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Notes From The Flip Side: 07.27.2003

"Let your losses dangle off / The sharp edge of the century."

The Weakerthans

What's The Point Of Changing If You Can't Change Your Mind?

I was on the verge of starting this update with a piece called "Will Someone Please Call FEMA? We Have A Fucking Disaster On Our Hands ..." See, I went to Chicago for the 4th of July. It was a debacle, almost from start to finish. Late trains, incredibly loud hotel guests who kept us from sleeping, winding up in a park in the suburbs after driving around pointlessly for hours - you get the idea.

After I had written several paragraphs, I realized that I was also doing something pointless - writing about something that simply didn't matter anymore. The stress, the frustration, the irritation - it's all dissolved in the memory of walking across a bridge over the Chicago River at dawn while a light rain fell on our shoulders.

It had all started the previous night with a long drive back from the suburbs in bad traffic, made worse by rubbernecking assholes stopping on the freeway to watch fireworks. We were quiet, tired, stressed. We had been arguing a bit, despite our conversation of several hours before. We were talking through it. We always do. It may just take a while until I can open up and explain why I feel what I'm feeling, until you take a deep breath and open up a little more.

We had to park several blocks away from the hotel and walk. People were still on the streets, most of them drunk, annoyingly so. Even so, it was quiet when we walked into the room.

Around 4 a.m. or so, a huge lightning storm finished the job that the noisy hotel guests had begun and woke me up for good, but even so, there's nothing quite like watching lightning flashes over a Chicago alley.

I gave up and woke you not too long after that and we stood at the window, naked and watching the world toss and turn into consciousness. You couldn't back to sleep either so we showered together and got dressed, checking out at about dawn.

We walked back to your car, trying to remember where we had parked only a few hours before. And then went to get breakfast in the soft morning rain.

The remainder of the day was stressful. Some more arguing - largely centered around our differences in communication styles - but that simply doesn't matter now. We worked through it. We're stronger for it. And I'm even crazier about you now.

And what is the point of doing these updates if I can't change my mind on the spur of the moment and decide to only write about that? What's the point if I can't elect to forget the drama, the problems beyond our control, and remember how you kissed me during those two days?

If I can't let go of those little things and focus on these moments of magic and beauty that you bring into my life, if I can't concentrate on the happiness and joy that you add to my existence, then I don't have any business writing at all.

Off The Top Of My Head ...

  1. I would be seriously remiss if I didn't congratulate my friend Spindle on her recent engagement. So here it is. Congrats to you and Justin.
  2. The Jealous Sound's "Kill Them With Kindness."
  3. The Weakerthans' "Reconstruction Site."
  4. Hakim Bey. There are two outstanding sites which collect a number of Hakim Bey's writings, both by that name and as Peter Lamborn Wilson.
  5. Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music."

Now Playing:

McCoy Tyner. Neko Case. Lucinda Williams. The Gentle Waves. Art Blakey. Tindersticks. Arab Strap. Submission Hold. The Weakerthans. Underworld. Lambchop. Soul Side. Three Mile Pilot. Lee Morgan. Jaga Jazzist. Stanley Turrentine And The Three Sounds. Massive Attack. Bobby Hutcherson. The Microphones. Jenny Toomey. Maria Callas. Prokofiev. Neu. John Tavener. Lou Reed. Lead Belly. Melt-Banana. Wayne Shorter. Prefuse 73. Sonny Clark. Champion.

Now Reading:

Ross Russell, "Bird Lives!: The High Life & Hard Times Of Charlie (Yardbird) Parker"; Paul Avrich, "Anarchist Portraits"; Umberto Eco, "Island Of The Day Before"; Alan Lomax, "The Land Where The Blues Began"; Peter Guralnick, "Lost Highway" and "Sweet Soul Music"; Thomas Wolfe, "You Can't Go Home Again"; Andrew Feenberg, "Questioning Technology" and "Alternative Modernity"; Steven Heller, "Graphic Design History" (edited with Georgette Ballance); Gunnar Swanson, ed., "Graphic Design And Reading"; Daniel Guerin, "No Gods No Masters"

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Last modified on Wednesday, March 26, 2008