Thursday, December 22, 2011

What was I thinking when I let go of you?

Lately I find myself thinking about what you might have looked like in Paris, in Winter, sitting at a café on the sidewalk under the gas-fired heaters, you stirring your coffee three times before drinking it like you always do, the sky the same color as that coat you always wear, your black hair contrasting your pale skin like a perfectly exposed photograph, your red scarf a discordant note of color in an otherwise monochrome composition, and how your face could silently speak to me more clearly than anyone who I've ever heard open their mouth.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Between you & me, I could honestly say that things can only get better

Landed in New York City on a grey, cloudy afternoon, under the same sky that I thought I had left behind in Detroit. One important difference between New York and Detroit; the ratio of people I don't know to people I know is much, much higher. I take a certain strange comfort in the anonymity of being in the biggest city in the country.
The shuttle ride from LGA to midtown was almost empty. There was myself, the driver and just one other passenger in a 15 seat van. The radio was on, set to a volume that would just register as a murmur in the ear. Loud enough to cover up the silence in the van but not so loud as to have any concern to what was playing. We were all doing a good job of keeping to ourselves, 3 people whose paths would probably never cross again, when Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" came on the radio. I'm not the biggest fan on Elton John, least of all his latter-day work, but there's something about that song that really resonates with me. I was on the verge of shattering everyone's little bubble and asking the driver to turn the radio up, when he reached over and did just that. He looked back slightly and we briefly made eye contact and silently exchanged a brief nod. That one instant communicated more than 20 minutes of idle chatter about the weather and where I was from / what I was doing in town could have possibly conveyed. That was a visceral connection through some maudlin piece of pop music. We both Got It and didn't need to ruin it with any words. I would like to have known the course of events in his past that led him to connect with it, but there's only so many miles between LaGuardia and Midtown. Life's more fun with some mystery anyway.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

you struck me dumb like radium

I take back everything bad I've ever said about PT Anderson's "Magnolia". I hated it the first time around, but I've watched it twice in the past three nights. A lot has changed in the past 11 years. A third of my life essentially. Back then I couldn't really relate to the lives of quiet desperation and a deep yearning for Something Else that all the characters were living. And what a knock-out cast assembled to tell those intertwining vignettes. While I can't say I'm quite thrilled about the past 6 months or so, I'm grateful to have finally come around and be able to appreciate a stunning work of art that I completely missed out on the first time around. The final shot of the film, the slow zoom on Melora Walters' face while John C. Reilly's back is to the camera while Aimee Mann's "Save Me" is right up there along side the door shutting on Diane Keaton in the Godfather and the freeze frame on Jean-Pierre Léaud in Les Quatre-Cent Coups as my favorite final shots of all time. That weary, sad smile (the first time in the whole film you don't see her in a coked-up frenzy) is the perfect image to end on, especially timing it right at the peak of Aimee Mann's "Save Me". I think Anderson's ultimate triumph is that he is able to convey an all-consuming desire for love in all the characters without resorting to schmaltz and most importantly not ignoring the uglier, darker things that are part and parcel of such a complex emotion as love, which makes the catharsis/redemption that much more believable, especially the scene when Tom Cruise finally meets face to face with his dying father, masterfully played by Jason Robards. It's nice to be reminded that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

did you get yr disconnection notice?

I've found out what my new favorite album to listen to after eating a huge Colombian bandeja paisa dinner and laying around your sweltering tiny apartment with a cold wet cloth on your head while the liquid gold infused twilight creeps in the windows is: Sonic Youth's "Murray Street". Everything else feels like it's falling apart but the sheer degree of perfection of this exact moment is making my chest want to cave in. I know it will shatter once "Karen, Revisited" ends and I have to get up to flip the record but the past 20 minutes or so have been the best 20 minutes of the past month. Thanks Thurston, Kim, Steve, Lee & Jim. You have to latch on to moments like this and crack their bones and savor every last bit of marrow from them or else the darkness can swallow you entirely.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tragedy or Farce?

I'm not a very complicated man. As per usual, my life can be summed via the media/hubris I have accumulated from years working at record stores. Here is my current situation: I have approximately 1100 CDs and exactly 0 working CD players. That speaks volumes about me right now. I'm going to listen to some Townes Van Zandt and have it all figured out by the morning. Which morning though, I can't rightly say.



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hey Joni now I've put it all behind me too

I just bought and put on a Joni Mitchell record for the express purpose of listening to it for the first time in my life. I thought I should make a note of it. It is the Court & Spark LP. It's not that I had anything against Joni Mitchell ever. I just decided today would be the day to listen to her. It's not bad. Perhaps a little better than I expected it to be. Good soundtrack for a nap with late afternoon winter sunlight filtering in through my dirty windows.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

au revoir

"so goodbye, hallelujah
if I don't cry, don't let it fool ya"

summer is over in approximately 14 and a half hours or so. I always seem to take stock at this time more so than New Year's Eve, since I'm just about settling into my Seasonal Affective Disorder depression around then, and that is a pretty horrible time to take stock of yourself. I haven't written nearly as much as I would have liked to. In fact I've done a whole more of fuck-all than I would have liked to. I have damn near nothing to show for this summer. Didn't leave the state, let alone hardly leave town. I could blame it on lack of funds, but perhaps the truth is I've gone soft. 10 years ago I was broke and managed to have one hell of an adventure in the summer of 1999. Saw both oceans and a lot of other shit in between, got turned on to some amazing music and met some amazing people with nothing but a backpack and a few dollars. Truth be told, the 21 year old me would be pretty disappointed with the 31 year old me. I refuse to blame it on "being old", because I'm not. Saying you're too old to be doing something is essentially resigning yourself to an early death. If you're too old for adventures you might as well sit down on the couch and turn on the TV and wait to die. There's a lot more I want to write but I have to go study for an exam that I put off all weekend doing (you guessed it), nothing. Well, at least nothing of note. I read something somewhere along the lines of "at some point, winter will ask what you did all summer". I can't even look that question in the eye without feeling guilty so I hope its not asked of me this year. Anyway I hate to end anything on a bummer note so I'm posting something I found in a journal I haven't looked at in almost 2 years. This was from an entry dated October 3rd, 2007 (before Biden was VP of course, maybe even before he was in the running for VP??) and is basically just a re-telling of a weird dream I had.

From what I could tell, there was some sort of conflict. It was most likely some sort of subconscious amalgamation of all the zombie flicks I've seen where a small group of survivors hole up together in a "safe" location, only the other side was definitely human and not zombies. My brother was there somehow, but Susan wasn't, and I had some girl with me who I didn't know and while she wasn't my girlfriend there was that weird sexual tension there that I guess would be going on when you're two reasonably attractive people who have undergone some sort of extraordinary, potentially life ending trial. We were holed up in a suburb, but it had a creepy, pre-fab feeling like the Others compound on Lost. The armed contingent there were assholes, much like the security guards in the Dawn Of The Dead remake. They didn't let any of the "survivors" carry weapons and took away the guns my brother and I had upon entering. Like I said I have no idea what brought on the armed conflict, but it was spectacular. There were all sorts of terrific explosions, and secret super-fortified underground platforms being raised up to engage the enemy, who was launching over the fenced-in compound with some sort of propulsion device, silhouetted in mid-air by the flames behind them. All this was viewed over my shoulder while running in the dark between houses, searching for shelter from the fighting. I finally got through to my Mom's house on a cell phone and the outgoing message on her answering machine was really bizarre. It was a message to Senator Joe Biden saying she had left the state for somewhere safer (we live in Michigan, whats Joe Biden got to do with us??) and that Joe Biden had better take good care of her sons or else he would have hell to pay. My pseudo-girlfriend and I found a deserted house and there was a victrola and a huge stack of pre-war blues 78s. I remember playing the St. Louis Blues by Bessie Smith while she asked me if I could find her a toaster, but I didn't think it was a good idea because we shouldn't use any electricity. Then there was some unpleasantness when the armed security forces came in and found us in the house. They took my pistol, even though I had no ammo and one of them was trying to put the moves on the girl and I was getting super pissed, and then I woke up and now it's 5 am and I most likely wont get back to sleep.