Thursday, August 30, 2007

Carry On

This crushing depressing burden of pointlessness is twisting my whole outlook on life and death.

Or at least that’s what this little business card some emo handed me on the street said. Mikey fucking loved that. He took one look at it and made me turn the car around so he could go back and get a pile for him and anyone he wanted to give one to. There are a whole lot of women in bars along the coast who don’t have a lot right now except a lost sense of sexual innocence, a massive hangover and a little black business card. Mikey had a sense of humour like that

Sometimes when we had the time and inclination we’d pull up somewhere late at night, lie back on some grass or a park bench and smoke the night away. We’d each completely relax, disappear and do our thing. Maya might play guitar if we were lucky, she didn’t have a keyboard way out in transit though – though she often bought one when we saw a music shop and gave it to the nearest person as we rolled out of town to make space in the car. Flo would write; she claimed she was working on a Hunter S. Thomson-style recount of what we were doing for a skater magazine based somewhere mountainous and far away. We generally believed the first half of that. Johnny would go for a run, and come back with something random that he’d found, and we’d all sit around and laugh about it until Mikey inevitably had an idea that seemed hilarious but ended up destroying whatever random object it was. Soho would talk about the architecture around, or some plant nearby, she was so enamoured by our physical surrounds. I’ll never forget, one night we were lying back and lucky enough to be in a patch of grass in the middle of an urban forest. There was a rectangle of sky, and though it was completely clear only one star out of the millions shone through the light pollution. Sarah looked up and said “Imagine, that’s light that’s traveled at the fastest speed possible, forged in the centre of a colossal nuclear furnace, for years and years, to hit this tiny spot in this tiny corner of the galaxy, and we can top that shit with a 30-cent globe. We’re over the hill.”

On such nights Sleepy would develop his growing love of photography, something none of us really expected him to pick up with such enthusiasm. Armed with the finest massive digital camera money could literally buy, he’d go so much further than just to document, his photos were truly mind-blowing. Often focused oddly, or distorted, he somehow managed to convey a super-real sense of urgency, like his subjects were the only solid objects in a sea of madness. He managed to convince Maya to pose naked for him once, and then he only took photographs of her face. Mikey, who’d been arguing against the idea all day, was completely confused. Jackson just shrugged and said “imagine how unique your facial expression would be if I got you naked in front of the lens”. Tellya, if Sleepy was after unique facial expressions he should have snapped Mikey there and then.

These night time art-picnics out in the cool fresh air served as a kind of showcase of what we could do. Most of the time we merely drank and got high, or drove somewhere in order to do so, or rested in order to do either again. But these meetings in the moonlight served to make us display, to keep creating and stay vital… almost to remind us who we were. Certainly the aimlessness, the boredom, the complete lack of direction or motivation would have otherwise driven us down in just a few days. By creating a forum where we developed projects and assignments and ourselves, we held onto a lot of the reasons we left in the first place.

But this sense of stagnation that had to catch us eventually. It was late at night on the open road, and someone was calling out my name. I snapped back to the moment, like waking up. Maya in the back seat, telling me I looked exhausted and should maybe stop driving. Maybe she was right; this was a great example of why men should listen to beautiful women’s opinions instead of just remembering how attractive they are when they move their lips and tongue. See, that kinda stuff’s important. True. Was tired. Getting to my head you know, this road thing. We were so illusory. Illusory is a great word, I thought to myself. Then I veered off the road and slammed the car into a fence.

Almost needless to say, things were very icy for a while after I broke my arm. And Mikey’s fender, headlights and bonnet. It wasn’t like money was an issue, we fixed the car up in half a day, got me the best health care excessive bribery can buy and we back veering all over the highways before we knew it. But there was something different. Suddenly we were all aware of not only our own mortality, but also of the dangerous and essentially directionless road our lives were on. In the hospital, Mikey was looking pretty burnt out, just sitting there in a big green low-slung hospital waiting room chair. I saw this great exchange where he tried to foist one of those emo cards onto a stunning redhead nurse and neither of them could really tell if he was joking or not. It was a bitter day. Ha! It even led to the kind of thinking and phrasing like “it was a bitter day”. The world really did feel like we were in a plotless gothic romance. We were, and still are I guess, the twisted wreckage of someone else’s sublime.

And then into the icy-ness came a warmth from the most ironic of places – ice. It was one of those magical moments that advertisers dream of and we were all sitting silently around one of those wooden picnic tables in the parking lot of a gas station. It was act three of the long pause in conversation between us, and the non-action was really hitting it’s dramatic arc apex. Then, out of no where, Flo has bought this ice cream. You know those really nice creamy-but-hard ice creams they make for kids, in like chocolate or banana flavours? Well Flo had one of the multi-coloured “bubblegum” flavoured oned of those, where all the primary colours swirl together, and it suddenly looked like the most amazingly delicious thing in the world. I asked for a bite, and she happily said sure, which made Mikey go all pop-eyed with annoyance and jealousy. I figured I’d risk it.
“You wanna split one of these Micheal? They’re really good.”
He wavered for a second on the possibility of yelling at me about endangering his life, but then he just melted into sugary, creamy, reconciliatory acquiescence.

We were gonna be fine. Aimless or not, just as long as June 30th never came around, just as long as we never had to face ourselves, then we were doing just fucking grand thank you. Like the rest of you. Like always.


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