Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Don't make a sound, just move out."

I had Yazoo's "Situation" on constant mindloop for three days. It mercifully replaced Lita Ford's "Kiss Me Deadly", but after 753 trips up and down three flights of stairs, I hope to never hear it again.

Based on some rough calculations, I ascended the equivalent of Mt. Everest moving out of my one-bedroom apartment. I pride myself on traveling light, but what the hell happened? Stuff had accumulated, and with it a disproportionate amount of crap.

I'd moved there in 2009, life as I'd known it aflame. It was both a safe zone and a cell. It was entirely too small and smelled of curry. I fell asleep beneath the stars. I was raised, dusted off the ashes of Life 1.0 and started the next leg of my journey with one helluva lady.

The most immediate lesson? Throw shit out! I'm a closet pack rat, apparently. I had reams - I mean this literally, reams - of paper stacked, stored and hidden for posterity. It got to the point that discovering jars of urine would've been totally plausible. When your precious son puts his heart and soul into a barn drawing that looks like a Sanskrit receipt, how can you throw it out?

That's when I decided to carpe diem that m****r f****r. I threw shit out that pained me. I watched its arc into the dumpster and believed I could jump at the last second and avert disaster, a la that cheater par excellence, Dwight Clark. Nevertheless, it was necessary and cathartic. Microprose's F-117 Nighthawk was a seminal game, but I will never, ever own another IBM 386 capable of playing it. I'm all for savoring, not choking.

Just to balance the scales, I did keep a bin of cassette tapes. I'll never be a part of the next Kraftwerk, but there are recordings in there that comprise a very special part in my life. Maybe it's vanity, I don't know, but I just got out of the Air Force and really needed to reconnect with a Me unencumbered. I hear finished products in demos and it's a delusion I'm willing to endure.

I also came across my very first copy of Achtung Baby. Talk about a holy grail - this tape could tell more stories than Mark Twain. For as much as I'm a devoted member of the Black Swarm, this is the greatest album of all time. I listened to "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?" practically as a child, having no comprehension whatsoever of the demons they were exorcising. Wow.

Anyway.... around 2010 or so, I had an undying need for silence. As luck would have it, the gentleman from Bangalore living below me liked to blare Bollywood show tunes at 2:39 am. Now? I hear children stomping above me and relish it. It's no disturbance, it's my sons saying hello. It's a welcome break from the black hole of solitude that I've simply no taste or tolerance for anymore.

I finally hung my Father's pictures. There's one of him in 1953 or so, judging by his stripes. He was a mechanic whose favorite Air Force activity was flooring heavy machinery over dunes in Saudi Arabia. He  went on to become a mechanic for American Airlines, and was then accepted into their Flight Engineer program. He flew in that role for 39 years, and with a disbelief/humility I swore to never forget.

I have a picture of us together at a cabin in Pymatuming, PA, in 2001. He's proudly holding a huge carp on his line, and I'm soaked. He'd put his pole down for some reason or another, and as a matter of course Orca struck. His pole careened into the water and there wasn't a decision to be made.

Father's Day came and went and I hadn't a spare moment to acknowledge it. How's he been gone for almost 8 years now? "I remember only for an hour."

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