Here’s the biggest problem: Too many ideas happening all at once, and for too damn long, inside my brain. I think it’s probably an LSD thing. The past catches up with the future. It’s hard to know whether or not it’s getting worse as I get older, but I like to think it has leveled off at this point.
See, when I was a teenage space traveler, I was fairly brilliant. I would drop lysergic bombs on my central nervous system, turning me into some kind of psychic Doogie Howser, for hours and days and sometimes weeks at a time. I was 14 when I had the vision that first made me understand the smallness of me, the smallness of all of us, the smallness of everything, the gigantism of everything. Of course, I’m talking about how everything is made of atoms that look eerily similar to our solar system, and how all things are made up of an overwhelming majority of empty space that has scattered through it these little baby solar systems; cells, atoms, whatever. Scale, size, relativism, uhh… yeah, I still can’t explain it. See, that’s the thing with LSD: I never needed the words because I always had the feeling, the understanding. And that was always beautiful to me. BUT. Whenever I leave my self and leave my mind, and go out into the world of people and judges and juries, I need to have convincing arguments. People want facts. People want big words. People want precision. I’ve never been able to offer any of these things.
I wish I had the powers of that overly white kid, Powder, from that movie. You know the one, I think it’s called Powder. He could transmit feeling and understanding, merely by touch. If I had that kind of power, I’d be all set. And I’d be far less self-conscious. Well, no. I’m sure I’d be more conscious of my self, but I’d be far less embarrassed by my self.
The LSD trips took me to places I had never been before. LSD helped me fall in love with the world around me; also taught me to be wary of the world around me. Wait. Let me explain, slowly and simply, as I’d really like to be understood this time. LSD taught me that grass is beautiful, and that grass is never a threat. LSD taught me that spiders are nothing worth fearing; in fact, they’re cute little animals just trying to realize their primal impulses. Same thing goes for bees and hornets, big scary stingers and all. LSD taught me that, however simple people may really be underneath everything else, we are the most dangerous and volatile thing in our world. Certainly we could all understand our oneness, and sit around loving each other and taking care of one another, but I’m not sure we ever will. As soon as we start talking about those kinds of things, someone (perhaps even I) will always shout, “hippie bullshit!” I think about it all the time; no, that’s a lie. I used to think about it all the time, but I never found a solution. I’m not sure if there is one. Well, there probably is. There are probably many solutions. One for each of us, perhaps? My personal solution, my personal savior, whatever I call it, has been to just tune out the badness as best I can. And to love all of the things that don’t threaten me. This is why I am always nicer to male peacocks than I am to male humans. And maybe this is why the joy I feel, when I do connect with a creature (it doesn’t have to be a living creature; it can be a dead creature, or a non-creature; it can be a painting or a house or a rock or anything, really), I feel a joy that I imagine might be similar to that of a proud father watching his daughter marry a tolerable and decent man. That is, to say, my feelings of happiness are usually grossly exaggerated.
See? Getting lost again. Here’s the thing: LSD, or whatever it is that did this to me, has made my brain over-work its self. Here is something to imagine: Take your favorite record out and listen to it song by song. That’s how many brains work. Now try this: Buy as many copies of your favorite record as it takes, and as many record players as you need, and listen to every song on your favorite record at the same time. Set these dozens of speakers up in a circle, all pointed at the middle. Sit in the middle. Try it. Or at least try to imagine it. Now you are beginning to understand what LSD, or whatever it is that did this to me, has done to my brain.
This makes it difficult to be in crowds of people, or to handle simple tasks like banking or bill-paying or driving a car. In fact, I used to be a great driver. And when Rachel died in a car, that was one more thing to pile on top of the other thoughts; it never went away, and so I’ve been scared shitless every time I’ve driven on a freeway in the last 21 months. When I go into a bank, I think of poor people, and eating out of trash cans when I was a teenager, and the gut-destroying despair of not knowing where I’d sleep tonight, and the feeling of spending all of my money and then lying about it to my aunt and then having her eventually catch me stealing her money… this happens every time I go into a bank. All of my memories, all of my fears, they all come up and reintroduce themselves to me. If we’re being completely honest, this is sort of where I am with sex right now, too. Every time my cock touches a girl, I start thinking about the guilt of fucking my friend’s girl when I was a teenager, fucking that random young girl when I was a teenager and her “you can come in me, I’m on the pill” speech, and I think about that pregnancy a couple of years ago and how it sort of ruined my relationship with Laura, and I think about the smells that happened when she was taking those at-home abortion pills, and I think about that terrible song I wrote with the lyrics, “Have you ever smelled the insides of a human body?” Every time my cock touches a girl, this all comes back, and it’s all terrible.
I know this all just sounds like your run of the mill neurotic anxiety, right? Maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know. But I think I have an amplified case of neurotic anxiety, amplified by the premature abuse of LSD.
THE REASON I started writing this down is because I am thinking- wondering. About writing, in general. As a career choice. Because, it’s really easy. I mean, it’s not a physically demanding job. Not at all. This, I love. But, here is the problem: While my ideas may be brilliant and colorful, I feel like everything I write turns into… the experience of listening to every song on Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, simultaneously. It’s all just a big fucking mess, muddy and sloppy and directionless.
So I don’t know what to do. But, by my philosophy, the first step in defeating a problem… well you first have to identify the problem. Understand the problem. And, hopefully, a plan of attack develops.
See, making music has always been easy. Because musicians are allowed to be sloppy and vague, especially in certain genres… I can fearlessly make psychedelic/ambient/lo-fi folk music; no fears of “I wish you were a little clearer about what you meant when you said ‘you wear your soul on your lips,’ and I wish you used a Korg instead of a shitty old chord organ.” Or whatever the criticism may be. Writing words, in any sort of professional sense? Not so much. Because, even if I take the route of… fearless obliterator of tradition and rule, I still have to convey my ideas clearly, I still have to have MEANING. And I suck at this. I’m not even sure I believe in MEANING.
Anyway, this is my first step. Think of it as a plea, if you want. Because I’d really not mind some advice (please don‘t suggest I become a poet though, please?). Or some feedback of any sort. Because, I’ve had some crazy shit happen in my life, for most of my life. I am looking for a break. Not a hand-out, but a break. And… being able to pay the bills and live comfortably, by way of sitting around in my underwear and writing shit down… that sounds like a nice break to me.
But, of course, first I have to fight off all of the LSD that’s still swimming around inside of me. How? Where to start? And what if it’s not LSD at all? What if I’m just fucking stupid?