(Note – this is a letter I wrote to a good friend a long time ago, after returning back to school, I just pulled it out of my files – it’s slightly specific to my friend but I like it none-the-less, and how the story follows into something )
Dear John, March, 21, 2009
You know it’s funny I have been debating for some time now on writing you a letter, but with your latest late-night drop off of secret songs and music, I was finally spurred to breakaway from my own personal chaos; It’s so good to hear from you my man!
Lately, I’ve really been debating what this letter would actually say. For a while, I was thinking about writing a short story and sending it your way, but the reality is while I have had many ideas about stories, I haven’t finished any of them. More so, I have written smaller things poems, songs, etc…
Well, actually I was in a band, so when I say “smaller things,” I mean chorus and songs, nothing extensive — my band was a blues band and now in hindsight, that I write about it, I have to admit, it was more of a “theoretical band” than a real band.
But alas, like all relationships, most bands are more times than not, most likely meant to break up and so too ours went that way.
My problem with my group was that they all got girlfriends, and ironically it’s one of the very reason I had started it. After a recent break up with my last girlfriend left me lost, alone and in the lurch, a chaotic quandary came over me — perhaps a mix of desperation too, I decided to form the group.
So I pooled my resources as a night man on the door staff of that pretty happening nightclub you know so well, and selected the best wildmen I could to start this super group. All the musicians I had met at the time, were actually phenomenal artist, who, like me, were without girlfriends. No small fact I must say, because it was when I promised them that if we started this group, that I could almost guarantee, that the music would be so good that we were going to get get black pussy!
I’m talking white boy heaven here.ha!
Cause you know your music is good when its attracts loose women. I don’t mean it all in a racially disparaging bias way btw, but more in a exotic crazy masculine perverted desire for sexual liberation way, with women who love a genre of music different from my own.
But wishful thinking and to our dismay — there were no black women, no one got laid, and by all the official records at the time we all just got wasted a lot on Miller Lite Ice and Lorazepams.
The name of the group was F.B., Smooth and the Mohawk Machine, which I thought was pretty cool but now as I write this letter to you i must admit, the real blue story was that I started the group over a break up hoping that by creating an amazing group it would actually get the girl who I broke up with back.
Shit, if that’s not a quandary man. And shit, if that’s not a blue’s story man. Then really — I don’t know what is – starting a band to get a girl back? God, how pathetic and sad. But I’m sure too a lot more than most, have used music to get girls so I don’t really know.
All jokes aside though, the truth was that I was in a bad way at the time, as bad as any blues’ man knows. In fact, at that moment in time in my life, I would say that, that was the last time I really truly lost my mind pretty bad.
I started talking to this girl, as I had just been first starting to catch up with you before we fell off, just to give you a time frame. Just some time after Hurricane Katrina, and when I moved to New York City, if you recall all that?
The other reason I started out with this whole story, aside from giving you perspective on those two dates is because life is so weird man, that night I got this package from you was the first time I had seen her in a over a year. So, between you two, today is a day of people from my past.
By the way, I’m writing this letter to you now while I sit in my university classroom pretending to listen to the instructor. So please excuse the doodles and stop and go style. I have to pretend like I am actually listening to them teach. Which is its own subject in itself
But seriously, it is a blessing being back here learning. I can’t tell you how good it actually is to be here back in school. For the longest time I thought that I was so lost that I actually would never make it back here.
There are so many days where i thought if i let the wind take me, nomads might find me blowing aimlessly about. Time has away of taking you like that. Especially when you are bipolar.
On some subatomic level if you could imagine that — and the nature of a person’s mind, I was a huge pulsing engine firing feverishly red and densely blue. From the outside perspective, a unit made up of tiny, close-knit particles, into something functional, a organ; matter united closely together to form the mechanism of the whole, a brain, in a boiling brain-bag, you get the idea? Good, so then you will understand what I say, when I say the hard drive actually spun out into infinity and finally somewhere down the line a zillion spins away, my mind just actually shattered.
I remember sitting on the steps of the library outside of my school when it happened. Light and dark shades, around me and I sat there so embarrassed that it had happened. I recall, all I could do was ever so carefully, sweep up all the pieces like the Humpty Dumpty. I sat on the wall exiled into a self-made maze of my own creation away from where I knew to be the world and slowly took up the task – the daunting task, mind you — of putting it all back together again.
Well not immediately, because I do recall too as I sat on the wall, finding it more immediately important to count the ants circling around a fallen ice cream cone between the cracks upon the ground for about an hour that day before catching my train. But I’ll leave that tale for another day.
In time, I called this process re-building the robot but then later it took on the corny lil’ name of project pink panther. I decided, if I was going to do this, I would have to re-create myself cooler than I ever was before. No small feat i’m sure you are saying. Better than I was? How? I was already pretty cool! ha!
The short answer was I really didn’t know. whether we want to admit it or not, all of us young adults have survived our childhood – but if there are many holes in the road and cracks in the street between here and there; between the point where we can actually partake in holding the reins ourselves and steering life, then there is much work to be done — much shadow work to be done.
Like the laws of gravity– everyone is subjected to them. I had to accept it take it on the chin and make way for the hard road.
Of course I didn’t know that at first. Of course I went out drinking and fucking before I could see these few choices before me. The whole time suffering mind you, below the perceivable level.
One day, I drank so much alcohol that I ran my father’s truck into the side of the median in the road on my way back from work overnight. The next morning when I woke I forgot that the whole thing had happened. I said where is the truck?
I said, “oh I left it at work,” but when I got there it wasn’t there and then all of the sudden, all that that had been forgotten downloaded and a panic swept in that I had to fix his car soon without him ever knowing – it was just a flat, but still. I had driven on the rim for over 200 yards.
That night i got home — i walked into my room sideways and knocked over a plaster bust of siddhartha, you know the buddha man, and when i woke the top of its head had shattered — blown away to bits — for the longest time ever that was the metaphor to me of enlightenment versus insanity.
But seriously, I was scared – I realized I was destroying myself because I doubted myself, and because I was walking around with an bent brain box.
“The mind can make a heaven of hell and a hell of Heaven,” and that’s what I was doing and what’s even crazier is that I was getting a reputation as a wild man. A new identity, which I wouldn’t realize for another 11 months. But that’s a story for another time.
As this time, I became “always infamous” incarnated. Blindly thrusting my ego out there uninhibited was what I needed to do – just to see if I really existed – or to see if I still had it – but ‘why else’ I suppose. Ponder, ponder, ponder, as we will, I’m sure…
Time flies and goes so slow. Before i conclude let me say thank you, I love all your midnight packages, and music cd’s, I save them for when you become a hidden talent behind the main drag of this chaotic world.
In conclusion, It wasn’t just the girl — I know that but I can’t deny though, she was the straw that broke the camel’s back — after the hurricane and my dream of living in New Orleans, watching my aunt die, the Army, going broke and of course losing yet another friend was easily able to smash apart the cracks made up of all those earlier things –
Much like a race car driver with trouble under the hood, I was driving faster than I could handle the car – so at the final laps, when the road got rough I had the compound problem brought on by hammering on the transmission too hard. But after conducting my own personal inventory of myself, I was finally able to see the distress and pressure I was under –
Don’t feel bad for me, I deserve everything I got, whenever you are up to it, let me take you fishing or out for coffee or pictures. so long dear friend I always wish you the greatest.
P.s., buy the song “Give Me Back my Wig,” by Hound Dog Taylor; and listen to that guitar