Jim Trainer

WHAT A DRAG IT IS GETTING OLD

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Punk’s not dead, it just sucks now.
–Grafitti in the Men’s Room at the Black Cat Lounge

I smashed my heel falling off a makeshift ladder in my bathroom.  Handsome Dan caught me but it was too late.  The hard tiles crushed the bones of my ankle together and now I can’t rest my foot anywhere–not up or down–for longer than a few minutes before I have to move it again.  My IBS is flaring up, probably from the half&half I’ve been adding to my coffee and I think a filling is loose which is probably from all the high fructose corn syrup in the non-dairy creamer I’ve been drinking to curb my IBS.  My joints are sore, and practically arthritic because I haven’t been taking my Glucosamine.  Anxiety bleeds the corners at the edge of my day and goes full roar at night.  Who knew I had too much energy, and that all those gallons of bourbon I’d been drinking were only a stopgap for the cackling and torrential madness within me?  I did, for one thing.  I always knew, ever since my “straight edge” days in High School–without a band I’d have no way to kill it my head.  It was only a matter of time before I was set to self destruct and bourbon was only the beginning.  I’d drink until I slurred, snort coke until I was good, and then crush a Xanax and lick it to come down.  Mornings were hard then, Good Reader, but I assuaged the hangover with a cocktail.  Then I got old and mornings got dark as midnight.  It got bad before it got better and now I’ve uncovered the Beast.  Too much energy is the worst reason not to get anything done and Sister Kim was right–I’ve got all the tools to work it out, and Sister Maureen–I’ve all the reason to.

I was offered $50 last night to act like I was into the band.  They were a punk band.  I didn’t realize until just then how important it is to me.  We both know the scene got so jaded wth itself, violent and worst of all the music suffered.  I dropped off right before Greenday hit, but, for reference and to assure you I am not cooler than you, when Greenday hit I was into them.  They were a return to form for me.  They weren’t anything as dumb as something called metalcore and better than anything on the radio at the time–bands like Korn and Disturbed and this kind of shit.  It was, or seemed to be, pure punk rock.  These days I wouldn’t listen to Greenday if you payed me but I might act like I was into them if you offered me $50 on a rainy Tuesday night in Bro Country.

“It is pretentious, isn’t it?”

Lance turned away from where we sat on oversized lawn recliners in the rain.  Lance lives across the street from Joey Ramone’s parents in North Jersey and was more punkrock than the band on stage and lot of us getting paid to be in the crowd.  When the band started I was in the bathroom but made my way to the stage beside a white dude in dreads who smelled like dreads.  He annoyed me but when he stepped away I felt vulnerable and exposed.  A phony among phonies.  There wasn’t one fan there who wasn’t offered money to be.  It felt like work.  They did Pretty Vacant and it was alright, but, let me tell you something–if you’re a punk band and you’ve no attitude–you’re doing it wrong.  You didn’t get the memo that you’re not supposed to be up there.  It doesn’t matter what you play as long as you’re playing it as important as death itself.  The 10 minutes I spent talking with Lance were as real as it got for me.  A “punk” band playing to a canned crowd in the most insincere city deep in the heart of Bro Country.  I wore my Eulogy shirt, though.  At least I repped my friends.

The best news I got for you is I’m getting my voice back.  I’ve been seeing a specialist which hasn’t been cheap but worth every penny.  My vocal chords were out of sync with my breath.  I leave the Doc’s office ringing and resonant, and I try to carry it over at home on my sessions with the Guild.  This hair-brained and willy-nilly post is what you can expect from me after I’ve been in the thrall of anxiety too long.  It takes me away from The Work which is no bueno.  Every morning I pray nothing takes me away from my art.  Not the maddening search for subletters, not explosive bowel movements, not getting up at 4 to drive a 16′ stake bed or any number of niggling ailments and conditions that can bore through our workaday lives and rattle us fuckall trying to make a living in the America.  Besides a bit of recon in the territory and seeing how the other half live, I’ll be keeping the blades sharp and getting 600 on wax before noon every day.  It’s the least I can do and it’s what’s expected of me.  I’m a journalist now.

See you on the internet, motherfucker.

  1. I think it’s time to see a Chinese herbalist, my friend. Maybe he or she can find the root cause of your distress. We have one here in our Podunk town and people swear by her. Good luck.

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