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Late on a Friday by Trey Printer Friendly

I should be going to bed now. Itís late, Iíve already posted an addition to 2 Heartbeats, and I have to go to work tomorrow (Saturday).

But fuck it. Thereís still whiskey in the bottle and smokes in the pack. Yeah, thatís right, Iím smoking right now. I quit about a month ago. Obviously itís going well. Iím also planning on going to the gym tomorrow, another hamster in the wheel chasing that mastabatory illusion of self improvement.

No bed for me, not yet. Itís Friday night and Iím kicking myself for being at home. Every self respecting drunken freak in NYC is out pissing on hydrants and dancing the night away. But all my party people are out of town and Iím too beat down from a week of late nights too drag my ass out, so itís just you and me. Sure, Iím not so pretty, neither are you, but weíll both have to do for an off night. Just you and me Strangelander. Howling at the moon and wondering if how it all went wrong...

I just poured myself another glass of whiskey, splashing it rough over the cubes so it slops over the sides of my hi-ball. A bit of whiskey wasted, but Iím wasted as well and it feels right that way. Rough and sloppy just like life.

My intention tonight was to sit down and pound out another episode of 2 Heartbeats, which I accomplished. Now itís just me and you and the demons howling and clawing at the insides of my skull.

I wonder sometimes what I am doing, where Iíve been, where Iím going.

Itís been sometime since I sat down at the keyboard and pounded away. I spend eight hours a day staring at a computer screen and usually it feels too much like work to come home and sit in front of another computer. But here I am. For one night only, the Blues Brothers Rhythm and Blues review.

Life, oh life. What a way it has of creeping up on you when your not looking. Years slide by, slow in the living, much to fast when you stop to look around.

For me, 30 is around the corner. And I wonder. I wonder where Iíve been and where Iím going.

Last weekend I went out on a drunken Friday night spree. Even my two hardest core drunken friends cashed before I did. We hit two different Goth clubs, all black clad demon wannabees, rhythmically writhing and gyrating to music 20 years old now.

And I felt old, I wonder if my scene had moved someplace new, and then I stop and think back to all the years and realize that I never even found my scene. I float at the edges, flirt with disaster and rebirth.

At the end of it, I realize that my place is here, staring at the blank page and howling that I am here, that I live, that I love and hate and succede and fail.

My scene is not the imitation rebellion of late nights and club kids. My rebellion goes deeper. Late nights are not where I go to pose, it is where I go to live. The strangelands was not created to impress people or garner an audience, it is a place created by two kindred spirits who needed a place to rage against the dying of the light.

Trite? Of course. True? Without a doubt.

But in this late night of hellish introspection I wonder what I am doing.

Friday night, after the clubs, after the drugs wore off and my party people hopped in a cab to get their drunk asses home, I rolled on in the city. The night mine.

I end up at a bar and empty what little is left in my wallet, and still the alcohol flows. A friend of a friend is whatís left now. A cook and a salesman from someplace back midwest way. They are in New York, amazed and hungry. I tell them that they have no idea, that they do not know what this city does to the right kind of mind. It burns you away, leaving a husk behind that you must fill again. Who and what you think you are goes in a flash and you find yourself naked and unknowing. Another lost pilgrim in the wilderness.

And you rebuild with a core of iron, because thatís all that can bear the heat of this city.

Friday night, and we roll through the city. Bar to bar until they close. 4 a.m. and we are at someones apartment with a six pack. The girl I am talking to, the girlfriend of a friend of a friend is telling me that I am a nice guy but I piss her off because I live the life that I live.

My life. A sell out. Sold out long ago.

She wants to know why. I tell her. I tell her I sold out because I didnít know what else to do. I never had a grand dream, I never had a huge want.

My passion is the world as a whole, not some ephemeral dream floating off somewhere on the horizon. I exist and that works for me....usually.

She asks me, but why?

I tell her, I sold my soul, and everyone does. I just got a better deal for it than most.

She doesnít buy it. Sheís getting very hostile now, especially for a 5 foot tall vegitarian. Even her boyfriend is shocked and frightened.

I tell her that the difference between her and I is I understand just exactly what I am doing, which is both my curse and my salvation. I understand the hollowness of what this world wants/accepts/rewards. Most people just march forward oblivious.

What I lack, friends, is the hope for a better life. Sure, I can make more money, I can have a nicer place to live, I can drive a nicer car, I just donít understand why I should. I care about very little in this world, but what I care about is very important to me.

A rather crazy friend of mine, a bleeding heart liberal journalist, told me once that I obviously didnít care about people. I have plenty of friends whoíd disagree, but that doesnít really matter. What mattered to me, is that her, from her perspective, I didnít care about people because I didnít feel like I needed to save them all from the injustice of society.

For her, caring about people is about beating the world at itís own game, for me, caring about people is about telling them to forget about the game and to find what is true in themselves. I have no compassion for whiners or victims, because that is all of us. We are all chased by our demons. Itís about stopping and looking at those demons and inviting them in and saying, yes you are part of me and I wonít apologize for it anymore.

But still I wonder sometimes, I wonder what I am doing with myself.

I am chased by time. Not enough.

I tell Ray Lee that I want 200 years. He laughs and tells me Iím crazy.

But friends, Iím not even sure 200 years is enough, and I probably wonít even get that.

This place where we live and love and fight and fuck and hate and scream and rage and hope is the most fascinating show in town. This is where the rubber meet the road. The world is spinning faster now than it ever has in history, and it accelerates everyday. I want to see what happens next.

(Just realized I lit another cigarette while I had one already lit in the ash tray. Getting ugly now)

Forget about TV, the greatest show going is right outside your window. You just need the right kind of eyes to see it, but most of us are too busy looking at ourselves and our own lives.

And I wonder about my own life, because I am really no better.

I spend eight hours a day staring at a screen, pounding out software I donít really understand for a company I donít really care about. Part of me says, donít sweat it you gotta pay the bills somehow and you do that in spades, but another part of my says that every minute I spend staring at that screen is a minute I spend dying.

And friends, I donít mind dying, but I want to suck the marrow out of this motherfucker before I go, because this is the greatest show on Earth, and I wanna watch the whole thing (smoking multiple cigarettes, might as well mix up my metaphors as well).

So here we sit, you and I, wondering just what the fuck I am talking about.

Well friend, Iíll tell you. What it is all about is simply that you are here, and we are both listening. We all want something better, something more real, more true.

For me, this is the spot to come, to hope and dream and shout. This is where I come to let it all hang out and what makes it worthwhile is that some of you are there with me.

Look inside, find your demons, give them a hug, and invite them to come party at the strangelands where we let it all hang out.

Now fuck the spell checking, Iím going to bed.


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