“Don’t forget to love yourself.”
I can’t even begin to explain where my brain has been, where my body has been, or where it’s going anytime soon. The problem is that it’s all a whirlwind of confusion. The ability to plan ahead has time and time again fallen by the wayside and I find myself stumbling around life thinking “what the hell is going on? how the fuck did I get here?” Although I haven’t exactly lost hope, it’s getting grim. I’m getting a bit cynical and am not really on an upswing. It seems I turn around and there is some other angry mob chasing me.
Everybody seems mad at me all of a sudden, including myself. That’s a tough person to argue with, I tell you what. Usually when you disagree with your decisions, actions, or lack there of you can usually forgive yourself and move on with life. Love yourself for the flaws that you have, enjoy the fact that you’re breathing and making mistakes, remember that although the light at the end of the tunnel seems variable most times, it’s still out there. Just like when you burn out a light bulb in a lamp, you don’t just throw the lamp away and say “screw it, I’ll get another one.”
Or at least, normal people don’t. I’m not conventionally normal, but then again, I do embrace the fact that I try. I really try, it’s difficult. I found myself some place very dark last week, someplace that I didn’t even know how to talk about to anybody really, not even those that are the closest to me. I tried, I really tried, I got a head shake and the response “what else is new, you change your mind about everything all the time, why can’t you just make a decision.” He was right, I’m a flake. I hate that about myself.
After feeling kicked in the equivalent of lady balls, I sat in my car and started jamming on the new My Morning Jacket, which I have to say, there are only a few voices in the world that can bring me back to stability, one is my dad, one is Jim at work, one is Jim James. They’ve all got their reasons, but this new album…it took me into a place of denial, of hate, of sadness, of remorse, primarily just a ball of bawling tears. Lots of them, flowing like the fucking Rhine River. I couldn’t stop the first few lines of the song “Get to the Point” had me under a spell.
“Well we talked and talked and carried on from
Sundown till the break of dawn
We put the needle on the line
It just kept skipping”
I took a mental journey to all those late nights with those that I thought I loved and loved me too. Late nights of talking about music, talking about philosophy, painting nails, hell, you name it. In those dark hours of night, after the sunshine takes a break for a while and the nocturnal excitement starts up again the world seems quiet. The world seems clean, and the promise of a rejuvenating sunrise looms on the horizon (pun intended). Those times it didn’t matter if the beer was cold, the air was warm, or even if the music playing was even that good. The warmth of conversation, the intensity of a new person, that feeling that you never wanted to stop.
I was taken to memories that hurt, they hurt because in every single circumstance I fucked things up. A perennially broken record with a needle that was bent a long time ago. Throw away the record player, update your life and get an mp3 player, screw it, who even needs music machines anymore?
“And now it’s done, you still call every day
To no avail
I never have an answer, I never seem to be there for you”
And the song goes on to haunt me in another way. All of the days, months, hours, hell, in a few cases years that I’ve tried to be there but just couldn’t. A constant distraction in my mind prevented me from really being “there” for anybody – for the simple reason I wasn’t even “there” for myself. I was constantly running from me, my thoughts, and hiding from everything that actually meant anything to me. Once something or somebody would get close I’d go into the self destruct mode not being anywhere for anybody.
I still look at my phone everyday and wonder why. I pick up the phone, but there isn’t a voice on the other end. I talk to you, but you aren’t around anymore. You can’t give me the advice I desperately need. Where are you? And then the music continues on to insert the knife and twist.
“But there’s only so many ways one can
Look at a given situation
And I wish you all the love in this world and beyond”
Looking at my pain and angst towards the past 20 years, I realize that the only reason that life has in fact become, ahem, messy, is because my outlook is of bitterness. Turning the leaf over and looking at it from a different perspective can make a world of change. Take a plant that is infested with scale, from the top everything looks fine, however you flip the leaf over and you see millions of little soft bodied assholes sucking the life out of your leaf. That leaf is putting on a brave face, but underneath it’s hurting. It’s suffering, it needs your help.
The chorus to the song, as is with most My Morning Jacket songs haunted me, but didn’t really make me emotional like the rest of the song did. The next verse lumped up my throat and pretty much made me cry hard enough to want to vomit. Emotionally exhausted, I wanted to turn that damn song off, but the haunting guitar picking keep me listening.
“Well I was feeling sympathetic
But still sorry for myself
Flying blind I really wasn’t listening”
The self pity party that I’ve been throwing is incorrigible and really, pathetic. I see my life, which has been amazing, full of amazing people, but for some reason I hold onto the pain stuff and ignoring the happy stuff. The stuff like my first experience really drinking Southern Comfort, the first time jumping out of a plane, the first time I rode a motorcycle. All of those things that my crazy ass has done were swept under a rug and the litter that lays above distracted me. I’d be reminded of my awesome life, but I chose not to listen. In my eyes it was awful, i was awful, I’ve done awful things to people.
Blindly, I stumble into the next day, wishing I could have about two decades back to realize how wonderful everything really is.
“So I’m trying to tell you plainly how I’m feeling day to day
And I’m so sorry now that you ain’t feeling the same way”
And then this line. I have a list of people that need apologies, I’ll start tomorrow, but then again…
“Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.”