the unexamined life: episode etc.

Yes, well, hello. It's been some time. I've been, hmmm, what exactly. Contemplative. But not in a bad way really. I joined a gym and have been working out every day for the past week, that's been a positive thing, one that I should keep doing for any number of reasons, but yes mostly because it seems to be improving my mood.

Not that you could tell from that last paragraph. I weighed myself for the first time in a while. I would tell you my weight for the purposes of monitoring its eventual decrease here in these pages, but it's a number that's kind of hard to believe, so I'll tell you later after it's not that number anymore.

I've been drinking, but it hasn't been every day and it hasn't gone too too badly, I'm stopping today for a few days at least.


What have I been doing. Listening to a lot of music. Playing some also, but mostly listening. To (among other things) a lot of improvised music. For pleasure.

This is a pretty big deal actually, because after our record shop destroyed our lives, I pretty much lost my love for this and several other kinds of music. But the biggest casualty was this, the music that had brought me/us here in the first place. It wasn't anything like active, conscious blame, but there was an undeniable cause and effect thing happening that seriously damaged my ability to derive pleasure from these sounds. So for example it's pretty much been 8 years since I've had any interest in locating my CD copy of Cecil Taylor's Winged Serpent. It feels like a kind of recovery, it's nice.


As a by-product of all this listening, I also find myself in the uncomfortable position of being moved by a piece of music towards which I've historically been pretty derisive. Or, OK: at some point a growing degree of musical snobbery prevented me from treating this music as anything other than a guilty pleasure from my pre-adolescent past.

But just yesterday or something, thanks to the wonder of Spotify, I heard a track that I've heard probably 1000 times before, no lie, but I hadn't actively listened to it since 1985 or something. It was on our local classic rock station CONSTANTLY for a couple years when it came out, I remember hearing it for the first time on the school bus.

And somehow, somehow, and this is the disturbing part, back then I had NO IDEA that the song was talking about me and my school bus and all the kids around me. Which it completely was, and in such an obvious and superficial way that it's doubly or triply (trebley?) mortifying that I didn't hear it. And the part of me that it's talking about is something I've been feeling some sort of complicated shame about for several years now, and when I finally heard it again the other day, I was filled with regret and nostalgia over exactly how clueless I was about my surroundings back then and for many years afterwards.

And then? Our author became too embarrassed to tell you what song it was.


OK I'll give you a lyric:

 Any escape might help to smooth 
 The unattractive truth 
 That the suburbs have no charms to soothe 
 The restless dreams of youth

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