good morning ~
(click the link / empire plaza fireworks to listen)
today's track features a special guest - my buddy Patrick Budde, who did me the honor of jamming on and whipping up this slithering jam in my little micro studio in troy this week, so nice ~
here's the flyer:
One, two, three different cars pulled over within a 30 second drive of the party. Cops on the prowl, how many times a year are there more than a hundred people enjoying themselves in the town of Round Top? Let's fill our quotas, boys. You could tell that everyone they were flashing their lights behind had something to do with the dance music blasting in the wood-paneled rec room - you could see their shirts unbuttoned deep to their stomachs, they had worked up a sweat on the dance floor, or they had interesting haircuts. Touch your nose with alternating fingers, you could imagine the cops saying to these civilians, one step away from shooting at their feet and demanding that they dance.
Basically inevitable, then, that we, too, would be pulled over - the first time a cop has talked to me through the open window of my vehicle in maybe 12 years. Roll down the window so my partner can listen, he said. License, he said. You know you've got lights out? Oh, I do? I said, which ones? They were not indicated to me. Then he goes, anything to drink tonight? And truthfully I replied that I had not had a drop. But - and this is why I find this story amusing - the ice creams we had taken from the hotel honor bar continued to soften as our conversation went on. Haven't had a drop, I said, and his partner said, ya, only ice cream. They let us go. Fools! If only they knew that we hadn't yet paid for the treats, not enough cell service at the party, haul us away.
A tremendous amount of luxury and privilege we enjoyed in escaping the encounter with only the melted chocolate on my cutoff shorts to show for it. Others might have had their lives upended, their lives ruined, their lives ended. But I was plucky and sober, no threat to anyone on the road. I'm not at all against keeping drunk people from driving, but this felt like something else, something punitive, not preventative. And as we pulled onto the highway, finally, emerging from the woods and past a few more pulled over misfortunates, what did we see? A car accident three lanes wide, everyone's flashers hitting in asynchronous rhythm - we slowed down and just nearly missed a bumper splayed into the middle of the road.
I am an interesting person. I am compelling and my unique experience in life gives me a valuable perspective - it makes me nice to talk to. Go ahead, try it - engage with me and see if I'm not right about that. The things I find interesting are often interesting to other people, plus I'm a good listener. The things I do with my time are worth doing. I don't necessarily think that I'm what you'd call an admirable person but I have done admirable things in my life. I have weathered a lot of pain and a lot of change and a lot of hard stuff, especially in the last few years. But I'm still here. I'm fun to be around and I can think of fun things to do and good places to eat lunch. I have led a life that I am proud of. I do cool shit and I am sometimes funny and sometimes entertaining. I can think of any number of people who would enjoy driving in a car with me, who might even consider themselves lucky to get to hang out with me, even for a half an hour. There are many wonderful people in my life and they are also interesting and unique and cool and many of them are also really hot, like objectively so. The people in my life are such a beautiful, kaleidoscopic reflection of everything that I hope to be and I cherish them so deeply that I get overwhelmed easily thinking about it, I can feel my heart breaking. They are amazing and I bask in their wonder, cat in a sun beam. Anyone who doesn't immediately fall in love with my friends is a fool. And I am a big, beautiful boy. My largeness is special, it's sumptuous and joyful, I'm the walking embodiment of the extra metal cup of milkshake you get at an old time diner, something extra you couldn't do without. I am not in any way defective - I'm not lazy or not taking care of myself or somehow making bad choices all the time, even if I wish my clothes fit me a little differently. It is normal and good to eat solid food for three meals a day, it's also fine to not work out all the time. I look good and I feel good and I like the way I look and feel. My thoughts and my feelings are valid and they deserve acknowledgment. I am worthy of invested love and I am worthy of interested attention.
Out on the bar patio my friend - in a hand-dyed hooded robe and a silver face mask - tells my parents and I to rip off a tiny piece of paper, then he tells us to write our entire life's story with a golf pencil. I panic and scribble the following:
BORN EXPANDED AND ONE DAY WILL DIE NOT READY
We play the game. Its story beats are surprisingly moving. When asked to remember a time I was so happy that I was scared I might never leave I thought about a night out dancing with my sweet, gone friend, a night I hadn't thought of in forever (an unexpected evening at the Call Box Lounge, if you know you know). Then, across the street in an empty lot, we're asked to burn the story of our lives in a chalice as a smoke bomb plumes on the wind out over the train station.
On the way home in a lull I ask my Dad what it was he wrote on the paper. "Oh," he says, "I just drew a smiley face."
But what about you? Are you dancing when they shoot at your feet? Are you feeling worthy of love? What are you writing on that little strip of paper?