Friday, March 31, 2006

Beverley said it best

Then I went to see Jamie Lidell at the Surfcomber, and met a friend, then another. The beach was packed and the stage was fixed with a million lights, all different colors. They shined out like threads over the audience and into the Atlantic Ocean behind us. The fist in the front pumped up into the sky and I was awed by how exciting things could get sometimes. Then I got a text message from my friend Anngie that said –I’m so close to him its like were kissing, and I sent back, -Slip him some tongue for me.

Later Coldcut came on and everyone started acting bored. I met up with Anngie and her friends and we all became instant BFF’s. We snuck down to the shore and did a key bump of cocaine and then put our feet in the water. It was warm and comfortable and we stood there for a second watching the moon and talking about how, as Beverley cleverly phrased it, Nothing was still. Vanessa and Patty stripped down to their bathing suits and dove in under the waves. The curves on their bodies stunned me as they sunk into the water then washed back up to the beach. I couldn’t tell if it was the moonlight or the drugs, but everything seemed to be glowing.

It was morning then it was night again, during the day it was the same. Alcohol and nicotine, a break to smoke some weed, a folded out futon and loud music by a poolside, a messy hotel room and downloaded porno clips. Wristbands. Drink tickets. Wristbands that were all day drink tickets. Walking down the boulevard with sunglasses on, melting on a rooftop sitting next to a pretty girl, being charming and chewing gum and snatching glances of her thighs. A full fullplate of food at 5 am, the first and last of the day; I think I ate in the afternoon too, but they were small, utilitarian meals, that aren’t really worth remembering.

Ill get back to posting normally soon. I think. To be honest, I’m not sure. There is plenty to say, I just don’t know how to formulate the words sometimes. I guess I could just rant about some shit. Or talk about a movie I saw that maybe affected me in some way. I could always write about music, but that bores me, I’d rather hear it. I guess I could write about my “feelings,” or some shit. Or maybe about a funny scene that popped into my head. Im watching and listening and living and such, I guess I could always write about that…

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Miami: the first 36 hours

the first day in miami is pedestrian. I stroll on the boulevard, a victim of the heat, then dinner and a movie afterwards. the second day is another story all together.

I wake up to ten missed calls and a few unanswered text messages. im late for sound check and I havent showered yet. fuck it. I tell them it'll be ten minutes then I pack my record bag and start my march to the gig. when I get there nothings ready. all urgency and no rush; typical south beach panic, I should be used to it by now.

I unload my bag and wait for something to happen. nothing does, so I go back to the palace to enjoy a drink and some nicotine. I get back to the gig half an hour early, everthings gravy, all the sound checks out. the band im playing beside begins tuning their instruments. the sun is being gentle, the wind keeps things tame. the crowd is materializing. alcohol starts being served. the day seems perfect, then it hits me: I forgot my earphones.

I trot back to the palace, my feet in a swift frenzy. my phones blowing up and all my calls are anxious. where are you? you gotta go on soon. sony japan is watching. dj krush is waiting. there are people who dont know the language you speak waiting to hear what you have to say. where are you? you gotta go on soon. people are waiting. everybodies waiting. I get my earphones, I get on a bike. a "cruiser." I cruise back to the spot. I cant figure out the bike lock so I leave it available in an alley. I hit the decks ten minutes early. I get a free drink. I wipe the sweat from my forehead. I drop a 1/2 hour set of modern techno dance rock. they love what I play. the sun was just setting and even below the bass bins you can still hear the ocean crashing onto the shore.

I take a few xanax. I finish my second cocktail. DJ Krush is murdering the decks. I start to get social and see a few faces I recognize. the manly handshake hugs are given, smiles smiles smiles. someone suggest we go to their hotel room for a few drinks and some lines. everyone is jonesing for weed. the night hadnt even begun and it already felt like two in the morning.

some stranger slides up to my side. a cute chick with a funky outfit. -I can get you weed, she says. well do your thing girl, sort it out. indeed she does and an hour later everyone is stoned and the mirror from the wall is on the floor and another bottle of vodka is half empty on the nightstand. someone is using the lighbulb from a lamp to dry up the cocaine. the cute chick that got the weed stands close to me, her face an inch from mine, and says -im asexual. I only make love to myself. I look her in the eye, then at her lips and mouth. -me too, I reply.

we go to one party. we go to another. I meet people ive known forever and ask everyones name and then say it outloud so as to remember it. Chad. Missy. Donna. Graham. Darren. Jeff. Amanda. drinks are $15 a piece. I give someone a hug that I dont know and tell them i'll call them tomorrow.

when I woke up today it was raining. another tropical storm, they always come at least once. so I decided I would type this and wait. maybe ill get a burger later.

Friday, March 17, 2006

slow ride

I started "partying" early today. so by lunch I had a slur and my appetite was wiped. the colors from the sun still streaked across the late afternoon clouds. and I had a weird moment:

like I was in the bedroom of a house in the safe area of a suburb and I had just realized something poignant about the sky and it all made life a little more poetic. and I had been inspired by the internet. and it was very late at night.

it was a strange sensation. not that it was intensely nostalgic, but that it was so precise. it was such a specific feeling that it transcended any sort of de ja vu, it felt deeper than any intellectual memory. it felt natural, like an instinct. or maybe it was more reactionary to what I really felt and thought, like a sudden cowardice; my entire being shrinking in fear. this strange regression to a minute that might have never been, this awkward desire to reimagine a time, however brief, of innocence and wonder. im telling ya, it was weird.

then I started thinking about Miami, and how I have to go next week, earlier in the week, like monday or so. and I knew it was business and I knew I had to go but it all feels so curious, so fast and haphazard. to be unemployed, yet dive into such decadence. I guess its all relative. I guess its where you fly in from. I got places to go, people to meet. I got smiles to secure and drinks to buy and tabs to close out and all that what not. I got a beach to lie on and a belly to hide. I got to pick out some hip socks to rock when im not in sandals and make sure my calendars booked and my hairline edged up. I gotta worry about new york. but im thinking about miami.

at the same time im remembering the lake down the road from my mothers house. the one in the hills of california. long rolling fields of dry, summer shades, heat that raises in waves from the driveway pavement. me and my brother would stroll down in our shorts, a towel slung over the shoulder, a cooler in one of our hands, flip flops slapping the dirt path that lead from our mothers backtyard to the lake. no one was ever there when we arrived, but I had seen a few empty beer cans and a discarded condom wrapper or two, so I knew we werent the only ones that knew of it. still, when ever we went, the only company we shared was with dragonflys, of which there were hundreds. big, gorgeous, monstrous insects, of any and every color the light allowed those clear summer days. we would swim, or climb then fall from the limb of a large, overhanging tree. sometimes I could feel fish slide by my waist in the dark waters. it always made me flinch, but I learned to not be afraid of them. for refreshments, we would tie up a six pack of beer to a long rope, then let it hang at the bottom of the lake to keep cool. we would bring a radio, and keep it on the classic rock station.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


A couple of weeks ago I became one of the unemployed. I didn’t quit, I wasn’t fired and I wouldn’t call myself a victim of lay offs niether. The company I worked for just went bankrupt in one day. Actually it took all of 10 minutes. One short phone call, and the next thing you know an entire business is nothing but a dead myspace page. We were all called to the conference room, I don’t think many people knew what was coming. I had some insight because of my position, but even still, none of us were really prepared, and when it was announced that at the end of the month we had to have the office cleaned out because the locks were going to be changed, that we would get one more check, the dreaded rent check, and that would be it for good, there was a moment of anxious quiet, like the beginning of great gasp. It was the 22nd of a 28 day calender.

The next few nights were a blur of drugs and alcohol. When the day became clear again I found myself in a panic working for a record label, hustling cd’s from the basement of their club in the Lower East Side. I was also starting up a label group with a friend, and trying to lock down meetings with distributors that seemed only vaguely interested. This on top of meeting with various record labels and artist, keeping them on ice while the proverbial iron was still piping hot. I was going out every night. I had to DJ. I had to meet people. I had to connect all the dots. I was being charming and smart and confident, but it didn’t really seem to be me, instead it seemed all a part of the hysteria rising in the city at the time.

Sometimes you find that the wheels are already in motion and something you don’t even know you started is already being done. It is a paralyzing feeling; it is a suffocating feeling, because right then you realize you don’t have much control over your life, as if things just happened to you, weather you wanted them to or not.

I stayed up later every night, eventually just calling 6am my bedtime. If I wasn’t at home writing or checking emails, I was at a club or a loft or a living room sitting on a barstool. I always had a beer in my hand, I never turned down a bump of cocaine, a bottle of xanax stayed on my person at all times. I woke up to text messages and fired off an email before I went to sleep. I ate once a day, whenever I found the time to be hungry. I smoked a lot of cigarettes and shook a lot of hands. I got paranoid about checking my bank account balance, fearing it would steal whatever optimism that kept me waking up in the morning.

Then on Friday I got sick, and all of it caught up to me. Everything hurt. I could hardly lift a muscle. My fever reached 102 degrees, pressure leaned on every nerve. At one moment I was covered in sweat and the air was thick and heavy, the next I shivered with chills and coldness spread through my veins like a disease. I felt I was in the city’s fist and it was squeezing hard in alarm. The universe got tangled in worry. Nervous knots twisted up in my stomach and chest. Weakness overwhelmed me; defeated, I sat in a pool of sick.

It was yesterday I was finally able to take a shower. It seemed like forever since I had been clean. In there the heat from the water rolls and slides down my bones and skin and the steam rises thickly and curdles all over and I’m warm and still and everything feels quiet. I wanted to stand there forever, letting the water beat upon my back. I wanted to relax into its heaviness and absorb and eclipse all life’s burdens with it. But nothing waits. My skin grew loose and wrinkled. the paint on the ceiling began to peel in the corners. The shower had to end, like everything else. I had to get out. I had to get out. I had to get out and dry off and put on some fresh clothes and go outside and face the world and what it is so I pulled back the curtain and took one more deep breath and then i made an exit and enter all at the exact same time.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tom Sizemore should have won the Oscar

Tom Sizemore is the man. I’ve always liked his work. I don’t know why, maybe it was the perpetual element of sleeze that he exuded, maybe it was because he never looked in shape and I thought that was a respectable and courageous approach towards acting, maybe it was his greasy hair. I’m not sure. I just kinda like liked him, and when he was in a movie I always figured, -what the fuck, I’ll see it, its got “the Size” in it, how bad can it be?

Oh yeah, I nicknamed Tom Sizemore “the Size.” It really just rolls off the tongue. You should try it. The Size. Easy, aint it?

In any case, so the size has reached new heights in adoration. He’s like, my Mussolini, my Stalin, my Oprah Winfrey. He is what I aspire to be. He is the Size, and the Size, who still is a working Hollywood actor with over a million dollars in his checking account, has decided that he is going to go ahead and get really high on drugs then fuck random strippers and hookers on camera, then release it on a porno site and collect all the dirty dough.

Imagine that freedom. The freedom to just fuck it all up. The freedom to just let it all go. To lose your wallet and lose your cell phone. To forget to make that call and forget that you forgot to make it. To execute every thought in your head no matter how deep or fleeting. To burn away like patience in a white light toward the sky. To continue on in one long hour and that hour seems to last a season and that season reaches on forever and its all one color or maybe sometimes two. To just not even feel or care and just see and know that its natural and the girl are natural and the windows are natural and the things you say and hear are natural, and its in your veins and your head and behind your eyes and this hysteria is inside your teeth and you feel it when you stop talking and your jaw sits still.

This is genius. What I wouldn’t do. Oh god knows what I wouldn’t do, if I could just get so fucked up on drugs that I reached the very frayed edges of sanity and the only thing my mind had the capacity of thinking of were: porno, lube, hookers and cocaine.

Fucking brilliant. Damn that would be awesome.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

vague updates

And I’m superstitious as well, but not the run of the mill kind. I don’t give a shit about white lighters and salt. I don’t care what floor the elevator stops on. I ignore black cats and cracks in the sidewalk. I could care less about broken mirrors. It’s the subtle shifts in routine I take notice of. And the days that begin after.

You change your brand of cigarettes; you change your brand of luck. You take a different train and have a different day than you would have had otherwise. You wake up earlier. You answer your phone more often. You go to the same café and stick to the same formula. You take less. You do a little more. You smile when you wake up, and figure that’s the key.

I’m sitting there and I’m in a meeting and I’m explaining to this guy that I know exactly what I’m doing but have no way to do it. Then I’m saying to this other guy that everything is fine. Then I got a meeting with this lawyer because I don’t really know if everything is fine and want to get a better handle on what’s true and what’s not true and what’s words that evaporate into another story of the city. Then I’m at a club in another meeting with a record label and I'm trying to make things calm. Then I’m checking my email and making calls that I need to make and then when it gets to where time has escaped completely I pack my bag and try to catch it. Then I’m on the train on the way home and I’m punching meetings into the calendar of my phone and text messaging when I get reception.

When I get to the house I unload myself and kiss my girlfriend goodnight and remind her that I love her then go into my office and reply to some emails. I smoke a spliff then drink a beer and i'm sitting in my comfy chair and watching commercials and letting all the blood settle inside me. I’m letting my face and my arms feel heavy. I’m letting the hum of traffic from 7th avenue hypnotize me. I’m thinking of records and which ones always sound the best. The television grows into a comfortable drone. Then i start to feel the sad and spare silence of these times and the weight of lifes trials rushes through me slowly like a wave that has crept and fell instead of crashed and all the madness begins to soak in. Then my mind begins to panic. Everything begins to collapse and the burden of circumstance starts its uneasy slumber. Things are getting maudlin, I've got to make a move. In any minute I will cry. At any minute I will begin to cry. So I pack my record bag and wait until fifteen minutes after midnight then head out the door to the Lower East Side.

On the train I stare at the advertisements and read every legal line and disclaimer. When I get to the club its packed and dark and the headlining act is in the middle of landing its electro rock spaceship and the crowd is thick and sloppy. When the band takes a break I play African funk music and clear half the dance floor. I push forward into some deep tribal rhythms and onto some pop, then techno. Some drunk dude shakes my hand after my set and tells me thanks like as if I saved his life. I get another free drink from the bar and smoke a cigarette on the patio and the security guard tells me to stomp it out or I have to leave. I don’t feel like saying I’m the DJ. It just seems like more than needs to be done. So I just step on the butt and go back to the bar.

On the way home as I'm standing on the corner waiting for the light to change, I decide not to write anything about this, because it would be a bad move, cosmically. Its that superstition coming back to haunt me.

But because I have so much inside me I feel I have to write something, even if it’s cagey. Even if its wrapped in red tape. I have to write something, because what else can I do?

I’ve got to keep on moving.
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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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