Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let me be clear, I have a mean streak my dear. Everyone that I meet I want to stab in the ear. (Day 37)

I love waking up before the sun has risen. Thats always something special to happen.

I know the update has went up a lot earlier than it usually does, but I'm about to go into a deep coma. I just wanted to post this blog as an, "I told you so" to a certain someone. If you read this (God, you're beautiful), I hope you made it home safely and got some rest after that long trip, and I hope Handy, Yertle and Barry Minnilow are all secure. I'm sure they are glad to see you again.

Anger is a weird thing, at least to me. I don't have much of a temper really, but when I do lose my cool it's really just not pretty.

For so long I've had a love-hate relationship with people. Sometimes I love meeting new people, and other days I pray for Armageddon.

I watch the President on TV lay blame on Hamas for the recent outbreak of war in Israel, saying that "Israel was just protecting her people" and my jaw literally dropped. It's comments like these that make me wish that the Muslims are right about the afterlife. If so, that man has many sins to answer for. Even in the Christians eyes.

And I sit in disgust and realize that there are lots of people who approve of what he says. Many Christians accept that Israel can do no wrong, at least American Christians...and its such a glaringly bright example of denial in the highest degree.

Its times like this where I do get angry. I get angry when people defend...well, basically bullies, and I get angry that we as people can willingly accept this ignorance as something worth merit.

Pardon the pun, given the nature and reason for this blog, but its quite literally drives me crazy. It drives me crazy that people don't give a shit about anything, yet still have the nerve to bitch and moan when things turn for the worse.

I know this isn't a Piss and Vinegar post, and a lot of this post is eerily similar to the most recent update, but I'm using this as a measuring stick, this example.

I see though a lot of hope too, and it's a very polarizing thing.

Earlier this morning while I was out wishing I was dead, a mother was walking her daughter who couldn't have been more than three, maybe four. As they were crossing a street, and I was walking past them the mother advised her child to "watch out for the car" in reference to a truck that was passing. Her daughter then politely corrected her mother by saying, "thats a truck, mommy. Not a car." and her mother stopped dead in traffic and replied, "You're absolutely right. Keep me honest, kid." I couldn't help but laugh.

Her daughter was carrying a bag of lettuce, and her mother kept trying to help her and the little girl refused. It made me hopeful in the sense that, "Oh my God, theres pure spirit right there. A true fighting spirit."

So many have given up. So many more are about to because of economic status, civil unrest, a world at war and it's citizens at large. It's infectious, too. It's so easy to become jaded then to have that little spark, and to listen to that tiny spark and continue on with some hope. But every once in a while you catch a glimmer of it, and to be honest...its one of the most rewarding feelings to capture.

It's an almost sacred moment. Not necessarily just the one that happened today, but in that similar vein. It's almost a sacred moment; one that shouldn't be documented my cameras or camcorders. One that is best served only as a memory the way only you could remember it, and it isn't for anyone else because so often...we just aren't looking. And if we aren't looking, then maybe...hell, you just wouldn't understand.

Its the type of happenstance that a picture couldn't do justice to, that a cell phone camera couldn't quite capture. It'd just seem like a kid crossing the street, or what have you. It's the lost art of the imagination being revived, if only for a moment to paint one more beautiful picture.

I love photography, cinematography...things of that nature. I miss being in an actual dark room, my hands smelling like chemicals all the time, and just the experience of searching for something. I don't want to give the impression that I'm against these's just every once in a while its nice to have something personal, that can't be fully shared. That can't be compressed to pixels.

Photography though, is one of, if not the purest forms of art. I don't like saying art, I feel its perverse to do so, I am not an artist. I'm basically schmucky the clown with a keyboard. That being said though, photography is an art. It can be manipulated, and sometimes thats kind of shitty, but in the instance of some photographers (see link above, or see her fathers work which is amazing as well) its a reflection of an imagination captured so well. I wish I could do that, on any level in any medium or spectrum.

But every once in a while...some things just escape it.

Heaters are nice, but nothing will ever warm you like the sun and sometimes I think I'm the last person on earth to feel that way. It's the same thing with being there when something so minute happens, yet it rocks you. I'll never see that girl or her mother again. I may forget about this down the road and remember it at the most random time when I'm feeling down. But regardless, I experienced something no one else did today. Thats really exciting.

To be a voyeur through the looking glass of life, to inspect, dissect and respect all in the same. All the worlds a stage, go on and take your bow.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I confide in wolves at night. (Day 36)

I've never been good at math.

Every other subject I excelled at when I wasn't slagging off. But math, no matter how much I tried to do well in math, I never seemed to get past the hump of pre-algebra.

My last year in High School I was in the same math class I'd been in all along, because numbers for some reason don't make much sense to me. It's one thing I've always wished I could improve upon, but no matter what I did I never seemed to do well.

The last year of High School I got lumped into a class with a bunch of people who really...are destined for nothing, to be quite honest. It's not that their skills in arithmetic are all that poor, no, it's that they just didn't care. Apathy is a shitty drug that never seems to leave your system when you're young and invincible, and everyone owes you.

The teacher would consistently refer to us as the "dregs of society" and I'm not sure I've ever entirely gotten over that.

Maybe I am one of the dregs of society. The bottom rung, always pondering what the upper echelon is up to this time of day. Who knows, dinner parties and balls or something.

But thats just a weird thing to hear out of a teachers mouth. I live to spite, and I really hope one day to spite them by throwing a stack of twenties at their face, but I'm not so sure that observation was entirely unwarranted.

I've been thinking a lot about the future. I know what it is I want to be, I just have no idea about anything else. What directions I want to be. I thought I knew one time...

It's just things change so often, you know? One minute you're a pissy kid with blue hair and the next you're a pissy adult with a scraggly beard and chip on your shoulder from one too many beat downs.

I just have no idea what my next move is, and I just wish I could grasp onto idea or an inkling of even the smallest notion of where I want to be.

Where do you go for direction? Thats the million dollar question thats left sitting between me and the future. It just sucks that theres no multiple choice. You can want, and want, and want but at the end of the line it's destiny that has that one final say. I just wish I could speak up.

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm fit for nasty weather, but I'll take whatever you can give that comes my way. (Day 35)

Theres not really gonna be much of an update tonight. Just reliving a bunch of music I've really always loved. The play list is really all over the place. Everything from James Brown, to Bell Biv DeVoe (that girl is poison!) to Green Day, to Billy Paul and the Isley Brothers. Of course no trip down this lane would be complete without a healthy dose of Dr. Marvin Gaye.

How many people on this planet exist because of Gaye? I mean, my God that man planted more seeds than Johnny Appleseed.

I love listening to music like this, not necessarily for the sexual undertones (looking at you Godfather of Soul, Marvin Gaye, Billy Paul...) but because of the structure. The foundation here is what almost every bit of music I ingest is founded upon, and I really feel like they get overlooked so often because the term "classics" follow so closely.

But you watch James Brown, and you see that that man was nothing short of a perfectionist. He earned his paycheck, thats for damn sure. And it looks like he enjoyed every second of it.

For me, what makes or breaks a band is how their live show comes to life. I can't ever really say I like a band until I've seen them in the capacity of a live setting, because that to me is the only proving ground that needs to be considered.

You look at bands like Green Day, and despite whatever your ideals about them are, or your 'scene politics' and what the shit ever, if you've ever seen them live they never disappoint.

Billie Joe Armstrong is the product of one part Freddie Mercury, one part James Brown. If you've ever seen their live DVD, Bullet in the Bible, he flat out takes a page out of the Godfathers book during their cover of the Isley Brothers 'Shout' when he collapses on stage and the capes draped over him. See the videos below.

I think it's kind of a shame people don't see links like that in stage persona.

But that live setting, man...theres just nothing fucking better than that, is there? Get a couple drinks in you, shake your butt and just enjoy. So if a band sucks...

I don't like when people make excuses for bands sucking live. "If you wanted it to sound like the record stay at home." Well, thats some what valid, but if I wanted it to sound like shit I would've put in the garbage disposal to begin with. I like when bands don't sound just like the record, but if the quality is just bad, man pack it in.

The older guys, they didn't have all the cute little knobs and software the new generation has. It's somewhat dishonest, too, because those guys poured sweat into every note, heart and soul.

You can't fake soul. You either have it, or you don't. Theres a few bands that realize that today, whether it be Green Day, the Gaslight Anthem, Fake Problems, Against Me!, etc. They understand that, and it isn't something they ever phone in.

I think from a stand point of a music fan, I almost wish I could've been born 50 years ago to see all of this actually happening as a seed, rather that reliving the voices through the wire. Rock music, R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, Country, isn't about just selling records.

It's about the ride, the passion to play, the sex afterwards, the drugs, the heart and soul, breath and air, blood and veins of it all. It's laying bare your soul, and making something so defiant out of it that no matter the outcome of what may happen for the rest of your life, that moment on stage in Pittsburgh, PA will live on in someone else forever.

I hate this pre-fabricated posturing, the timed spin kicks and androgynous banter for the sake of stirring someones ire, or "pushing the envelope". It's so fake, you can see it a million miles away. But I just don't think anyone cares anymore.

God rest James Brown.

Until tomorrow.

I'd spend the night losing sleep. If I spend the night, then I'd lose my mind. (Day 34)

I'm almost on the third of four steps in taking the lamictal. The transformation from trepidation to complete excitement to tackle the next step, to me, has been a really big one in such a short time.

For a long time, for years I honestly felt like I was losing my mind. It's such a weird thing, to constantly have that feeling of impending...something just waiting. And while a large part of me was definitely scared of it, theres always been a small part of me that almost welcomed it, if not for putting my mind at rest (so to speak) about if it would happen or not.

But one of my biggest fears in my life is to wind up in a position where I was completely gone. It always felt like a switch would just click, the lights would go off and everything I knew wouldn't even be a memory.

Theres a scene in Igby Goes Down, if you've ever seen the movie you'll know what I'm talking about, where Igby's dad is in the shower, only he's fully dressed and Igby is in there with him. His dad shatters the glass doors and just sits there bleeding looking so lost, and honestly that been an image thats just haunted me for so long.

Not because of the strong performance (which it really is) but because I can honestly see that happening to me.

A few years ago, in 2005 before I had this really big meltdown, there were little warning signs along the way. I'm really good at hiding things like that, so it wasn't a problem. But I lived in an apartment with a friend, and he was on vacation in Hawaii. (This was long before I ever saw the movie, so when I saw that scene it just floored me. It still does.) One afternoon after me and this girl had been kinda...hanging out, she was taking a nap on the couch and I went to take a shower.

Sex has always been really weird for me. A lot of the times afterwards I feel so weird, and it's not afterglow, it's not really a happy feeling. I usually feel disappointed in myself because so much of the time, its never the girl I wanted it to be with and settling is such an ugly, ugly feeling.

So I was taking this shower, and without getting too much into it I wound up basically beating the shit out of myself. I'm not entirely sure why I did it, to be honest. All I really remember is things kind of going black for a second, and me sitting on the ledge of the tub with blood pooling next to my foot, and trailing down my arm and chest.

I just remember moments before it happening when I was lathering up. I've always, when showering, started with my left arm, right arm, chest, etc. But with my mind being so preoccupied on all that had happened, I started off on my right arm and so many things felt wrong about that. Like I was just doing everything about the shower wrong.

After that it kind of gets a bit hazy except for the bloody nose and fat lip.

I slept for about 16 hours after that, and as I've mentioned before...I just don't sleep all that well. But the days following felt like I was walking around in this kind of fog. Soon after that I had a complete meltdown, and yeah.

A few years later I spent the night with this other girl, and we got drunk and tampered with a few other items of note.

In every possible way that night, I think we did it. It just kept going, and while it was happening it was a lot of fun. But after I just felt like I was wasting so much of her time and mine by even existing after it was finished. I sat there on her couch for so long afterwards, that she was waking up in the morning before I even realized thats how where I'd been all night. I didn't feel at all tired even though I hadn't slept in...I didn't even know how long. I came home and packed my bags and about two weeks later I was on a plane to New York.

I've never been sure about myself whatsoever. I know theres potential there somewhere, everyone has potential. I just don't know how to access it, how to put it out there and make something of it. I never have.

And I've always fallen to distractions to take my mind off of things. The problem is, its always had the reverse effect: It's all I can do not to rip my hair out of my head and search for the answers there.

But the addition of the lamictal, and a newly given faith that I might be able to correct this skid I've been going down for 23 years is exciting. I feel really good about the future now, but lingering in the back of my head is the curiosity if I'm ever going to have another one of these breakdowns.

I have a friend who, no matter how much I feel like the world is ending and the hairs on the back of my neck are reaching for the sky settles me down, and things just feel like they are right. I can't explain the disastrous feeling of what its like when things don't "feel" right. But theres never been a time when I was on the brink of losing my mind that she didn't just swoop in and calm me down, and not even realize what was bubbling beneath the surface.

I feel bad sometimes, the way I rely on her. I couldn't ever reciprocate the healing she provides, and for a lack of better terminology: that sucks. I feel guilty needing her as badly as I do, and I wish I knew what to do about it, because it's so comforting knowing that alleviation is available without the use of chemicals.

Maybe I'll figure something out, and get out of her hair. I can be pretty damned annoying.

Thats all I got for tonight. I updated a long, long list over at For Your Consideration for the movies I felt were absolute dreck, so go check them out!

Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We were born to sin. (Day 33)

I want a partner in crime. Thats what I've always wanted.

This worlds a dirty, dirty place, and I'm no exception to it. I'm no more special than a homeless guy on the street.

And theres something slightly comforting about that. Always being underestimated...

You can run freely in the dark and never worry about stubbing your toes on something sharp.

The lamictals have helped me reach a much better place in my life. Anyone who's ever had more than a two minute conversation with me knows that I'm prone to apologize for shit I wasn't even apart of. Hell, I wouldn't put it past me to apologize for the Crusades to Muslim.

"Sorry Rick, it was just...I wasn't thinking. Good King Richard led the way."

And for what? I've always been so neurotic, that while I don't really care what someone thinks of me, it's a tic, a nervous habit I've never been able to shake. It's probably because I don't want to ever be too proud to not be able to swallow my own bull when I'm very much in the wrong.

I can be argumentative. It's just my nature. I have a voice, and I want it to be heard. I've busted my ass running three blogs and writing short stories constantly because I want to be heard. Whether or not it's something thats liked or not, thats fine.

But now I feel more stable, more focused.

I've had so many ideas that I've never capitalized on. Not because I'm ADD or anything, but because I get started, and then have another idea and try to throw myself into that one as well. Eventually I just run out of steam on both. I'm just glad I never forget them.

It feels like with the medication, I'm more able to focus that manic energy and apply it more assertively.

Why run three blogs, Aaron?

Good question, person who never asked from a voice that I never heard. Good question indeed.

Along with Days Gone By, I also (as I've mentioned numerous times) run Piss and Vinegar (which saw a proper update tonight, and it really lives up to the name of Piss and Vinegar) and I co-author a blog with my friend Miles called For Your Consideration (its relatively new, but its more of just a fun blog about movies and music, etc.)

But I do all of this because I want to try and hone what it is I'm doing better, and I want to become more disciplined. This is something I'm passionate about (writing) and I'll do whatever the Hell it takes to succeed.

If my heart isn't in something, I just can't do it. I can act like I care for a bit, but then I just have to call it. I have no regrets about any job I've ever walked away from, and for many years I felt guilty about that...but as time has showed's something to be proud of.

We were all born to sin. Maybe thats something we should begin to take advantage of. And I'm not talking about harming anyone else, or anything irresponsible like that. I mean that maybe we should accept ourselves, our characters and our flaws for what they truly are; definitions of ourselves. And maybe thats something pretty beautiful, when you really stop to think about it.

Work on the shit about yourself that you don't like, but god damn it, don't do it for anyone else but yourself.

We aren't special in any discerning way, but the irony's our normalcy that makes our colors of gray stand out just a bit more than the person next to us. You just have to work on not being so color blind that you not only don't miss out on your own colors, but those next to you as well.

And thats something I'm slowly learning.

We don't have to apologize for our dirty minds and dirty bodies. We might have to apologize for the stink, but not the grime.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Future is Unwritten. (Day 32)

A lot of the decisions I made in my life I made when I was younger.

This town is a cesspool. Theres no way in getting around that. For so many years we had nowhere for the youth to go around here. I mean, there was a bum-fuck arcade where all the burnouts (both present and future) used to spend all Friday and Saturday night outside smoking cigarettes and fingering their girlfriends sitting on the hoods of their dads dilapidated Ford truck. The only time they ever really went inside the arcade was to put on another rousing round of Korn's "All In the Family" with a beautiful and spirited cameo by the highly poetic Fred Durst, featuring such poignant and socially reflective lyrics such as:

My dick is bigger than yours {...} But you just can't get away
(Jon: Get a gay?) {...} You call yourself a singer?
(Jon: Yep)
You're more like Jerry Springer.
(Jon: Oh cool!)
Your favorite band is winger
(Jon: Winger?)
And all you eat is Zingers
You're like a Fruity Pebble
Your favorite flag is rebel
(Jon: Yeeeeeehaaaaaa!!)

Boy, oh boy. What clever word smiths they are. Equating someone to a Fruity Pebble is nothing short of devastation, ten fold.

I'm just trying to paint a vivid picture. It was like this every weekend. But eventually that scene would get tired with everyone, and the burnouts would gradually graduate to the bowling alley and once they were drinking age; the airport tavern (I'd like to clarify that the airport doesn't actually have commercial flights, per se) .

One of the things that would kill me when I was a kid was that I'd hear all these stories from my dad who used to be a truck driver. He'd talk about how he'd basically been everywhere there was to go in the Lower 48 states of America.

And I've always wanted that. To be everywhere at once, and have a story to tell at every diner in between here and there.

But people never leave this town. No one has that ambition to discover, to see and breathe both shores or taste foreign soil. The High School experience was so defeating day in and day out when you'd go to class and you'd likely hear at least three anecdotes after the lesson/lecture about how teacher nobody had went to the same school as a kid, and the teacher next door was his teacher not ten years ago.

You live here, you die here.

And for those who took a different path, who didn't become gutterballs at bowling alley or drank every weekend night at an airport tavern to an airport that fittingly never goes anywhere, they wound up strung out on meth with three different kids with two different partners.

It kills me to run into someone I went to school with. Either its a guy caked in dirt from their job at the Wal Mart Distribution Center with pock marks from too many nights burning the midnight oil, er, crystal methamphetamine or its a girl who every guy wanted to bury it in six with inches deep with a kid crying in a shopping cart, one sucking on a tit (poor child doesn't know how popular that tit was four years ago) and oh look, her waters breaking while and she's chomping a cigarette butt to the filter. Thank God the elite procreated.

Cause it's root, root, root for the home team, cause if they don't win it's a shame.

A few years ago I cut ties with a lot of it. It's solely about survival. But now I'm stuck wondering where I fit into this world.

I had a decent share of friends in high school, and the ones I cared about I still have. But somewhere along the line almost all of them got out of here, and are off to bigger and better things. I'm still shaking my head trying to figure out what it is I need to do, and where I need to be. I just know that its not here.

I made the decision when I was a kid not to become trapped, and I know I'm not. But I do know I'm in limbo at this point, and that's not exactly a beautiful place to be. At this point I'd consider my life a success if I died and wasn't buried in this towns graveyard.

I had a lot of problems with myself. I always have, and its always been easier for me to not focus on them. And so many times I tried to leave here with those issues unresolved, only to wind up back here choking on my own defeat. But not this time. When I leave, it will be the final time.

Politics have always been extremely important to me. It kills me to hear someone say "whats the point" or "it's boring". "Know your rights" is a phrase that should be ingrained in every free citizens brain, because slowly we're losing ourselves to materials and flashing lights.

Theres a romance to politics. Not everything political revolves around old white men in suits and ties on Capital Hill taking payoffs and selling your rights to Pfizer, or your Prime Minister siding with pure evil because he lost his backbone. The romance lies in that the words inspired in so many now live with us forever, whether they were said by Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer/the Clash, Bertrand Russel, Dr. Martin Luther King or George Orwell, these words influence and stick, and they've stuck with me for so long.

It's these politics that have never allowed me to sit still for too long.

I realized about five months ago that it's the fear of failing and winding up back here one day is the same fear thats kept me here. Now I'm seeing that fear is like quicksand. You either overcome it, or you sink to the destiny and the depths you were so vehemently trying to avoid.

I don't have heroes or idols or anything like that, outside of my Dad who I'd firmly consider a hero. I don't care how that translates to paper, it's the truth. If I wound up half as good hearted as he is now, then thats more than I could ever strive for with anything else. Thats a true accomplishment, in my eyes. He's not even my biological father, but who he's been has been both a father, and my best friend.

That being said I do admire a lot of people. Take Joe Strummer for instance. He's been the backbone inspiration for a full novel I'm writing. Watch "Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten" this documentary about him. That guy lived and breathed, and I'm not talking about how every sentient being who's been alive for more than a millisecond does. I'm talking about existing for something more than just to live and breathe in a concrete jungle, and drown in a sea of something plain and anonymous.

His voice still rings in my ears, almost akin to that of a prophet. Instead of just being a cult figure for punk rock, every boundary he could push he did and he never let someone telling him he was wrong stop him. Simply put, theres always a Beatles, Elvis and Rolling Stones...but there was only one band that mattered. Coupled with Mick Jones, "St. Strummer" (I think he was our only good teacher...) voiced that. Imagine voicing the only band that matters.

Near the end of his life he was in a band called 'Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros' and they never reached the same level of admiration that the Clash did, which is unfortunate but somewhat appropriate, albeit a shame nonetheless. Theres a song they wrote though, called "Johnny Appleseed" thats always read out as not only scripture, but the Last Testament.

I was lucky enough to've been in a situation where I lived in Upstate New York. In New York City, on 7th Street and Ave. A there is a memorial to Joe Strummer. I only wish I'd had a camera to take a picture of it, but one day I'll be back.

The future IS unwritten. It makes no sense for any of us to try and make plans for it, only good intentions. None of know if we'll wake up tomorrow. Hell, I can't guarantee that I'll be able to finish this thought. An aneurysm could make short work of that.

But the future is unwritten. Thats a powerful statement, if not for its simplicity then for its complexity. And while that in itself is a contradiction; both apply. If you had half the notion, you could spend a few hours thinking about the statement and realize thats it only looks like a shallow pond...if you dive in though, you might never feel the bottom.

We can make our own paths, we just can't dictate the outcome waiting for us at the end of every road. Flat tires happen, but so do picking up hitch hikers, and pit stops.

It's a long road. A long, long road if we're lucky. Just try not to run out of gas.

But I got to see this memorial. About an hour before I saw it, a friend and I had been talking about Joe Strummer, and she mentioned that it existed.

For so long I've always felt like maybe there isn't much else to see. When I get to feeling like back, I reference this memory...and all of a sudden I realize theres so much more left that I didn't even know existed, but would love if I'd had known about. Besides, if I ever feel like that again...I never got a picture. I can always go back and start over again.

And I want to step above every person that didn't have heart and soul, who didn't care to ever leave the confines of their zip code. Because once you accept that, you accept defeat. And if you accept that might as well be dead.

All my life I've lived, as I feel almost everyone with a conscience do, by hook or crook. Maybe its time myself, and everyone as a whole should stop relying so much on the former of that statement and lot more on the latter. Most of us will never be given anything.

So I guess we have to fucking take it then.

What defines a generation are the people, mankind. What defines a man has to be his slight of hand; lest he fall victim to his own clumsy fingers he must continuously take and take, and learn when is appropriate to give back.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Now you want to try a life of sin and you want to be down with the down and in. (Day 31)

A friend of mine once told me, "The music you listen to is destroying your life."

She didn't say it jokingly. To be quite honest, it was during a pretty intense conversation after I'd just delivered probably one of the most ignorant statements that could ever have been said. Ever.

But I've thought about that line so much ever since she's said it. I wonder quite often what that exactly means. I'd say normally whoever it was that would say something as ambiguous as that to me was full of shit, but the truth is...she's probably right. I say probably because I'm still unclear as to what that means, but she's...well, to be quite honest she's smarter than me. A lot smarter than me.

But after that I analyzed it. I still do, often because I'm neurotic and I never let anything go.

Music hits me hard. As it does with most people, admittedly, but through every twist and turn in my life theres been a verse and a chorus waiting to help transcribe what I was dealing with when my own lexicon had slighted me yet again. Sometimes the only truth left to learn is from someone else who's pelting out word soup to your ears.

It's part of why I've always liked the blues, or so much of the modern punk/country mash-up's that happen now, or bands like Hot Water Music and Lucero where you just listen to either Ben Nichols or Chuck Ragan and you hear the aching in their voice. I'd almost rather hear a voice that sounds like it went ten rounds on the losing end with a cement mixer than something smooth and postured, because the emotion thats in those broken voices seem so brutally honest, so anthemic and anecdotal that it almost feels like clairvoyance on those nights when you don't want to move, and you lay down in a dark room and just listen for hours.

I relate more to three chords and books than I do to most people, and I've felt like an outsider because of that.

I mean, you listen to Johnny Cash on songs like "Folsom Prison Blues" or any Otis Redding song, and you automatically know it isn't pre-manufactured. That theres a reason why thats being sung.

But nowadays I find myself thinking about what she said. "The music you listen to is destroying your life" and what if shes right about that? What if all along instead of looking to something else for some kind of answer I relied too much on whats basically an aural drug?

I'm the rare type of person that can listen to a single song on repeat for hours and not tire of it whatsoever. "The Blues, Mary" by Brian Fallon is a perfect example of this too.

But instead of really ever coping with what happens, I plug in and tune right out. When Weapon X left I listened to the song "97" on repeat for about a week, and if you're not privy to that song, well the best I can really say is that maybe wasn't the most healthy song to listen too hundreds of times while drinking hobo wine and cheap beer and not eating.

I want to stay true to myself and my belief system, but so much of both are deeply tied into places of music I'm not sure I ever really fit in too well with in the first place. But it's always felt like "when I've got the music, I've got a place to go" as opposed to just actually listening to my surroundings and paving a way that route instead.

Another friend used to say I had a "Holden Caufield complex" which is pretty much the Peter Pan Syndrome, only less androgynous. I see now, years later, what she was talking around. I stick around certain situations almost as long as the average punk song (2:30-3:00 minutes long) and then split. "Never say good bye; when you say good bye you start missing everyone". I'm terrified of growing up, but when I think about it...youth wasn't exactly spectacular to begin with. So why hang onto something that sucked, and try to prolong it? Is the fear of the unknown really all that better.

I booked it and ran at the first sign of danger so many times, I couldn't truly tell you the outcome of so many things I was apart of. And now theres a lot of question marks.

But the music, the books...all of that. Thats what I relate too because I don't know anything else.

How many days, hours, weeks and months have I really wracked up running around in circles like a chicken with its head cut off to some band that barely knows how to play their instruments? I don't know if I'll ever know the answer to that question. And maybe the chicken with its head cut off is the most appropriate description for me in general. Every miles I ran I always somehow wound up right back where I started from.

Maybe the music I listen to really is destroying my life.

Until tomorrow.