Those of you who know me probably already understand why the blog has gathered dust lately. Those who don’t know me probably aren’t reading this. So, I’ll spare you all a redundant account of the trials and tribulations of my life to date, and just say that surviving July was nothing short of a miracle.
PDX Pop Now! Was a roaring success. I ran to-and-fro, I managed stages, I hauled heavy stuff. I finally understood Explode Into Colors. I saw what was certainly one of the best performances I have ever seen in my life from AU. I saw Menomena play a brand new song from backstage. The festival, in its entirety, can be found at the Portland Radio Authority.
Moving out of 705 was decidedly not a roaring success. It is finally finished, at least. I had an image in my brain, of the four brothers sitting on the bare hardwood in the empty house, sharing a sixpack and some reminiscences… but S left a day early, I had more stuff to load then I thought, M, got upset at us, or the situation, or both, and left abruptly in a huff. P was extremely drunk, following us around making racial slurs. B and I ended up spending the whole time bickering about what we could and couldn’t throw away or stuff in my car. All this in the middle of a heat wave. It was too fast and frustrating to be sad. Certainly no time for nostalgic hardwood pow-wows.
It was afterward, driving off in the dusk with a car full of junk I didn’t want, listening to Andrew Bird sing, “If you’ve come to burn an effigy, it should be of a man who’s lost his way…” It was then that I finally felt the shape and breadth of our loss. It was then I realized why most peoples’ sympathies the past few weeks seem so hollow or disingenuous. Simply put, when it comes to houses, most of them have never had anything this nice to lose. When you say “I’m moving” they just nod and say, “what a pain, man, I hate moving.” How can they know? They are blameless, but subject to my bitterness anyway.
Last night I locked myself out of my car with the engine on, 5 minutes before my gig start time. I paid $65 to have a guy stick a glorified coathanger in my window and roll the window down. There are last straws, and there are last straws. This one broke the back of whatever poor, misbegotten animal that had thus-far dragged July lurchingly forward. The set was mediocre, understandably. It was old, unrehearsed stuff. I wasn’t really upset. I didn’t want to scream and pound things with my fist. I didn’t feel like breaking down and giving up. It felt like an exorcism, a final demon to be cast out. July is over. OVER. My back may never forgive me, but for all I care a piano could fall from the sky and crush the fucking car and all my gear into a million pieces and I’d walk home whistling dixie.
It is August 1st, and I slept in late. It’s the first time I’ve slept past 8 in I don’t remember. I woke in my new room, to the soft breeze of the fan and the new, unfamiliar sounds of new neighborhood dogs and lawnmowers. My head crested the surface of the dark waters and I threw my head back, opened my mouth and gulped a huge, grateful lung-full of air.