I got a phone call from Hawaii the other day. A possible job. I might be going home…
Seattle Public Library, WA
It’s been a month since Amsterdam where I figured it all out.
Since then, one of my friend’s mom had a stroke, my other friends’ father died of a heart attack, and I found myself telling all of this to my dad recently, who was at the doctor checking on his pneumonia and double ear infection at the time. My dad has had 3 major surgeries in the last 2 years. It started when I left for Philly 2 years ago. Everyone is dying. Or so it seems. To me.
Everyone is fucking dying.
I was writing to my friend Kimi yesterday about the mountaintop experiences we shared at different times in Amsterdam. I wrote about how we all accept the fact that mountaintop experiences have to end, have to somehow descend from the top of the mountain to the valley below, and that, we shouldn’t do that, we should do anything else, but to let’s not do that. That even though it seems impossible, that we should never just accept a certain level of mediocrity, routine or–this is just the way it is-ness. Coming home from Amsterdam–which felt like the mountain–I couldn’t help but shout, at the top of my lungs: I WILL NOT FUCKING COME DOWN!
And so I did shout that.
I’m still shouting that.
I’m shouting that while coming down.
We always always come down. Always.
But I don’t want to.
That’s all I’m ever saying.
Fuck all that noise about how you need the sour to appreciate the sweet–fuck that. fuck that hard. fuck that hard, twice, with a chainsaw and no lubrication and very very abusive language. the sour is always sour, even when the sweet is sure to ensue, fuck sour, I don’t fucking want to accept the sour in order to appreciate the god dammed sweet, keep your fucking sour, your death, your sickness, your friends’ dad dying, even though, yes, we all know that that is a part of life, yeah, yeah, yeah, say la vee, I don’t fucking know how to spell the fucking french version, but you get it anyway, don’t you, sure you do. what is that, french, is that even french? I don’t know, you know what I fucking mean, say la fucking vee, such is life, we are all dying. shit. pardon my french.
and here we go back to the mountaintop, ready?
curtains open. lights fade out. one spotlight shining on ryan. [spotlight is coming from ryan’s own cell phone as he points it towards himself and performs melodramatic soliloquy to no applause]
metaphorical pom poms: check
metaphorical veneer: check
[we hear awkward microphone feedback. it’s open mic inside ryan’s mind. ryan taps microphone again and again–“is this thing on, is this thing on”– no one is in the audience]
everyone’s dying, so let’s live! let’s eat banana pancakes, stay inside, pretend that it’s the fucking god dammed weekend…
[ryan waits for a response, which he calls “dramatic pausing”…nothing]
sometimes, fuck profundity. right?
[wipes tears from face even though he is not really crying]
Just say some Jack Johnson line and be trite. right? be pop music poetry. be commercial and easily taggable. keywordable. be marketable and catch phrasey. be all that we are not. fuggit. fuggit fuggit. Jack Johnson was right. He was profound when he said that banana pancake philosophy, pro fucking found. Make like it’s the weekend? god damn that’s good Jack. simple. fucking. truth. that’s it. that. is. it. that’s all you need to know. I’m not even being slightly facetious. It’s the god dammed truth, the same fucking thing I shouted on the metaphorical mountaintops of Amsterdam. make like it’s the god dammed weekend!
We never have to be stressed, passing our fears to each other like rats in a cage, never. We don’t have to do it. Viva la Banana Pancakes!!!
but of course, one day, Jack Johnson’s friend’s dad will die, and he’ll be like, fuck banana fucking pancakes, fuck them hard, right in the banana part, so that they become just regular ol’ pancakes. And that that’s ok. It’s ok to fuck banana pancakes every once in a while, just for kicks. Just to let your bananas out. Just for a quick stroll down the valley. Because it is fucking really hard to pretend it’s the fucking weekend sometimes, when it’s not the fucking weekend, you’re not in Amsterdam, you’re not high anymore, people are dying all around you, even people you fucking know and had char siu bau with, and you still don’t have a job, yes, I know, I’ve always known this, you haters, you crabs in my bucket, you people who have been trying to warn me that one day, ooh, one fucking day, it’s all going to come crashing down, ooh, you better watch out, you better not be so naive Ryan, you better realize that every mountaintop experience has a valley, that the sweet has the sour, that say la vee is spelled wrong, that blah blah blah, that your mother’s a whore. that it always always has to come down.
I know. fuck. I know. I know. fuck.
but I don’t want it to come down.
[lights out. ryan pouts to the rhythm of his feet stamping tantrums, still no applause]
I’m fucking down, aren’t I?
In Amsterdam, I would have told myself, just don’t think about it. It’s all how you frame the information. It’s all how you bind the terms. It’s what you focus on. It’s your emotions being run by the reptilian part of your brain, and to not be swayed by that older, lesser evolved, animal part of you, which is concerned with death and fear and missing people you love and drama this and drama that; to just realize that it is all an illusion, that we’re 70 percent water, that we’re just chemicals god dammit. I would have told myself this; I would have shouted. I’m still shouting.
But I’m sad for my friends today.
I am sad for my friends’ families today.
I am sad that they will miss their dad.
I miss my dad, my family.
I am weak today.
I am not my blogs today.
I am afraid my dad will die and I will be here in Seattle because it’s just too expensive to move home to Hawaii, and what will I even do there? I don’t know what to do.
At the same time, I think, that that’s too much guilt and bullshit to carry around, and that fuck, not everyone can live near their dad all the time, say la fucking vee right? right? Is this thing on? but what will I blog when my dad actually dies? Will I be able to eat my banana pancakes, stay inside, and pretend like it’s the weekend?
I finally got the call. from Hawaii. We’re not going to be working together. Me and my friend. I don’t have my easy way home yet. Someone got hired instead of me, because he was willing to work for 2 peanut butter jelly sandwiches and a rub and tug, and he’s not even mexican. Even the radio industry is dying. It’s going the way of the 8-track cassette. I feel like someone who knows how to fix atari video games. Everyone, everything is dying today. To me. Right now.
Sometimes it hard to pretend it’s the weekend.
Sometimes all you can do is hi 5 Sisyphus while rolling your respective boulders back up to the mountain top, laughing, singing about banana pancakes, but knowing the whole time, that you’re rolling a fucking god dammed boulder up a hill while singing it.
say la fucking viva la banana pancakes!