I guess this thing has gone off the rails as far as telling the story of a band. I’m probably just telling the story of me. I didn’t mean to, but intentions don’t really mean what we think they do: they tend to not really be any salve at all.
When I was in my 20s I played in a band that never got famous, though we thought that if it had a lot of our problems would be gone. I never really recovered from not “making it”. I never really grew up or took on an adult life. Petulantly, I stopped playing much at all. I don’t write enough. I don’t think I can really call myself a writer or a musician anymore and, if I’m honest, I don’t know if I ever should have. It was self-important and not backed up with the sort of hard work that marks a musician or a writer.
But this is a pity party and I didn’t invite you to that.
Also, in my 20s I collected people. Mostly women I got to know while playing. Some were a little interested in me, either as a mess or an option or a project. I would sometimes drink too much and call them and dump. Other times I would go out and have them watch me get drunk. It wasn’t very grown up, but I can see better now that I was pretty depressed. In a clinical sense, not an existential one. I mean, that, too, but chemically there is something wrong with me.
And I can’t say that changed. I got married and found that hard and often disappointing. I never really got over the failure of not making the entire world love me. The natural conclusion would have to be that I am unlovable. I don’t think that’s true, anymore. I’m plenty lovable. I just don’t know how to talk to people anymore and when I do I don’t have any sense of how to receive that love. I think the greatest failure of my life hasn’t been any of that stuff up above: not marriage or the band that never got where I wanted it to. Not work failings or parenting failures: My biggest regret is not getting back up.
My biggest regret is sitting here at 5 in the morning writing this like some guy who peaked in high school. Next weekend I have my 30 year anniversary and I’ll wonder who peaked then and I’ll know in the back of my head that I peaked, too. It was ten years later, but I did. I don’t think I’m gonna laugh at those people anymore.
Tonight I went to Pat’s and we all talked about who we used to be. We told those old stories again and I didn’t know what to say. As much as I pretend I always want to be moving forward and I don’t care where I’ve been, I still find myself exalted in the handful of wins and devastated by the final failure. I still wonder what I didn’t have and I still don’t really try at much of anything because I’m still stuck in the failure.
In my 20s I played in a band that never got famous. In my 40s I sat still being the guy who, in his 20s played in a band that never got famous.
I’m sad tonight. I guess I don’t have anyone in my phone to call and dump on. I have this. I’m afraid to say these things and I’m afraid not to. I want to be connect again and I want to want things.
Maybe if I say it I might get braver. Inch by inch. I’m not gonna want to be famous anymore. I don’t think that even sounds good anymore. But I know I should want something. I’m not a Buddhist, I’m a coward. I haven’t eliminated suffering by killing desire: I have simply numbed myself by not risking myself.
I’ll check in as I figure this out. I woke up at 2:30 and I couldn’t get back to sleep. All I keep thinking this morning is that I’m lost. I’m so in free fall.
I thought it would be more dramatic; more epic. It’s not, you know? It’s a Sunday. I’ve been living here for 20 years, almost. I’ve been lost for a long time. Realizing this, noticing it? Well, I though there might be a soundtrack. Turns out it’s just another night. The rain is heavy tonight. I’m just gonna say this and then get in the shower and go to work. I hope this was heard as I intended. I’m struggling, but I’m trying very hard to be done suffering. I let myself have tonight, this suffering. Now back to a struggle. It’s a better promise.