Zone

Last weekend must have been the most random weekend of my life so far. You know it’s good when you catch yourself going, “…Wait, how did I end up here?” several times a day. (That and “Ooh… That’s going to leave a stain.”)

Sleeping out and helping my father move furniture wasn’t all that special, but I don’t mind these things starting off slow. Things picked up when I had to arrange a contract with a band called “D’Onderhond” (literally translates to Th’Underdog) I invited to come play at our festival (more on that later). For the record, yes, I think these guys are fucking awesome and if you disagree, that’s because you have a grudge about them fucking your sister. All nine of them. Also, they happen to consist of a merry gang of squatters so after taking forever tracking them down, I eventually spotted a couple of them huddled up in an old gas station named after a puma. They’ve been having trouble with uptight neighbors so they weren’t specifically thrilled to see me at their door with a paper for them to sign. Luckily they understood it was for our school’s paperwork, and while their cow-sized dog was loving me all over the floor, they filled in the details that they could (which excludes address and bank account number).

The rest of they day was spent intricately photographing the local light festival (more on that later too), with two friends with identical camera bodies. What I also got was a professional, expensive-ass backpack that can fit both my laptop and camera equipment along with a sweet pair of fingerless gloves, all in preparation for the next day.

Queue Flashback: The artists from Brussels we did the sound for on the radio recently, later performed at a local club. Since my colleague was doing the sound, I had my hands free to shoot pictures and do some experimental filming with my modest DSLR. They seemed impressed when I gave them the results later, but they opted for their own laptop footage for promotion so I didn’t really bother further with it.

Two days later I got a phone call: They liked my stuff so much, they invited me to come shoot for their next video, in the Ardennes. Now if you want to compliment me, this is exactly how.

So it was on this foggy Sunday morning that I stood, with my shining new equipment and a tripod heavier than myself over the shoulder, staring at the valley below. I think I spoke out loud when I mused, “What an odd place to find oneself at a time like this.” On a hillside in the biting cold, at a time I am usually in bed.

We spent the whole day shooting and I got the chance to really get into “the zone” at times, where I can pour my whole self into what I’m doing- something I still miss from doing capoeira. The actors and crew were awesome people, and the owner of the place, one of the richest families in Belgium, bombarded us with pizza and homemade apple juice. Motherfucker do I love artisanal apple juice.

It’s no coincidence that I preferred to exchange images before going home as we arrived in Brussels, even though it was getting late: I was having a great time and home was the last place I wanted to go. We stayed up chatting, joking and sharing music tastes long after the sun went down, and inevitably, it became too late to catch a train home. So I just crashed there, and they put me in one bed with a very cute chick (who looked younger than me but happened to be seven years older), who mistook me for her boyfriend several times that night. I deserve a medal for keeping my paws to myself but needless to say, didn’t get much sleep- Though getting surprise-spooned must be the best alternative.

Today is Monday, and I’ve been kind of wobbling around at school. The weekend now seems so surreal there is something telling me it was only a dream- but I have the pictures to show otherwise. I’m not going to put them up by the way, because they would spoil something creative that isn’t mine, and not because there’s 95 of them and I don’t feel like fucking editing them all right now.



I just went and saw “Blood into Wine” and paid heaps of money for it because I support the artist and multi-million dollar making production houses. This puts me drop dead smack in the middle of the “I’ll follow Maynard to the end of the world and buy anything his ass cheeks let through” category, because, frankly, I’ll follow Maynard to the end of the world and will buy anything his ass cheeks let through. Never in my life have I seen a movie about wine making, but I’ll watch anything of and about Maynard James Keenan. I can’t even remember the other people’s names and this was like, 20 minutes ago.

Neither do I give a flying fuck about wine. It’s got alcohol in it so I won’t drink it, it just tastes like grapes and piss to me. I know I sound exactly like those two talk show hosts in the movie but the difference is that I’m aware of it (or so I keep telling myself). I know the art is about subtlety and practice sharpens your senses to detect much more than the flavor of some liquid, but I still couldn’t care to save my life, I’m sorry!
However, the only reason why I didn’t go and buy Maynard’s nightshop urine (two bottles, one for me and one for my father) is because it was sold out, pecked dry by people like me but with better timing.

This is the kind of irony Banksy (another one of my idols) gets hard on: Idolizing someone despite realizing the absurdity of which. But! I have a valid reason, which is the fact that I was aiming for a particular cabernet sauvignon by the name of (Nagual del) Judith, which is the name of Maynard’s deceased mother. That’s right, he named that red excrement after his mother, whose ashes he spread over the vineyard so that she can travel the world.

When looking up to someone as globally loved as Maynard James Keenan, it’s natural to seek something to have in common, so that while he doesn’t even know of my existence, he knows that he is not alone in his loss and, just as I know, that others have lost loved ones. In a painful sense, I am happy to share the most influential occurrence in his life. It proves that in some sense, we are alike and not alone.

Watching the hype around rock ‘n roll and red wine on screen, it stings to see just how many idiots like me are around. But where else would you turn? It’s important to believe in oneself, but even God has Batman to look up to. It’s the natural course of things and I’m not escaping it.

And it seems like I’ll have to wait until autumn to get my claws on some wine. Which is, coincidentally, remarkably close to my birthday hint nudge wink.

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