We head to Houston for the first of four Counting Crows shows in five days. (Plus I’m going to the White Denim ACL taping on Monday.) It will be good to see old friends and road trip with some of my best friends. I’m pretty excited to hear the new songs live.
I’ve also been working on songs for my own project with Scott Thompson of Tallahassee called No Disco. We’ve got a couple of songs demoed and I love what we’re doing.
I really need to get into the shower, unless someone wants to hose me off in the yard.
I sat on the curb across the street from your old apartment, drowning in rum, and with Cuban food, plantains and pork and sofrito. I waited for your ghost to return home, half-dressed and hungover, a stained notebook folded and stuffed in your back pocket. This is where we kept our red wine dreams, scribbled with stolen ball-point pens and smeared with blood, visions of Spain and mountains and the vast ocean with no horizon. I’ve read those musings and they’re replete with sentence fragments and misspellings. Maybe this is why our wishes didn’t come true. We didn’t complete the form correctly, didn’t mail it back in time, fucked up the address, forgot to stamp it. I half-expect to find them all buried in the plot where they will dig my grave, so I left the order in my will to send us off in a raging bonfire, one which will reach the skies and disturb the neighbors and draw in the dirty homeless. This will be my legacy, flaming hot orgy of the poor whose voices will wake the neighbors like when we used to kick the walls at 4am, and then wander in the dark to diners with corner booths and snaggle-toothed waitresses. I sat on the curb across the street from your old apartment, the police cruiser circles the block and Officer Justice aims his hand-cannon in my direction and says, “Go home, boy. There’s nothing to see here.”
I walk to the edge of the Earth, let my toes dangle, rock back and forth on my heels and feel the startle of the sway. You would like to think it’s all infinite. Science told you that. God told you that. Your mother told you that. They were all liars. Dirty fucking liars. There is an end to everything. It’s not fire or ice. It’s not dirt or water. It’s not even nothing. I rock back and forth. And this is what bothers you, that you can’t explain it or even name it, that you can’t control it or accept it. Think about this for a moment, everything you know isn’t true. Everything you know is a story made up to comfort our simple minds. Your mind, your body, your family, your favorite hamburger stand, the dog you had when you were five…none of these things have ever existed, except in your imagination. I rock back and forth, and you look at me, wanting to reach me and pull me back into the safety of these untruths, this shelter against sea monsters and aliens and people who speak in tongues. Even the snake handlers and glue sniffers are made uneasy by my stance, right there on the edge of it all. I will move into this, this unknown, and leave you standing five feet from where you last saw me, and you will tell your children this story and I will become a constellation, a god, an urban legend, and it will all be lies, dirty fucking lies, but these lies will help you sleep.
These pills chase each other through the streets of my veins, I trap them in an alley and drown them, kill them, mourn their passing until the pain dissipates and a new dream is born. We will do this again with the same results. I could record this ritual on the camcorder you left in the shoebox in the closet, but they don’t make the tapes for these any longer and I couldn’t bear to erase the memories. Without those, there would be no need for any of this, and then I would have nothing but a bare mattress and the bruises. So, every day, I up the ante. A little longer. A little harder. A little closer to the edge. I love funerals but can’t stand to bury things. Let’s leave the carcass out in the sun for the flies and vultures. Let’s let the stench remind us of the things others choose to sweep under rugs, cover with doilies, bury in the desert. I thought to call you, to let the wounds bleed and breathe, but the pills might escape and they are my children. We love unconditionally. This is why we kill each other. These are the games we like to play.