Monday, December 31, 2007

Reaching out to the New Year

I have trouble talking to friends who are going through rough times. It’s a cowardice I’m ashamed of, as I pride myself for being the rock my they can rely on. I don’t waver under crisis. I’ve weathered many events. I have perspective. This is the faith they have put in me. It is who I am. But even though I offer this sturdy character, on the inside I’m weak. Like the rest of us. So when my friends are suffering through their own trials, it’s understood that I am there for them, but really, that’s not the truth. That’s just what we want to believe. I am half man half idea. It is better this way. Or that’s what we want it to be.

Really though, I should write my friend who is in jail, and call my other friend who is alone in Miami, suffering a loss. I should be doing this. But I don’t have the will. I can’t muster up the bravery. What would I say? Who would I be? The rock, the calm, the idea? Or the weakling, the coward, the man?

Should I understand, should I nod my head and sigh along with them? Surely, this would make them feel less lonely, but maybe it would also further realize their situation, and plunge them deeper into despair. I don’t want to inspire more dread. But I feel that’s all my presence would do. I can’t help but acknowledge the circumstance and involve myself with it. I can’t help but understand how hopeless things can be. There is something very special about sharing misery with a friend, something intimate and joyous, as ironic as that may sound. But in the end, it’s not too healthy. Ultimately we have to go at it alone, and when that time comes, that false comfort in misery grows nasty and harder to bear.

So should I be naïve, and pretend that the world’s complexities can easy be untangled? Should I groan in disbelief at the petty burdens life deals us? Something can be said about facing a conquering presence when lost is ones own fragility. It gives us confidence, inspiration. It provides us with an example of courage, one we can hold on to when it seems there is nothing left inside of us to grasp. I can be humorous and aloof. Filled with a spirit bigger than their worries, unconcerned with the daily routine of battle and only considering the victory of war. This approach is usually welcome, not everyone needs to be reminded of their sorrows. But no one wants to feel their friends don’t really care.

This is the fine line I straddle. And the anxiety of it prevents me from reaching out when I probably should. I suppose it is just how I am and I should just resign myself to this conflict. We all suffer for it, but this is what we do.

All this was a tangent, what I really wanted to post was HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I'm not DJing this year, which I choose not to do. I’m sick of working on New Year. Fuck that shit. So me and the lady might hit up a pretty cool cocktail party, then head to a friends loft party in Williamsburg [which I might DJ at but there is no pressure] then possibly a warehouse party, and/or the bar for their lil' new years soirée. I hope you guys ring it in right. What are your plans?

Monday, December 24, 2007

My Ghost Haunts the Walrmarts in Florida

I got my identity stolen. It happened sometime last Sunday. Or at least that’s when I think it did. I don’t know for sure. I found out when I checked my bank balance online. I’d just deposited some cash I got for this DJ gig. The day before I’d written a check to the gas company (they sent a man in a blue jacket and a tool belt to personally tell me to write it. my back was against the wall, there was no way I could ditch this caller. So I scribbled out a check for some money I didn’t have and hoped he’d take his time cashing it). I wanted to see if it had gone through.

The check hadn’t gone through yet, but the balance wasn’t as high as it should have been, and there was a strange charge I didn’t recognize. It appeared I’d made a purchase for $400 at a Wal-Mart store. And this Wal-Mart store was in Florida. This is weird, I thought, I don’t think I live in Florida. And I can’t even remember the last time I was in a WalMart. Huh, I mused, curious.

So I called the bank and told them there had been some sort of mix up. I told them I lived in Brooklyn, not Florida. And I shop at Target, not WalMart. There had been a blunder somewhere along the line and I was mistakenly charged $400 for it. It is no problem, I said reassuringly, I know it wasn’t your fault. Some fat cat in a white shirt with a fancy tie and a kick ass parking space is probably the fuck up here. You’re ok buddy. No worries. I just want my money back.

He checked my account (after asking a few probing security questions) and calmly told me my identity had been stolen. This has been happening a lot, he explained, they make a fake card with your info on it, and then buy gift cards from WalMart until the card gets declined. Usually they get thousands of dollars before the card is no longer good. With yours, he went on, they only got one gift card, then they went to a gas station and the card was rejected.

They picked the wrong identity to steal. Mine is practically worthless. oh well. I get my money in early January. Like a little new year’s gift, bittersweet as it may be.

In the meantime I’ve been working and finishing up with school. I handed in my final Final on Friday. The shackles of academia have been broken. I am finally fucking free. Well, at least for a month. I start back the end of January. So it goes.

While walking to a store my main man called. He said he was feeling better; he’d been pretty low for a while. I said I know. He told me his wife might be taking him back. That they spent the night together and he had pleaded his case and she’d resigned in the end. The next morning though, she got cold feet and said she had to think about it. But he was fine with it, he said, he felt good about it now.

I didn’t say much for a while. I just let him tell me, breathlessly, that he was not sad anymore. Then I sat quiet for a moment. I thought about how he worried me. How close and intimate of friends we were and how I knew he was just a shattered man, weak and boneless. I knew he felt he’d lost the inside of him and was now a brittle shell. Just a man with a voice that spoke words that meant nothing. I knew how he felt, but I didn’t know what he wanted to hear, and I didn’t know what I wanted to say, so I just made a joke about him finally getting some poontang and we laughed the whole thing off.

Then next day he called me at the bar. He said it was over, once and for all. He said he just wanted to call and tell me that. I asked why the sudden change and he said she hadn’t stopped seeing this other guy. I sighed. He reminded me he was ok with it. That he felt good. I sighed again. Lies. They’re all lies. He told me he was driving from Miami to pick up his mother’s mother who he doesn’t really know and they are going to celebrate the holiday at his crazy aunt’s house. Its balmy there, they might barbecue by the pool.

I know he still smarts from the break up and I know it stings that she’s given herself to another man. That’s an ugly scar and a wound that takes forever to heal. But I don't know what I could say to change it. Best I can do is answer the phone. This is going to be a painful Christmas. They don’t make hallmark cards for this kinda shit.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

something if not nothing

holy shit its been a lifetime since i last posted. the world has spun a thousand times and a thousand times again. ive smoked hundreds of cigarettes, polished off a million bottles of beer. ive gained weight and age and its not just from all the lager and bali shag, though thats part of it. here are a few of the things that have been on my mind:

- my laptop died. or maybe i should say, my laptop was murdered by me. i spilled a glass of orange juice on its keyboard. i tell everybody that my cat did it because im sort of embarrassed at how dumb it is. death was quick. the glass tipped over and then the keyboard was orange. i hurriedly dried it off but when i pressed the power button it refused to come on. the screen stayed black. i tool it to get fixed last monday, they said they would call me in a week. a week and a day later my phone still hasnt rung. i remain patient.

in the mean time i installed a wireless card into my old pc computer, a feat i cant be proud enough of. ive never been very technologically inclined, so this was something of an accomplishment for me. i brag about it to all my friends. i figured out how to log into the administrator of the pc (something i still dont understand but an obstacle i eventually hurdled) and installed some wireless card software. then i opened up my computer and inserted a wireless card into an empty PCI slot (i think), then, after putting my computer back together and turning it on, i reconfigured it to receive a wireless connection. after all that, viola! a new post on my tiny little online journal. [bows]

thing is, i need my computer. bad. i dont need just A computer, i need MY computer. when i tool it to the store to get fixed, they said they would clean it for $250, but if it needed parts, it could come out to $1100-$1400 on top of that. thats a brand new laptop. and even if i got all my information from it, i would still no longer have a laptop.

all my music is on there. and i have been leaning increasingly on my mp3's for djing at gigs. sure, i could murder a party if all i had to play was house. i got deep vinyl catalog for those occasions. but the gigs i have coming up involve pop and R&B, all the current hip hop and some hipster drum heavy rock and clever mash ups. one important gig, my next gig, calls for christmas carols. i aint gonna go out and by a bunch of christmas carol records, so obviously i need my laptop for the many digital christmas carol tracks there are waiting for my greedy fingers to snatch them up from the internet. plus, this gig pays a good amount of change. enough for a new laptop.

but i cant do the gig if i dont have the laptop, but i cant get the laptop unless i do the gig.

- my back has begun hurting again. its a bad hurt. a familiar hurt. ive gotten out of shape. my girlfriend says my belly's been sticking out. its true. ive noticed it too. i woke up this morning and did some pilates. i promised myself id do them every day from today forward. i break promises to myself all the time. i hope i dont break this one. surgery was brutal. it totally ruined my high.

- the yeasayer album is my new murder.

- There are two movies that will carve a deep niche into american film making this year, those two movies are No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. or at least thats what all the critics are saying. i havent seen either. i was excited about No Country For Old Men from the minute i heard about it. one of my favorite authors meets up with one of my favorite directors (or in this case, directing duos). their distinct narrative styles complemented each other. it seemed a perfect match. everyone is saying its cinematic perfection. the word 'masterpiece' is being thrown around loosely and confidently.

but recently the reviews for There Will Be Blood have started coming in and the critics seem absolutely stunned by it. they have eschewed typical praise almost as if they are afraid it isnt strong enough. they can only comment about how utterly original and profoundly moving it was. they lean on the powerful performances and strangely perfect score (by Radioheads Johnny Greenwood) when describing its good points, and try to find detraction in how remarkably ambitious everything is, from the spare, minimal sets to the almost unheard of early century american cadences the actors use. in the end almost every reviewer has said they dont know if they have seen anything as good in the past 50 years, and that they will have to watch it a few more times to determine this. all i know is i gotta see it. i gotta see both of them.

- i need to sleep more.
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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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