August 15, 2010

get out of my dreams and onto my high horse

I do not like spicy food. I can't handle more than a half a cup of coffee before my stomach turns to steel wool. I will move to California to go to school. I will never wear tapered jeans or chop off all my hair. I will never fall in love with a sociopath or anyone who is into Dave Matthews Band. I won't ever live below the poverty line. I will never get over my fear of crowds and publicity.

At a certain point you realize that you are everything you never thought would happen to you. This becomes more and more evident to me with every line I wait in. Every delayed train, every blemish and every day I spend more time thinking about interacting with people than interacting with people. I haven't forgotten how, but sometimes I don't see the point. It isn't nihilism and it isn't depression. But it's wearing out its welcome.


After lugging 50lbs of equipment between the two of us, Henry and I reached the rooftop of a four floor walk-up in Bushwick only to find empty tarmac and faint silence. There might've been a breeze wheezing through satellite dishes, I don't remember exactly, but if there was I'm sure it was only to taunt us. I heard faint male voices behind the stairwell and looked at Henry. He shrugged and put his monitor down. He just shook his head and I voiced the one thing we were both thinking: "Fuck."


"Some party, huh?" Henry says to nobody really.
"Dude. I had a weird feeling something like this would happen. Not this exactly, but something like this," I replied. "But I guess it doesn't matter."
"Where the fuck is everybody?"
"Should we just.... leave?"

The source of the voices emerges from the back of the roof. Some skinny tall figure with an oddly round head says, "Hello, how's it going?" His voice is quiet and even and pronounces every vowel just like high school required reading. Or a cardigan-clad serial killer.
The other guy is wearing a button-down shirt with the sleeves folded three quarters and the two top buttons undone. He's considerably stockier than his friend and the silhouette against the brownish-purple skyline looks a bit cartoonish.

"Yo, you guys here for Victoria's party?" the second guy asks. "It's pretty much cleared out as you can see. There were supposed to be some bands playing but this other band showed up and left because they didn't have an amp or something."
"Yeah, we're the other band," Henry responded.
"Oh," the dude says.
"Oh," the other lanky dude says. "Let me see if I can find Victoria."

The hostess of the party has already passed out at a quarter past 11pm and the guests have dwindled down to 4 or 5. Some guy with a pony tail and wearing either long shorts or short pants gets really excited when he hears that the band has arrived.

"Oh awesome! You guys gonna play?"
"I don't think so, no," I say coolly, trying not to sound like a raging bitch which is what I feel like at this precise moment.
"That's okay, I've got an acoustic and a banjo downstairs. We can start our own jam," he continues, unaffected. "What do you guys play?"
"It's all electronic. And vocals."
"Oh, solid."
He leaves and quickly returns, having retrieved his acoustic guitar, and sits on a milk crate to strum some Paul McCartney tunes.

I sit on Henry's monitor, defeated. Not only are we in the midst of being totally duped, I am now being subjected to some amateur sing-along. I look at my legs wrapped in black leggings, casting shadows from the light coming from the stairwell. I look down at my stupid oversize t-shirt with some sort of animal on it. I think to myself that I had better keep my mouth shut if I don't want to appear like an even bigger douche bag than I probably already look like. I look like what I thought the cool kids looked like two years ago. When did I become such a retro-tragedy?

I think about how shitty this is and how my gut instinct told me it would be shitty. And then I think about how we can laugh at this a year from now when we have roadies who will carry what will probably be way better equipment, and when we're booked to play a rooftop party in Brooklyn, there actually will be a party happening and we will be getting paid a lot of money to do it. And then I feel immediately foolishly self-important and presumptuous at the thought.
It's like having a dirty dream you can't even enjoy after waking up next to your spouse.

I'm left alone with the guitarist and the lollipop-headed guy, after Henry follows a girl to the apartment for a beer. Lollipop gets a phone call on a Motorola Razr (do people still have those?) and quietly says three things only: "Hello? Oh. Alright, see you."
"Well, I'm destined to never see any of you again," he says dryly after hanging up.
"Oh, are you from far off?" I ask.
"I'm from Guatemala," He states, shakes my hand and leaves.

"Is that guy really from Guatemala?" I ask the other guy but he is too engrossed in deciphering the chords to Blackbird to answer.

Henry and I split a cab back to his apartment and I'm so upset I eat leftover vegan red velvet cake from last night and feel sick. Maybe upset is a strong word. "HMPH"-- whatever the emotional equivalent to that is.  Whatever makes me eat enough cake to feel ill. That is what I feel like.

I find myself reaching for any excuse to salvage a Saturday night, watching a rag-tag game of pool in a bar that smells like cheese with a handful of rag-tag acquaintances. There's a girl outside exchanging insults for cigarettes. I don't understand her tactic but it seems to work because someone is bumming her an American Spirit.
I don't understand how most people interact on a Saturday night, I think to myself. I probably never will and I guess I don't exactly give a shit.

1 comment:

DJ Berndt said...

"It's like having a dirty dream you can't even enjoy after waking up next to your spouse."

Awesome line.