January 2003

Locked in the trunk of a car and moving at a speed of 365 days a yearÖ

Velocity.

Once you have it, itís a pain in the ass to get rid of.

You start moving and it takes an incredible amount of energy to bring things to a halt. You start moving and all of a sudden, youíre moving so much faster than you expected. All of a sudden, things that were still become a blur of colour that you canít really make out too clearly. Things have built up. Speed has become a part of you. You never really notice it, because the acceleration process starts out so easy.

It starts out as a pleasant little movement.

Next thing you know, youíre checking the manual just to see if your particular model comes with an airbag.

It never does.

Sometimes the velocity that gets you isnít your own.

I wasnít going to write a Reprisal tonight.

I was going to be happy rebuilding an old amplifier and contemplating the next two weeks on ichiban noodles and the occasional glass of iced tea.

That was my plan.

I should really be more careful about plans and such. Itís always at the hours when you know that you have to be up in the morning that inspiration strikes.

When youíre not looking and least expecting it.

Just when you think youíre safe to shut things down and head off to sugarplums and such.

Never works out like that.

So here I am. On a deadline that comes from not having enough foresight or enough hindsight or some kind of sight. On a deadline that I canít possibly meet. Even if I finish this, the velocity of things is going to catch up with me soon enough. The velocity of all my mistakes is bearing down on me hard. The velocity of "bad judgement" or whatever you want to call it. Itís coming for me.

Really, itís only a matter of time.

You can have all the intentions you want, good or bad, but what it comes down to at the end of the day is where the velocity lies. What has the most momentum and the most speed? What do you get to leave behind, and what catches up with you?

The funny thing?

For whatever reasons, the things that catch up with you tend to be the ones that you never really see coming. They seem to be the ones that you thought you were immune to. Those are the ones that get you.

Itís not the obvious, because the obvious you can dodge.

But I suppose, thatís obvious, isnít it?

Wow, thatís a lot of digression isnít it?

Managed to go a couple of months without those digression gods I thought. But again, just when you start to get comfortableÖ

I mean how else could you explain where I am right now?

Interlude

You run into such interesting people late at nightÖSometimes they have the funnest stories to tell you. Sometimes they just tell you to Fuck Off.

Depends really.

It seems for whatever reason that the really fun people keep hours that are completely against the standard time clock. They are the ones that show up when you least expect them.

Like say, Kermit and Animal for exampleÖ

Buick Skylarks Never Smell Like The AdsÖ

In the ads, they always look new and fresh. In the ads they always have a shine to them. The ads speak of success and freedom. I suppose in the end all car advertisements do, but when you look back at the old Buick Skylark ads, they seem to have a shine to them that sets them apart. Powerful engine, lots of cabin space, and especially lots of trunk space.

I can speak to the trunk space of a Buick Skylark.

Iím in one.

The trunk of a Buick Skylark does not smell like success or freedom. In fact, it smells of grease, bad carpet cleaner, a little bit of motor oil, and for some reason, this particular one smells like fired chicken.

I would love to know the story behind the chicken smell for some reason. Colour me curious.

And while the trunk space of a Buick Skylark is spacious, when ones hands are tied with those little plastic zippy things that insert into themselves (as seen in any updated special ops movie), one cannot enjoy it all together to much.

As I travel down what I am pretty sure is a poorly kept gravel road, I can say that I am not enjoying the full square footage provided by the engineers of this fine automobile.

How disappointing for them.

It is, nonetheless, a fine automobile that is being driven by two steroid cases known only as "Animal" and "Kermit".

The irony of being driven to what I am sure is my certain death by two muscle bound monsters whose street names stem from friendly muppets is not lost on me, donít you worry your pretty little heads about that.

You would be amazed at how much you can learn about a car trunk though.

At least admire in a strange way.

The way that the frame thingees run the length of the trunk lid, and the way that the wiring is imbedded, but visibleÖ

One has to at the very least appreciate the craftsmanship.

Have you ever noticed the bubbles on metal? The way that metal can look finished, but at the same time, hints at some sort of rush?

I may have been staring at the lid of this trunk for too long, although really Iím sure no more than an hour.

So let me tell you what I know about how it is that I ended up in this particular trunk on this particular day being driven by two enforcers named after muppets.

I hope and wish that if I ever get a nickname, itís at least original. Something like "Shallow Grave", or "Whoops"Ö

While wishing, I would also like to wish that Animal or Kermit (whoever is driving) made less of an effort to hit every single pothole in the road.

That would be nice.

And highly unlikely.

I have a suspicion that whoever isnít driving is spending most of his time directing the other to ever pothole or bump in the road. Thatís the kind of guys that Iím dealing with here.

Sure, theyíll make it quick once they get to a nice secluded location, but in the interim, they might as well have their fun.

I just got a gash in my head from (for all that I might know) what would be the two boys up front running over the mother of all potholes or perhaps at least a small Mazda.

The blood is running into my eyes, and making it even harder to see in this dark.

But thatís beside the point, isnít it?

How did I get me into a trunk, that whatís you want to know, isnít it?

Me too.

I donít actually.

All I know is this morning, these two evolutionary throwbacks showed up at my door, told me that the time had come, and then hit me over the head with I quite frankly donít know what.

All I know is that it was quite hard, and I feel pretty safe saying that itís going to leave a mark.

There probably already is one, but the lighting in this trunk leaves a little to be desired.

One thing overlooked by the engineers of this car was the comfort of anyone who happens to be occupying the trunk. Someone should write a letter or something.

Thereís a big part of me that would really like to know exactly what I did to deserve this.

No. Check that.

Iím sure that Iíve done more than enough to deserve this. What I would like to know is exactly how and who I pissed off enough to get it in this way. Never saw this coming.

Hell, if you had asked me earlier today how I could see myself going out, I would have said something along the lines of getting hit by a bus or something.

That I could see happening.

This?

This sort of thing only really happens in movies.

The car is slowing down now, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I am about to trade one type of velocity for another.

If I manage to get out of this, Iíll try to remember to tell you how it ends. If not, I have a lovely story for next month about a little old lady with a thing for candles.

In ClosingÖ

Itís been a nice little break of a month. Managed to take some time from things to give a bit of a break. This month itís back to work. 4 shows so far, and we should be finishing the tracking end of things for the new CD by the end of the month. Not a bad start to the new year if I do say so myself.

And while I know itís probably in bad form to say this, but to heel with itÖ

Iím personally getting quite excited about this CD. Other than being more diverse than Galleries was, itís also a pretty big step into some new areas. I feel way better about this CD than any of my previous efforts, and thatís a pretty cool thing.

Getting ready to take a bit of a step over here, and I have to say, Iím looking forward to it.

Iíve been talking about taking things up a notch for a while, and itís getting close to time. I think things are going to be getting a lot more interesting real soon.

See you around, and you always know where to find me.

Nate@natepike.com