Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#49: Dear Demi

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2020 at 9:22 am

HLC
125 Hewitt Road
Minverva, NY

Demi Jurada
1726 E. Passyunk Ave
Hostile City, U.S.A.

7/23/17, 10:40AM

Compatriot-

What ever will I write you about?  When has not knowing ever stopped us?  On a whim, or because I never do it besides, I dug through the files on my iPad and found my first letter to you.  I was impressed. I was probably smoking back then but was proud at how much I could still wild out, in writing that letter to you back in July 2015–practically stone cold sober. 2015 was a different time.  Everything still had an edge to it then, but there wasn’t any danger except the usual kind—that is, self inflicted.  Now we trundle ourselves wrapped in psychic gauze like Invisible Men.  We don’t want to hear the news.  Now we’re old and we know it, so we sit down—but the for-piss sake kids won’t do it, or anything, won’t make us know, don’t care about albums or the fact that the biggest change agent for racial equality was Rock and fucking Roll.  July 27 marks the anniversary of Chuck Berry’s “Maybelliene” taking to the airwaves like a race riot.  Of course, there’d be Elvis, proto-Nick Cave rockabilly faggot from Mississippi, and the die would be cast. Over in England they sang Leadbelly and made even John Peel nervous.  The Beatles could be viewed as the beginning of the end for this country, if not for the fan they found in Guy Piccioto, 1/4 of the greatest Rock and Roll band of all time.  America ended many times since then, once if you’re Neitchze but enough to make a career out of if you’re Hunter Thompson.

Whoa.  Old boy’s still got it ain’t he.  It’s good to know.  Without imagination I would only hate myself.  I wouldn’t be able to get away with the kind of rockabilly I’ve been dreaming of since punk rock let me down.  Hardcore, really—and the last time I felt genuine togetherness or that we could make a change.  Heading back to my cabin last night after dinner, I recognized the particular trait of a Trainer to judge certain intimacies as inauthentic and thus exclude ourselves while blaming them.  That’s probably the most clever trick of depression, all the more clever because it was never us—never my Dad or his sisters or his crazy mother.  Never mind the fact we were alcoholics and smoked upwards of 3 packs of Marlboro Reds a day.  My father gave me everything but even what he never gave inspired the hunger for it.  I’m miles gone, down a road he either feared or just couldn’t take.  I’ll cut out everyone, though, a luxury he might not have had, what with his father gone out drinking for days—one if he had taken I might not even be here to write you this long and shambolic letter on top of this goddamn mountain with these people.

They toasted me last night.  It felt nice.  I looked into my boss’ eyes and felt alright for awhile, until I considered that it could all just be a lie.  And as for my reflection-
-what if it is and in fact the whole world is a liar?  What if their intiimacy is contrived, shallow and for show?  Should I shut myself off to it, as I have, steel myself and hold myself apart, because they are phony?  Why should we suffer for what they lack?  Know what I mean, man?  Perhaps I could benefit from it.  It was only last year I DECIDED to be open, in dowtown Louisville no less.  Otherwise, I’m just so tightly wound, Demi, I walk to the top of the hill of the drive behind the cabin with my guitar and try and belt it out, like I used to and when I was living the life.  Health concerns and physical limitations stop me but the bottom line, sadly is I won’t let myself go.

The getting was good getting sober.  I did more weeding out than ChemFree on career day.  Ain’t that right Friend.  Spite and anger felt good, especially after all those years sloshing it around with them.  It felt good burning witches at they pyre and watching them squirm.  Their smiles curdling and burnt back.  It’s a shame how shut down I am but secretly I wonder—did I ever open to them at all, or was it just the booze and the lust?  I lost myself then, and that’s what’s needed now, but to what did I lose myself?  This letter is veering dangerously close to making a point.  I never wanted that for this letter.  The Foxes are waiting for me to go into North Creek.

7/24/17, 9:50AM
Wow was that dumb.  I was really getting somewhere and it wasn’t the point I was making so much as the feeling that someone was watching and waiting—which they fucking were.  My boss came rolling up from the other pod as I wrote it…fast forward through dumb hours in town and not even being able to get what I needed to begin with.  That sums up this gig nicely: I have an acid reflux flare up, while on shift. I tell Blair I have to go into town for some Nexium.  The whole family now has a list for me. I usually have a 3 hour break, which is when I thought I’d wrap up my letter to you.  I could sense him waiting, even from the other pod.  I give up on you, go into town, get everybody’s everything and the drug store is closed.  The only thing dumber than the story I just told you would be getting angry about it.  Mad.  Probably where the acid reflux began anyway.  With anger.  As curious and gentle was my mental prodding to you yesterday, today we’ll have to sum it up as anger.  And getting old.

I can’t do it anymore.  My body is giving out.  Which angers and terrifies me both.  I can’t help feeling like I fucked up somehow, to get here without being there.  The fact is we are where we are and someday I’d do wise to not just acknowledge but appreciate the fact that I’m not Rollins.  I told myself that this is it, though.  I’m striking out, taking to the territory.  I’ve told myself that many times, though, which makes it terrifying.  Will I only give in, and settle, and next you know I’ll be doing 30 hours a week in a paint factory and coming home every night to jerk off and type?  The scariest it’s been was one night feeding Blair.  Questions like: “Where’ve you been?” and “What the fuck have you done?” are never good questions to ask yourself, and dreadful and repugnant if you’re over 40.  Suicide makes a lot of sense in situations like these but so does sharing a 2-bedroom apartment and booking 15 gigs a month while working a side hustle writing Creative Nonfiction.
Steady as she goes.  I may have to put some faith in destiny, though never the lazy kind.  There is the possibility I will die thinking “This ain’t it.” and death will be me striking out yet again, death will be the new town and last exile.  How’s that for perspective?

I hate to wrap this up but I will.  Blair and I are alone in the cabin.  I’ve built a fire because it’s rainy and cold up on this mountain.  I send this out in that spirit, Compatriot, Counselor, Pisces, Artist and Gerafalo.  I send this out in the spirit of burning because burning is all we ever had—it lit the way and turned what blocked us to spirit, what held us back to fuel. I’ll admit that it’s love, too, which is probably at the heart of it all, and, after life has fully rubbed me down and rendered me, I’ll see clearly that I ‘ve done just fine.

With Love,
Trainer

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