Sunday, February 11, 2007

Five Note Mojo

Nicholas tagged me with this, where bloggers say five things about themselves to various degrees of revelation. So in the interest of perpetuating this stream of Revelations here goes.

1. I had an exorcism at age 33. I just felt that there were things I needed to get rid of and a spiritual make or break was the only way to do it. Deliverances as evangelicals call them are as frightening as you think but also not what you think at all. My head didn’t do a 360 but I did speak in voices not my own and vomit up two buckets of I-know-not-what since I made sure not to eat or drink anything that day. The thing is, since my deliverance I’ve been more apart from God than ever before. I still believe he exists, but I’ve just lost faith in his ability to do anything. Last year I drove past an accident where a woman was crushed by a truck. If God thinks that something good has come out of that because all things work together for good, then one of the two of us is nuts.

2. I buy black music because I don’t want to seem like the Oreo I’m frequently accused of being. Lil’ Wayne made my list of best albums this year and to tell the truth I have never listened to his mix tape. Race as a concept bewilders me and because of that I feel that other people feel I’m not black enough. I listen to less rap than white people. I don’t buy R&B records. If I’m near a reggae artist I’m probably producing his video and I’m the token black guy at a Dungen Concert. The band’s Swedish. I went to a Toshi Reagon concert because I was going with black friends but spent all night kicking myself for not catching Deerhoof. I bought Mary J’s last album but have never listened to it. Yet I can sing along to every Peter Bjorn and John song even though I’ve never seen a lyric sheet and my favourite records last year were Joanna Newsom's "YS," Boris' "Pink," Mastodon's "Blood Mountain," and Gnarls Barkley, which for some downright confirms Oreo status.

3. To quote somebody from History Boys, I’m not happy, but I’m not unhappy about it. I have a journal that I write in everyday. I’m terrified of anyone reading it, but I wish somebody would.

4. I throw away Patti Smith’s albums every year. Every time she scowls “Kid can’t you show me nothing but surrender,” I feel she’s talking to me, cussing me for failing to live up to my potential. It’s like she’s saying look at me, I’m at 10 and you’re still at 4 so step up or step off. So I step off. I throw her records away because I can’t imagine living my life with such honesty. Then I buy them back and go look, I’m doing this now, and I’ve thrown away that now. Maybe one day it will be enough.

5. I hate meeting famous writers. I met Derek Walcott last year and got the name of his dear departed friend’s wife wrong. He promptly corrected me and I felt like a fool. I never have anything to say when I meet these people. I like to think that maybe all that needs to be said is in their work but there may be more to it than that. I just feel like an awkward fan and not a writer and I hate feeling awkward. It's better when we immediately think of a neutral subject, or if somebody introduces me, but otherwise I feel like a leech taking up people’s time. I still sweat over what dumb shit I might have said when I met Russell Banks. Strangely enough him remembering me for saying something stupid stings less than him not remembering me at all.