1/07/2007

Check It


The biggest problem with losing a dream that has sustained you for 20 years isn't what you might think.

But maybe you already know this. The odds are excellent, however, that I know it more. This is a little problem. Well, it's big to me. Beyond th' national boundary constituted by my skin it ain't shit. If I have a little wisdom to impart, especially to the youthful amongst us, it lies in this area.

I haven't got a clue how to live. Skipped the lessons, baby. Didn't need them. Figured they was all for straight pussies. I got trickdosed with Welbutrin last year and I didn't have a fucking inkling what to do with all that hope. I found it profoundly disquieting and disorienting. I couldn't get off that shit fast enough and reengage in my comfortable, familiar state of profound, elegant, artistically invaluable depression.

Jesus fuckin' Christ, do you know how lucky we are to even be drawing breath? Woah. It's coming to me, man. It's getting through. I just turned 42 and I'm starting to lose a friend here and there, you know? Man, the first girl that wanted to marry me is in the fucking ground. The fucking ground. All alone in the fucking ground. Fuck has that got to be lonely.

Me, I've got all the pieces. I mean, for the following week, you know? Next week has potential. Next month has potential. But I haven't got the faintest whiff of a concept about how to put them all together.

I haven't got my dream anymore and I never will and it makes the thought of living sort of threadbare and cruddy but man the thought of not living is light years fucking worse. I'm not ready to be that lonely, all in the ground and shit. All in the dark with those muffled footsteps above you and you can't move or get to them.

I'm going to go ahead and give in and start learning how to live this year. This week. This day. Whatever it takes. Maybe what it takes is a new, improved dream. I can't do the death trip anymore. I keep doing the death trip and it keeps not coming and taking me. I have this little inner joke about how I think of death every three minutes instead of sex. Every song I write is a different take on letting go and falling into the fucking abyss.

And the reason is that I have died in a way. It's like I'm in a living purgatory because I lack the imagination or the strength of character or just the skills to rock the future. The future's big, man. Not easy- big. And it just keeps coming. And I just keep staying. There's a lot of shit to get on top of, man. I just had a moment in '01 or '02 where I was like yeah, it's never, ever happening and I had some of the coolest parts of my life after that but it's like I can't sink my feet into anything. Nothing's going to come along and magically sweep me into significance or give me purpose. Tragedy is sort of what does that for the common man. It's usually tragedy.

I wrote an insane song cycle for voice, string quartet and piano in 2002 called The Song Of Days. It's a 35-page score, sort of a neoclassical Side 2 of Abbey Road thing that is held together in a series of movements that are each based on a day of the week. Fuck me, it's really cool. It has really rich jazz sections and insane transitions and a miniconcerto for quartet and piano. It has a section where the strings play these endless, Phillip Glassish staccato offset triplets, slipping in and out of different keys while the piano explores this nightmarish theme that sounds like Rhapsody In Blue played by demons.

It has an eastern-modality based section that's really jumpy and celebratory. It has a hopeless love story set to a series of polychordal I-IV movements that alternately mock and celebrate the lyric. And it's all stuck together through a series of transitions that are almost the heart of the thing. And each movement or day of the week echoes through the others. But it still has the dreamy, hallucinatory quality of sort of meandering, of sort of just puking out prettiness or tension as it moves along.

This year I'm going to record The Song Of Days, I'm going to learn how to look forward to things, and I'm going to learn how to live. I like that thing in people, you know? That looking forward to things thing. People are always like yeah we're going fucking sailing next week or yeah we're going to fuckin' Sheboygen for th' Comicon. They aren't like yeah I'm going to smoke dope and try to redefine music in my basement studio for a week without sleeping and then I'm going on the fucking road for three months.

My family was fuckin' awesome. My folks are ambitious, imaginative people who had been cloistered in small-town America for their childhoods and when the reins were in their hands they were just fucking out, you know? Warm wine in Madrid, baby. Th' altiplano of Bolivia. Fuckin' arctic winters. Trips to Moscow. They were in a choir in Chile that toured down to the tip of the fucking world. And until we were a certain age they dragged us to crazy-ass places every weekend. Museums and galleries and castles. They knew how to live. They weren't overwhelmed by their Responsibilities To The Safe And Healthy Upbringing Of Their Children. You know what they did? They chucked us in the back of the car and made sure we had food and a place to sleep and piss. Well, two places.

Genius. Pure fucking genius. An unrivalled triumph of the imagination. An utter victory.

Something to cause a faint smile to flutter across your dying lips. That's what life is, my dears. Life is a thing to comfort you when you die. Dying is going to suck and you're going to want something when a Life Saver won't do the trick. A chuckle. A memory or two of things like tangerine orchards that stretch to the horizon or an old abandoned tunnel of love or seeing Th' Louvre or Montmarte in th' twilight.

Life is a way to stick your finger up Death's ass. I want to be the guy who sticks his finger the furthest up Death's ass. After all this time. If I have to think about death all th' time I want to think about Death with my finger up its ass. Twisting. Hooking around to worry and discomfit th' prostate now and then. The odd ragged fingernail getting stuck in sensitive colon flesh. Oh, don't be such a fucking whinge. It's Death's ass, man.

I'm going to learn how to sit down and organize my life in a way that doesn't just consist of a bunch of dotted lines that point to a circle in red that says SUCCESS. I'm fucking serious, man. It's like I got visited by the Ghost Of Don't Be A Fucking Knob, you know?

After everything I've seen and everywhere I've been. To have walked along the beach at night after a show in Redondo in '92 and to have said yes I'll take a fucking shot. Who gets that, man? Who gets that?

Did maybe just a little rub off on me? A little understanding of the mystery and the majesty? Surely I'm not so bereft of imagination after all I've created from sweat and pencil? Dude, if I can write "The Song Of Days" with a fucking bubbler and a couple candles and a number two, surely, surely, surely I can compose th' beginnings of a new life.

To be such a knob. What a thing that is. Being a disgraceful, cosmic little knob. It ends tonight.

It ends th' fuck tonight.

Cue th' music, motherfucker.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bud- You're reminding me of me more every day- and whether that's good or bad, it feels creative and sincere! Rock on, Buddy!! qkqusykr to you too

1:38 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

Thanks dude. I always get m'heart in my throat when I see an anonymous. They're usually scary and abusive. Like old girlfriends.

But not you!

You're...you're Sting, aren't you? Man, what's with the lute thing, dude?

4:21 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

Now THAT'S more like it!

6:30 PM  
Blogger teh l4m3 said...

I love you bobby. 42, and you're just starting to lose people? Damn, I've been losing people since my teens. Always at a trickle, though, never more than my fragile psyche can handle. But then maybe that comes with being a fag.

Just remember, Bobby, you are always bigger than your dreams.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

See, that's th' thing, man. I'm such a little death virgin. Well, my old buddy Kent sucked tailpipe when I was in m'twenties. But he had been on the train for a bunch of stops.

Kisses, big homo. Happy New Year.

You too Al. Minus th' homo part.

Here's to no one cool biffing it this year. That'll happen.

Also, I think it should be law that anyone over 80 gets a party instead of a funeral for having a good run.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see that post I did the other day? I was talking about this guy, Ray Kurzweil, who says we're all going to live hundreds of years -- all thanks to nano-scale robots injected into our bodies. So, just maybe, if we're still alive when that shit comes out, we'll be able to really stick it to Death.

Aside from that, great post all around. I'd love to hear that Song of Days.

1:03 AM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

In the meantime, listen to Love Is Only Sleeping

6:47 AM  
Blogger Employee of the Month said...

A firm manly handshake for the new new year.
Mazeltov!

9:46 AM  
Anonymous cleek said...

that's some fine writing, there, Mr Bobby.

aqbwyl

9:56 AM  
Blogger Spc. Freeman said...

"Life is a thing to comfort you when you die."

Word, friend. I understand how you feel about the music thing. Reading Hemingway and Rushdie as a younger man made me crave the same mastery of lexical alchemy. To just have one person experience your sweat and blood in your art, and be shaken--THAT, fame or recognition be damned, would be worth anything.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

One of your best, Bobby. Tears in my eyes and all that. Damn you.

Happy new year. Here's hoping.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck you, man. You made my fucking wife cry. Fuck you, brother. 'cos you know me, and she knows us.

Look, you don't even need to hear it, esp from some dipshit in a blog comment, but you're free, cats - you're fucking free. Fuck 'em, fuck it all, you're fucking free.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

Yes, we are th' tribe of tears. Sweet, sweet freedom.

There isn't a 22-year old knows the value of that shit. That's why it goes on and on.

11:15 PM  

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