I Really Need a Hand (Job)


Dear friends,

As you all know, thanks to Mike, I do think differently. Sometimes. It really depends. Maybe I’m just a little more vocal than most with regard to things I shouldn’t be so vocal about. I see this as a good thing, though.

I spend a lot of time cursing the world for not being more like me. I fully understand the wrongness of this, however, my inner dialogue, when relating to people, is often driven by my intuition, which most clearly perceives and conveys to me the worst aspects of everything. Some may call me a pessimist, but I would immediately discount their accusation on the grounds that they’re stupid. It’s really not this way at all. It’s honestly not something I consciously think about. Within minutes of meeting someone I can tell you if their parents are still together, if they’d steal from you, if they’ve been unfaithful to their partner or whether or not they will be in the future… you get the picture. The weight of this burden is tremendous, and it’s responsible for shaping me into what some would call a misanthrope. I’m sure there’s some movement out there that I could align myself with in order harness this ability and utilize it to serve a higher purpose, but for now I just want to be able to cope.

Whenever the shit gets heavy, I turn to music; more specifically, I find solace in the lyrics of Morrissey and Elliot Smith. Too bad they never hooked up and recorded together because they could have called themselves The Elliot Smiths (I realize that wasn’t very funny).

This weekend I spent a significant amount of time browsing Courtney’s feelgoodplaylists.com, and was very relieved to find a mix titled “Indie Covers of The Smiths”.  Don’t get me wrong, her other mixes are straight dope (like straight from Bolivia, dope), but whenever I find someone else who appreciates The Smiths as much as I do, I get all wet between the legs. If you’re a fan of Morrissey I’m sure you totally get this, but for those who aren’t I’ll explain. Think of something really bad you’ve experienced… like the death of a loved one, or attending high school during the 2000s, or Vietnam, and then remind yourself of how agonizing it was. Ok, so now imagine a band whose music encompasses every facet of that experience, from the tangible to the abstract, and just like your experience there are a limited number of people on earth who share it/them with you. So, one day you’re hanging out, pumping gas and eating a Power Bar when a car pulls up in front of you with a bumper sticker that reads “Meat is Murder”/”In memory of… “(probably the cousin of someone who belonged to a gang?)/”Class of 06″/”Semper Fi”, and boom; instant camaraderie! This connection, to a degree, is capable of temporarily washing away the isolation that pervades one’s soul following an event similar to those mentioned above, and like a good hand job, it’s a taste of an interpersonal connection. I was lucky enough to have experienced this phenomenon twice this weekend; once with Courtney (musically, of course), and once with a clerk at a local retail chain while browsing sunglasses.

Now, trying on sunglasses is something I despise more than the little balls of toilet paper that cling to the hairs in my ass after wiping. Basically, anything that exudes “cool” rubs me the wrong way. This past Saturday, however, I discovered that my testicles had dropped back into their respective skin lined satchel and were beckoning to be taken for a ride to Coolville, so I headed over to a local retail chain that specialized in “cool”. Once there,  I made my way over to the faux vintage sunglass display case cabinet thing to begin the selection process. A clerk approached to unlock the cabinet and lingered while I fumbled through the assortment of shades; small talk commenced, and we eventually found ourselves discussing the previous night’s happenings. He grumbled something about beer, while I explained that I had been up until close to 4 am making out with a girl who I recently started seeing. His face immediately lit up.

Instead of asking if I had nailed this girl, he exclaimed how awesome he thought it was that we were JUST making out. Homeboy said something to the affect of “That’s awesome! That’s seriously the best part! Dude!”, and  I was like “Yeah. Dude. Totally. Dude!” We went on like this for a good fifteen minutes. At this point you might be wondering why this exchange was so significant to me, or why you’re reading about two grown men waxing poetic about kissing instead of bumpin’ crotches, so I’ll tell you right now.

                                                                           Tyler

Actually, fuck that, I’m not even going to go there. I’ll never finish this post if I do. The point is that I randomly bumped into a dude who had no reservations about discussing the splendor of romance.  I mean, how fucking rare is that these days? Yeah, yeah, I sound like a fucking lesbian, I know. The thing is, I believe in the place where The Smiths exist, where romance isn’t so much just hollow sentiment as it is a force that validates our existence. My connection to this place is what keeps me sane, but with it comes alienation and lament. It’s almost like some sort of strange paradox (Mike?). These connections with people, though, like radio signals, make putting up with all of the static and dead air a hell of a lot easier.

The electric waves that pulse from my stereo have sustained me for 29 years, but it’s so much better when there’s music and there are people who are young and alive to share it with.

For Mike, Courtney, and the sunglasses dude,

Tyler

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