Posts Tagged ‘life’

What Happened Here?

March 19th, 2017

You are wreckage. What happened here? How did you get here?

 

 

You had a thing that you loved doing. You had your passion. You did it because you HAD to do it. And when somebody has to do something, that’s all the reason they need. They don’t stress too hard on what other people think.

 

You said to yourself, “no one will miss me if I stop doing this, the world will continue”. Which is true. But did you stop to think whether or not YOU would continue.

 

More importantly, you took this major plank out of your life. What did you replace it with? You didn’t. That’s just it. You don’t play shows anymore. You don’t have a band anymore. You don’t stand on stage and sing anymore. What happened here? Why did you stop? Who cared what they thought? Why do you care so much about “them” anyway?

 

 

The closer I got to exposing my true self, the more I felt out of step with the world around me. I was a great jester. I am a funny guy when I want to be. You ever hear that song “Tears of a clown”? There you go. I don’t want to put myself out there in bars and clubs while people are trying to have a good time and have a few drinks, pick up somebody to have sex with, shoot pool with, talk trash with, take selfies with. I am not the good time entertainer for them anymore and I don’t want to be. They’re not wrong for wanting to have a good time, just as I am not wrong for not wanting to not play for them. When our paths have crossed it has not gone well. They talk to me, they always want to have a dialogue with me. They puncture¬†the atmosphere that I try to create. It’s too uncomfortable for them.¬†

 

I’m not an entertainer anymore. What I want to do isn’t feasible. Anything can stop me now.¬†

 

A New Life In A New Town

October 7th, 2016

Here we are. A new life in a new town.

 

I now live in Whitesville. Every day I have something I have to do. I still have a lot to finish. Stuff is scattered around the apartment. I haven’t set the TV up. Not that I’ll use it. I have people to call. Things to get done. Responsibilities. It’s almost nice.

 

I needed a new start a long time ago. I could have left Fordsville behind a year ago and been fine. But this is the time I’ve been given. So many things got thrown out in the move. I unburdened myself from a decade-plus of baggage.

 

This is a good time to be alive, personally. Too often, I’ve done this thing where I’ve let the state of the world get me down. I want to change the world but I’m no good to anyone if I’m in poor shape. So I’m taking the steps to get into better health. My emotional energy has to be focused on me first and foremost. I can’t use the chaos of the outside world as an excuse to stop caring and let myself slide further into disrepair.

 

That’s enough for now. There’s stuff to be done today.

My Arm Hurts

April 22nd, 2016

My left bicep hurts. I hurt myself this morning when I was adjusting my mattress. I fell over and used my arm to keep from banging my head against the wall. I didn’t bang my hang but I pulled a muscle. What made me think I had the arms of Samson that would keep me from banging my head and also keep me from falling down? I have taken a pain reliever but that’s it. I hope this is a temporary situation.

 

My computer needed repair again. Do not buy a used computer. My used computer did not come with all the screws in it. It cost $50 to get repaired. The lack of screws caused the housing to come loose which caused the power jack to come loose and then the the zzzzz…… my god. The hinges and the screws and the power jack and used computer. Never buy a used computer.

 

Since I last checked in, Chyna and Prince died. I don’t know what to say. I enjoyed watching Chyna in the WWE. I liked a lot of Prince songs. Still do. I’ve heard more unreleased Prince songs than I’ve heard released Prince songs. I was really sad about Chyna being dead and then Prince dies and then Chyna becomes an afterthought after a few hours. I haven’t even thought about Prince yet.

 

I keep thinking about how hard it has to be when one is removed from reality and humanity. When you really need love and compassion and empathy but you can’t seem to get it at that moment. Prince was a superstar, a beloved musical legend. Chyna was a fallen star, a reality show reject who dabbled in pornography. And they both died, too young and alone. One from chosen isolation, one isolated by default.

 

I try to be kind to everybody now. I know what it’s like to need kindness and not be able to get it.

Oh Zappa, You… Were Right

May 20th, 2015

Q: Do you think it’s necessary to have a college education to survive in today’s society?

ZAPPA: It’s probably a detriment.

Q: For what reason?

ZAPPA: Well, the only real reason for going to college is maybe you can go there and marry somebody who’s got some money already. But if you want to go out and earn a living, the best thing you can do is get out of high school and get a goddamn job. Because all the degrees in the world aren’t really gonna help you. You got people with fucking degrees in all kinds of stuff who wind up working in professions that require little or no education and here they spent thousands of dollars on getting it. And how does our society reward them? With dogshit.

 

I would like to point out this was first printed in 1978. I have a Bachelor’s degree I never use and by no means am I alone. I somehow got lucky enough to not rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans that would take a half-life to repay. College is a business. My alma mater will get exactly zero of my dollars. It’s not like I have that many to begin with. High school teaches you to be a good little consumer and for most young Americans, their first big purchase is a college education. Supposedly, it’s an investment but I think not.

Lessons On Life From My Uncles

November 26th, 2014

The holidays are always good for checking in with those relatives you don’t see all the time. I have so many uncles I can’t count them all (four).
My uncle Jeff was telling me a little bit about life a few years ago. What he said was:

“You’re born, then you get older, then you die, then your soul goes to Heaven or Hell after the War on Earth like it’s foretold in Revelations.”

Uncle Jeff was pretty heavy into his Bible. He’d been in and out of jail a few times until he sobered up for good and found Jesus. Now everybody has to hear the Gospel at social functions. Uncle Ron is a lot more fun to be around. He drinks more and prays less. One night after he gave his daughter away in marriage he came up to me half in the bag and told me something I’ll never forget.

 

Uncle Ron told me: “First you get born. Then they put you in school. Then you they give you a gun and tell you to go kill a bunch of Viet Cong and you go kill them Viet Congs. Then you come home and you stop killing Viet Congs but you keep smoking heroin. Then you sober up about twenty years later and somehow you got a wife and kids and a job driving trucks. Then you die.” Then he gave me a hug and went into the bushes to piss. Ronnie could be a sentimental, oversharing drunk but he was more fun than Uncle Jeff every time.

 

Uncle Zisek took me to a Kentucky game when I was fourteen. After the game, he stopped in a liquor store and got a 40 ouncer of Falls City for the ride home. He had me take a few pulls off of it and while we were riding along he said this to me: “Boy, there’s a few things you gotta know about life. First you die. Then you are reborn. Then you come out of your mother’s womb. Then you spend your life in eternal torment because you’ve been kicked out your mother’s womb which is the most serene feeling in the world. Then you die by your own hand.” The family doesn’t talk to Uncle Zisek anymore since he ended up on house arrest for possession of. . . you know what let’s talk about Uncle Harry.

 

Uncle Harry. What a life he led. Every time we saw him he had some new crazy story. One Christmas he pulled me aside, lit up a smoke and told me a story. “Kid, I want you to remember this. One day you’re born. The next, you’re selling $8,000 worth of bootleg Aerosmith shirts in the parking lot of their tour opener in Pensacola. The next day, you wake up to find the money’s gone, along with your girlfriend’s car and all of her belongings. Before you know it, the mob is breaking your fingers. Within a few years, you end up on the cover of a Cannibal Corpse album. That’s life and there aint a fucking thing you can do about it. Now let’s go eat some eat some cranberry!” I liked Uncle Harry but he passed away. Officially. Every December we get a Christmas card from “Hrothgar Von Whatley”, which is the most obvious made-up name of all time but I’m not saying anything.

Veterans’ Day

November 11th, 2014

(I would rather scoop out my eyes with a melonballer than attempt a follow up to the blog I posted previous to this one. )

 

My grandfather Alva Farmer Jr. was an Army veteran serving during the Korean Conflict. At his funeral, seven military men presented our family with an American flag and performed a 21-gun salute. I still have one of the empty discharges from the funeral. My grandfather was given the ultimate respect in death and for that I am thankful for the solemn duty that our military perform, active and retired. They take the funeral procession seriously. I felt an immense sense of pride as I sat there in front of my grandfather’s final resting place.

 

That was six weeks ago.

 

I have not been back to the gravesite since that day. I have struggled with my emotions a lot since then. I will go Tuesday to see his resting place. There will be some grass over the plot, hopefully. It has been a rainy fall. My grandfather died on a beautiful warm September day. It wasn’t fair to look at him and see him in his final days and then look out the window of his hospital room and see how beautiful and sunny the world looked. He turned himself away from the window.

 

It’s a selfish thought but I keep having it: I need him to be here more than he needs to be gone. Which is wrong, 100 percent. Everybody has their time and Alva Farmer Jr’s time was September 27th or 28th, on or around midnight. He had been in the hospital for thirty-six straight days, battling a variety of ailments. He went in for a successful operation, was released after a week only to return that same night never to leave again. In that time, he battled intestinal infection, a failing liver and kidneys.

 

One thing I learned was that when I first went to see him in the hospital, I would sort-of peek into the other rooms as I walked to his room. Then I would see him in his condition and I never did that again. The gravity of the situation was so much that I smartened up. Even though the doors were wide open, looking felt intrusive.

 

How many times I had to put on scrubs and gloves before entering his room. How many times I had to fight to not visibly bawl in front of him. How many times I expected to get “the call”. How easy it was to take “the call” when I got it. Mom called me in the middle of the night, waking me out of a good sleep. My mom and aunt kept a bedside vigil for the last few weeks. My grandfather’s two daughters. No sons. I am the oldest male Farmer. I am thirty-six.

 

I have to talk about the last days. But I also have to talk about as many days as I can before that I remember. He got my car ready for California in 2001 by having the catalytic converters taken out, which meant they would not pass an California emissions test. (this is where the smiley face emoticon goes). He took me and my cousin George four-wheeling so many times when we were little kids. George liked muddin’, me not so much. We would have to check ourselves for turkey lice, chiggers and ticks. I had a few, George always had more.

 

2013 Fordsville Days. We watched the country band play on the bandstand across the field from our house. In the past we hated that bandstand, but it was nice this time. It reminded me of old times, when he would take me to Rosine when he wanted to watch bluegrass bands. He had his oxygen tank. There’s still a warning sticker on the front door warning “NO SMOKING, OXYGEN!” but all the oxygen equipment is gone. His bed and comfy chair have been moved out. My house is emptier.

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I find it easy to cry these days. My grandfather rarely did. One time was when my mom got married in May. That was a special occasion, naturally. Everybody cried except me. I thought they cried because they were happy, and sure they were. But I’ve been to a wedding since then and now realize tears come for a lot of reasons. Here is my grandfather the day of my mom’s wedding. I have better pictures of him but I’ll be damned if I’m sharing them with you. He wasn’t expecting the camera when this picture was taken. Looking back, that day might have been his last good day on Earth. From then on, he fought the good fight and scraped every bit of happiness out of life he could but the fight took a lot out of him.

 

I truly believe he never wasted a day of his life.

Non-Heroes

May 5th, 2014

Your heroes are flawed.

Your heroes are fucked.

They are grumpy, inconsistent, hypocritical and sometimes downright shitty. In short, they are flawed.

What can you do? The fantasy dies behind the curtain, kids.

 

I sometimes fantasize about doing really twisted things. I wish I could be more of a dickhead. I wish I could fuck some people and not only get away with it but do well because of what I have done. Carlos Mencia stole a bunch of jokes but he never had to give all the money he made back. I don’t know how he sleeps but I bet even if he tosses and turns at night, it’s on a king-size bed in a seven-figure estate.

 

Led Zeppelin stole a bunch of riffs and songs from old bluesmen and got away with it for decades. John Lennon was a junkie and an abusive husband to his first wife. Michael Jackson got kids drunk and took them to bed. R. Kelly videotaped himself with a teenage girl. We pretend to care but we don’t care. Or actually we care just enough to remember this stuff but we don’t go to the trouble of taking any action.

 

I wish I had more conviction. If it seems like I envy the villains it’s because we celebrate them. We give them a lot of money and exposure and awards and induct them into hollow halls of fame and then we forget and ignore all the people they broke down on the way.

 

I never wanted to be a rock star because I had something to express. I wanted to be a rock star because I wanted to make a whole lot of motherfuckers pay for what they had done. In olden times, I would have aspired to being a general or a monarch. Either way the result is the same: a tyrant.

We Hurt Too, Yes We Do

May 8th, 2013

I’ve thought about apologizing as a path to healing.

 

 

I’ve thought about how I’ve been used my pain to lash out at the ones who caused my pain. Sometimes pain that was given to me initially is a pain I’ve prolonged and tortured myself. Find a path to peace and closure. Or at least have the chance to file things away because there’s probably some other nonsense over the horizon.

 

I’ve rejected a few of the conventions of modern American life, and I can’t go back. I’ve seen the brick wall at the back of the theater. American society is a series of set pieces and we are guided through it like improv drama (the worst kind of improv). I now want to discard the pitfalls of manhood.

 

I don’t want to compare myself to other men anymore. I don’t want to do any “game” nonsense. I don’t want to play the game, or play games, or spit game. I don’t want to “neg” women. I don’t want to think about things like my “mating potential” or “date-ability”. I want to not want, but that is not possible. Everybody wants, everybody needs. I want to accept that it’s okay for me to need.

 

“We hurt too, yes we do. . .”