Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guy with guitar

I'm on the bus, just heading home from work and there's a guy in the bus with a guitar sitting at the back. I'm sitting near the back but I'm facing the front because that's the way my seat is positioned and his seat is sideways. I noticed that when I got off at my stop. The guy's playing was soft and rhythmic. I think it's what you call acoustic guitar, but I don't know any of that terminology. The guy took all my hardships of the 9 to 5 gig, just wiped them away, and I think that's what art does. It kicks you right in the stomach making you feel something. Either good, angry, disturbed, happy. It never makes you feel bad. Unless it's crap, which it usually isn't. The only crappy art is by someone who's trying to be an artist, but you know they're not. You know they're a business tycoon making fun of the artist. Art is different, it's airy, it floats. It's not heavy like money or business.

I thought of that New Orleans song by The Tragically Hip. I don't know what the title is, but the lyrics go something like "New Orleans is sinking and I don't want to swim." Also thought of "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel. The guy wasn't playing any of those, but the music reminded me of those songs. I thought of myself walking the streets and feeling good, and a part of me wanted to be that bum I saw on the street that day. The one I gave that dollar to. He looked happier than I was. His life looked better than mine, and it'd be nice to have his life, only problem is I need food and money. I need money to pay bills and eat and just live. When I say live, I don't mean live, like get a big plasma flat screen TV and a state of the art sound system for my CD's. I mean just your basics: food, clothing, and shelter. If I had just that and my art I'd be happy. Of course, I don't just have that, I have added stress of the nine to fiver. I've almost become one of those...yuppies? That's not exactly the word I'm looking for. I think you know what I mean. One of those nine to fivers, work 5 days a week, weekends off, nothing but work, home, kids, spend weekend at home with kids, go back to work Monday. Yes, actually I think it is the word Yuppie I'm looking for. Young Urban Professional.

I don't want to be a yuppie. I don't want to live at my job. My job's just a gig to get me some money to support my writing habit. Maybe in a way I'm like a junkie? That's what I am, and I love it. I envy those guys like Kerouac or Bukowski except in some ways they're mythological legends. Their art portrayed them as the happy-go-lucky free-spirited kids. Kerouac died though, unhappy, a drunk, in his mother's basement. Bukowski? Well, I don't know if he chose the life he had. I think he just got the life he had. Those were the cards that were dealt to him and he took it as it was. He did quit the post office, but was he happy? Or was he miserable? Was he hiding behind his alcoholism? I sound like one of those stuffy turncoat professionals now.

I like their life. Just kicking back with a beer and writing. That's the kind of life I like. Not this nine to fiver, Monday to Friday, married with children shit. Then again, maybe one day I will get married. Maybe one day I will have kids? Don't plan on it though. The marriage thing, I don't know, I could maybe do that, but I could never stop writing. I have a small joke to myself, that writing is like my second wife. I could not live without it.

But yeah, that guy with the guitar. He played for maybe 10 minutes of my bus ride home. He was awesome and unfortunately I had to get off and go home. Go home and prepare for another day of work the next day, or the next evening. In case you were wondering, I'm a wage-slave. I'm not going to let that bring me down though, not going to let that stop me from doing what I love. Not going to let that stop me from writing. That's why I'm here now. I told myself I need to write this. Grieve Table, Grieve Table, Grieve Table, need to write, putting it off for too long. Maybe it's not only my uncle I grieve for, but the world. The world I'm forced to live in. The world with its suits and politics and fancy talk which can be translated into "I'm really an asshole, but I want to look good." Fuck the suits with their fancy talk; fuck the mothers with their kids they don't know how to take care of, letting them run anywhere the kids want, and the mothers give you that apologetic stare of "Don't worry, he doesn't bite." Yeah, well, wait until he becomes Ted Bundy then we'll see who bites. You gonna give him a cookie everytime he does something bad? Of course you will. Then when he murders someone, he's going to get a big steak dinner which is going to come out of your RRSP savings that you saved from having worked your wage-slave job. That is, when you worked. Because sometimes you didn't work. Too busy supporting your husband's alcholic habit. And I'm not talking about a cool alcohol habit like Bukowski or Kerouac, I'm talking about the kind of shit that just drinks and sits there. Doesn't do anything. Least Bukowski wrote.

Some mothers are actually great, and sometimes I'll see them, and sometimes I won't. Usually because they're home taking care of their kids.

This world is messed up. I think Hemingway summed it up best when he said "The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for." Throughout all the ugliness there is still some beauty in the world. That's what I want to hold on to, that's what I want to deliver, and that's what I want to love.

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