difficult and sometimes it feels like you can’t move on, like you shouldn’t move on. Why do I get to stay here while others who aren’t nearly half as evil as me get taken away? Taken away from their friends and families and loved ones. Leaving behind a giant hole where their heart should be. I’ve driven myself insane over the last year with these thoughts. I smile on the outside and try to have a good time. I know my lil’ homie wouldn’t want it that way. I know he’d say I need to buck up and rock out in celebration of the life that he had. I also know that if I was gone and he was here he’d probably go a little crazier himself.

I’m trying man, but it’s hard to think about the ways I could have done more to save this kid who was so like me. Yet I couldn’t save myself. There are things I wanted to do with my life and I haven’t really done them. I’ve found excuses as to why but never a reason. I failed myself long before I failed him and I know my life isn’t over but, sometimes it feels as though it is. I’m closing in on 40 now. I was 24 when I first talked to him on the phone in New York. That’s a lot of time wasted not doing what I want. That’s a lot of years spent tossing back bottles and tripping through nights and days rather than working to have something more than just a few good stories that no one can tell.

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Happy New Year (nine days late)

Well, it’s 2013! I know this is a much belated Happy New Years post. I have tried three times to write a post celebrating the New Year. I couldn’t bring myself to post any of them, they all just came out as more of the sad, pathetic, woe-is-me, post that I have been making throughout 2012. I can no longer do that. Personal post aren’t bad, they just aren’t what I started this blog out to be. Opinions, news, a log of my travels and adventures-yes! Whining, bitching, moaning,-no! It’s time to get up and quit belly-aching. move on with my life and do something with what ever years I have left on this Earth.

I know what I want to do, I just have to figure out how to do it. I want to be a writer. I know I’m 35, with no training or experience, only a high school diploma and 20 years worth of stories. There is a lot of stuff going on in this world and much more important things happening than my broken heart and disillusionment. Number one thing on my list of things to do for 2013 is to finish a story. I looked back on my writing and realized I can’t write an ending to save my life.Well I am going to have to if I want to save my life. 2013 is the year where I have to get published, be it self publishing on Amazon, or Scribd.com, or by any other means, I must get my work out there. Get over my fear of being judged, my fear of not being as good as I am in my head. I have to but my old life behind me. If I want to live in California by the sea I will have to do it on my own. The way I have lived for the last 20 years is over. It was an unsustainable short-term vision. I never thought I would make it this long, but I have, and if I died tomorrow I would like to leave behind a body of work that was readable.

So that’s it that’s my New Year’s resolution. Write, write,write, and publish! Thee Monkee Armada Word is closing in on 100,000 page views. That’s not enough for a blog that has been around as long as this one has. I want to change that. I want more eyes on my words. I don’t have anything lined up right now, but I will soon, and things are going to change!

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Ghost of Christmas Past/ Coming out of my cocoon

The night was wrapped up in music, all the old hits from the 1990s; from a time long ago when the world was still new and exciting to us. We were young and not yet beaten down and worn out. It was everywhere we went that night. Faith No More plays followed by Weezer, then Eminem. No Doubt belts out and into Beastie Boys, sprinkle in some Fugazi, and Sunny Day Real Estate. The whole catalogue of hits we once thought of as alternative but a soundtrack to a whole generation. There was even a little Cure thrown in. Everyone was smiling, dancing, drunk. I wasn’t but the mushrooms I had eaten would have canceled out anything I drank. I kept a beer in my hand to maintain appearances, and I watched her. I remembered the old days when we were new and still smiled at each other. It was years before New York or any of the other bad stuff. We’re not too far from Lyndhurst, our old house. We didn’t live there long, about six months, I wouldn’t let us. I was spiraling out of control then. I’m spiraling out of control now, but in a different direction. Back then I was struggling with the death of my grandmother and a looming prison sentence. A lot of other things were happening as well, mistakes were made, and monsters came out of shadows. It’s hard to explain without giving all the details away and some stories aren’t just mine to tell.

She had given me the mushrooms earlier, when I ran into her downtown. I hadn’t run into her by accident, I had heard rumors, I was expecting her. We talked a little at first, caught up on what we had been up to in the years since we had last seen each other (when I was last spiraling). Funny how that shit works out. I still tear up a little when I first see her but I fight back the tears and squeeze out a chuckle or two. She ask what I’m doing here I answer “being a ghost”. It’s how I felt, a bizarre apparition from the past. Ghost of Christmas past come back to haunt everyone’s dreams for a weekend. I really came for my little sister’s college graduation. I had spent all day with my family, more time than I had spent around blood relatives in close to six years. It had only been three since I was last home, but that was just a brief pop in for Christmas dinner then back on the road. I spent most of that time outside smoking and drinking than inside with my sisters. I avoid holidays like the plague; too many ghosts for me to deal with. Now I had become the ghost. I could see it on all their faces when they saw me. Most people walked by first and then once my facial features registered in their brain there was shock, then disbelief. Of course I egged it on keeping my hood pulled over my head and my brow down. Funny thing about being a ghost is that some people are happy to see you, while others not so much.

The night before I had wandered around the old stomping grounds, and ran into a few old faces that were more than happy to see me, greeting me with open arms and wide smiles. Other’s treat me with a cold “oh it’s you”, look. I even had someone tell me that I while I may have known them I don’t know them anymore. It didn’t bother me, it was true, but there were definite lines being drawn. Maybe it was the mood I was in but this night felt different. I was I already in a weird other head space before the mushrooms. I had gotten stoned a couple of my cousins at another club downtown. A brightly lit place that played that thumping music kids in Jersey pump their fist to. I was too in my own head for that. I needed good old rock and or roll, and the solace of shadows to comfort me. It was more than just the feeling of having been away for so long, or the glaring fact all weekend that I had truly gotten old. No this was more. I was coming to the end of this, the end of the person that I have been for the last twenty years. I have been trapped in a cocoon of time. The hour for me to emerge from chrysalis had come. I have been feeling that way for awhile. Like, I needed to change more than my address and my underwear. I can’t keep living in the past glory of my youth. Was it even that glorious? Things work out the way they do for a reason, after 24 hours of dealing with family that I hadn’t seen in forever, best friends I hardly talk to any more and old lovers who didn’t love me anymore. I found myself tripping surrounded by 90s alternative jams in a house full of people who passed through my life just as I was becoming this monster I grew into. Much like the 1990s themselves the irony wasn’t lost on me.

I haven’t been conflicted about making a change in my life. I am currently jobless, penniless, and hopeless in Atlanta. I have burned so many bridges in the last six months I might as well start building a canoe. No, my confliction comes in what exactly am I to become next. Who am I to become? I am not totally unhappy with myself, just more or less where I am in my life. Alone, dejected, scrounging around on rock bottom. I feel old and feeble, and when I look back at my life I see far more mistakes than successes. That is not a good feeling. It’s no longer just because my last relationship didn’t work out the way I planned, or my job didn’t pan out, it’s not because I can’t get laid, I don’t even want to anymore. No this is something else. I have no idea what I want to do with the next half of my life. I have no direction, no focus. I don’t feel particularly driven to do anything either and that is an even bigger problem. All weekend I heard from family members and friends alike that I should go to school. School would have been a good idea a few years ago, maybe ten twenty years ago. But now I was too old. It’s not that colleges all over the world aren’t filled with people older than me; I just don’t want to be that guy. Besides I can’t afford it and unlike other normal people I can’t get government loans. I never signed the piece of paper that say’s the government can draft me in to some bullshit war, so therefore I do not qualify for student loans from the government. I can’t get loans from banks because I’ve never owned anything-anything at all. I have never had a car, a house, or scarcely more than can fit into a suitcase for the last year. I’m a ghost on paper as well, invisible, insignificant.

There’s also my inability to take proper criticism from anyone I haven’t placed my penis inside of. I don’t like being judged, or graded, or told what to do. Sure that attitude hasn’t gotten me very far, but avoiding people like that is one thing, paying an exuberant amount of money for some snot nosed professor who would most likely be in my age group tell me anything. It wouldn’t be long before I found myself in prison again. And murder beefs mean state farms and I don’t like those. If I’m ever catching another charge it’s going to be a federal case so I can get the nice bath robes again. I don’t have a clue what I want out of this life, because everything I thought I wanted I had and it all slipped through my fingers, I was unable to grasp the brass ring. Failure is for some an inspiration to excel and try harder to do better, but I don’t fail very often and I never try to do anything. I simply do whatever I want and most times it’s worked out for me, but lately it seems the stars are not aligned in my favor. I never set any goals for myself, it eliminated the possibility of failure (or so I thought). I know it’s time for me to change; this way hasn’t been working for me for some time. Did it ever work? I was standing there on Trade Street (where I had stood so many times before), tripping staring into the eyes of loves gone past, and time not forgotten. I was scared I was terrified, what would become of me I asked. Still no answer came.

It was time for me to come out of the cocoon. I have been trapped by my past, by all the things I had done, not done, wanted to do, didn’t want to do. The shadow of loved ones living and dead loomed over me for so long. I am tired of the weight. How do I get from under it? Do I take off and go somewhere no one knows me? That seems like running to me and I’ve done enough of that. There’s no job or career I can have that would make me happy. I loathe work in itself, unless I can find someone to pay me for typing these words I don’t want to write what some editor tells me to write. I may not know what I want yet, but I know what I don’t want and that’s a start. The thing about being a little ghost is that you’re trapped between the land of the living and the land of the dead. I looked out into the street and for a minute I thought about stepping into traffic and joining the real ghost, but then I looked back at my brother who was sitting in front of the bar with his shoe of picking a blistered scab on his foot as if he wasn’t even in public. I decided against it.

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How can I write when I can’t live?

I have been writing a story about what turns a person into a killer. Not through some immediate and life altering event, but by tiny little forks in the road. I want to show how it happens slowly over time, a lifetime of missed chances, poor choices, and perceived slights (real or imaginary). I want to also show how the character (who has no name) is given opportunities at each turn to be a better person, or follow a different path. Yet it is the decisions he makes that lead him to becoming a monster. I don’t want to ignore the characters killings, I want to hint at them show them in news clips and headlines. This is not about the hero’s journey-this is the villain’s journey. There are no excuses for this man, there is no sympathy gained, in fact you should be by the end of it, convinced that had he chosen to do things different he could have but he chose to go down the road from shy pre-adolescent kid, to adulthood made decisions that led him to become a monster.

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I also have a story of a man who has study mystic arts for centuries, through alchemy, science, and sorcery he has become an immortal being who can travel through dimensions of both time and space. He is what Dr. Strange and Dr. Fate have always wanted to be. He is a member of a group of mystics who seek through by means to travel between higher and higher dimensions. They hold the secrets to the universe. And while or main character was once one of them he is now an outcast for a past transgression that remains a mystery. He is persuaded through dimensions both higher and lower than our own, and sometimes our own by a group of fellow travelers. His only ally is a woman whom he gave the secret of immortality to. He encounters her through-out time and across worlds. At times he can trust her at other times he cannot. This leads him eventually to the highest dimension where he becomes something else entirely.

These are but two of dozens of stories that I have been writing. In my head of course, for some reason I have found it difficult to use my hands. I am getting too old for this; I have to force myself to write if I ever want anyone to pay me to do it. I can no longer continue to get up and work some shit job for no pay and neglect what it is I want to do in real life. I just feel like I have nothing new to say, and I feel lie I have no reason to say anything. I have utterly failed in this life. I have not accomplished anything other making an as out of myself. I can’t hold down a job, or maintain a relationship with another human being. I’ve made a mess out of everything I touch and wallowing in despair seems to be the only thing I’m good at. I want to tell stories but what right do have. I don’t want to entertain people or make them happy I just want a job that doesn’t require me to put on pants or leave the house. I haven’t left the house in two days other than to go around the corner and by some smokes as it is. How can I follow through with writing a great story when I can’t follow through with a mediocre life.

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Post-Thanksgiving Blues

It’s the day after Thanksgiving (US), I’m sitting alone with $4.29 to my name wondering where my next pack of cigarettes is coming from. For Thanksgiving I ate a can of potted meat ($1.09), two mini-bags of Cool Ranch Doritos (2/$1.00), and drank a six pack of Yuengling ($5.79), while my two roommates slept until 6:30 (nothing unusual there). I haven’t written anything in while because I have nothing good to say-that’s not true-I still have nothing good to say, but I needed to write this down anyway. I would like to leave this period of my life undocumented, but I can’t it’s going to stay with me for a while. I just didn’t want this blog to become one long train of depression. I wanted to wait until I had something more positive to say. But that doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon. These days seem to be all depression, even the good times end in darkness. I’m angry all the time and I can’t seem to get happy. Can you blame me. Last Thanksgiving I was living in San Francisco fixing Cornish game hens. Life was good (for me), a year later it’s potted meat and stale chips.

October was my birthday month. I turned 35 (if you’re keeping track). I had some fun got wasted (a lot), saw the Afghan Whigs for the first time in 15 years. I also alienated a number of my friends, and pissed a ton of people off. I isolated myself and even discovered some new friends to quickly push away. I haven’t been happy about moving back to Atlanta and I haven’t been quite about it either. I’m upset, and want my old life back, even though I know it’s not coming back and that makes me even more angry. I’m spiraling out of control in a whirlwind of violence that can only end with me dead or in jail somewhere. I don’t give a fuck, and not in a cute punk rock kind of way. I simply do not care any more. I feel like I have been through too much in my life to walk down this road again. I was eating potted meat for Thanksgiving n 1998. Why in the fuck am I doing this again? How in the hell did I end up here again? I’m too old for this.

Ten years ago I was living in New York City. I was 25 and everything was wild and wonderful. I had spent the previous year in a Federal prison of the side of a mountain I Ohio so in large part I was just happy to be free. I was turning 25 and unsure as to the direction my life was going to take. I had chased a girl that had stopped loving me long before my bus pulled into the Greyhound Station. I had my ups and downs with her and by October we were going our separate ways. I remember it was cold a lot, and I drank more to keep myself warm. I had made a few friends and found a few bars that treated me well. Thanks to two bartenders at a bar modeled after the milk bar in A Clockwork Orange (my favorite movie of all time no less),  they even put me up on the bar and had the entire place sing happy birthday to me afterwards. I got the Anarchy symbol tattooed on my left arm for my birthday. I spent the month intoxicated and having the time of my life around the capital of the world. By Thanksgiving I was losing it again. I didn’t go home with my cousin and set in the dark playing Grand Theft Auto 3.

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I haven’t enjoyed the holiday season since my mother died in 93, I tried to fake it but after my Grandmother passed in 2000 I kind of gave up. I’ve had no real interest in family gatherings because all I see is the empty hole where my Nanny used to be. I avoid them as much as I can in fear of breaking out in tears. Crying in front of people is not something I like to do instead I pour booze on the wound and sit alone in the dark.  I was told recently that I have nothing to offer, I bring nothing to the table. This is true I feel no need to bring anything. Why does it matter? You’re all just going to leave or die, or fade away for whatever reason. I don’t want to get emotionally invested in another human being. I just spent the last six years of my life with someone who told me they loved me but found it just as easy to discard me as a empty box of tissues. Over the last six months my heart has calcified to the point where you could use it to break rocks. I’m slipping away from myself. I hate my job, my life in general really. I walk to work like a ghost. When I come in the wait staff says that I look like I want to kill everyone, there is truth to this.

I have always fantasized about the end of the world (Dec 21st c’mon), but now I don’t wish for some great cataclysm, I want to strangle everyone with my bare hands. There is no joke there, it’;s how I feel. I don’t like seeing people happy, I don’t like seeing people in love. I avoid looking at Facebook because I could care less I ‘d rather you all choke on vomit and leave this world for me to wander alone. I know that’s not good, I know there is a way out, and these feeling can’t last for ever, but it’s hard to come out of this hole this time. When I was in New York I found another alcoholic to curl up with and share my misery until my cousin put me out of his apartment and I had to come back down to Atlanta dejected and broken. I picked myself up but it took some time and a shit ton of more booze. I was spiraling again when I found the one I followed across country only to be left in Oakland. I fell back to Atlanta again, pulled myself up and made my way back out West. I had three good years before hitting bottom again. Now for the third time I’m back in the ATL. I’m sick of this pattern and I’m sick of this place. It’s like I can’t survive anywhere else. Which makes me feel weak, small, not the man I thought I was.

I feel like I have wasted so much time. Wasted so much of my life. I should have been focusing more on me, on my work, on what I wanted out of life. Not on what I wanted in my bed. I don’t even have a bed now, just a futon mattress on the cold, cold floor. I don’t make enough money to even get a new pair of shoes, all mine have holed in the bottom. My work shoes are almost flip flops they’re so broken.  I’m rambling now. I need a plan. I need a way out. It won’t be a woman this time. I can’t talk to any of them anymore. I have nothing to say. When I try to talk about my life it just comes off like I’m still hung up on my ex, because I didn’t have a life out side of her for six years. It won’t be from my friends I’ve pushed most of them away because I’m still hung up on San Francisco. I need to it the lottery. But I don’t even have enough money to play it.

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Rubbernecking Issues

Christmas of 1994 was the first Christmas I celebrated after my mother died. It was somber and sad and I spent most of it locked in my room in my grandmothers basement. I had been there for the three months at the time and to try and comfort me my dick of a dad bought me a CD player. My first CD player. It was still a big deal in 1994 era North Carolina. I was still buying and playing vinyl records. I ha stacks of cassette tapes and I would mix them on my dual cassette deck for girls I thought were cute. While getting me the CD player (that I asked for btw), was a nice gesture on my estranged fathers part; true to form he neglected to get me any CDs. Which was find his taste in music was drastically different from mine at the time. I was getting more and more into punk rock, metal, and alternative bands of the time. My growing record collection contained a heavy amount of Fugazi, along side Suzanne Vega, Rod Stewart, and Prince. It took me nearly a month before I was able to make my way 40 minutes down the road to Winston-Salem and the Record Exchange. It was the only place I could purchase CDs by the kind of artist I was being exposed to on MTVs 120 minutes. Those two hours on Sunday night was the most time I would spend outside of my room anymore.

The first CD I ever bought was Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary. I was really into them for a500full little while. The next month I went back to Record Exchange and picked up a copy of the classic 1980 debut album by a little known New Jersey band called the Feelies. I bought that because no one I knew had ever heard of them (and neither had I), and when you’re 15 that meant a lot. The month after that I went back for my 3rd CD and chose the Texas band The Toadies.  Their hit single Possum Kingdom had moved them off 120 and onto heavy rotation during regular hours on MTV. I was in love with it’s creepy handling of a man apparently murdering either his bride to be or someone’s bride to be. It was an instant classic and I had to listen to that song for a month. Turns out the rest of the album was amazing and I fell in love with it. Despite them being MTV alterna-flavor of the month and one of the very first “Buzzworthy” bands MTV played when they were milking the mid-nineties “alternative” thing for all they could.

I never got the bands follow-up albums, I was way to punk rock by then and the Toadies were just my guilty pleasure secret, like Tripping Daisy and Matthew Sweet. When no one was around I blasted them and sang every word. I always wondered what had happened to them and why I never saw anything else from them after that one radio hit. How come no other singles made it of that album. There were several hits in there waiting to be exploited. A few years back when I was living in St. Louis I noticed they were playing a local venue there and I wanted to make it out to that show but for what ever reason never did. I regretted it and always wondered if I would have another chance to see a band that I once listen to obsessively for a month back in 1995. Last night I got my chance.

I was surprised to see that they had not only remained on the road but developed a rather hard core following. They’re sound is very classic down and dirty Texas funk, part ZZ-Top, part mid-nineties alternative Radio.  But in a good way. Like a really good way. They rocked and the crowd was defiantly really into them. I was not alone in my obsession over that album from 195 however. When ever any song was played from it The crowd sang every word. There was an eruption for each track. Subsequent tracks from other albums did not meet with the same response. There were the devoted who knew all the other songs as well, but the bulk of the audience was there for songs off Rubberneck. I sang along too, at the top of my lungs. Despite the fact that I was supposed to be working the show. I thought it was a better deal to get paid to see the show (just in case they sucked). I looked out at the crowd and saw many faces as old as mine and older. We were all still holding on, clinging desperately to something we once felt a long, long, time ago.

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I realize I have had a hard time letting go. This is anything but recent. I have always had a bit of difficulty letting these go, moving on, getting on with my life. People especially. I am staying currently with an ex. I’m at least Facebook friends with most of the women I have been even remotely serious with in my entire life. I have a problem burning bridges when it comes to relationships. I always wonder if I may have to cross that bridge again. Despite not having the best track record with said women. I keep people running on zig-zag loops throughout my life. In and out, in and out ad nausea. My Uncles were the same way with the women in their lives when I was growing up. They were trapped in vicious cycles with their girlfriends and baby-mama’s that often bordered on psychotically dangerous. My mother too was in and out/off and on with my father. The two of them didn’t get married until I was 10 years old. That only lasted three years. My dickish father was abusive even more so than the abusive women my Uncles were locked in torture porn romances with. Which never made any since to me. My grandmother who raised us all was strong and independent and let my grandfather a decade before I was born because he was a louse.

How was it that all of the children she raised became codependent, hope less romantics, who couldn’t seem to have a healthy relationship with anyone. It wasn’t because she set a bad example, if anything had we followed her lead we would all be much better off now and in the past. Was it because she coddled us? Was it because we saw her as loveless because she wasn’t having sex with anyone. Perhaps it was because she seemed alone and sad. She wasn’t of course we were all there and more than enough for her to handle. I remember when I was very little she had suitors that would come to call on her. A one armed baseball player that had been in a Richard Pryor movie. Curly from the Harlem Globe Trotters once showed up on my grandmothers doorstep when I was nine I was told to go play outside then. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with my grandmother or how she raised us. Maybe it has to do with genetics and we got these attachment issues from my grandfathers side of the bloodline. It’s impossible to know that I never really new my grandfather. He would blow in to town sporadically and drop off gifts. He had a new wife, and Irish woman with a thick accent I could hardly make out, and flame red hair like Lucille Ball.

This may explain many of my issues. My abandonment issues, my attachment issues, my fetish for fiery red heads. You know I rarely went out the entire time I lived in San Francisco. I went to shows with my girlfriend, but I never made any friends outside of her friends. A source of huge regret for me now. I wish I had explored the city more and made some friends that are not still directly tied to her. Not that they weren’t great friends, but maybe I could have met other people I could have crashed with until I got back on my feet and still be there enjoying that wonderful city instead of clinging onto people from my past. Part of me feels that there is nothing wrong with having people from your past that still care about me enough to let me stay on their couch for three months why I get my head out of my ass. Part of me sees this as another example of my inability to let go and move on. Much like my love of a band who’s only connection was that I was really intensely into them for a month, nearly 18 years ago.

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