March 2009

Flo Sure

Sometimes I have weird dreamsÖ

For example, last night I dreamt that Geddy Lee came through town with his ensemble group "Flo Sure" and Dongo introduced me. They were doing some sort of free form jazz show complete with beatnik spoken word poetry and extended acid jazz saxophone solos. It wasnít really my type of thing but somehow Dongo knew Geddy and wanted to introduce us.

The whole thing took place in some community center that had a lot of very old and dry wood paneling and bad tile floors. Drinks were served in small plastic cups and were either a fruit punch or cold coffee with ice cubes.

There were also very dry rice krispie squares.

Overall, the evening was a marathon test of patience, but in a weird twist of Irony, Getty was playing piano for this slow little dirge that was completely unlike the rest of the evenings music and quite a nice piece.

He didnít sing either, so that was nice too.

I realize that a lot of people might think that Iím blaspheming when I say that, but hereís my bottom line on RushÖ

Great songs. Great musicianship. A voice like rusty nails on a broken chalkboard.

Spirit of radio?

One of my all time favorite songs.

As preformed by Catherine Wheel that is.

Brilliant song, but in the Rush version I canít get more than 30 seconds into the vocals before I just check out.

So yeah, it was an instrumental piece, and it was really quite good.

Then some guy with a braided goatee and one of those multicoloured toques that looks like itís made out of hemp got up and did a freestyle rap about how cows are people too.

Dunno what that was all about.

Dongo and I said goodbye to Geddy shortly after that point and then went to Tim Hortons for cafť mochas and apple fritters.

Weird dream, but at least there werenít any Cossacks or bears in it.

Wandering to wonder...

Sometimes when I'm driving and I should be focusing on the road my mind instead decides to wander. It wanders to wonder about a lot of things.

Like about whether or not people I used to know ever wander to wonder about me like I wonder about them. Itís a strange thing to look back on the debris field of your life and realize that there are a whole lot of people out there who played a rather significant role in who you now are and you have no idea where they might be. Or if theyíre even still alive for that matter. I think about how unpredictable a path my life has taken and I canít even begin to imagine how the lives of some of these people have turned out. Hopefully, they turned out well, but Iím not quite that naive anymore.

Like about the prairies and valleys I grew up in and that while you could never pay me enough to live up there again, I would really like to see them again before I die. Northern Alberta can be very, very cold, but it can also be green and lush and beautiful. I donít think that Iíll ever get the prairie out of me, and Iím slowly coming to terms with the fact that might not be an entirely bad thing.

Like how sometimes it feels I've been beaten to all the really good songs. Nothing but table scraps for this particular mutt. I can spend hours and hours working on one lyric and it still doesnít feel like I have anything that I can live with, let alone anything that I can ask anyone else to try and live with as well.

Like how every once in a while I come across a song that makes me think maybe I have a few tricks up my sleeve just yet. Iím sure thereís a balance there somewhere, but I sure donít know what or where it is.

Like about corn.

Just cause.

Like about how much you disappoint me and there's nothing I can do to stop what's going to happen you. These things have teeth that can chew through anything, least of all you.

Like the smell of a hot tub. Thereís something about heated chlorine that despite the fact that it plays absolute havoc with my allergies, immune system and lungs that will always be strangely comforting for me. Especially in winter, but itís been years since Iíve had that particular luxury.

Like the way that so many people have traded playing by their rules to play by someone elseís. The house always wins and it always will. The best bet is to never even set foot in there.

Like watching the light fade from your eyes, and knowing that as I watch a little fades from mine. Nothing is free.

Like if he ever started being the man he wanted everyone to think he was. Like many of the people in my debris field, Iíll probably never really know.

Like hoping he didn't and probably never will.

Like about now that she has what she thought she always wanted. Like I said, nothing is free, and from this particular vantage point, the price was dear and the interest will be paid down for years to come.

Like about all of the people Iíve lost, and all of those that are just lost to themselves.

Like the monster I used to be, and how not even I can say with any certainty of memory how bad it actually got.

But I do know it got pretty bad.

Like how scary it would be to revisit the scene of the crime. Sometimes you drive down a street that you have been on before, and you just feel like you shouldnít be there. Or even close to it.

Like at least itís all on my terms and I still have them.

Like false humility is worse than blatant arrogance.

Like you sold your life but I choose how I get to give mine away. I still think I got the better end of the deal.

Like how some days this world looks like its already dead.

And some days so do you.

Like how the opening of Ra Ra Rasputin circa Boney M always puts a smile on my face. Something about the drums and the claps and that riff just do it for me and always has.

Like maybe I'm wrong.

Like maybe I'm not.

Like sometimes I still have nightmares about working at Cinnabon. Seriously, some nights I still wake up in a cold sweat and think Iím late for my shift there. Then I remember that I have another job and I try to figure out how Iím going to balance the two. Then I remember that I donít even work there any more but for some reason Iím never really sure if I told them that.

Like how after all these years itís the people who shouldn't be able to get to me anymore are the only ones who can. Figure that one out.

Bringing A Knife To A Gunfight...

Ever have that feeling?

Been a lot of that going around lately.

Backs up against the wall, wholly outgunned and knowing that youíre probably going to lose.

Itís situations like these where the line between the doomed and the rest of us is drawn clear. Itís dirty work to be sure, but if youíre standing at the end of it, youíre all the stronger for it.

Me, Iíve been remiss on a great many levels.

It happens at the same time every year. Getting out of the silly season and back into a routine has never been my strong suit, usually takes me a month or three to get my contempt back on.

Iím going to rectify that as soon as possible. Think of this as the in between. In between the catch up. In between winding back up for another kick at the can.

Iíve got a list. Iíve been working on it for a while.

Iíve got plenty of fight in me yet.

You know where to find me.

Nate@natepike.com