Discreet Music (MES edition) | Jan. 24, 18

The January, I’m-about-to-lose-my-fucking-shit moment

I’ve lived out here since ’96 and always had a good attitude about the rain, that it’s just November and December which are hard, that by the time you get to January you’re over the hump. Not true! It doesn’t have to be true to get you through, but it’s not true (and it’s not getting me through). The rain came down our gravel road in rivulets like blood from a crime scene thick and grotesque, and when I drove out in the dark it looked like rice thrown from a wedding scene, how it hit my headlamps. And there were Dementors over our house Dawn said, by the mood our family was in and all the yelling and crying, the hitting and malaise…and Dawn said Mark Smith had died, my favorite singer, and the clock in our den stopped working, the one my step-dad got us for our first house—it was dead too.

We had the Drug Talk with Lily. I confessed I’d done drugs so I knew, that she should listen, they’re a lot stronger now, I KNOW.

I fixed dinner with the soy sauce that wasn’t soy sauce so Dawn could eat it, and baked two sweet potatoes the way Cooks Illustrated suggested, using kitchen towels to pinch the flesh out of the middle.

I drove Charlotte to her dance lesson but she was mad at me and wouldn’t talk: I’d told her I didn’t want to talk about it anymore (whatever the subject was), so she clammed up and didn’t say anything the whole ride over, and when we got there and I walked her up to the studio she seemed embarrassed by me, didn’t want me to wait with her so I said fine, I’ll be back in an hour—and I drove to the Whole Foods looking for supplements and got into a vague argument with the girl in the supplements section about Lifoic vs. Lipoic acid (I was wrong), and when I checked out it was $50 for two small jars—and on the drive home I wanted both gin and whiskey and realized I could split the difference, I had a bottle of gin that’s rested in Bourbon barrels but it’s generally gross, the thought of gin the color of whiskey: but I mixed it with Pomegranate martini mix and added an orange rind, and sat there blank in the living room while things happened around me, and when I went to bed I got up the next morning and did it all over again.

I drove out to the store because I had to get out of the house, and when I got back Dawn looked grave, said did you hear the headlines…Mark E. Smith had died…and I didn’t care or feel anything: I told her about John Peel, the DJ/producer who was such a fan of The Fall (Mark’s band), and seemed like the nicest, humblest guy you could know…and when he died, how Mark disparaged him, and if there’s 15 people in the world who are sad Mark Smith’s dead now, I’m not one of them.

We have to maintain our gravel road and the potholes keep reopening. We’ve put gravel in them but the rain keeps coming and the holes open up again, and the gravel just gets sucked back into the ground and goes who knows where. Rolling the empty recycling can up the road I thought this must be a metaphor for something, all this rain and these holes, putting the gravel back in, where does it all go.

Categories: death, Humor, Memoir, parenting

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

26 replies

  1. io penso che merda che merda !


  2. Actually, the New York Times made a big to-do out of Smith’s passing this morning:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My metaphor for this time of year is getting dressed in the grayness of the morning, where you can’t differentiate the colours so you just throw stuff on and hope for the best. It’s a metaphor-in-progress…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. People say “cabin fever” kind of dismissively, but that grayness and cold do seep right in. I always see film clips when you write descriptions, but that gravel road is a doozy, disappearing down somehow, an American Noir character in its own right. I’m feeling better about the snow and ice around here by comparison, although when you get a couple of “warm” days, all sorts of disgusting decaying things start emerging from the snowbanks. The freezing weather is getting to people in the northeast, and the rain is getting to people in the northwest. Vivid writing though

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Felt, empathize with all this. Been watching a lot of YouTube motivation videos (about as pathetic as it gets really) and they give that momentary boost, but ruin as they settle in. Ruin cause you realize you wouldn’t want happiness/success in that Michael Jordan sense of it, the megalomania, egotism, that is requested required. What happens when you got all you want, including the blues. Just got to swim in it huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The blues is a good, long thing to examine. Kind of the essence of most things, the discontent/loss but the ability to love and feel…screw those motivational videos though man?! What gives with that, poor dirt farmer?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve lost all ambition (not sure I had much to begin with) and not like in a depressive way, just in a not caring, it’s all facade, world full of phonies sort of vibe. Watched that Jim & Andy: the great beyond Netflix documentary, and that really sort of parallels my mood as of late. This sense that we’re all sort of “playing” at life, while we’re missing larger meanings, values. But actually beyond value really, sort of a zen sense of things, just fine being, but feel no need to “do” which is a precarious position for a dirt farmer, no doubt.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ‘Tis the season for your aspect mein friend.


      • PS checked out a Mark Smith documentary from the BBC, that’s one cantankerous lad! That’s about the only thing getting me jazzed these days, music, something nihilistic in that, that fits my sentiments exactly. Beautiful nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You go with that. It’s an ocean of consumption to fill/consume


  6. The Fall-en, I guess. And it must seem ominous when the clocks die too.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The bleakness in this seeps out. Strong stuff, as strong as muddy gin. Love the closing para to bits.

    Mark Smith dissed John Peel? That’s pretty sad. Maybe you can be angry and upset at once?

    Liked by 1 person

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