Thursday, January 17, 2008
You are Listening to Rock Music
Drunk and drifting in and out of the bright, twirling, spinning lights, just at the point where it all finally hits that "no matter what I do for the rest of the night, no amount of fresh air, coffee, water or miracle cure is going to save me from a merciless hangover once the sun shines it’s brutal face in my window tomorrow morning" point. And what am I doing out anyway? I should be at home, reading books, doing all the studying I blew off in college, making myself smarter, better, rising above this neon sea of girls with too much perfume and make up and too little self esteem and guys with hundred dollar haircuts and perfect pleats in their khakis.
Yes, you've been pulling away from this your whole life, but just because you’re not snapping two dozen shots on your digital camera of you and your friends toasting shot glasses and smiling cross-eyed so you can rush home and post them to myspace doesn’t mean you’re not a part of this rotten bar culture.
These were the things that were pounding in my head outside the club, I don’t even remember the name of it, I didn’t pick the location this evening. Crouched against a wall outside taking deep drags off a Marlboro that I’ll regret in the morning, my first instinct was to call out of work in case I slept straight through my alarm, which was seeming like a good possibility. If I had any shred of responsibility I would do it now while I still had some of my wits about me.
Maybe I wouldn’t call out. There’s a train station down the street, I could take it right into Manhattan and get lost for a few hours, wandering the city, smoking cigarettes and breathing in a million different sour flavors, looking for love or trouble. Then in the morning I could hop the first train back to Jersey and be at work by eight. Or maybe I didn’t even have to do that at all. I could head south, maybe Nashville, wandering back alley bars, or all the way down to New Orleans and see how that old heartbroken city is recovering, blah blah blah.
What the fuck are you talking about? People are starting to file out of this packed sweat box, their voices are like a million fingernails scratching a blackboard. Maybe their ears are ringing as loud as mine from the pumped up kick drums on whatever Top 40 drivel the four pretty boys were plodding through on yet another Thursday in hopes of a quick blow job in the parking lot from some girl, freshly 21 and taken back by all the pretty lights and smoke machines. Whew. Alright, turn the bitter down and keep your head straight and focus on keeping whatever concoction of acids and whiskey is brewing, in the bottom of your belly.
No, no diners for me thanks. Please just stop the car as close to my bedroom door as possible, and maybe pull a blanket over me if you can find one, and let me sleep until two in the afternoon. I was a fool to think that tonight would be any different than the last eight years, or nine years, or whatever it’s been. And what of that nonsense earlier about haunting the city and escaping the steel box of suburbia on some southbound steam wagon? You have work tomorrow. People like you don’t do those kind of things. Swat that ambition down with reason, that longing for something else with responsibility. Sleep it off. You’re in a Toyota, headed through the northern towns of New Jersey. You are listening to rock music. You are walking up your driveway, filling yet another warm and breezy night under the heading of ‘disappointing’ in what will eventually seem like one long night.