Wednesday, February 23, 2011

there is no spoon, bro

There’s currently a lot of noise in my house. It’s 730 and I’ve been up for 2 hours. If I get up at 530, I’ve got enough time to take a shower, brush my teeth, make some coffee and BARELY get started doing something I want to do (today it was writing in my ‘lyric notebook’) before people in this place start getting up and slowly adding to the din until it’s like it is now, which is frankly dizzying. It’s like a weird acid test, but instead of The Dead playing over here and Country Joe and the Fish playing over there, it’s screaming people, screaming cartoons and Hoda and Kathie Lee’s drunk asses all butting against each other like so many swarming stygimolochs.

In the one room, there’s a screeching and howling baby. She’s not upset, she just likes the newly discovered feeling of chirping and howling at the top of her lungs. In the next room closer to her, my wife’s got the television on. She watches Today or Good Morning America or something in the morning, and the godforsaken racket of that show, were it the only sound in the house would still be a lot to deal with. However, in the other room, my son is watching Go Diego Go, which is, I believe I’ve mentioned before, a show about a young latino boy who just constantly screams. He’s also got a backpack full of shit that also screams, like his camera and the backpack itself and I think there’s a map or compass or something that also screams…to borrow a turn of phrase from Skwisgaar, it’s ‘a lots of screamings.’

And I’m just sitting here in my gym shorts drinking coffee wondering what I could potentially do to turn all this down. There’s not really much of an answer. I suppose, actually the answer is that I could make a ton of money, move into a gigantic house, hire a nanny and sleep in, or at least have my coffee and write in my lyric book up in my solarium on the fourth floor while everyone else gets their noise on below me, but well…that all seems unlikely to happen this week or next week, and so there’s nothing much to do but sit here and fantasize in vain about silence and just kind of tune things out, like I do when I talk to most people.

It makes me think though, there are certain situations in which, if you’re comfortable with your lifestyle, mean that you’ve completely won and the things that usually seem really important become kind of unnecessary trappings of the rat race and you’re kind of free to just live and chill. It bears mentioning that almost all of these situations would involve not having kids, but then again, I’m speaking from a masculine perspective where the pinnacle of abstract success is often associated with freedom from responsibility (ask Charlie Sheen) and actually, if you’re in a place with safe streets and decent public schools, a lot of these can probably work out for you even if you have kids. So, what am I talking about?

Well, what if you’re say a surfer, or a fisherman or a sailor or some other such thing that involves the sea. It’s your passion. Perhaps you’re not great at it, but you love to do it. Now, let’s say you work at a gas station or some other shitty mindless job as a cashier near the beach and near your house, which you can afford to rent even with your shitty cashier’s paycheck and you just sit there and chill, your boss is a decent enough person, and at the end of the day you leave work and you don’t ever think about it at all when you’re not there and you’re free to indulge your hobby whenever you want. That’s living. This would also be effective on or near a mountain too, but less so because lift tickets cost money and things in general tend to be expensive when they need to be driven up mountain passes. That said, the beach bum/ski bum lifestyle seems like a way to win without ever playing the game.

Now, if you want to take this a step further, what about the guy who just rents the boogie boards and surfboards and shit to tourists? You know that dude? He just sits there drinking beer, collecting money and sitting on the beach with a cooler outside his little hut. That guy has got it made. Think about it: if everyone else on earth pays a great deal of money and goes through the discomfort of packing and traveling to be on that beach, and he’s there making money and living; he’s kind of winning, isn’t he? Of course he is. It’s even better than being in a band or something, where you’re always at the concerts that people are willing to travel miles and miles to see, because firstly, you get sick of your own concerts, you have personal things you want to do at home, you deal with pressure and you deal with tons of constantly changing circumstances and the constant worry that someday, everyone will stop showing up and you’ll be fucked(now, that being said, being in a band for a living is an awesome job, don’t get me wrong).

Nah, when you’re on the beach renting out boogie boards, you just have to worry about the various happy hours that are going on around you. That’s the dream, man. That’s the dream even if you don’t have a lot of money and you live in kind of a shitty house. If you live somewhere truly beautiful and you do something that’s mindless/easy/fun, you’ve won life. Once you’ve divorced yourself of all desires and needs to compete you’re really doing something that’s Buddhist a little, but you can even do it while existing somewhat in reality. That’s pretty great.

Or you could just be a DJ at the titty bar and bang all the strippers. That’s probably pretty great too.

8 comments:

FranklinStein said...

Is that what Chris does? DJ at a titty bar and bang the strippers? I read somewhere that he's DJ'ed before...curious what he does when he's not in Hawaii swimming with HUGE-dicked mammals and old as fuck fish.

Anyway, I went skiing this past weekend for the first time since I was a kid and noticed the beach bum/ski bum parallel. Aside from the climate/geographical differences, they're EXACTLY the same: bearded, tan, bro attitude, surfer accent, care-free as fuck, etc. I thought how awesome it would be to live the life of a ski bum (i.e., work for a ski resort giving lessons to beginners during the day and ski/snowboard during my time off) but quickly realized that I couldn't possibly stand being around this breed of human for more than 3 minutes. It's a bitter, bitter reality.

Sarah said...

That's kinda why I like my job. I don't make a ton of money, but it's definitely good money for what I do. I manage a band t-shirt store, the hours are awesome, and it's fun and laid back. A little embarassing to tell your friends that went to law/med/grad school, but I like that I can take off and go to shows, go on trips, and not stress out about my job. I get to get out and live and not kill myself over my job. Thank you for not making me feel like such a piece of shit for doing this with my college degree.

Sarah said...

Also just saw Larry Arms & Reaganomics are opening for the Dead Milkmen in April. That sounds so amazing I might just cry.

What does not matter, is my name. said...

Hey guess what, The Lawrence Arms are at Congress theater april 30th!!!! =)

Sean said...

Easy get rich quick scheme:

Start a band thats halfway decent, borrow (steal?) brendans cell phone, smoke a carton or two of cigarettes, call up mikey b, attempt a poor but passable brendan impersonation while blatantly hyping "the biggest thing since peter north!" (The obvious porn reference might make the terrible impersonation more believable...) which is really just your own chicago-based band), get a "fat" Fat record deal, quit your job at the record store in celebration/premature expectation of riches to come, spend out your remaining days "kickin it" on one mike's awesome yachts drinking 100 year old wine whilst checking stock quotes.....


..... monocles may or may not also be involved.....

Trusty Chords said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trusty Chords said...

Of course, this assumes that you're not an idealistic person and you're alright with your life amounting to nothing.

Blogger said...

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