As Rational and Linear As An Algebra Equation(1992)
“I’ve been waiting, anticipating
sun comes up
the skies wont sink my soul
I’ve dreamt of this
but it never comes
but it never comes”
Pavement-Slanted And Enchanted
It was back then I suppose
cuz I was listening to this album all the time
It was a happy album and summer babe was so warm.
Maybe it served as a little romance novel amid all the other
stuff going on. The music was so comfortable i never
knew where is was going but it resolved its’ into something,
it had an end. It brought up the Velvet Underground of
John Cale monologues but it was so much easier feel.
It was A kinda happy place I suppose.
I was living a couple doors down from my mother In the
basement of a huge 19030s apartment building
on what the called “Pill Hill” had a lot of hospitals
on it and which overlooked downtown Seattle
and sat right next to the Broadway area.
I Lived with a little chubby Korean girl named Sihyon.
We talked baby talk together most of the time. I Worked as a CNA
or Certified Nursing Assistant in a really fancy facility on the Seattle
We spent most of the money we had on expensive food
from a high end Grocery called Larry’s. Most of the food
I ate went down the toilet but I was still nice and fat and
she was large enough that when we went shopping she would only
want to buy shoes. She went to Tacoma every weekend
to see her parents who knew nothing of me. I got a differential
for working weekends so I would buy alcohol and drink myself into
passing out. At that point I don’t remember doing anything else.
During the week I was able to get enough money to buy forty ounce bottles
of malt liquor which I used to drink to pass out after work in the morning.
Of course I rotated stores even though I walked around in really crappy
clothes and was obviously a drunk of sorts I did have my pride.
The friend who gave me the tape of the pavement
album(all our vinyl was played once and taped) lived on Bainbridge island where I had gone to highschool.
He was so lucky cuz his parents must have thought of him a insane yet
harmless so they let him stay in their home. He was pretty responsible actually.
We both knew deep down we were never going to make it as regular people.
But I guess we also had to harbor some delusion that it would all change someday
and we would become responsible upper middle class people of taste. I mean we
knew what was fashionable. We new they didn’t sell it and you had to find it
and it didn’t matter. And to act truly snotty you just dressed like a bum and
lived in a really rich part of town. So we ended up better then all the people
around us because we thought they were rich and stupid and we never had
to see actual poor people who would have just be boring because they didn’t
have any musical taste. We had that taste in spades.
Pavement was right at the end of that cycle for me. Soon I would sell my record collection
for pot, get a degree in biochemistry at and not work again for another 7 years.
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The Papers came in really late this morning. I didn’t start my route until 4:30 A.M.. I wasn’t tired but I didn’t want it to get light so I went as fast as I could. I didn’t beat the sun though and I began to have some strange feelings. I remembered a time around 15 or twenty years ago when I lived in the university district in Seattle. The memory was like one you get with certain smells, like it was way down in the primitive part of the brain.
I was working nights at a nursing home in Bellevue, WA I liked working nights and it felt good to have a job but of course I was still going nowhere, I had no thought of what to do but to get through the next day. I made a friend with this guy I felt kinda superior to. He let me decide what we were going to do, how we were going to slide, disappoint make apparent our lack of direction. We both were white and had Asian girlfriends though I’m not sure what that meant since neither of us dominated our respective relationships in a normal way. In fact we both ran around like naughty children. We played video games all the time(super Mario Brothers 3) and we drank a lot.
What hit me so hard as the sun was coming up was the times we drank whole bottles of Robitussin (dextromethorphan). I remember getting lost in the arboretum, I remember driving around to get more alcohol. I remember how there just wasn’t anything to do and how desperate I felt being in my own skin.
I had no goals and I just wanted distract myself from feeling like a failure. Of course at that time I had no Idea that my life would just continue to slide out of control until I ended up homeless. I had no Idea that I was probably hurting everyone around me. I didn’t think to actually write or draw or do anything creative I just plugged my self into video games and listened to Public Radio.
Maybe it was the chill in the Tennessee air that reminded my of those days in Seattle. Being up in the morning after having worked all night. Being alone in the morning after being alone all night changing bed pads and emptying urinals and catheter bags. We had a lot of time to sit working nights and I believe I spent a lot of time reading the PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) just desperately looking for a way out.
I think I felt I was totally unique in my baseness. I mean who drinks Robitussin to get off, not to common at the time I don’t suppose. Then again last night I listened to Nietzsche‘s the Antichrist and I doubt I’ll share that with anyone. What a wall one builds. What a strange bunch of distancing maneuvers.
No it’s not like that was then and this is now. It’s not like there is a narrative here. No nothing so simple as that. In fact I wander sometimes if anything has really changed. Perhaps I just misvalued things then, perhaps I do that now.