Thursday, June 3, 2010

Elegy Written in a City Churchyard

I lied. No elegy was written, but a photo was taken down at St. Paul's:

Yesterday I went over to see my friend George, to give him a gift. It was a matted picture I took last year of his two dogs, Scooter and Jett. He told me that he ran into an old acquaintance of ours, a guy we still both instinctively as a "kid" even though he's probably 35 years old. But that's what happens when you meet people when they're a teenager, and you're a whoppingly old and wizened 22. This friend of ours is still keeping it real. He still believes in punk, the scene, the community, and keeps it alive. It's a genuine thing for him. On the other hand, George and I...well...did we stop caring? I don't know. I also can't speak for George, just myself. Maybe I'm just over the whole live music/band thing in general.

As much as I was saddened at the closing of CBs, I don't miss it. It was such a vital part of my life, yet I don't feel an emptiness with its absence going on nearly four years. There are a lot of fond memories of bands seen and people known, but no yearning to have it back. Though I refuse to walk inside it today. I'm afraid, actually. I'm afraid it's going to smell the same. I don't mean that as a joke about it being a shithole, I'm talking about a triggered sense memory, something that still emanates from the wooden walls of the joint. Like in the way all K-Marts smell the same and how when I walk into one it smells like the summer of 1987 when I got my first "real" job working at one, and a month later was fired from my very first job — but that's for another time.

So instead I carry the memories of CBs with me, and share them with those I experienced them with. I'm lucky that most of those people are still around, though it's hard to believe that we were ever there at all. We can look at our mutual friend who's still keeping it real, and to look at him there's no question that he's fought in the punk rock wars. But as for me and George, you'd never know. We don't have any holes or ink in our pristine bodies (relatively speaking, of course). We talked about another, much closer friend of ours who also walks around looking like a regular white person involved in corporate America. You'd never know it to look at him.

It's not just CBs, but this whole scene we were a part of, this thing that died in 1995. Or did we let it die because we took it for granted? I know I took it for granted. Maybe I just assumed that there would always be this little group of people downtown playing music for each other, hanging out, and just plain having fun. You didn't think about being (almost) 40 one day. You didn't think about what life would be like some 20 years later. You were just happy to be there.

Am I wallowing? I had a non-fiction writing teacher who would say that I had a tendency to wallow in my writing. Though I never quite got what she meant. All I could think was, "I'm not saying, 'woe is me,' so how is that wallowing?" I guess I still don't exactly know the literary definition of wallowing.

I also don't exactly know how to write myself out of this post, that is, to write some kind of ending. These posts never quite go the way I expect them to, even though sometimes (like today) I might be contemplating how to approach an entry long before I sit at the computer, it never quite turns out the way I expect. Things I was planning on mentioning, you know, like jokes or some colorful metaphor that would horrify most people but only raises in me an immature titter somehow get left out. And sometimes I'm not entirely prepared to follow through with where something turns out to go, either because I'm tired, or just not entirely ready to discuss it (though that might be to all of our benefits).

Okay, it's getting close to midnight, and I'm still just writing myself further into a corner and not helping my own cause much. Maybe I'll try to leave with some kind of non-sequitir, something to cleanse the palate until tomorrow's entry comes along. How about.....


À demain...

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