I’m still pretty scattered, but I really am trying to post every-day and if I keep doing that, at some point, I’ll write something pretty. So, that’s the plan.
Yesterday, I started a big project, well, I made Lauren, my assistant, start it. A few years ago I got lazy and quit tagging my blog posts, really, my assistant, Sarah, used to tag them and when she retired, I didn’t keep it up. Part of it was, I just missed her, and doing the tags or making someone else do them, that just made me miss her more. So, the tagging stopped. Yes, an assistant’s just an employee, but the good ones, they do get really important. I miss them when they go, there’s a real sense of loss, another person who goes. Sarah was around when my thumb quit working and I could hardly type, hardly talk to anyone, before the NeuroSwitch. People weren’t really around anyway. Sarah was around though, so we’d go to lunch, at night we’d go to the bar, we’d alphabet conversations. She was good with the alphabet and smart to talk with, so she kept me sane when I really needed it. Sometimes, sitting at the bar, with a vodka tonic and ten dollars worth of Elliott Smith in the jukebox, I’d alphabet flash stories that she’d type up after. She was around for twenty-ish tattoos. She stopped me from dying once. She was around when I really needed someone to be around. A fix for a fix, but we were close and had fun. So, yeah, when she left, the tagging stopped.
Anyway, we’re tagging again, Lauren’s off to a spectacular start. Tonight, I go for another tattoo, and then and then and then…1 comment
I have this little plastic tube in my throat, a trach, so I don’t talk. I haven’t spoken a word in, like, three and a half-ish years. You CAN talk with a trach, but the method doesn’t work for everyone, it didn’t for me, lots of choking and what-not. The last sentence that stumbled out of my mouth was, “I love everything about you.” To which it was replied, “I don’t love everything about you.” After that, the choking quit being worth the talking. I met someone else worth the choking and the talking, someone worth absolutely anything. I wanted to say just, something, some little thing I always wanted to say with the voice in my head, but I didn’t get to, and she’d probably reply similarly to the last time I bothered saying something out loud. So, yes, I don’t talk. Most readers know this, but it’s always good to do a little re-capping.
Anyways, back when I did talk, I liked to sing. I sounded like shit, but I liked singing along with Kurt, Elliott, Aimee. I’m told I at least sang on key. Now, I still sing, just, no sound gets past my lips. This has actually created an odd habit, Since I don’t make any sound, I’ve come to feel like I can sing whenever around whoever, in the car, at concerts, getting wheeled into various operating rooms with my iPod Nano, I’m singing like crazy. I probably look crazy, but it really does help to take my mind off things, getting completely lost in the music. Last night I turned my surround sound really loud and sang at the top of my non-voice. I wanted to not think, I wanted to be wrapped in music, lyrics. Really, I wanted to crush a bottle of Percocet into a glass of vodka, with lime, drink that and see if I woke up someplace better, but settled for screaming along with Nirvana’s Live at Reading concert. Just closed my eyes and screamed soundless screams, trying to make the world go away.2 comments
I’ve said that I admire Elliott Smith as a writer, I think he was a genius. He’s a writer whose level of brilliance I aspire toward. He captured human experiences so perfectly, told these perfect little stories of love and loss and sadness and loneliness and addiction in just a few hundred words. Theres’s a special skill in that, no less brilliant and beautiful than the tens of thousands of words that writers like KJ Bishop, or Michael Cisco, or Jeff VanderMeer put into their stories. It’s not easy to capture how it feels to lose someone you love, to capture it in a way that is universally accessible, in just a handful of words. Smith’s Sweet Adeline off his fourth record, XO, is a gorgeous example of describing the end of love and the aftermath of that ending.
Waiting for sedation to disconnect my head, for any situation where I’m better off than dead.
He felt that, put it into words, perfect words. It’s how I feel right now, and a thousand times before right now, and probably a thousand times after right now.No comments
I’d say you make a perfect
Angel in the snow
All crushed out on the way you are
Better stop before it goes too far
Don’t you know that I love you?
Sometimes i feel like only a cold still life
That fell down here to lay beside you
Don’t you know that i love you?
Sometimes I feel like only a cold still life
Only a frozen still life
That fell down here to lay beside you
It’s such a beautiful little song, and sad. Falling so hard, feeding so… apart.No comments
I’m going to end like this, the narrative I’ve written for myself just isn’t going to end happy.No comments
So, my 600th post is about my 45th, and most recent, tattoo.
These lyrics are from what’s quite possibly my favorite Elliott Smith song, the not-so-known, Some Song. It’s part of a little three track collection, the Needle in the Hay – EP. The first thing that draws me to the song is that it’s written almost entirely in the second-person. If done right, second-person writing is so powerful, it pulls people into the narrative with such intensity. To me, it’s so underrated and under-used, in music and literature. It’s really difficult to pull off, but I think the pay-off is worth trying. The song itself sounds like it’s straight autobiography, Elliott laying out how he saw himself. It’s a very odd mix, he knew he had talent, that he could be who he wanted to be, yet he hated the songs he wrote, hated himself, and he knew he was broken and couldn’t get it together. I understand that odd juxtaposition of feelings toward oneself.
I know I write well, I have skill and my stuff resonates with some people. I know I have a lot of potential to write and do great things, the potential to be the fellow I see in my head. I also hate almost everything I create. I feel like a fuck up, piece of shit failure. I’m just about thirty and I haven’t really accomplished anything important, I’ve screwed stuff up. I’ve wasted chances, ruined things. I’ve made so many bad choices lately. I can’t seem to hold it together enough to be who I want to be. Maybe I’m stuck the way Elliott was stuck. I don’t know.2 comments
So, there’s this Elliott Smith song, Placeholder, off his second posthumously released album, New Moon. To me, the song is basically Elliott saying that his work, all the stuff he writes, it’s all just temporary. He’s just a placeholder until something else comes along. Though, he’s talking about himself as a person too, he’s just a placeholder for the people in his life.
I’ve thought about myself the same way many times, the song can remind me so much of me. So, when I was really very dark a few months ago, this tattoo felt very appropriate.
I don’t get the sad tattoos and regret them later. They’re not constant reminders of darkness, but rather, they show me the entire road I had to take to feel something good again. It’s odd, but it’s really kind of spectacular to look back on this lonely place and that empty place from someplace beautiful, seeing times that I could have broken, but didn’t. Then again, they could all add up to failure at the end of everything, but I won’t really know until I got there.6 comments