Posted in yesterday. today. tomorrow.

up from the funk

now playing: simon apple, “weight of the world”

 

so i’ve spent most of the time since, oh, sunday night or so in a weird pseudo-influenza-influenced funk…completely drained of any energy whatsoever, pounding headache, on the verge of asthmatic (in that i was actually conscious of my ability to breathe)…i don’t think i’ve spent more than six to eight hours in a position other than prone on the sofa or in bed.

i can’t remember the last time i missed two days of work in a row. today is my first day back from the weekend.

i’m still kinda achy – i replaced a power supply in a PC first thing today, and i’m all tuckered out already.

now, though, i have to focus on the next 96 hours and get through this whole thing somehow.

i don’t know if we’re even going to go through the motions of putting a tree up this year…we haven’t made any inroads towards doing so.

between myself and the kids, there just seems to be this pervasive “screw christmas” attitude – poor wendy is doing her best not to let our scrooginess affect her, and she seems to be succeeding – for the most part, anyway. she had asked a while back if i would go with her to pick up a christmas tree for her house, and i agreed to – but she’s yet to say when she wants to go (if at all at this point)…walking into my house, you wouldn’t know that it christmas at all, save for the smattering of christmas cards sent by folks who have yet to catch on that i don’t really do christmas cards, ever…no tree, no decorations, no nothing.

as i said before, i come into this whole thing every year thinking that i’m going to do this whole christmas thing differently…and yet every year i’m so sick of christmas by the time december finally even arrives that i can’t wait for the barrage to be over. i mean literally, there’s no escaping it. i refuse to listen to the radio of my own accord, and yet still everywhere i go, the awful, awful music seems to seek me out. the other day at the mall, i heard the most godawful version of “rudolph” i’ve ever heard…completely “american idol”ed out by some fuckin’ vocal gymnast who couldn’t carry a tune in both arms, warbling all up and down the scale of whatever chord in the key happened to be playing at the time, a la whitney houston or someone of her ilk – and that’s just one example i can site.

then there’s the commercials…like the kay jewelers commercial where santa goes to the mall counter and picks out a nice rock to take home to mrs. claus, who is – naturally – always dressed to the nines and is hurtin’ for something with which to accesorize the smock she wears 24/7/365, and santa comes home with the bling and hooks her up and she gazes up and him and says, “how did you know?”

and then santa gives her the look. oh, come on, you’ve seen the commercial, you know what i’m talking about. the look at the end of the commercial? the one that, we can only assume, is supposed to be santas’ “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake” look, but the one that would much more likely be the “this fat old mans’ gettin’ laid tonight” look.

 

yeah, that look.

and there’s the dramatic jewelry commercial…the one where the guy snowed in at the airport while gazing at his girls’ ring hangs up the phone in a cloud of dejection as the commercial cuts to the “to be continued” riff. that one plays for a while until the conclusion starts to air, in which our hero is charioted home by a snowplow in time to spring the bling on his forlorn-looking victoria’s secret model…

see, i have personal experience with this particular scenario. dude – wake up call from your buddy tom, here.  if she was worth keeping, she would’ve gotten in her car and braved the snowstorm to retrieve your ass from a potential overnight stay at the terminal there. as it is, she’s sittin’ at home with a cup of hot chocolate, warm and dry, while you’re out in the cold flagging down snowplows like a buffoon just to try to get to her to give her the bling? what did she get you, studley?

 

hope you have a prenup.

 

then there’s the completely absurd ones…the visa commercial where the dudes’ toy boat becomes a miami cocaine barge when he charges the thing on his card. and this nerd looks at the cashier and asks her to gift wrap it? hey, dick – ask for your money back. it’s not what you wanted in the first place, and it’s obviously appreciated in value several thousand times since you sat it on the counter.

 

cool heads prevail, jerky. grace under pressure. use your noodle.

 

so without getting into the totally absurd ones – like the lexuses (lexii?) with the bows on them and the like – i’ll simply ask this question:

if you’re in a position to give a diamond for christmas, do you really need the goddamn tv to tell you to do so? likewise with your visa card – do you really need to be told to max out your personal debt this time of year? most of us can do that just fine without any prodding whatsoever from the television or otherwise.

i think i’m going to take a mental inventory, once all this is over, of all the companies who haven’t beaten my senses to a pulp over christmas with inane commercials, and show them my appreciation by giving my business to them for a change.

and yet i look around me at what appears to be a healthy majority of people who handle christmas much better than i do and i wonder where this deep-seated distaste for the season comes from….??

i wouldn’t say that i’m in a tiny little insignificant minority…a couple of weeks ago, i took jayda to the mall and i sat near center court and watched the kids file past santa – some of whom stopped to do the obligatory lap time, some who just gawked and kept on moving, and others who cried to their parents to stop but were ignored – and i see a lot of people who aren’t handling this christmas thing any better than i am. no, in fact, some folks come completely unglued at this time of year…for reasons that i couldn’t begin to speculate.

i don’t feel unglued…just noticably irritated, i think. correct me if necessary.

i’m sensing, though, that i’ve gradually passed this disdain for christmas on to my teenage children, and i find myself wishing i’d made more of an effort to put on a brave face and try to keep the season better than i have in the past. i think that if i had, perhaps they wouldn’t share my outlook on the whole holiday fiasco…because it really is my cross to bear. i never meant to pass that on.

i also suspect that my outlook towards the holidays might be reintroducing some familiar distances in other relationships…i’m not sure if that’ll be permanent or not, but it’s certainly a tangible thing at the moment. perhaps passing, perhaps not…but there’s more to that situation than meets the eye.

anyway – i got to spend some time with my buddy bob stirner over the weekend, who lamented earlier today that i hadn’t mentioned him yet, as i usually have cause to do so when we speak at length…and i’ve decided that he’s right. you catch that, bob? you’re right.

now what i have to figure out is what – if anything – i intend to do about it. bob’s ultimatum was simply to “flip that switch in your head and start writing songs”. and maybe it really is just that simple – i couldn’t tell you until i sit down and take a swing at it. my fear at this point is that i’ve become so devoid of internal nerve endings that i literally don’t have anything to say about anything.

this, of course, is the point at which you have nothing to write about in the first place.

i’ve yet to test the waters to see if that’s the case or not – i just haven’t felt the need to do so. as i had pretty much resolved that i wouldn’t be making any more records, i couldn’t see any real need to write anything. back when i was writing, i was never one of those people who sprang from my bed in the dead of the night with something in my head that i just had to write down before i forgot it. i wrote because i achieved something positive from the process, not because i was driven by unseen forces or anything quite so dramatic as some people would have you believe. i’m not saying that this isn’t true for some people, but it never really was for me. there was a motivation of some sort present, but it wasn’t pushed along by the sense of urgency that it was for some people…which makes it really easy to just shut off the valve if you don’t perceive a point to it all.

and for a long time, i haven’t felt that there’s been a point to it all.

will that change now, due to this new wave of support and encouragement moving in? i don’t know…as i’d said before, kind words burn off really quickly when that’s the only fuel you have.

 

so let’s see what comes my way in the form of tangible progress. then we can say for certain.

 

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Author:

tom is a personally and politically malcontent musician, songwriter, sideman and session cat living in East Nashville, Tennessee.

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