Rox in the box.

December 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

decemberists - mayday setlist

decemberists – mayday setlist (Photo credit: derektor)

If you ever make it to ten you won’t make it again.” Rox in the box. – The Decemberists 

As the wheels rolled over the smooth, sun drenched Nevada tarmac I couldn’t help but feel like I’d lost control. From the passenger seat of my friends 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo I watched the desert pass me by. Despite the fact that this strip of sand is just a pass point, a through road, today it felt familiar enough to be home. I know this ground. I know this road. Many nights I’ve eaten it up with a soldier’s appetite and a lover’s passion. I try not to focus on the slowly drawing in claustrophobia that comes with the roof being down. Every other time I made this trip it was with an open sky. Headroom. Today, I’m just a bird in a cage. Yes. Today, I’m just a bird in a cage.

Passenger seats are hard work for me. I loose the bliss of the mindless yet distracting task of driving. I have to deal with myself. The passenger seat is the bathroom and the dark in the night before sleep. The passenger seat is self-reflection. Self reflection was always something that I struggled to see. A voice breaks my thoughts like a dart to a balloon “Do you wanna drive?” – “Sure.” I reply. I don’t skip a beat. It’s as if I was waiting in the silence for a question to respond too. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid. You’d never know what was going on inside my head.

She pulls the car onto the sandy hard shoulder and lets the back wheels slide on the loose surface. We leave the doors open as we switch. They are barley closed when I hit the accelerator. I drive like I have something to prove. I snatch gears like I’m building to something. First goes in a second, and second soon follows. Then third and forth. Building like there’s a conclusion. Like at the top of the fifth gear will be get by an explosion. An end. I watch the hand on the rev dial climb in the fifth gear and peak and I wonder just what it is I would like to happen here. Just sometimes. For a second. Don’t you just wish for a moment of violent self destruction? Just so we really do appreciate the moments we are warm and safe in our beds on a Monday, looking down the barrel of the working week in a job we hate for no pay. Sometimes, we should just be thankful that the worlds not on fire.


They’ve got cars big as bars they’ve got rivers of gold.

December 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

United (States) Parcel Service.

United (States) Parcel Service. (Photo credit: matt.hintsa)

“Were it not for the presence of the unwashed and the half-educated, the formless, queer and incomplete, the unreasonable and absurd, the infinite shapes of the delightful human tadpole, the horizon would not wear so wide a grin.” Frank Moore Colby quotes (American writer 1865 – 1925)

It’s Christmas. It’s Christmas and I’m still alive. My hearts still pumping and my blood is still ruining in my veins. But for the grace of my father and someone else’s god. When the chips were down I hedged my bets. I kept my money sensible and worked myself back to where I wanted to be. But when I needed him he was there for me. He was the embodiment of the salvation that I had been so desperately seeking. The dirty little secret of life is that there is no quick fix. It’s not easy. It’s not. It never was. No one said it was. All of that.

I lost what had been keeping me on the edge only to find why I hadn’t left. What goes up, must come down. Down. Down. But that which is lost is not always found. Even if being found is what some of the lost seek. Or some shit. It’s hard to get hung up on the numbers. It’s hard to sit down and study the figures of the salvation of those so erratic. The very fact that they should register at all as a number undermines the whole approach.

I watch the thick warm air pour out of my mouth on the cold Christmas morning. Christmas is more in the country. The wide open spaces close is in. Make it feel more like home.

One day you will die. There’s nothing you can do about that. You can eat pasta and drink water instead of doing what your doing, but yes, I’m afraid to break it to you but one day you will die. A lot of people see this as a great point of fear. “I don’t like to think about that.” They say, they pass up the opportunity to talk about it in favour of something else. But I have found hope in that. Hope in the fact that one day, all of these worries, the fear, the anxiety, the sleepless nights, all gone. Faded into obscurity. Gone into the dark. Passed through what’s left like a dream through a young man’s head, like a dream through a young man’s fingers. And I’m not saying, I’m not saying that I want that day today. I’m not saying that is what I desire in the near future. I’m saying, relax. It’s OK. One day all of this will be irrelevant, and there’s beauty in that. Don’t you think?

I see skies of blue, red roses too, I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Merry Christmas, and may your God bless us, every one.

Simon Blake.

No Longer an Astronaut.

Let’s make some music, make some money, find some models for wives.

December 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and fuck with the stars. You man the island and the cocaine and elegant cars.” – Time to PretendMGMT

English: Snare drum strainer, used to enable o...

It’s one of those easy moments. The blood dance moments. The phrase turning, back-biting, wild eyed moments. The ones were it all makes sense. That whole blue marble thing, hurtling through a vacum at an alarming speed, is lost to all in the vicinity. It doesn’t matter. It isn’t relivant. To us, it isn’t happening. We have the blinkers on. Box vision. We only see this moment, not even tonight, not the morning, not the clothes we are wearing or the people we know. We see the music because everything with a pulse is moving to it. The drums drop back in from the twisted feedback from the guitar, it starts playing that electric riff over the wave of sounds. Move, it whispers. We don’t hear it. We don’t need to. We’re off. The shallow glasses that hold the spirts reflect the beat of that heavy snare drum. The ripples are sent clapping hands accross the inch of yellow liquid. The owner doesn’t notice, there’s plenty more where that came from. The guitar drops out, the panio is hit lazily to the beat before the guitar rejoins, full of rest and fight. This is the party. Drinks are in the air. We feel the air move from the heavy set speakers. Monday is dead. And Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday too. In this moment they died a death of indifference. We killed them and we don’t care. They don’t exist. Nothing exists here. It is just this moment. How did it come to be that someone took these sounds and put them together, and then that, not only that they should this moment so perfectly, but that they should have the good grace to find us here? This truley is what we’ve been going through the grind for. Every sleepless night and lost love. Every single second of every minute of every hour we worked at the jobs we hated. Every let down, mistake in which the lesson didn’t outway the loss, every moment of socail awakardness and disapiontment. They have put pay to this. They are why I have come to be here. In this moment. And with one deft hit of drumstick of skin, none of that matters. None of that is important. Because Monday is dead. The energy bursts out of you like a child in moments like these. You take a second to breathe it all in. To look around at those lost, seemingly forever, within the moment. They should be so lucky, too much of a good thing. Who ever would spoil me with the grace of a moment strung out like this. Such beauty. Such sense. Blood dance moment. Tomorrow can wait. It can wait. Because these people are my friends. I love them. They make me feel safe. Not Hollywood safe, not Disney safe. Real safe. Balanced. Worthwhile. Routed. Breathing in. Breath it in. Lay it down thick of every sense. You need as much to experience it. To feel it. And I know, OK, I know, this isn’t going to last forever, it’s tempoary, it’s a fleeting moment, Monday will have it’s revenge. Monday will come back for this moment. Monday will dispach it slowly, creeping from the dark. But none of that matters. That’s life. That’s what all of this is. None of that matters. Because the piano has picked up again, electric, climbing a steady and simple drum beat. The people never stopped moving. This moment is theres. It makes them feel alive. Worthwhile. Somewhat routed. Somewhat like kites with frayed string, not afraid to be blown away in the wind.

When you are lucky enough to have a moment like this sit in your blood, it would be my advice not to fight it. Listen to me, don’t listen to me, I’m easy. But my advice, for those wide eyed and bushytailed enough to take it, is to go with it. And always, most important, don’t, under any circumstances think it’s going to last forever. These moments are too few and far between and there’s only us to blame for this. How long until the next one? Dare I risk it? She’s stood next to me. I grab her gently by the collar. I pull her in. There will never be a moment more opportune. I tell her.

I love you.

Oh and writing got that buzz back, can you feel it? Oh here it goes again.

Simon Blake.

No Longer an Astronaut.

Scare me back in my place.

December 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dom Pérignon logo

Dom Pérignon logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’d get drunk and kiss and our bodies would twist like shoelaces. We never came untied. I guess she was just my type.” – Bright EyesI will be grateful for this day

She drifts across the wooden floor of the apartment in that way that only she could. Maybe other people move like that, do they? If they do I never noticed it on anyone else. Maybe that’s what love is? Simply noticing beautiful, subtle things that most people do. I feel it’s not that simple. I notice that the white lace on her blue shoe has become untied and is following her around the room. That laces and my eyes.

Girls have always been a sore point for me. I think I’m still trying to work it all out to be really honest. I’m not sure you know? I’m kind of fucked up when it comes to commitment. “You and every other man on the planet.” Remarks the funniest feminist reading this. I don’t know. I’m still thinking this out, I think that’s what this post is going to be. It’s going to be me try and work all this out. I’m uneasy. Disjointed. Hot then cold, then hot, then satisfied, then cold, then sad, then hot, then petulant, then cold, so fucking cold. I think that in my time I’ve been pretty good at working my own shit out. God knows I’ve had enough to sort through. But I’ve never sorted this one. So with everything else. The drink, the drugs, the social confidence are all aspects I have learnt to control over time. Fuck this is so messy. I don’t think I’m going to read this one back. Maybe I just have to crow-bar this all out of my head. Maybe I’m asking you too many questions. Maybe I’m saying maybe to much.

The most romantic thing I ever saw a girl do was in a gated community in Bel Air, California. I was writing a review for a shitbox hotel in Los Angeles but had promised to do right by them if they looked the other way on my bar tab and me being underage to drink. Ethical journalism is about context, but that is a very different issue for a different time. Me and an old friend from University, Mark Briggs, had set this deal out early in our three day stay and both parties knew the score. $225 later, me and Mark, him 21, me 20, found ourselves at some spoiled kids house party by way of a group of girls we’d met in the hotel bar. Loaded, cocky, wild eyed we felt that intense lift of the unknown. You feel it in your wrists, under your arms, and in those fat veins that run up either side of your neck, the ones you don’t want cut. This feeling aids social confidence for the simple reason that you could be anyone. You just have to convince these people that you were that person for the night. After about an hour I meet a girl, 6 foot, dark hair, slim figure, well versed in the right books and music, she’s kind enough to laugh at all my jokes.

If I wasn’t so emotionally detached at this stage in my life I would have noticed that this girl was as close to perfect as I was ever going to get but love never was about settling. It’s all about timing I hear. Fuck this is so messy. Anyway, for those who don’t know Bel Air is one of the richest parts of California, the kids who were holding the party, two 22 years, parents were swanning around Europe and there Mansion was the scene of this story. The rooms were packed with children with $100,000 sports cars and no ambition. So after a while of making this girl laugh and proving to her that we actually did share the same tastes and that I wasn’t just pretending, this perfectly groomed rich boy comes over. He asks her if she “wants to take a ride with him in his brand knew Aston Martin.” There was a crude sex pun about riding in there, but I won’t cheapen your eyes with it. As I looked over I was blindsided by this friends, who, in what can only be described as a scene from a bad 80’s movie, flexed their muscles and told me that I had seen the last of the girl. Having my body poorly beaten by five posh boys wasn’t, and has never been, on my agenda. I hold my vodka and stumble from the scene as the Aston Martin boy gags over the girl like it’s made. Like he’s owed her. Like it’s his due. The scene makes me stick and I stumble outside to see if I can find Mark. No luck.

I decide that I should call a cab and get back to shitbox. As I reach for my phone I heard my name from a girls voice. I turned to see her, smiling wide. But then came the most beautiful moment. Little do I realise, I’m stood next to a brand new Aston Martin. British racing green. A beautiful machine. The rich boy who had been trying to fuck her had just stepped outside when she put a bottle of Dom Perignon through the windshield. It was beautiful. The shattering of the windshield, the white foam of a $200 bottle of Champagne sleeping through the cracks and dripping down onto the leather inside. The abrupt smash followed by the whine of the alarm. The gasp of the crowd. “Explain that to your fucking Daddy.” She screamed out like Mrs Havisham over the noise.  Some moments are so perfect.

This has been a strange one I know, I don’t do stories often. But here’s one for you. I’m trying to go a bit steady. Will be in touch in the next few days.

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