Archive for October, 2008

Only squirrels care.

But I can see you-
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your
Sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you
Will still be strong after the boys of
Summer have gone

My roommate is crazy about these so-called philosophical questions that are supposed to be so endless that they clear the mind just pondering about them. If a tree falls in the forest… The clapping of one hand. That kind. Personally, I find them outright pointless because they blatantly ignore the obvious answer. However, here’s one of my own that I just can’t seem to get rid of.

Why is it, that every single fucking love song reminds me of her. The stupidest ones up front. No really, what the fuck? My progress on getting over her has stagnated, and in these matters you are going backwards if you aren’t going forward. It’s fucking killing me. Sure you know it: the mental, agreeing little nod whenever you hear this sappy shit. Yeah, our love is forever. We were meant to be.

Oh fuck me, here’s another: Why did she have to leave? Why did she run off with this other guy? Why why why didn’t she come talk to me instead? I would have listened. I would have understood that this was a pressing problem and things needed to change. Instead, she went and told some other little fuck, and oh how understanding he was. A good listener, a playful comrade, a dear friend and FUCKING DEAD if I ever run into him, which I am slowly starting to hope I will. Maybe breaking his teeth will allow me to move on. I feel like picking up kick boxing just for that purpose, just to match his pain with mine when I get the chance to. I hope a friend will be near to hold my knife, I don’t feel like jail much.

 

The main reason why I am running up the walls yet again after thinking I had gracefully gotten past that part, is that she is closer to me now than she has been in a long time. No, I still haven’t actually seen her, despite my wretched wishes for that to happen. She’s just taken a habit of sending me text messages for things she would think are important for me, as if she’s got her eye on the job opening of guardian angel. It’s not enough that she’s my dysfunctional sexual reference or my oversensitive conscience whenever I even glance in the direction of the opposite sex.

Also, my stuff that was left behind at her place after I lived there for a month, has arrived. Just some non-essential shit that I never got around to moving. Among them are some of the things she made. She loves -excuse me, loved- to do that. A life-sized collage of photo’s and autumn leaves, postcards,… things like that.

One of those is a book of pictures that she took, of a very personal kind. Of course, I had to leaf through it, and I probably shouldn’t have. It just… broke me all over again. Like most girls, she was always very self-conscious and for her to open up for me like this, was a gesture of unmatched proportion, in my eyes. As far as I was concerned, it were the most beautiful pictures ever taken- still are, in fact. To know that she simply… tossed aside this kind of submittance, or worse, turned it to someone else, made my heart shrink.

7 years. We were 14. We grew up together, we grew together. We were part of each other, we were entwined. We taught each other, learned our lessons together. Somewhere along the line, all this was betrayed. I had my part in it but fuck you, I didn’t go somewhere else. That’s something I will never be guilty of, and she will.

I know she would want me to keep these things. The book in particular, because it meant a lot to her too and most likely still does.
But… How?? How am I supposed to? If I’m going to open this next year, it will destroy me. Five years from now, it still will. As far as I’m concerned, this book shows exactly what I lost with her. The way we were opened to one another, and how it burned.
I gave them to my sister. While going through my things, I passed them to her, one by one, like a blood let. More bitter with each stirred memory. She said she would keep them for me but when we were done, I asked her to throw them away. There’s just no way I would ever be coming back for them, and it’s not like I could hand them back to my ex, fuck she might actually pass them on to someone else like she did with so goddamn much that I gave her.

I’m not sure where they are. Were they destroyed or kept, I don’t know. I don’t want to know. It’s better this way. Not good though, not in the least, but better. It’s a start.
If a man has gotten used to being miserable, is he fine? If he has grown used to going to work half asleep so that he doesn’t have to lay awake, alone in bed, does it make him strong? If he is starting to believe that half of the past 7 years were nothing but lies, is he ready to move on? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?


Trial by fire

It’s quiet now. Roommate’s tapping the guitar, and there’s a Canadian humming through my speakers. Around this time yesterday, Dutch folks were screaming in my face, pop music was blazing at a max of 120dB and my hand was bleeding while I had 7 people under me that had to switch the backline of 2 bands on a stage in under 2 minutes on live national television. Try saying that in one breath without stuttering.

If you just did, you’re an idiot.
Anyway. I’m nearing 4 years on the job now and although I’ve been appointed crew chief on several occasions, my employer has his own people that are getting paid to take on the big productions. I am used to asking what needs to be done, and doing it myself. What’s more, I’ve gotten quite good at it, too.

Yesterday, they seemed to have run out of those poor bastards. Or they simply wore them out as they tend to, I’m not sure. What I do know is that the day before my boss asked in passing, "Crew chief saturday" and I went "Sure." I could have figured out they happened to be dumping the most stressful job possible right on my shoulders right there and then, but nooo. "Sure," he said, and didn’t start regretting it until 30 minutes later.

Stress! I had forgotten the definition of the word. That goddamn nagging feeling, the failed attempts to explain to your colleagues how you want things to go right, the pacing,… There were so many things that could go wrong, and millions at stake. Not that I give a damn about the pocket money of a multi-national, but I I do kind of worry about my job and that of others. Not to mention the fact that I want shit to go right when told to make it happen.

First of all, let me explain what kind of people we are. We don’t have a decent job, we push cases for a minimum wage 4 days a week and we’re broke the 7th of every month. Personally I do this out of love for music and the bit of rock ‘n roll left in the business, but I am the minority here. I don’t want to point any fingers but all in all, in short, we are marginal. At best. We don’t give a shit. We don’t show up on the job, we tell the stage manager to bugger off, we work drunk, stoned, high, hardly awake and bleeding like a stuck pig. Any combination is possible, and preferred. Having a group like us under you to organize a show with 18 different bands on 2 stages, is a good way to go batshit.

SO when one of us pricks happens to stick around for long enough to get temporarily promoted, he’s proper fucked over a barrel. Enter Maarten, a 23 year old shit trying to get a crew chief contract. Why not test him a little?

Let me tell you, we fucking rocked. All 8 of us, each individual. I swear to Maynard I got a little emotional seeing the guys get that shit on stage and off again. No risers fell off, no managers went mad, or any of that. Smoothly, on and off. 2 minutes? We did that load-in in 20 seconds, flat.

We made that show. All 8 of us and our stage manager, we were the cornerstones of the whole operation. Yes I am being overdramatic, but you should have seen us. My guys were there when I needed them, nice and sober. Through the noise and ear plugs they needed nothing more than a gesture to understand what was going on, what was expected, and where. They performed well over our usual level, and were worth triple their wage if you ask me. 15 hours, we did that day, with work gradually getting harder every hour to the very end of the show and the backline load-out. They rocked, and allowed me to do the same.

I’m going to remember this job for a long time, with mixed emotions. I gave my crew shirt away, didn’t even need to be asked. I am so glad that shit is behind me now and it all went well. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t genuinely having a ball, from the very second we got busy.
To my colleagues: Thank you very much.
To my employer: You’re welcome.


Monkey Business

My head is spinning. Left to right, I don’t know where to look first. I can tell you things that will redden your cheeks without even putting any effort into it, but when it comes to the single life (Oh it’s called the single life now, is it??), I’m the one who is hopelessly naive. When talking to my friends or colleagues about it, they start explaining things to me like they are talking to a 7 year old. And what’s worse, I am actually listening. Thing is you see, every kid went through all this in puberty. It’s as easy as tap water, but I am completely oblivious to it. And I’m not (only) talking about getting laid, either. Hell, just keeping your head straight without someone sweet enough to hold it for you all damn day, is proving hard enough.

Only making things more difficult, is that I have a disadvantage that they do not. I’m distracted. I still miss her too much. Way, too much. The sound of her voice, her humor ("Forgetting to call is for bum fuckers!"),… And call me shallow or sexist, but what I miss most of all are the touches. And that is exactly one of my weakest points: I hate being touched. It makes me paranoid. Hugs, kisses, pats on the shoulder, you won’t notice but I can do without. Lately, every now and then this pattern is broken by a sudden urge to do such, myself. Just… grab the person in front of you (preferably a female, but thanks) and steal a hug. So I don’t, because before you know it they turned it into a habit. Freaks.

I can hold my hands open, palms facing each other, and before the next moment I can feel her between them so vividly that my eyes fly open. It’s that easy. Her feel is embedded into my mind like the groove in a record. With clothes, but preferably without. When she was sitting, standing, preferably laying down. What’s more, I can even analyze to the detail how I felt her. Usually I wouldn’t use my hands as much, those were for clutching and holding. It’s actually my lower arm that registered the supple skin, feeling her curves from the wrist up. Not that I would start rubbing my arms on her like a retard, of course, but try it: when you’re holding someone, think how and where you are feeling him/her. Hands can only cover so much, and in the case of a girl it would be a dead shame to rely solely on them.

 

They just don’t know, do they. Today, boys and girls, "They" will refer to the latter of you. The women. You don’t know. You think you do, but you don’t. If you did, you would stop calling men weak. The endless rolling of eyes and patronizing when stared, or occasionally whistled at would cease this instant if you would all just sit down and get your head around what you look like.

A man is only that, no one gives a damn. Hell even the opposite sex hardly does. A woman, on the other hand, can turn any one’s head. For once and for all, when you’re parading past us with your head set on tonight’s groceries or whatever, you haven’t got the slightest what kind of effect you’re having. Since you’re stuck being mildly interested in men, you can’t even grasp how powerful this image can be. It can hit us like a train, distract, fold us open like a book and expose our weaknesses. It will turn us melancholic, improvising poetry while staring at you from the construction site.

Get this into your head: When we are around you, we are constantly and always restraining ourselves. Sexist comment, over-the-top attempts towards flirting and macho behavior are nothing more than the failure to suppress our Tarzan complex. We’re Sorry, alright? We just want to be liked by you. Our ego depends on you, goddamnit. Give us a break here.

Right, anyway. So yeah, recently we got a few girls with the crew. Pretty, bouncy little things in a world of macho’ism and hairy chests. You should see the reaction on some of the guys, it’s just hysterical. Not that I am above it, but watching their behavior you would swear that they have never seen a woman before. I am ashamed in their place when they bolt forward to help them with the most easy of tasks, making broad shoulders with a sheepish grin when ‘they’ pulled it off with a manly grunt. Or, take to calling them "babe" at every single inopportune moment. For the sake of keeping my aggravation in check, I assume that the girls are giggling with them, rather than at them. Not that they would notice the difference.

 

I bet you can imagine by now where my mind is. So sue me, I think my virginity is growing back. The good news is, that I’m not too desperate about it. No, really. With all the crap I am wading through at the moment, getting my rocks off isn’t too high on my list. Not that any offer towards most forms of how’s-your-father wouldn’t be met with an obedient nod. (HINT HINT call me HINT)
But yeah. No. Not desperate.


Justified Murder

Staring down that hole again.
Hands are on my back again.
Survival is my only friend.
Terrified of what may come.
Remember I will always love you,
as I claw your fucking throat away.
But it will end no other way.
It can end no other way.

Maynard James Keenan’s fans are a frustrated lot, prone to aggression and hammering scaff pipes. Why? Because everything they say, everything they want to say, has been said in a better way. Anything they want to undertake to vent or to share their emotions with, has been done and been at. So what is there left to do but to copy-paste? From a man who governs individualism like no other. Such a terrible shame of personality, I know. But everyone needs someone to look up to. My lot any I just happened to have found a greater mind to relate to, and be overshadowed by. So, in your face.
It’s funny how you experience music in such a more refined way when the lyrics fit your current mindset, too. At least, that’s how I feel it. I could scream along if I had anything of a singing voice and well, wasn’t strolling through town.

 

I went and bought myself an mp3 player, because I am so happy about my state-of-the-art CD player that I don’t want to break it while using it. Make sense? Either way, it’s been a blissful source of ear bleeds and resulting dizziness. And no, not even in any proverbial sense. It does get frustrating at times, I hope I’m not mistaken and actually growing a tumor or something. I’m too young to be a cynic.

To the point. To quote my soul mate BenX, "Shut out the noise. With… other noise. More… enjoyable noise." When finding yourself in a crowd with different behavior, it’s easy to get frustrated, keeping yourself from rolling your eyes everywhere you look. For instance, when caught in the middle of Gent’s biggest student party while all you wanted to do is get some food. The simple act of shutting off your hearing and immersing yourself in the sounds you enjoy right down to the emotional level, can calm you down and help you see things clearer.

For instance, the couple that came in. His friends were there and he couldn’t stop belittling her in front of them, to the point where she started hitting him. They laughed and he mocked her some more, grabbing her and groping anything within reach. And she loved it, protesting with a broad grin. It lead to the inevitable question that every single man has posed himself: "Why this asshole? I could-" and so on. But at that moment free of frustration, the answer came easily. I couldn’t help but recognize this douchebag’s behavior as my own, as little as a few months ago. It’s quite simple: when an ego is fed, it grows. We get as cocky as we are allowed to get.

So why this idiot, and not you? It’s easy: because this idiot isn’t you, which allows him to behave that way. Why do the nice guys stay single, and do these arrogant bastards get the girls? The main difference is that they have a girl, really. I was that guy, making an idiot of himself in front of others, not even that long ago. It’s the lack of opportunity to do such, that humbles you. And from there, you’re on your own.

 

I have a roommate. In the American sense of the word, so that would make it a housemate. A friend got kicked out of his house and asked if he could stay for a month or so while looking for a place to live. He’s a nice enough fellow and he likes to cook, so hey why not. Welcome to the Refuge.

Ahh, the good old days of coming home wondering what you’re going to find. An empty place allowing you to do whatever the fuck you feel like, or a heap of stoned out hippies playing didgeridoo on reggae tunes on YouTube. "Hey that sounded pretty good."

Good timing, I would say. I was getting a little tired of being on my own, and this gives me the opportunity to step out of the occasional rut to focus on someone else’s problem. Some call it parasitism, I call it a symbiosis. So what if I’m feeling better through someone else’s problems? It’s not like I wished them here.

 

So. In between work gradually slowing down after 4 months without a single resting day, and a rather hectic personal life, I’m… fine. Would you mind if I were? I actually do feel guilty about it, it seems to me I’m recovering a little too quickly. Not that it doesn’t still hurt, don’t get me wrong. But I’m slowly getting the feeling that I’m ready to move on. Which I intend to, as well. I decided I’m going to get me a driver’s licence, which would mean I can start as a crew chief at Roadrunner. More on that later, perhaps.

Additionally, I got a nice wake-up call the other day. No, I don’t want to elaborate. Not for the sake of acting mysterious, but simply because it’s just… nothing real. Yet. We’ll see how it turns out.
Either way! It gave me a taste of responsibility for more than my own whims. It scared the living hell out of me, but at the same time served as sound motivation to actually get up and do something with my life. Sure, avoiding chores and a ‘fuck em’ mentality has gotten me this far, but it’s as good as it gets. From here on, I will have to adapt. I already have in some ways, but I’m not even close to the lowest of standards of most "hard-working" citizens. No, I am no material for society, and hopefully never will be. But that doesn’t mean I can’t participate.

In practice, that would mean getting that driver’s licence, and a decent job. From there, I might be able to specialize when I feel like it, to change to something with better pay and survivable working hours. But let’s not go there yet. One small step at the time. School didn’t teach me how, and neither did my parents. Hell- the only reason I’m still here is probably boot camp.

Where do we go from here? I don’t know. But forward. As usual, I’m scared like a bitch. There’s very little to fall back on and no-one is going to hold my hand, like most people my age had in the past.