The trouble with maintaining a blog is that you think of all sorts of things to write about when you’re doing something else, like working, or driving, but when you finally sit down in front of the computer, all those great ideas go right out the window. So you end up, or at least I end up, spewing a bunch of “blah, blah, blah, I’m not feeling so good right now” twaddle that comes nowhere near the brilliant, elusive, dreamy posts that fly in through one ear and out the other before they make it into typed words. Oh, if you could have seen the posts I composed in my head.
I’m sitting here in a cafe typing into my laptop right now. The impermanence of life is weighing heavily on my mind, and has been for a while. The holidays are over. One person I knew, a man who helped me out a lot, simply by living an example and by exuding serenity when I got to a crisis point over 19 years ago and had to abandon one way of life for another, died over the holidays. Another person I’ve known just about as long, who was around when I was wrestled by life into surrender, is reportedly on her deathbed as I write this. My daughter, 23 and beautifully independent, left for Thailand right after Christmas on a one-way ticket. I sincerely hope there’s a god, or maybe some benevolent spirits, who will watch over her and keep her safe.
Me? I’m not a loser. I make a lot of mistakes. Lately, the task of making amends has been coming up, partially because of where I am in a certain spiritual-growth process, and partially because, well, I’m sick and tired of making the same mistakes over and over, and I’m tired of doing stupid things that hurt people I care about, and I want to stop and I want to set things right. I’ve got one in particular that’s at the top of the stack, an old friend I badmouthed on Facebook, and maybe somewhere else I can’t remember because I was in a fugue state of being a butthole. I’ve tried to make amends several times, with no response any time. Please don’t laugh.
Many of my resentments seem to grow out of my frustration to be heard as a songwriter and musician. I get frustrated, then bitterly resentful, and then that negative state I’m in, along with the damage I’ve caused, turns people against me. What I really need to do is let go of any desire to play music — not give up, but just let go. I did that for my nonexistent love life, which is still nonexistent, but at least I’m not torturing myself anymore whenever a beautiful woman crosses my path, or worse, a beautiful woman who at one time professed love for me. It doesn’t mean I have to stop playing music or singing or writing songs; it just means I have no expectations that anyone other than me will give much of a hoot.
This morning I woke up to a pretty cool dream. It was long and byzantine, probably fueled by the anodyne Tom Ka Gai soup I ate the night before to ward off this horrible fluey-coldy thing that hit me on New Year’s Eve, and all I remember was the end. I descended with a small group of people, familiar to me but I can’t recall their names, into a cave that led to another world inside the Earth, kind of like Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, which I’d enjoyed in comic-book form (Classics Illustrated) until I stupidly took it with me on a Boy Scout 50-mile hike and the Scoutmaster caught me reading it behind a tree and he made me burn it and a couple of other childhood comic favorites, me weeping like a pussyboy at losing some things I loved dearly, in front of all the other Boy Scouts.
Anyway, this group and I descended into this other world, which was verdant and primitive, like the plants were at an earlier stage of evolution. There were these younger boys, like my sons, and at one point one of them told me how cool it might be if we could fly. “What’s holding you back?” I answered him. “It’s easy. Watch.” Then I got a running start, but my arms out like plane wings and took off. I was zooming around this inner dome world, rising and diving and doing barrel rolls, and I saw that they followed. The sky was pink and orange with clouds, and the landscape was lush and green, like hilly jungles that went on for miles. At one point, I flew over what looked like some kind of modern defense installation, or maybe a nuclear power plant or a UFO, all gleaming chrome in the bright light. My mind couldn’t make sense of what it was doing in the corner of this domed jungle world of my dreams.
And then, we all landed, and it was time to leave. There was a woman sitting in a lounge chair on a deck, and she was a composite of my first girlfriend Jo and my daughter’s mom Lynne and a couple other women I’ve loved. She looked up from the newspaper she was reading, and as I walked by she rose up and planted a big kiss on my lips. “It’s so good to have you back, Bri,” she said, calling me by a shortened version of the middle name I’d gone by in my younger years. “It’s so nice to see you acting like your old self again.” I’m not sure what she meant. I mean, I kinda have an inkling, but I’m really not so sure.
Then again, there is a lot I do not know, and probably never will. —Jackson Griffith
So what did you do to ring in the new year? I dragged myself out of my little hidey-hole, figuring that it would be much better to welcome the new year while being somewhat sociable than just chilling out in my apartment. Didn’t really have a plan; walked a few blocks to Tres Hermanas, a Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood, and right after I got seated, a threesome that I think might’ve been roasting a bowl on the sidewalk came in, carrying a really big bottle of cheap (Cook’s) champagne, acting like they owned the joint. That takes stones; the only thing cooler would have been if it was Andre cold duck. The guy was hispanic, with one of those goofus fauxhawks and a fake tan; he was wearing a black dress shirt with a really ugly crimson tie. One of the two women was a blonde, the other a brunette; both had painted-on dresses, and the blonde’s lingerie covered up her tats, but the brunette had a bunch of stuff in what looked like olde English script tatted all up and down her slightly plump legs.
There was a couple seated in between them and me, so I only could gander snippets of their conversation; something about “you look hawt,” directed toward the blonde, and a rather loud passage wherein Mr. Ladies Man was arguing over his cell phone with what sounded like a cab dispatcher about the price of getting from Tres Hermanas to the Mercantile Saloon, an easy five-and-a-half block jaunt by foot in athletic shoes, made slightly more difficult in counterfeit Louboutins. I kept trying to take pictures of them, because they were such a funny sight, but I am the world’s worst photographer. When I left, Fauxhawk and the blonde were decamped outside with their champagne and cigarrettes: “You look sooo hawtt,” he told her again, “but Gina just looks sooooo trashy tonight.”
Later, I made it over to the Fox & Goose in time for D.J. Larry Rodriguez’s big soiree, which must have been pretty fun. Except that Sir Nose D’Voidofunk hit me with some kind of anti-bop entropy gun, so I got rhythm about as well as Mitt Romney, which is to say, not at all. Everybody was dancing, and had not committed to Larry that I would pull the string at midnight that would release the balloons, I might have bailed. I mean, I could not dance, I could not feel it; what I was feeling instead was crummy, increasingly crummy.
Once I got home, I didn’t leave until this morning. On New Year’s Day, I felt like that Detroit Lions fan who ran in front of a bus, except that I lived through it. At least I think I did. Maybe not. I just proned out in bed, slept, woke up, read, and dreamed of buying a toaster. That’s what my life has been missing, I thought: The ability to make toast on demand. So today, finally, I scraped myself off the mattress and into the shower, and then made it across town to pay rent and go to Target to shop for, you guessed it, a toaster.
I hate stores. I hate shopping. I hate other people in stores who push massive shopping carts down aisles and expect me to stop concentrating on various makes of toasters so I can flatten myself against the shelves to make it easy for their obese juggernauts to pass me by. I hate getting in line behind some couple whose teenage daughter is still running around the store grabbing stuff to buy, only to sprint up to the checkout and dump it on the counter ahead of my solitary toaster, solitary because I didn’t feel good enough to buy more stuff. Meanwhile, everyone else who made smarter picks for lines to get into have bought their swag and moved out the doors. Especially I hate shopping when I don’t feel good. Still, I ain’t about to pepper spray anybody.
Right now, I feel like a catbox left to fester. I’m doing laundry. But I did make amends with the guy I’d maligned, described in my last post here, by apologizing, saying I was sorry, telling him I’m really working on not practicing any more of that dickish behavior, which is rooted in my own insecurities that the world has passed me by, and I asked him if there was anything I could do to make it right. There is one other person I offended a while back, a big shot in the local music scene, to whom I’ve sent three separate messages apologizing for my behavior, but he’s choosing to ignore me and my entreaties, or not acknowledge them. Which is something I have no control over. If he doesn’t want to accept my amends, that’s his choice.
I just have to stop shooting myself in the foot. And I gotta start feeling better, too. —Jackson Griffith
Looks like I fiddlesticksed up again. Gosh darn it; sometimes I should look down at that third rail and say, “You know, that’s a third rail. If I touch that third rail, I’m likely to get all shocked and all, so I’ll just note that thought and move away from that third rail without being stupid enough to touch it.”
But no. Instead of doing one of a hundred other things, like sit in meditative silence, or call that platonic galpal back who wanted to meet for a meal tonight, I had to do a stupid. I got an Facebook invite to a show at a local coffee room, and I clicked on the page for that show and typed a message about wanting to come, but I’m boycotting any shows by the person at the top of the ticket until he lets me play on one of his shows. The top of the ticket guy immediately wrote back: “That’ll never happen.” Fine, I wrote back. At least you’re finally communicating with me, instead of giving me a passive-aggressive cold shoulder every time I stupidly abase myself to you for asking to play on one of your shows. Then he said something like “Butthurt singer-songwriters aren’t my style.”
Now, I’m not sure that butthurt is the correct word; I think that in my case the word “frustrated” is closer to the mark. Hey, maybe I come across as butthurt, or unnecessarily entitled, to people, and I’m just a poor self-observer. But not being named Cayce, or Criswell, or Kreskin, or Mesmer, I have no idea unless you tell me, preferably before I make an annoying idiot out of myself. Psychic I am not, contrary to what those astrologers tell me about my Pisces Moon-Mercury combo in the sixth house trining my Neptune in the second or something like that.
Yes, I have a lot of songs that I want to play for people. I thought that this certain DIY straightedge punk legend and onetime local cafe owner might be open to my little ambition, perhaps. I figured wrong, of course, but I kept persisting even though I wasn’t getting any kind of straight answer. Perhaps I was, but it was telegraphed in that unspoken way that non-Asperger types communicate, and I was too cluelessly autistic to pick up the signals. Story of my life, there, really.
I could go off at this point and rip the guy a new sphincter with my precision-sharpened critic’s scalpel, but I won’t. I respect the guy’s work and like a lot of his songs, really, and in the past, we’ve enjoyed reasonably warm conversation to the point where I thought I could consider him a friend. I admire his tenacity to keep going even when the world is throwing him the middle finger, and I think he’s got a great work ethic. In fact, I’d spoken to his wife at one point about asking him to help me sequence a set’s worth of my songs, which is a service I would pay money to have done, and she seemed to voice that it might be a decent idea. Perhaps I misperceived. Anyway, I ran it past him, and got that cold shoulder, and didn’t press forward with that idea anymore. Asking for help in a way that I actually receive it doesn’t seem to be one of my strong suits, which is one reason I don’t seem to have many musician pals helping me to flesh out my songs.
My only caveat is that this person and his cohorts seem overly chummy and exclusionary, at least toward me. Perhaps they think that I, my music, or maybe both, “suck,” or aren’t up to their lofty standards, but they never got around to telling me to my face until now. Which is okay; I’ve spent large parts of my life casting what few pearls I have before swine, and I’m just getting around to stopping that behavior, or at least reining it in. The funny thing is, this person has rattled off many column inches in one of his blogs bitching about the local music scene, and to me, he and his little treehouse of friends are as much of the problem as anyone he rails about, and the idea of him calling anyone else “butthurt” is more than slightly risible.
But I’d rather not focus anymore on something I can’t control, which is what he or anyone else thinks about me. I’m more interested in getting at the root of the problem, which is why people react to me the way they do. It’s kinda like my dad used to tell me: “If you’re walking around town and all you keep running into is assholes, come home and look in the mirror.” And I really want to figure out why people perceive me as too “butthurt” to want to work with me, so I can address those negative qualities or try to get help working through them. I’m sincere about this; I don’t want to die and then have somebody say, wow, he wrote some pretty good tunes; too bad he’s not around to play them now.
So at some point, I’d really rather move past that which is holding me back. I’d like for people to want to play music with me, rather than talk behind my back about what a jerk they think I am, or laugh at me for trying. I’m not getting any younger, but mostly I’m getting incrementally wiser. I want to use the time I have left to communicate with others, and I really would like the privilege and opportunity to play my songs to people. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. But I’ll have to approach people who feel warmly toward me, rather than people who secretly harbor animosity toward me.
So maybe next time, I’ll do the smart thing and shut up before I make any more enemies. —Jackson Griffith
Because I can’t locate any Mr. Magoo marathons anywhere on the cable, and even more because I don’t have cable so even if there was a Mr. Magoo marathon somewhere I wouldn’t know about it, I’m sitting here on Christmas eve, doing my laundry. Like you were surprised, right? I mean, me and this obsession with doing laundry, when I used to be that guy who would be schlepping plastic garbage bags of dirty clothes down to the laundromat every month or so, is kinda not in character. But really it is; I lead a tidy, reasonably organized, utterly boring and solitary life, with far less surprises than in the past.
I’m not going to post any Christmassy stuff, just because I’m not really a Christmassy guy. Didn’t get a whole lot of party invitations this holiday season, probably because I’ve been such a hermit. Hermitage is good, though. I can noodle around on the guitar and read books and go eat dinner by myself and walk around the neighborhood, and nobody gives me a hard time about it. Hell, most of the time I have such a difficult time making conversation with people that it’s kind of a relief being alone. I prefer to communicate with people via my fingers, as in typing or writing. My mouth, not so good, at least until I can work up the nerve to see a dentist.
I hope you aren’t getting the vibe that I’m wallowing in self-pity here, because I’m most decidedly not. My life is generally pretty good. Yeah, the holidays suck, especially when your family is fractured and you haven’t had anyone gaze at you lovingly and call you sweetie in a long time. But usually I can get through any rough patches or raw emotional moments, or days, by holding the realization that things change, and then they change again, and then they keep changing.
So here it is, almost Christmas. I’m kinda planning on working on this crazy song cycle I started, but I’m pretty open to whatever comes surging down the pike. Got some nice plans for tomorrow, and gonna fold my laundry today.
Like now, really. Till next time. —Jackson Griffith
Whatever it is I’m doing this evening, I have no idea what it is. Rather than get in some porcupine-rasslin’ match with Ron Paul enthusiasts on Facebook, for which I really don’t have the bandwidth tonight, and rather than fix some dinner at home, I elected to bundle up and walk down to the local twentysomthing cafe three blocks away. Figured I’d eat a salad, drink a root beer and bang out one of these little windows into my cranium.
I might have drived/driven/drove, but that would mean I’d have to give up my parking slot in the apartment complex first-come-first-serve lot, and I’d have to park on the street because the lot is full, and that’s because a lot of chumps from neighboring buildings are parking there, and our manager has other things more pressing than telling these nincompoops to vamoose or get towed, so it’s a sucky situation and I have a lingering resentment that makes me race home after work just so I can grab one of the slots before one of the other resident tools gets in first, like this one balding goatee’d troll in a VW GTI who grabs the front slot, I swear he lurks and watches until someone leaves and then he runs out and gets in his car and whips it into the empty space, so I have a stupid resentment about all that. Stupid, stupid resentment.
Anyway, I walked.
So then I got a table, which is nice because the usual crowd of college kids is on hiatus. Ordered a salad and a root beer. Tuned into the two couples at the next table because they were talking loud about nothing in particular, found myself getting judgmental, realized that all my judgments were in my head, so I went back to typing. Found a really dumb Croatian blond-wig band for your enjoyment. Ate a salad: The bleu cheese is surprisingly catboxesque, but not in a bad way; it’s just pungent in the way your dog’s breath is when he kisses you after snouting his way through the Fresh Step in search of kitty-sourced Tootsie Rolls.
And now they’re gone. This place stops serving beer around 10, even though it’s open until 11. Those kids wanted to drink. Doesn’t make sense, they complained. I told them I thought it might be because when the coffeehouse, a fixture in this part of town since before I arrived in the mid-1980s, got new owners, who were more foodie-inclined, they went for a beer and wine license and got a lot of pushback from the neighbors, many of whom are old hippies who bought victorians and other old houses when they were run-down piles in the 1970s, and they kicked in a lot of time, love and money into bringing them up to suff, and they they grew older and grumpier and turned into old-city preservationists. Nothing wrong with that, but you can’t stay fixed in a time when you packed your bong and cracked an Anchor Steam and blissed out to the willowy strains of your favorite Crosby, Stills & Nash record, because those days are long since passed, and this is a young person’s town now.
Which I actually like, even though I’m older now, too. It’s a really crummy place to be single, though, because most of the women in this ‘hood are closer to my daughter’s age, and I prefer women who are much closer to my own age, which is, um, like, well, I was born in the first year Chevrolet offered a V8 engine in its Bel Air model. Not to hard to figure out. Which is to say that it’s after 10, and I’d better start ambling back to my tiny apartment and hope the neighbor across the way isn’t having ring-shout sexytime. If I’m awake, I just improvise my own porno soundtrack via some ninth chords and R&B vamps on my guitar. But waking up from a dead sleep to hear some random woman having a theatrical orgasm can lead to some pretty jinky dreams, like animals getting tortured and things like that.
Cranked the heat before I left. I know my bed’s yummily toasty now. G’night! —Jackson Griffith
Heck whiz gosh darn hardy har har. I’m a one-eyed tomcat in a sushi bar. Honey, squinkle my dinkle, hinkle my binkle, crinkle my minkle till the cows come home. Um, went to a party last night, took my guitar, it was mostly couples except for me and this other guy whose sweetie is in New Zealand or somewhere. Thought we was gonna sing and play guitars and I brought mine, but then the vibe was all wrong and when I was trying to run through this original acoustic number entitled “I Am Almost Fixing to Get Ready to Rock and Roll,” one of the husbands, I’m sure reasonably well-lubricated on whatever it was they were quaffing, decided a little pianistic accompaniment might be in order. So his Cecil Taylor on PCP ivory tinklings completely overpowered my music, and I got the message and put my guitar away. Did not get to try out “Squinkle Mah Dinkle,” or more fluffy romantic fare like “Morning Glory,” or anything else. To hang with that crowd, I’d better bone up on classic rock fare that everyone can sing along to, rather than my own stanky repertoire of tuneage that nobody knows or gives a hoot’s patoot aboot.
So, over it, or what I was on about last time. Fuggit, really; life is not fair. Well, to be honest, I have had spells of plenty in the past, but as my middle age segues into slightly older, I’m increasingly getting the idea that I’d better get used to my own company, unshared with any fine ladies, and had better bone up on checkers, or chess, or bocce, or even horseshoes. Yes, there are prostitutes available, but if you know anything about the historical Griffith, you’d understand why I’m not really interested.
Anyway, here it is that turn-cold time when we go lurching into the holidays, and I’ll have to go into high gear on practicing the art of not giving a merde that I’m just one of those people who must be better off living a quiet little life on their own, or at least not suited for anything other than solitary. So, the gosh darned heck with it. Even if every little thing is gonna remind me that I’m one of those weird loner misanthropes. Hey, I love people. I love you. I love everybody. Well, most everybody. Just don’t invite me to one of your little parties where everybody’s coupled up except me, or I’ll get all wasted on ginger ale and start in with the ribald limericks and explicitly pornographic haikus. You do not want that, trust me.
Ergo, fuggit. Hey, how ’bout those Niners? What are they, seven and one? Kick arse. About time we got some decent football in this region. What’s that? Raiders? No, I’m talking about sporting events that can be enjoyed by humans. Nevertheless, do rest in peace, Al Davis. Loved your team back in the day, but whenever there’s a Raiders game on now, I try to stay off the road during it, and at least four or so hours after it’s over. No offense, but you’ve got some real hammerheads in that fan base.
Go Jints! And rest in peace, Bob Forsch, Sacramento pitcher who got to see his team win a series before he went off to that big sports bar in the sky. And while I’m no fan of the formerly Budweiser Cards, if you had a manager who was idiosyncratic enough to be a vegetarian and hang out with Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, well, I guess better that team taking the trophy than one associated with George W. Bush.
Now, about that roundball. Still locked out. No season. Which means bye-bye Kings, so my friends and I are already discussing a renewed allegiance to the Golden State Warriors. And as much as I love the Kings, I know the Maloofs will either sell the team or move them to somewhere with more money on the table. I miss basketball, really. I wish these millionaires could come to an accord so those of us who love the game can have something to follow.
Because I still don’t get hockey. Maybe if I can go to a game with some hardcore fans and they can explain a few things to me, I can catch the fever. I still don’t have it, yet.
Other than that, there’s work. Bugs, more bugs, and maybe some rats. Get up in the morning, go to work, enjoy that, come home, play some guitar or go to an AA meeting, eat, meditate, read a little, set the alarm and go to sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. On weekends, do some stuff like laundry and shopping, so I can have a less stressful work week.
Life isn’t bad, but it’s boring without the ladies. But because somewhere in there I guess I lost the ability to attract them into my life. So now I’ll just get used to being a big ol’ stinky guy, or something like that.
Go figure. I sure can’t. —Jackson Griffith
Another few weeks, another apology. I guess I shouldn’t have to apologize when the muse goes south, though. So I won’t. Maybe if I can get my high-functioning autistic shit together for like five minutes, I could get some wi-fi in my crummy apartment and then I’d me writing way more. I’d never leave the apartment, even.
So, to paraphrase the late great Elvis Presley back when mama Gladys’ little pink hearts were still a novelty, I’m all shook up. You see, last night I went to dinner with my first serious love from when we were both just stumbling out of our teens, and we’ve developed a nice warm friendship via Facebook and she’s in a nice relationship back in Canadasota or wherever it is she lives, something about lutefisk and hotdish and conniving Oldsmobile salesmen getting fed into woodchippers, so it was just a very golden-burnished evening in an tandoor joint in Davis, talking about old times and all that. Really, it was the first date-like experience I’ve had in at least a year.
It’s just that I woke up today with a massive saudade hangover, because it reminded me of a time in my life when time when I could have relationships with beautiful women, but even moreso because I realized that I’d let a lot of that part of me go to sleep, or even most or nearly all of that formerly irrepressibly romantic and warm part of me that used to bring me such joy. And heartbreak, too.
I don’t know where I went wrong, really. Oftentimes I feel like a ghost walking around the Midtown district of the city where I live, and much of that may arise from the fact that I’m a middle-aged guy in a district that’s now overrun by people a lot younger than me, people who I seem to have a pretty nice rapport with as friends, but as dating material, there’s just that cultural disconnect. Plus my daughter is 23, but most importantly, I prefer the company of women a lot closer to me in age.
But the women I know close to me in age, around here, I just don’t seem to click with them. Maybe it’s because I still haven’t quite recovered from the big washout of a divorce followed by a major crash and burn, and I’ve got an invisible metaphysical “X” carved in my forehead like the door of a 1930s house to signify easy stew for hobos. Or maybe it’s something else. The reality is that, in their company, I feel like that kid who had to wear a helmet until well into his teen years to prevent impromptu head injuries, lurking around the pretty and popular girls on the senior quad at high school who laugh at him the moment he turns his back.
That, of course, is all feeling, and feelings aren’t facts. But there is some kind of major disconnect going on, or at least it seems like it, and I’ve begun to get worse lately. Basically, I’ve been poring over my life with a fine-toothed comb in recent months, and that cursory diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism that I got when I had health insurance before my big two-year wipeout seems to be hitting home pretty hard.
I think that everyone wants to be understood, and validated. It isn’t that I’m craving the sweetness and sensuality of a warm relationship, although that would be nice. It’s just that I need to have intimate friends around me I feel close to that I can talk about this stuff with, just so another human being or two knows what it’s like to feel like when cognition and emotional response with other folks suddenly segues from the familiarity of conversational English to trying to make way in one of those countries where the written tongue is either all vowels or all consonants.
Perhaps I’ve said too much, and I should shut up now. This is like three years to the day when the last woman I really loved, my muse I figured wrongly, said hasta la bye-bye loser boy, and I’ve had a few chances since, but mostly it was me running away for trumped-up reasons like they couldn’t handle my thirst for squigglicous free-jazz saxophone yammering, or I got the feeling I wasn’t in a safe zone to talk about my boundless fascination for eusocial insects or oddball prewar Czech dreamcars like the Tatra T-87, or something. Anyway, I ramble.
And so I will shut up, and let that flowering romantic in me slip back into the safety of slumber. —Jackson Griffith
Remember what I was saying about hey, it’s good to be back, and more soon, I promise? Well, I kinda jumped the gun. I’m going to be going offline now, maybe for a while, and I won’t be able to access this blog or Facebook, at least until I get a replacement hard drive for this troubled MacBook, and then get this computer serviced or overhauled or whatever it’s going to take to bring it back to the living and functional.
The good news is, I’m working. The bad news is that I’m probably going to be broke for a while, or diverting my capital resources to other, more pressing obligations, and so it won’t be right away that you see much from me. Which may turn out to be a good thing. At least I’m going to look on the bright side and take that tack, and catch up on some other things, like reading and Top Ramen recipes. So be well, have a great holiday season, give somebody a big hug and I’ll catch up with you all down the road.
Gosh darn, if I’da had the $300 extra for that AppleCare warranty three years ago …. —Jackson Griffith
So sorry to have forgotten you, my good friend the blog. I have missed you, missed typing my little updates into your pages, missed the longer extrapolations pulled out of the netherworlds of my cranial downmarket caucasian neighborhoods, the ones with the rusting Plymouth Dusters on blocks in the oil-stained driveway behind the waist-high cyclone fences, with the goat tied to the passenger-side door and the rottweilers feigning sleep but growling at imaginary cats from under the porch.
Truth be told, I couldn’t write there for a spell. I lost my mojo. I’ve still lost it, but I’m feeling this broke-ass hillbilly vibe this Friday night, and I’m sitting here all by my lonesome typing out a bunch of nonsense to try to get something started again in the scrivener department. But lately I’ve been feeling all jinky, janky, saditty and dicty, all rolled into one not very bad-ass whiteboy sense of autumnal malaise. I don’t know what the problem is, really. I’ve done a bunch of things to try to right the ship, but I still feel like a bad robot in a cut-rate Japanese horror film, where everything is wired just a little bit wrong so the damned thing goes to move and it’s like it’s clanking apart. I’d rather not go into the particulars, but thangs’ve gotten kinda hincty for me here going into the holidays, which one person I know who normally has sterling predictive abilities assured me months a go would be a season of bee’s knees. More like a gosh-darned head full of spiders.
And so, after having crawled back from my own personal refugee camp over the course of the past few months, now it’s starting to sink in that I’ve got a lot of work to do to get back to even keel, and a lot of amends to make and bills to pay and old scores to settle, and who knows what else. It’s just weighing on me pretty heavily, and all I’ve wanted to do is hole up and play hermit. That isn’t the answer, of course, but lately I’ve been in Walter Sobchak’s world of pain, psychically speaking, like I stepped over some unseen line when I was trying to roll a nice strike or even a spare and the universe keeps yelling “You’re over the line! Mark it zero! Mark it zero!”
Shoot, maybe I’ll go for a walk in the park. On second thought, though, um, no. —Jackson Griffith
They say that dogs have an uncanny eye for when they’re being cheated. Dogs will pay attention to what treats the other dogs are getting and they’ll get all caught up in that unfairness and start whimpering. But dogs also are supposed to be all buddhist and in the now and all that, so I’m kinda confused. Plus, they sniff butts.
What I can say is that the secret is in the doing. Which means get home from work, pick up the guitar and work at fleshing out all those songs I’ve written over the years, try to get a good and reasonably flawless set of them together, and then find someplace to play them and hope that some people show up and that I’m good enough that they not only stay in the room and not walk out mid-set, but maybe come back for a second helping sometime later.
I was going to post a bunch of negative stuff. Instead, I’ll say that it’s great that certain people can fast track their successes. As for me, well, I’m such a slow learner. Hell, I dunno. Maybe I’ll keep after it for all the time I have left, and then after I’m gone, someone will listen to what I’ve left behind and go, “Meh. Guy’s stuff wasn’t very good.” Which will be okay with me.
Because even if you suck, that’s not the point. The point is that you gave it a shot, that you kept after it, that you tried to get as good or as non-sucky as it was humanly possible for you to achieve, and that even in the face of not getting a biscuit or petted or anything, you still got up and worked at whatever it is that makes your soul feel complete.
Ah, gosh darn. This isn’t what I’d planned to write. I’ve got a head full of grander designs, but my body has been feeling really crummy all week, so I get home and fall asleep and then wake up and meditate, which is one thing I’ve been disciplined enough to do every day for three years and nearly three months, and then I try to write, which is something I’m trying to discipline myself to do on a more regular schedule.
Anyway, more later, when I’ve got more life in me. Time to crawl off to bed, methinx. —Jackson Griffith