Friday, February 10, 2012

Express Delivery, Catalyst, Cabbies

I am a patient boy
I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait
My time is water down a drain

Everybody's movin'
Everybody's movin'
Everything is moving
Moving, moving, moving

Please don't leave me to remain
In the waiting room

MacKaye. "Waiting Room" Lyrics. 13 Songs  Dischord, 1989 

I took a job as a courier in late '89 to make ends meet. Where they met was never clear, I was always in a state of flux, never really pausing to look forward or back, riding hard toward the same undefined destination always, a bullet with no target.

It was so easy to throw myself into the pedals, with every teeth-gritting, rage powered revolution pushing down on some blackness, forgetting briefly the visions of my (it was assumed) eventual destruction, hurtling through the flashing sea of metal, lights, and fumes. I actually found it much harder to get off the bike and ride the elevator with some lady from Suite 1009 or the the really good-smelling guy from Big Law Office, trusting the cables and pulleys, fighting the calf cramps, thinking...well, just thinking.

I ate virtually nothing then. I didn't really do any drugs as most of them made me feel serious paranoia and usually resulted in a freak out of some kind (some of those were LEGENDARY, but do not bear relating now) but I drank a fair amount. I had just gotten back to DC from parts unspecified, feeling at home again, recognizing the maelstrom, feeling it, glad to know this Devil. There was a girl, as usual, who didn't really know me, though we had been together for a year or so. She was a good person, probably, but I didn't really take the time to figure that out, I had to know what she could do for me, how long she would last before she left; I, self absorbed, a fractured and fragile egoist.

A life is destined for tragedy if it is left unexamined, to wind down a path into the fog, a careless misuse of the magic of evolution. So we look for something to grab hold of, something to ignite our passion, to wriggle (often uncomfortably) in our minds, demanding attention.  Music has that power. It is a palpable thing, a force, a motor. It is a thing to which we have to lend no meaning, it gathers in the mind and grows and we do not understand it's source. Maybe it is tied to the rhythms of the electrical pulses between our synapses, some chemical reaction brought about by a process, a catalyst, unknown to us. Any way you look at it, it has power.

Hardcore appealed to some part of my mind, some convoluted fold of brain matter, that needed to move, to scream, to unload. It swam in the reptilian and mammalian parts, in Broca's area and in the medulla, taking over, releasing: a vicious, a primal force, a motor of adolescence.

Not that I even considered such philosophical bullshit at the time. I was a teenager, a flesh golem, fighting against unseen forces, wrestling unnamed demons. I wanted to fight, to fuck, to destroy, no time for thinking, if you think, you hurt, you burn faster and the whole process just succumbs to inertia.

As long as I was moving, hurtling down Vermont Ave., the thinking could not waylay me; I could not afford to be introspective, the cabbies would kill me. I was always gathering speed, never recharging, life and philosophy would chain me down otherwise. The wheels rolled, the rhythm never faltered, always fast, always screaming. Because if the wheels stopped spinning, the music would stop, inertia would win, the cabbies would pounce.


  1. The TNT Mail Assistance, are hereby this writing to tell you that the govt of Benin has determined to your monetary gift finance through TNT Mail Assistance shipping.

    man and van

  2. Dear fredricksquare:
    You have no idea how much this comment means to me. Really. I have always had the deepest respect for Benin, especially it's magnanimous and unspeakable generosity. It is really great that the no doubt busy officials of Benin should take the time to read the blog of a lowly Punk-rocker. I mean, we have so much in common, yes? Of course, I realize that the official language of Benin is French, and therefore find the interest in my humble blog that much more special. To take the time to read a blog in another language, perhaps to have actually taken some continuing education classes so that the true timbre and rhythm of the post could be understood, to savor the nuances....Frankly, I am humbled. I have never experienced a greater gesture of understanding. Truly, I am not worthy. Perhaps someday I can return the favor (in a much smaller way, obviously) by visiting your great land, your bastion of enlightenment and civility in a world gone mad with selfishness and avarice. I hereby promise that I will sell all of my belongings, if necessary, to book passage on a flight to Porto-Novo, your glorious and magnificent capital. But alas, I fear even after selling all my worldly possessions I will not still be able to afford to travel there. What shall we do, my brothers in World Unity? I have an idea: as it turns out, I am actually a wealthy prince, Prince Geoffrey the Cynical of Carolina in the North. Unfortunately, my entire estate and liquid assets are tied up in litigation by my would-be usurpers, the tyrannical Service of Revenues Internal, a nasty bunch devils, I assure you. Perhaps you could send me your banking information, routing number, etc., so that I could deposit several hundred thousand dollars in it and you could, in turn, send it to my, er, other account in the country of Off Shore. Of course, I do not expect for you to go to all that trouble unrewarded. As a gesture of good will, you keep all the money less the cost of my airplane ticket. I will travel coach.