Friday, April 17, 2009

mikey likes it!

i had a bowl of life cereal for breakfast this morning. well, admittedly, it was this afternoon, but i was still breaking my fast. it's good. i have memories of eating cinnamon life at my friend josh's house when i was in elementary school. my mother never bought "sugary" cereals for us, so even this extra sweetened life cereal was a treat. that and caffeine free coke. whenever i see that gold can, i'm brought back to g.i. joes and duplexes. an odd association, i know.

i'm in montclair at my buddy brian's house, drinking coffee and listening to bob dylan. yea, i'm still in jersey, so perhaps one might think that i've not quite "adventured out" yet. one may be correct, but the thing is, last night i moved the last of my worldly possessions out of my parents basement and packed my car, hugged my folks and said goodbye. "i'm off to take on the world," or something like that, an equal mix of romantic zeal and youthful naivety.

as a child and adolescent i was in the boy scouts, and eventually made eagle scout. the way they look at it, once you achieve the status of eagle scout, you are forever a scout, whereas, if you do not reach that level, you merely were a scout. interesting distinction. you'd not think this was the case last night. after leaving my parents place i took some old camping gear and boy scout stuff i'd long forgotten about to the church where i'd attend meetings so many years ago. the way i looked at it, there were probably a few underprivileged scouts who would revel in the fact of receiving a free external frame backpack or sleeping pad. sure, they're used and not pristine, but who cares? free is free, and they're still totally useful, and can hold your underwear and sleepbag as well as the day they came off the assembly line. to contribute further, i donated two hand carved wooden eagles, one belonging to me, and one my older brother. the thing is, when we were young, these were highly coveted items, probably half the reason most really pushed to finish their eagle projects, just to make sure they got one of the few remaining hand carved sculptures delivered by the tacit day worker come sculptor. (i'm aware that usually it's "cum," not "come" in this situation, but the implications didn't sit well with me.) still, after years of experiences, hundreds of shows, thousands of friends, an uncountable amount of nights in dark bars having fun, laughing, trading stories, getting in trouble, i tend to hold less to material things, specifically ones without a specific use. sure, i just bought a fancy phone, and sure i feel a bit ridiculous about it. but, you know what? i won't when i'm late for a show and can find it with my fancy map function, or when i'm without a place to lay my head at night, and can be surfed itself. so, this has a use, and therefore more of a place in my life. and this is not to say i think art has no use. quite the contrary; however, i am not currently in the luxurious position to be storing and/or carting sculptures about. so, i figured i'd give them to someone new. one of my students from past years of teaching is getting his eagle soon. i thought, why not let him have it? he doesn't know they even existed, it'd be a beautiful surprise, and some sort of torch passing, new love and life breathed into something long since forgotten. my mother absolutely loved the sentiment and applauded me. at the scout meeting i was met with eyes of near disgust, confusion, misunderstanding and general distaste. in some of their defense, a few of them never liked me, and even in my youth was aware of it. i suppose those who spend their lives working towards maintaining the straight and narrow-ness of the scouting lifestyle don't take well to pierced long hairs. that's fine, if to be punk is to be progressive, questioning and outcast, well color me punk. whatever you call it, i was not what he/they wanted, and i suppose in a lot of ways i revel in that. so, i made my best to explain that i proudly and happily hold onto the memories and experiences, but feel no need to hold onto material things to prove i existed that way then.

wow, that went on longer than i thought. sorry. but, i left a bit angry, put on Lydia (whom i have nicola to thank for sharing. thank you nicola.) and drove to get a camera from brian's parents. i realized i was physically, emotionally, and metaphorically leaving that part of my life behind and moving towards my current/future me. i got the camera, went to brian's and we took a couple quick shots. just knowing that when this whole record comes together, it will be new, exciting, mine, real, so many amazing things. and if the "critics" don't like it, i don't care. because it's me, through and through. and if they don't accept me, as so many haven't in my past, that's ok, because i know i'm living for what i think is right. ok, enough rhetoric.

anyway, brian and i left the puppies (loki and pria, two amazing bulldogs, french and english, respectively) and ran for burritos. but alas, they were closed, so after an overly theatrical groan, we bolted for egan's, our local irish pub, upscale but tolerant, if not welcoming, of low brow slummers like me, despite the high class clientele that abounds. we supped on fish and chips, portobella sandwich, salad and guinness. some woman unaware of our existence swung her jacket on and knocked brian's beer onto me. i'm not sure what it is about people, specifically in brian's presence, pouring delicious stout down the front of my pants. i don't know what the implications of this are. anyway, after finishing our food and another drink, we moved to the bar area and scanned the room like a radio, searching for the song we wanted to sing. eventually, as often happens, we had to settle on a tune we didn't mind having in the background, but did not feel like screaming at the top of our lungs. content to keep silently scanning while simply listening, we sat. and, eventually we were approached. interestingly enough, while i'm well aware of the ridiculous interplay of male/female relationships, especially in bars, i'm still quite unfamiliar with being on the receiving end. it's been just a few times that this has happened. and understandably, these are not often the women i'm terribly attracted to, as those ones are often flanked by dudes offering their dicks, too busy to approach even if they wanted to. so, a rather sweet and funny girl approached us, and laid a few playful lines on us rife with the humor and a mix of self deprecation and confidence necessary to join the game. and, for the most part, it was perfectly executed. but, the interesting thing, for me at least, is how fucking transparent it was. and i realized how incredibly ridiculous i must always look. here i was, thinking i was playful and silly while being perhaps attractive/cute and suave. in a lot of ways, it comes across as incredibly naive, almost puppy dog like. still, these girls were very friendly and said nice, complimentary things to us (apparently a vote was taken, and we won most attractive in the bar. i'd be interested to see the numbers and perhaps ask for a recount.) so we enjoyed some banter. my favorite of the three was the girl on the outskirt of the circle. and it was her birthday! what the hell? shouldn't there be shots, debauchery, ribbing and the like? perhaps i saw something of myself in her, not sure, but i spoke with her a bunch and quite enjoyed myself, but i think in the process i bummed out the initial approacher. then another girl came by to thank me for interrupting some drunk asshole from south Carolina who made the mistake of thinking his mere geographical origin translated to charm. it did not. so, between choosing to speak with the friend first, and then this outsider, the original approacher donned her coat and announced her exit. i felt bad, because of course, that has been me before. trust me. but, not as much now, as i'm slowly learning how to not be totally useless in public. so, i felt for her, but also learned quite a bit by the interaction.

overall i was happy to spend this first night after announcing to the world (at least those in it with open ears) that i now belong to it with my buddy brian. he is one of the most amazing people i know. so incredibly talented, and has one of the most open, generous hearts of anyone i've met. i feel for him greatly that he is constantly forced to put up with my incessant talking and inanities. but he's a great friend. he does anything and everything he can to make the lives of his friends better, whether he knows it or not. he is really, in many ways, the reason i am where i am today. he and a few other key players greatly shaped who i am and what path i took that led me to this place of open heart and open road. and, for this, and many other reasons, i am eternally grateful and indebted to him. furthermore, brian has taken me into his home more times than i can count, providing amazing comfort and warmth that help recharge my bones and fill my heart and belly. he's a great dude, and i can't think of anyone else i'd like to start this journey with.

so, here we are, day two. i'm not sure how these updates will go, day of, next day recap, whatever. but, they'll happen, and hopefully you'll join me for the trip, either by reading or hoping in the car. i'm sending out an open invitation, anyone who needs to take a few days or weeks off from their current life and come out with me, there's a spot for you. i'd relish the experience.

i send my love to you all and i hope this finds you laughing.


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