That’s the sound the other shoe makes when it hits the ground.

This past week has been pretty ok. The shows I’ve played with the Lust Killers have all been a blast. Even tonight’s show, where the club was bizarre and the folks working there beyond clueless with an audience largely composed of folks who just wandered into the first bar they could find in North Beach, was pretty ok.

I will make one comment on tonight’s show however; Advice to prospective nightclub owners everywhere – there’s no fucking need for the stage in your club to be 5 feet above the dancefloor. I’m sorry, but this is just stupid. In an arena the stage needs to be high up so that people can see what’s going on from 200 feet back with 10,000 people standing in front of them. At a bar the stage needn’t be any higher than a couple feet off the ground. Heck, the place we played on Wednesday night just had a riser for the drums and amps. We played on the floor and everyone could see fine.

Ok, one other comment: To borrow from George Carlin again, I don’t have pet peeves anymore. I have major psychotic hatreds. Pet peeves are for grandparents and fussy advice columnists. Two of my major psychotic hatreds have to do with unacceptable behaviors common to rock bands: #1 – unless you’re the last band on you need to break down your gear and get it off the stage immediately after you’ve finished your set. I know, this sometimes sucks a bit, but we all have to do it. Next band who leaves their shit on a stage I’m supposed to play on that’s in my way as I’m trying to set up is going to see exactly what an expensive tube amp does when it gets tossed off a stage at high velocity by a cranky middle-aged guy who has put up with this crap for too fucking long. #2 – unless you have to be at work at cockadoodle dark the next morning you need to stick around to watch the other bands, and you absolutely do not, under any circumstances, load your shit out to your van while another band is playing.

Ok, that’s out of my system. Like I said, this week has been great in so many ways. I’ve played guitar, playing songs I really love, with a bunch of great guys and vented 8 months’ spleen via said guitar. So I guess today was as good as any for the other shoe to drop in my relationship. My wife is moving out. Precisely what I was afraid of happening 8 months ago is coming to pass. Well, paint me turquoise and call me a baboon.

By rights I should be an emotional mess right now, but I’m just not. Maybe it’s because a lot of my self is focused elsewhere. Maybe it’s because I’m actually sort of relieved just to know what’s happening. A huge part of the turmoil I’ve been going through has centered around being terrified of what might happen or what could happen. Now that one of the worst things I could have imagined months ago has landed square in my lap I guess I’m just sorta numb.

I spent a good deal of last weekend inconsolable. I looked through old pictures of us visiting Paris, in Prague, and on our wedding day and, well, the shit just broke my heart into a million pieces. The thing is though, I’ve been rummaging around in the old Zen stuff I studied when my father died, leaving me, well, inconsolable most of the time, and realized that what I’ve been doing is trying to project myself into the past and troubling myself over the future. The past can really fuck you up if you’re not careful. You can idealize your past, cutting out important details and squashing all the reality out of it so that it looks like a much better place to be than where you are right now, today, this minute. And it’s forever lost. There’s no way to relive that which has already happened. Heck, like I said, you can’t even remember it accurately. How the fuck are you supposed to recreate it here in the present? The future’s no better. The future is totally unknowable. It doesn’t exist. While you can pretty successfully predict that if you toss a brick off of a tall building that at some point in the future that brick will collide with the ground below, predicting anything more complex than that is impossible. Worrying about what might happen, like I’ve been doing for 8 months, profits you nothing at all.

While it makes a nice story to say that I’ve steadied myself and banished my fears by force of my massive will and my awesome brain power, the fact is that just is not true. In the past month there have been so many people who have reached out to me. Some just dropped me an email line to say, “take care of yourself, and if you need anything, ask.” Others dropped what they were doing to sit with me and talk. And the guys in each of my bands went out of their way to be cool, supportive and caring. That’s pretty impressive when you consider that rock and rollers are, by and large, stunted adolescents. How did I manage to find two bands populated by grown up men who weren’t afraid to tell me they cared about me. Two friends in particular ought to get medals. One for taking a weepy phone call from me and talking me down from a pretty bitter and substantial pillar of pain, suffering and fear that I’d built up and then climbed on top of. The other gets his medal for taking time out of his day to just call me and talk to me for hours and help point me in a better direction than the one I had been heading in.

Don’t get me wrong. This sucks. And it’s by no means over. Deciding to dissolve your household is one thing. Doing it is another. But I’ll swallow that bitter brew when I get to it. For now I’m going to enjoy the rest of the shows before The Count heads back to Chi-town, the company of friends I rarely see and beg the baseball gods to give Ken Macha a clue.

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