Monthly Archive for June, 2011

The Graveyard Near The House

Two days ago I discovered the new album All At Once by The Airborne Toxic Event via Grooveshark. The song “The Graveyard Near The House” started to play and it immediately grabbed my heart. Bought the album (mp3 download version) for $5 on Amazon. There are a lot of great songs on this album, but this one is my favorite. I love the subtle morbidity accenting the incredible depth of love and the raw honesty applied to the characters in the story. This video is a live recording and not the polished album version — the underlying rainfall aptly becomes an instrument. The vocals, violin, upright bass, simple percussions and even simpler keys melt perfectly. Enjoy!

The Graveyard Near The House

And the lyrcs…

The other day, when we were walking by the graveyard near the house, you asked me if you thought we would ever die. And if life and love both fade predictably we’ve made ourselves a kind of predictable life.

And so I pictured us like corpses, lying side by side in pieces, in a dark and lonely plot under a bough. We looked so silly there, all decomposed, half turned to dust, in tattered clothes, but we probably look just as silly now.

Bye bye bye bye, bye bye to all this dogged innocence. I can’t pretend that I can tell you what is going to happen next, or how to be. But you have no idea ’bout me, do you?

And it left me to wonder if people ever know each other or just stumble around like strangers in the dark. ‘Cause sometimes you seem so strange to me, I must seem strange to you. We’re like two actors playing two parts. Did you memorize your lines? ‘Cause I did. And this part where I get so mad, I tell you I can’t forget the past. You get so quiet now, and you seem, somehow, like a lost and lonely child. And you just hope that the moment won’t last.

Bye bye bye bye, bye bye to all this dogged innocence. I can’t pretend that I can tell you what is going to happen next, or how to be. But you have no idea ’bout me. You have no idea ’bout me, do you?

So there’s always a way around. There’s something tying our feet to the ground. A moment passed, we hate how it sounds.

And it seems a little less profound. Like we’re all going the same way down. Yeah we’re all going the same way down. I’m just trying to write it all down.

‘Cause I write songs, and you write letters. We are tied like two, in tethers. And we talk and read, and laugh and sleep, at night in bed, together. And you wake in tears sometimes, I can see the thoughts flash across your eyes. They say “Darling, will you be kind? Will you be a good man, and stay behind if I get old?”

And then the letters all pass through my head, with the words that I was told. About the fading flesh of life and love, the failures of the bold. I can list each crippling fear like I’m reading from a will.

(Listen to the violin doubling the vocals with this next verse. It kills me.)
And I’ll defy everyone and love you still. I will carry you with me up every hill. If you die before I die, I’ll carve your name out of the sky. I’ll fall asleep with your memory and dream of where you lie.

It maybe better to move on, and to let life just carry on. I may be wrong.

But still, I’ll try.

‘Cause it’s better to love whether you win or lose or die. Yeah, It’s better to love whether you win or lose or die. It’s better to love, and I will love you ’til I die.

Lyrics by The Airborne Toxic Event

Nowhere

Sun. Ripped through the windows and crashed into the wall on the opposite side of the room. I’d give just about anything to circumvent being back here right now, again. Awake. Anywhere but here. Light smashing into fragments an undone lifetime borne during the darkness and it dissipates at an exponential rate with each passing second. Can’t tell yet what’s real and what’s memory. Dreams all mixed up with plans and ideas. Flashbacks and imagination have been surgically grafted. The trees are wiggly — it’s windy outside.

Time for work. I don’t remember getting ready. Sound is missing from my morning routine. No one else wants to be conscious yet either. I think I ate something, but can’t recall exactly what or if I dreamed it. Irrelevant. Breakfast is like an obligation and most of the time I ignore it. Eating so soon makes me nauseous anyway. I’ll eat when I’m hungry. I’ll sleep when I’m tired. Schedules are good for other people. I have no idea how to apply one to me. Traffic. Stuck between a seeping garbage truck and some jack-ass who must think the rest of us all secretly collaborated to get in his way. I need a time machine. No bother. I sort of enjoy watching other people freak out over things they have zero control over. At some point I got old and now prefer news via National Public Radio while driving to work. It’s trite and seeded as any other news source although it seems like they at least try not to be. I still get some twisted enjoyment out of listening to how much people need something to freak out over. Desk. I picked up a coffee on my way in today but have not tried to drink it yet. I can tell that the 100% post-consumer recycled heat-sleeve is doing its job. I left a few notes to myself hopefully to jump start me back into my work quicker, bypassing the spin up routine: turn everything on, log in, coffee, pretend to listen to my co-workers pretend to care about something in the news, or recount uninteresting anecdotes from last night’s impromptu hang-out session over beers and video games, check email, and spend the next 20 minutes trying to remember what the hell I did yesterday. Great. My attempt to elude the kitchen chatter failed. Apparently I got someone else’s coffee order and they happen to like it black. Ew. I wish someone would invent sweetened, caffeinated creamer so I wouldn’t need to deal with coffee at all.

One of my notes to self had a bunch of hexidecimal numbers scribbled out in no particular pattern. Colors. RGB value pairs as six character 8-bit digital alpha-numeric codes for representing any one of over 16.7 million possible colors. Combine the right ones and they exude a low level amount of control over what people will feel and can dictate a rudimentary course for how they react. The other note was even more cryptic. It definitely was written in my hand-writing but I cannot remember writing it. Random words. A string of numbers in a pattern I’m not familiar with: spiders jump galaxies spin 17.694 8 72#13.5. The ink does not match my current favorite pen. Leaving notes for myself is not a new practice and typically if they have no immediate, direct meaning or don’t conjure up some sort of connection between today and the day before I just trash them. I can’t stand seeing different people’s habits of disorganization around the office. Sticky notes were never meant to be permanent fixtures. And once you have more than three or four of them you probably have bigger problems than just needing to remember “a few things.”

Green. #A0CC56 — this one was circled, and not just once. A very specific kind of green. I suppose that statement is ridiculous. Every color code is specific. But this green is the perfect green. Full of vigor and freshness without being obnoxious. This is the kind of green people tweet about. It’s got just enough yellow to be grounded and feel natural and just enough blue to be soothing. Memorized. Trashed. Left perplexed with my second note. Was it a riddle? A song lyric? It has that universality and ambiguous sense to it that all meaningful songs have. Was this an old note that got dislodged from my desk and found its way behind a plant or garbage can? It wasn’t crumpled or folded or otherwise mangled in any way. Maybe the cleaning crew noticed it on the floor and re-instituted its residency on my desk. This is the only note I’ve kept around longer than the intended 24 hour life span for which sticky notes were designed.

5:07 pm. The drive home was incredibly dull. A blur, abruptly interrupted by arriving at home sooner than I was ready. I love being home, but some days I wish it took no less than twice as long to get here. Some days I need more time to decompress. More time to let the radio sing me an anthem to cling to. I may have briefly fallen asleep during stasis at a red light. Uneventful. Not that I’m looking to get stuck in traffic due to something catastrophic that happened to someone else. I suppose I’m just hoping for something to wake me up. Sometimes the weather is dramatic enough. Sometimes the radio plays music worth hearing. Sometimes, I wonder if the next intersection I cross is the one with my name on it; the one where some over-the-top, plastic, multi-tasking, distracted soccer mom checks her Facebook and slips through a red light and slams her SUV into the side of my slightly dated minivan. I wonder if that would change anything and drastically alter the course my life is on. Bubbles. Life packed up into neat rule-sets and tidy exchanges — emotional, professional, intellectual — everything fits and makes sense and has a time and a place. Forced. I’m constantly on edge. Anxious. Waiting for something dramatic to happen. Fearing that something dramatic is about to happen. Feeling like I’m ever-present on the cusp of popping bubbles. Not at all like the notion of walking on eggshells; rather, anxious like some sort of survival mechanism has been activated in order to maintain the structural integrity of my bubbles with the knowledge permeating my core with the inevitable truth that every bubble’s existence is purposed to pop. Fighting so hard to disprove that. Yet, without the popping, a bubble is, instead, an iridescent prison. I know this. I don’t want to. But why to just survive? Where is the land of the living? Why all the aversion to a full and unpredictable life, over-flowing with freedom and timelessness?

Bedtime. My least favorite time of the day. If ever a time exists for everything to come unglued, bedtime would be that time. Sleeping frustrates me. Has always seemed like a waste of time and telling my kids they need to go to bed just makes me a hypocrite, or at best a selfish bastard grasping at minutes on the clock as if they actually made a difference.

Moon. Night time is so much better than any other time. It’s quiet, cool, and no matter where you are, the stars are always hauntingly familiar and unknowable at the same time. Even through the clouds, just knowing they are there settles my soul; as if the purpose for their very existence is to be for us permission to dream and wonder [1]. Everything is shadow. Time pretends to stand still. The wind calls out through the trees, furiously screaming and whispering out loud all the sorrows in my heart and all the fears in the back of my head and all the things my soul keeps captive in a place where only the rain can come and go as it pleases. Velvet. Colors sleep and my mind is freed from the burdens of obligation; freed from pretense and dialog and all that trying to make sense out of what people are saying. The world slumbers and I am king. The king of nowhere.

I’ve been building something and it’s almost complete. While the planet spins apace on its tilted axis and people are murdered one commercial at a time, I’ve been busy constructing a loop-hole in reality — a way to bypass the idiocracy of everything. My note to self I found this morning definitely has meaning, I just haven’t gotten there yet, literally… the events leading up to that note being written have not happened yet. But it is proof. The first real proof that my construct is valid. That which has consumed me for most of my life actually works. Kind of. I am a time machine.

Hello world. What is it to exist? Is it to feel? Or think? If someone else acknowledges you, is that proof enough of your existence? Are we all trapped in some endless yet extremely limited set of possibilities where everything is just a result of a series of all our choices and somehow we as a people manage to navigate this omniverse without trashing everything? Bullshit. Cause and effect have been iced, creamed and blended — made impossible to decipher, turned cause into effect and result into just cause, and fed to us all… no, we begged for it. Like a mocha-coconut smoothie creates something entirely new; greater than the sum of its parts and leaves your mouth coated with a bland, milky film. Every sip laced with a numbing agent stealing our abilities to properly assess what’s really happening. We drink from our own bubbles the waste of our own bubbles. Time makes space linear. They’re connected. Inseparable. The outer most bubble.

Traveling. Movement without moving. This is starting to cause me problems. I’ve acquired the ability to time travel. It is the art of being anywhere but here, anywhen but now. My adventures a’clock have made it painfully clear that time (itself brutally linear) makes space linear. As elusive and mysterious as it is to be in the future, or as deceivingly fruitless it proves to be in the past, the problem lies in my absence from the present. I cannot exist now and in either side of then simultaneously. If I am wrestling my demons or asking answerless questions, exhausting myself down to vital mechanical responses only… or if I’m soaring between stars and constructing metropolises, concocting false realities out of the vapor-trails of dreams, then I have not the mental facilities to absorb the present and rather than just being missed I fall prey to missing being. Disappeared from my life as it happens. Details and nuances that make life full vanish. Unable to wisely navigate decisions the next moments require. Thus in my lack of being, my absence makes the decisions for me. These choices will always be rooted basic, self-preservation, passive, shallow motives irrespective of due diligence, thought, empathy and goodwill.

Cycle. Vicious. I return from my travels to find my life nothing like what I’ve ever wanted and resentment festers and escaping to anywhen else becomes paramount, deepening the chasm between me and my life.

Pain. I came home to an empty house today. I need to break my time machine.