Current Jams IV

It’s been well over a month since my last “Current Jams” post, so instead of whining about how I’m PMSing and my descent back into self-hatred and depression, I’ll provide you, hopefully, with some new music to listen to.

  1. “The Blackest Day” – Lana Del Rey. I was not disappointed by Lana’s latest album, Honeymoon. A couple of the songs don’t really work for me, but that can be said for almost every album by every artist I’ve ever heard. This song is longer, just over 6 minutes. I think it’s beautiful. Her vocals are gorgeous on this song, and this song seems very personal yet not too personal that I can’t enjoy it for myself. The switching tones in both vocals and the musical accompaniment works very well. I highly recommend this song and the full album.
  2. “Lazarus” – Porcupine Tree. A new band to me (and a band that goes pretty far back and has an extensive discography), and one I haven’t paid too much attention to, but this one song has grabbed me. Well, I love anything involving the word “lazarus” (one of my previously recommended songs was “Lazarus” by David Byrne & St. Vincent). These lyrics are very deliberate and lovely, and the vocals are soothing and soft, and I dig the piano mixed in, as that’s not something I hear very often with alternative/indie bands (aside from Keane, who always uses a piano).
  3. “Shots” – Imagine Dragons. I actually quite like Imagine Dragons. They’re one of those new-ish alternative bands who is really good at creating very catchy, pop-esque songs, and this is one of them. As cliche as some of the lyrics may be, I think they’re astute and relatable. It has the lyrics of what could be a very sad-sounding song but instead, it sounds motivating and forgiving.
  4. “Bad News” – Kanye West. I can’t believe this song is from Kanye’s FOURTH album. My most favorite songs of his are all off 808s and Heartbreak, and sometimes I wish he’d experiment with going back to that sound and the very personal-to-him lyrics and simple vocals. I bet a lot of you have already heard this. I didn’t get into Kanye until a couple years ago, and although I am not a fan of him, I am a fan of his music.
  5. “The Art of Dying” – Gojira. I think I’ve mentioned Gojira before but I hope it wasn’t this song. This was the first Gojira song I ever heard, and man, it set off a love affair. Gojira’s lyrics are some of the best in metal, in my opinion, and their sound is very unique. This song’s build-up is anxious and intense, and then the explosion of guitars and drums, and then the unrelenting vocals, almost desperate-sounding. Really, listen to this song. It’s on my “I Want To Die To This/Play At My Funeral” playlist (which might make a good blog post, too…).
  6. “Candidate For Suicide” – Hank III. I used to listen to a lot of country back when I was a stoner. It’s good stuff. This song, I’ve noticed, I tend to play around autumn. That makes sense – I get more depressed once autumn hits. I’ve always called this song one of my “anthems” because, well, it’s spot on. “No self-esteem to make me proud, antisocial, depressed, and cursed. / Well I hope I feel better when I’m riding in that hearse / and all my emotions have left me / and I no longer hurt.” Is that not me? It’s me.
  7. “Nobody’s Baby Now” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I hope you all know by now, I fucking love Nick Cave, and this album, Let Love In, is one of my all-time favorite records. Mr. Cave is a lyrical master, in my opinion. I mean, most songs are about love, but not many of them are this well-done. Also, he puts a twist on his love songs because they’re quite dark. Wanna cry about an ex-girlfriend? This is the song for you. I’d also recommend a cigarette and a glass of the liquor of your choice to go along with that cry.

Z

On A Friday

Every time I am in this building I feel like I am going to become ill, what with all the disgusting, overweight, grubby, bearded young “men” coughing loudly and carelessly and snorting their snot back into their nasal passages, down their throats, as I try to turn up the volume of whatever the fuck I’m listening to without damaging my hearing. Everyone here is diseased.

I’m antsy and irritable and anxious and tired all at once. I want a cigarette. I wonder if I lit up right now, at this table in the hall, in my nook, would anyone do anything? Probably. I had the runs all morning because I drank vodka and peach schnapps last night. I smoked ten cigarettes within a couple hours. My uncle was drunk, I became sober after eating most of a very rare steak and garlic potatoes.

My friend took my shift this evening, bless her soul. Which means I can work on some papers, unsuccessfully. I got paid today. I have things that need to be paid off. I need to get a credit card. I need friends to get drunk with.

I don’t think I have time to date anyone, actually. Unless someone really fantastic came along. I’d make time. But I don’t have time to go on dates and weed out the losers. I don’t. I keep thinking about her and wonder where I went wrong, but it’s not me, it’s you, you bitch. It’s you and you know it.

I hate my mother and my father, just in different ways and to different extents. They don’t talk to me and I don’t talk to them. I wish I could afford to move out, either live on campus or live near the campus.

Whoever keeps sniffing loudly needs to stop.

I take half a Klonopin then walk out to my car to smoke. I’m the only person in the whole damn lot who sits in their car to smoke. Does no one on this campus smoke?

That bitch messages me about how groundhogs are just sacks of fluid. I wish I didn’t want her approval.

I recline the driver’s seat as far back as it will go and look out the open moon roof at the little puff balls of white clouds. A wasp flies in, stupidly, and I shoo it out. 40 more minutes until my next class.

The worst people are the people who start out a peer review with, “I really liked this story/poem/play/dick pic.”

Z

Forgiven

In another country, maybe in another time, my mother would have killed herself out of dishonor. Here in the states, she is forgiven.

Her friends, both married, both with children my age, pick her up to go antique shopping and I know they don’t know, and I wish they did know. That my mother is a raging bitch, a whore, a human being of no value. A liar, a thief, and a cunt.

They don’t know. But we know.

We can’t talk about it, though. Can’t talk about the so-called “sex addiction” that very conveniently subdued the consequences to her actions. Actually, all possible consequences were erased. She has received none.

All of it has been swept under the rug. I’m a child, I’m not supposed to know, and yet I do, and the sound of my mother’s acrylic nails tapping rapidly against her keyboard fills me with hot rage, as does the sound of her blow drying her hair, and I pound my dresser with my fist.

“Our marriage is the best it’s been in years,” my father tells me, to which I do not respond. The best in what way? How now she lets him tag along to the dog park with her? Because now they cuddle, aggravating my acid reflux, on the couch at night? Because she confessed?

I sometimes wish she would drop dead. Nothing that could happen to her would happen to her and only her. If she had her knees shattered, her handicap would be a disadvantage to my father. If she became ill, he would pay the medical bills.

There is nothing I can do, and I curse the world for allowing her to go on unpunished and unscathed.

She will never be forgiven by me.

How To: Revert Back To The “Coffee Date”

Alright, she wants to get coffee. You haven’t been on a “coffee date” since you were 19 and a little less intelligent than you are now, and way less sure of yourself than you are now. You know you hate the coffee date. She gets out of work at 5:30, wants to meet at six. Six o’clock in the evening isn’t the greatest time to drink coffee. Maybe you can get something else. Get a fucking tea.

You’re a suburbanite. Going downtown is just a very easy way to become irritated, stressed, and lost all within a matter of seconds. You’ve never been to this cafe. You’ve been told there’s convenient parking, but where the fuck is it? The lot behind the cafe connects to a tattoo parlor and it looks small anyway. You figure you can’t park there, so you turn around and go back to the huge lot that is connected to nothing yet has a sign that tells you your unauthorized vehicle will be towed at your expense.

At the crosswalk, you feel awkward and assume every stopped car contains a person staring intently at you.

You struggle to find the main entrance of the cafe, which is actually in the back of the building. You also find out that you totally could have parked in this lot, and you’re an idiot. Inside, you barely glance at the menu. There is no line. There is immense pressure to order immediately. You order a small iced coffee. The surly male barista utters nothing else aside from “$1.75.” You pay with a twenty and drop a dollar in the tip jar, not because it took him any effort to make your drink or because he was friendly, but because when you approached the counter he was adjusting the tip jar to face you directly. You don’t believe in karma but you wish you did.

Without thinking you add some skim milk to the coffee, but no sweetener, since you think the sweetener has been making you break out, although it probably hasn’t been. You circle the cafe then settle on a small round table near the main entrance. Two young men, probably not much older than you but clearly much more social, established, well-dressed, and financially stable than you, sit by the window. They’re talking about business. Some event this one dude is going to, he’s taking his ex as his date. You try to determine if they’re on a date or just friends but can’t tell. The one who’s talking more gets a phone call. He has an industrial piercing and this irritates you.

Your date texts you, asking where you are. You look over and see her, but she’s not looking at you. You tell her to look to her left. She slowly approaches the table, clearly unsure of whether or not you are her intended target. You are, and you’re slightly insulted she can’t recognize you – you have blue hair, after all. She sits down, but then you ask her if she wants a drink. She says she does, so she gets back up.

She sits back down with a large cup of steaming coffee. It’s begun. The opening act of small talk. The development into actual dialogue. You agree on a couple of key issues. You discuss technology, how much dating sucks, writing, art, how much it sucks that you can’t smoke anywhere in this godforsaken state.

You can’t tell if you’re attracted to her or not. You can’t read her, but you’re shit at reading people in general. All you know is that this person is intelligent and probably even more shy than you are, which could be a problem. You begin to compare her to someone else and you have to remind yourself to stop.

After a while, you both decide going outside would be nice, considering the live band playing is, of course, extremely loud. You walk down Alexander until you reach an obscure corner of the street with large stone benches, a chess table, and a couple of boring sculptures. Later, a Google search tells you that this place is called Nathaniel Square. You follow her to the furthest bench, nestled in the dark. You light a cigarette, offer her one, she takes it.

You want to know what the name of the apartment building looming overhead is. The flashing blue light of the traffic camera is a distraction, as are the pedestrians that enter the Square. An older man, possibly homeless, probably not, sits on a stone across the way and lights a cigarette and stares at you as you talk about how much debt you’re in because of school. A young-ish couple with a toddler in a stroller appears, disappears, then reappears. They sit down next to you and talk loudly, occasionally scolding the child for coughing, for doing it “on purpose.” The woman repeatedly spits onto the ground. You want to light another cigarette and despite what this child is probably exposed to on a daily basis, you decide not to allow it to breathe in your silly secondhand smoke.

She checks her phone. It’s after nine and she says she should get back. You agree. As you walk back, two young men on a porch say something about how “she was with another motherfucker, acting all TV.” You reach the corner where it’s time to part ways. You say it was fun, encourage a second meeting. You tell her to walk home safely. As you wait for the orange hand to turn into a white figure, you watch her walk away, an all-black figure swaying with each step.

Z

A Morning

The car is in drive by 7:55am and it’s leaking transmission fluid (again), but I’ll worry about that later. I roll the window down to let the silver smoke waft out as I play “Morning Train” from my iPod, which has become a morning ritual. I feel exhausted although I slept well the night before. I did wake up from a haze of strange dreams and needing to pee badly, but I got a solid six and a half hours. I pop the lid of the cheap, plastic water bottle that I fill with cold coffee and milk (iced/cold coffee has to have milk. Hot coffee, I take black.) and take a swig, hoping it energizes me and also clears my headache.

490 West. Not my favorite stretch of highway, but it’s the route I have to take. Traffic is fairly steady and not too congested, although I do have to maneuver my way through the lanes to pass some people who are rightfully going five over. I’m going seven over. Then comes the speed zone. 40 mph Why? I have no idea. I try to go 50 – sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. It’s even worse in the afternoon. 490 becomes a clogged, choking mess of vehicles which always makes me claustrophobic and nervous about someone side-swiping me. But in the mornings, it’s tolerable. I have to slow down as I follow the signs for Buffalo, decelerating from 65 to 60, when I notice the state trooper sitting idly.

I’m making excellent time. I light another cigarette as I make my way further West, pushing the speedometer to 80 mph in a 65, feeling the body of the car lurch forward. Finally I see the two school-bus-yellow signs on either side of the road that say “EXPRESSWAY ENDS 1 MILE” and I keep going until I have to ease off the gas and finally hit the brakes, rapidly making a right turn, then an immediate left, onto Route 31 West. I pass the apple farm, with the white and red sign in the grass, and then the Lowe’s Home Improvement, then make another right. I see a dead cat, striped, and I feel a pang of sadness. There are hardly any speed limit signs out here. All I know is one stretch of road is a 45 and one is a 55. I make this one a 55. I see a sign that corrects me, but I keep going the same speed until I have to make another left turn onto Owens Road. Now it’s through the village. There’s the sketchy looking run-down building in the middle of nowhere that I want to, at some point, explore, and the cute houses with pastel-colored siding and gardens in the front lawns.

At 8:25 I make it to campus and find a parking spot in the third row – glorious, really. My first class doesn’t start until 9:05. Ever since I got my license four years ago I became one of those people who is excessively early to things, mostly because I like to relax and smoke before I go do whatever it is I have to do.

I peel the banana, which I normally eat while driving, and take a bite out of it. A fellow student, I assume, gives me a peculiar look as he walks to his car. I make a point to look directly at him as I take another bite, but he’s moved on. I put the peel in the old grocery bag designated for “car trash” and light another cigarette. I’m not feeling optimistic about this day, but then again I don’t feel optimistic about most days.

Z

The Week In Review

I feel like I have nothing to say, yet a lot.

I made a post about that girl breaking it off, just wanting “to be friends.” Not going to lie, it hurts. It took me until the age of 21 to feel a real, romantic connection with someone and I feel like it ended before it even began. I understand her reasons. I’ve heard it before. Positive people don’t want to be with negative people. But that still hurts, too. Because even as a more “negative” person, I do work hard to maintain some sort of stability and find the good in life, and more recently I’ve been trying to be even more positive. Most are not willing to give us unhappy people a chance, though, and that’s just the way it is.

She did say her interest in being friends is “serious.” What does that mean, though? It probably means nothing. I doubt I’ll ever see or talk to her again, which makes me sad, because I think of her very fondly and I feel changed for having met her, and I do think I met her with a purpose.

It just saddens me that I lost someone I felt utterly free with. And since it took me this long to have even a few great weeks with someone, I figure I have quite a few more lonely years ahead of me before the chance comes along again.

Anyway. I started classes this past Monday. First of all, I hate the commute. It’s about 25 miles from my house and takes about 30-35 minutes to get there and also get home. The morning commute is more peaceful, since there’s less traffic and I’m not exhausted yet. But on my way home, there’s a stupid stretch on the highway that’s a “speed zone” and I feel claustrophobic and I just want to get home.

The amount of homework is astounding. I guess I should have expected that, going in an English major, but damn. I had to read half of a novel in two days (I had to read it in one day, since my book didn’t arrive until Thursday). I have the same professor for my lit class as well as my Tolkien class and she loves to assign a ton of reading. I think assigning two, maybe three, poems to read and analyze is reasonable, but not six. On top of that, there’s terminology to complete. Then the Tolkien class…I love The Lord of the Rings films with all my heart, everyone who knows me knows that, but reading Tolkien is a totally different story, and again, I’m being assigned 6 chapters to read plus his letters plus terminology plus chapters from my professor’s own book. In the entire week, the Tolkien work was the work I did not manage to complete.

I still haven’t explored the campus yet. All of my classes are in the liberal arts building, so I stick around there. I find shady trees to sit under or benches or go to my car. I don’t want to get lost. I did drive around the village a bit and I love it. It’s dated and adorable. I wish I could have lived out there for the year.

It feels different than my old community college, and yet somehow very similar. I think most of this has to do with the commute. I’m not even commuting from a couple miles away, I’m commuting from another town (also: the amount of gas I’m going through is absurd). I feel like an outsider. I don’t know anyone, I don’t know the area, I don’t even know the campus. I’m doing what I did at my old school – getting in, doing my work, and getting out.

I don’t know. I feel sad and nostalgic.

Z

I Knew It Was Too Good To Be True

She just “wants to be friends.”

I don’t need more friends.

I’m too sad for her. I’m too sad for everyone.

“…we have very similar mentalities, but I’ve worked really hard to turn into a happier, less negative person and I feel like being in a romantic relationship with someone with my old mentality is not a smart decision for me right now. So I’m sorry.”

I’m. Too. Sad. For. Anyone.

Z