August 1st 2005 But Why’s the Rum Gone?

You can try to dodge it all you want, but eventually you have to admit it even to yourself: you’re bored, and going nowhere. Your life has become mundane, the same thing, day in and day out. Sit in front of the TV, of the computer; have pointless conversations, watch pointless TV shows. Eventually it will catch up to you; eventually your life will be snuffed out, and then you won’t have a chance to make something of it. All lives share the same end; it’s not the conclusion, but the journey there, that counts.

So thought the young man as he ambled about his basement.

His thoughts drifted to a picture of a party. In his mind’s eye, he sees a live band playing on a low stage. The guitarist reminds him of “that guy from Jimmie’s Chicken Shack”; the band has all the energy, sound, and fun of the Shack, the Toadies, and Kings of Leon all rolled into one.

He sees people drinking, laughing, talking. He sees a bottle of rum, a pint of beer, all going down the hatches of countless strange, yet friendly, party participants. He sees their bodies wreathed in cheap cigarette smoke, moving to the pulse of the music. He sees himself, dancing with some pretty girl he’s never met before, whose name he just learned, but isn’t explicitly declared in his daydream. He doesn’t even like dancing, but the mood and fervor, the atmosphere, takes him like a summer zephyr, and he can’t help but meld with the pulse of the notes, of the melody, coming from the half-stacks and bass cabs on stage.

And somehow, as he dances, he knows he’ll end up somewhere he’s never been before, some room he’s never been in, cradled on a futon or a couch or a bunk, with either this girl, or another one, it doesn’t make a big difference either way. All he knows is that he sleeps not from a night of wild, drunken, animal sex, but rather from relaxation, a respite from the concerns of the world, a retreat from issues of politics, and the environment, and racism, and economic disparity. And she’ll still be sleeping, no doubt, but he’ get up gently, and leave quietly. And he’ll call up the guys from his old band, the one he had in high school, and they’ll arrange an impromptu show at one of the houses downtown for that evening; and then he’ll go home to get his guitar, his mic stand, because he has work to do. But it’s not really work, is it? No, it’s more relaxation, it’s immersing himself in enjoyment and happiness and fun, wrapping himself in a cocoon, a shield from everyday life.

Yes, eventually he’ll have to get back to the perils of the world, but for now, why not suck in the succulent scent of ecstasy? For this young man knows that all lives end the same way; the only thing setting one apart from the other are the moments of relaxation, of joy, that make it worth living every day.