Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fear and Trembling.

I remember seeing a song called Kill My Compass somewhere. I think it's by Daytrader (ex-Crime In Stereo), but who wrote is less important than that its existence, at least for this piece.

The title, Kill My Compass, unpacked, is about destroying a guiding mechanism. I took to that, and a particular issue of Secret Warriors and thought "fuck it." So I made a list of all the things I thought I needed or convinced myself I needed and decided I wasn't going near them for a week.

The first to go was Facebook. Not difficult, but really just a matter of not logging in when I typed in the URL. I missed an opportunity to go out with a class of mine but that was about it. I didn't miss out on any important communication not paying attention to it.

Next was alcohol. Much harder, and reinforced, repeatedly, by a pretty up and down week. I got thrown a beer by John Henry from Darkest Hour and then plain old emotional turmoil. But. I decided, at once, one night, that I was taking the bottle of Baileys out of the fridge and giving it to someone else. I decided I would stick to it for the week. Not a drop. I stuck to it.

Oddly enough, it wasn't hard to say no to alcohol offered to me so much as not reaching for it on my own.

But this week is the iPod. The portable music device I've had strapped to my pocket for literally six years. With it, I've run through multiple continents, most airports, scary places I've never wanted to see again, St. Peter's and also Brooklyn. Going out to buy milk from the corner store made me twitch and I hadn't even left the room.

I shook as I went down the stairs and started chattering, nervously, about an issue over which I have no control the minute I left the building. I tried not to think about the constant stimulation my brain was getting for the last say, half-decade and the feeling of nudity and... to suddenly be without it. I needed, or at least felt that incredibly strong desire to have something in my ears, something to chew up the time.

(Which is the wrong way to think about it, of course. Bolano's mediocre poet in By Night In Chile wrote a book called As Life Passes Me By.)

It occurred to me, talking at a mile a minute, I was talking not because I needed to figure something out, but that I desperately needed some noise for my head. I was scared. Terrified, so I let my anger just run wild with my tongue. I'm sure the people thought I was crazy.

Walking down to the grocery store itself just took longer and felt annoying. The Fray's "How To Save A Life" coming on in the grocery store didn't exactly help. It's an earworm, which makes plain just how much like math making a hit is. Walking up the hill without music wasn't so bad. Getting out the door was the hard part, so going back up was, slow, because of the 6,000 ml of milk in my backpack, but I didn't have quite the same nervousness and anxiety of walking down the hill.

I smiled as I hunkered down in my room, putting the milk in the fridge. I'd did it. Today, after classes, I'm taking a ride on the bus to get gelato.

Also, I stepped in dog turd. This seems to be a theme. Hopefully, by this time tonight, I will not have stepped in dog turd.

"I'm not afraid of the price I pay." Of course I am, but that's why I choose Face To Face's I Won't Lie Down, because at the moment, it's aspirational. Plus, its opening sounds a lot like Jimmy Eat World's opening to Big Casino. But! Turn loud and do what you have to.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.