Alone at the Show

Friday, September 7, 2001

Strange vibes follow my third Winslow show of the season. I’d been introduced to the band by my friend and new Low Angeles resident Brenna. Low Angeles? I meant Los. Low Angels.

I’ve got a couple beers in me, so bear with me. And I’ve got a couple bears in me, so beer with me…

Anyway. Brenna’s driving to Los Angeles and I’m just back from seeing Winslow and the Swells and the Mercury Lounge here in town and I’ve been wierding myself out. I go to shows alone often times because I go on a whim at the last moment and most of my friends work or have classes to attend (I work, too, but I’m one of the few people in town for whom two hours of sleep is acceptable)… So I went to the show and really dug the music. A few (expensive fucking) drinks and some pulpy guitar-rock and I get so excited I just want to chatter endlessly… But I’m alone. And the girl I just barely know, whom I recognise and have been talking to somewhat superficially, probably won’t appreciate my just going off in whatever direction my mind feels like taking me. The number of people in the world who might actually appreciate this behavior probably number in the… twos. Or threes. I’d name them but I don’t want to give anything away. And these people dwindle as they go to different cities and get busy with meetings and homework and lovers. I get so excited that I just can’t stay — I’ve got to leave the show and go do something else (creative) or else I’ll go nuts just stewing alone in my thoughts.

I begin to appreciate the blank page. Or the white screen, this being the future and all and me being a digital boy. Maybe I’m beginning to understand the true reason writers write. And by writers, I mean Writers. Bukowski (who’s just been on my mind lately, hence the multiple references), Brautigan, Hemingway… Do these people write because they have to? Can a person get so tied up in their thoughts that no other person is a satisfactory audience? Bukowski considers his writing habit an addiction, of sorts — a crazy habit of his that is more personal indulgence than legitimate work. He worked in drudgerous (?) jobs for much of his life, so maybe he understands “real” labor better than many writers. And maybe he understands the difference between writing and “real labor” better than many writers. Back to my point. Can a person get so tied up in their thoughts that no other person is a satisfactory audience? And what does it mean?

Part of me feels that a human being is “designed” so that all of the parts have an ideal purpose. And I’m not getting into religious or spiritual territiory here &mdsah; I’m talking about the concrete. A woman has a uterus to carry a child. A man has ears to gather various information from his surroundings for a purpose. Men and women have emotoinal responses so that they will behave in certain beneficial ways. A person loves their child — ideally — so that he or she will aid and protect them.

If a person gets such a heavy pull towards expressing themselves on the blank page, are the “muscles” involved (mental, emotional) getting worked in the right way? If a person forms an emotional attachment to a character on the televsion, that person will go unfulfilled as far as that relationship is concerned — they won’t get the return that the emotion is “designed” to elicit. Or will they? If a person masturbates to porn often, they won’t get the return that the sexual impulse is “designed” to get them — a loving response from another human, children, whatever else. If a person spills their thoughts onto the page, an artifial ear, especially when the thoughts are simply those of excitement and energy, such as those I had tonight,

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