Oh, Mondays. How brilliantly you find ways to rub in my face the beginning of the work week. How early you startle me from my sleep with blaring classic rock. (This choice of genre is not masochism, it is assurance that the music will NOT lull me back to sleep, nor will I be able to let it play for more than 5 seconds before getting up to turn it off. Have you ever tried listening to 5 seconds of Magic Carpet Ride?? It hurts.) How brutally your chill attacks my pajamas as I wait for Gabe to wrap up his morning business. And then there’s the uncooperative hair, the trudge from the parking lot down what is essentially a massive wind tunnel, an office kitchen dishwasher that needs unloaded as evidenced by the dishes in the sink including a mug that is growing something akin to those multi-colored aquarium crystal kits, and an e-mail box stuffed with online shopping ads and Things That Need Done Before Nine O’ Clock. It is 8:45.
But…. I am alive. Which is more than at least two Black Friday victims can say. Can I get a “What the F@#k?” What has the world come to when one man, just doing his job at a big box discount store, gets TRAMPLED TO DEATH by his fellow human beings. Why? Because they needed things. NOW. And, by god, they were going to get them by any means necessary. And when they announced, at this particular Wal-Mart, that the store would be closing due to the death of this employee and the crowd needed to exit the building, how do you suppose said crowd responded?
With horror and sadness at what had occurred?
With shock and guilt for a death that some of them had directly caused?
Why no. They were mad as hell and not going anywhere. They had WAITED IN LINE, damnit! For hours and hours. Camped out for the opportunity to stampede into a tacky, low-end warehouse for the chance to be the first to get their hands on tacky, low-end goods. They didn’t care who had died, they weren’t going anywhere!
People. Are we savages? (Clearly some of us are)
In another story, a man was shot to death in a dispute over a toy in the parking lot of a Toys-R-Us.
It’s enough to make a girl want to collectively grab the population of the United States and give them a good, solid smack across the face.
Since that’s not necessarily possible, I’d like to call for the death of Black Friday. This product of idiot mob mentality is the perfect symbol of all that is wrong with our country right now. Our priorities are out of wack. Our greed and self-absorption are out of control. I’ve boycotted this silly little event every year, and now I will most certainly lobby for others to do the same. (A link to the Wal-Mart story for anyone who hasn’t seen this yet: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/business/29walmart.html )
Ok. Stepping down from the soap box.
In other news, the band had a show the Saturday after Thanksgiving at a local theater. The theater is a converted garage downtown, a clever use of space, and a much different type of venue than I’m accustomed to. For one thing, there was an audience. And they sat. And listened. And didn’t talk.
Strange, it’s what we always want, but when we finally have it, it’s so bizarre it becomes a little unnerving. But they were gracious and supportive, even when my stupid shoes (did I used to love shoes? Because I hate them now) and their ridiculous tall heals and slippery soles caused me to lose the pedal during the most epic of songs (can we say train wreck?). As soon as the song was over (we actually did get through it), I stopped, unlaced my shoe, through it to the side, and continued the show with one foot bare. Problem solved.
Sadly, though, I fear an oncoming burnout. And unless I want it to be swift and complete, I feel the need for a break. The pressure needs to come off, the stress taken out of the music, before these are so intertwined that I hate the latter. (Not that I think I could, but you never know). I need to be able to give my keyboard a more permanent home in my living room, rather than slogging it around from bar to bar with little quality time in between. Playing out has become a duty. I need to need it again.
And I need time to pursue the many other things on my Want To Do list.
I think this decision took so long to arrive at, because I was worried about letting people down. But when the reality of it hit me, that the only person I would really let down was myself, I felt relief. Because I don’t feel let down at all. I accomplished more than I set out to do, even if I didn’t achieve All That Was Possible. I’ve got other possibilities to pursue to that end. So I’m good with this.
For now 🙂