Monthly Archives: February 2017

Midlife Crisis

Free from eating today. Hoping to track down the cause of this persistent rash on the legs. Would love to reset my ego. It’s a lot of work to haul around.

Maybe happiness is a false goal. An impossibility. We distract ourselves from a giant hole which is the foundation of this existence. A huge longing. Maybe we just want to experience as much joy as possible.

With our art, our projects we place interesting shapes and pretty colors, ideas, graphic relationships across the emptiness that fills the hole. Ideally we paint the sides of the hole. We paint our way down to the bottom of the hole, finding our way to the eternal bliss on the other side. But we have to turn ourselves inside out in the process.

Having never made it through all the way, we emerge from the process having unloaded some pain, some baggage. Maybe we share the process, the colors. An exhibit.

Afterwards we realize we are still half-way inside out. Our intestines are hanging out over the edge of the pelvis. The mouth is inside out, silver fillings and yellow roots showing. The white stuff at the back of the tongue is thicker than you realized. The stomach is stinky. The heart exerts itself publicly, trying to get the attention of the exhausting stillness of the partially unfolded brain.

We start reassembling ourselves into some kind of non-offensive form. Something easier on the eyes. We consider discontinuing the practice. Who would mind if we ceased our endeavors? If we simply stopped generating more colors, more success, more of the music that litters the sound waves, ears and landfills of this world.

Good for you, they’d might say. Well done. If John Lennon became a shoe salesman, would it have bothered you?

The Song

Billy told us a great story last night. His first big gig at like 18 or 19 was playing with this smooth jazz superstar who plays one of the softer-sounding brass instruments. There had been a song at—as an instrumental—was a top ten chart-topper for a long time and everyone knew it. The dude would pay it everywhere: Happy Mood, or something.

The band would get on a plane and out pops the horn. Everyone recognizes the popular melody and applauds. At restaurants after the gig they’d arrange champagne bottles for Billy to play the accompanying beat on.

Smooth Jazz was an object of ridicule and scorn at this point for hipsters and serious musicians, but it was a good gig and took Billy around the world for years as the guys popularity gruelingly waned. Eventually iLLy-B was able to establish himself on a hipper scene and moved on.

When he got married, Billy invited the guy to his wedding, but begged all his friends, “don’t let him play the song.”

During the reception all these edgy, esoteric musicians and the “the song” guy are smoking out back and the guy goes, “ya think it’s time to play the song?”

John—who can’t say no to anybody despite is mischievous nature—breaks the pensive silence with a slow, “yeah.”

So they all go in. Billy’s in his wedding suit. Dude starts playing “the song”: doo doo dawh, dot dot ta-dah. dot dot ta-dah, dee dah dah… . Billy’s heart is sinking. His wedding is ruined. Then someone starts playing along on their beer bottle. And another. Soon everyone is playing. It was the peak of magic. And for Billy, an epiphany.