Thursday, August 20, 2015

Nurse the Hate: The Necklace Part 2

I was a damn fool.  There is no other conclusion that can be drawn.  Sometimes truth hits like some sort of rogue wave, a powerful force that appears from nowhere and washes away all that stood before it.  There are those that contend that perception is reality, and that can be true much of the time.  However when a force greater than the imagined world in which you dwell decides to exert itself, there is nothing else to do but hold on with white knuckles and weather the storm.  False gods wither in the presence of true power.
I am, of course, referring to The Necklace.

I had an opportunity to rid myself of this evil thing a few weeks ago at a tiki party in Columbus.  While a tiki party in Columbus seems like an ill-conceived place to rid oneself of a dangerous voodoo necklace, a fact to consider is that a window opened in which I could have tossed the necklace into “George”, the legendary monkey fountain from the original Kahiki restaurant in Columbus.  With the glowing red light on the flowing water, George practically begged me to toss the curse into his waiting mouth.  Unfortunately a consistent crowd milled around the fountain.  I felt self-conscious; the sin of pride, and that alone prevented me from offering the necklace to George.  This was not only a bad decision; it was weakness on my part.  

My issue was that I felt like the Hawaiian clad party revelers would have called attention to me and then I would have been ridiculed.  Granted, a cowboy throwing a 1970s medallion into a tiki fountain is worthy of some ridicule, but I certainly have been through worse.  There was an incident of an ill-timed puberty erection during a reading in front of a 9th grade classroom that was much worse in comparison.  I could have easily weathered the tiki storm after that fiasco.  I hesitated.  I hesitated and I was lost.

I have been wearing this thing consistently and have managed to return physically from the depths to which The Necklace had taken me.  There is a consistent feeling of fear and respect that I have for The Necklace.  Yet, I cannot deny that all I want to do is be rid of this thing.  Last week I thought an opportunity might have arisen when we played with Jayke Orvis at a festival outside of Erie.  I had never seen Jayke, .357 String Band, or the Goddamn Gallows play before, but I was aware of his/their reputation as a great band and road warriors.  (By the way, Jayke is a hell of a mandolin player and his set was really good.)   I have the belief that I can only truly be rid of The Necklace by passing it to someone the same way I received it, while performing on stage.  This sets up a bit of a conundrum.  Do I pass it to a friend, who would naturally accept me handing them a “gift” in mid performance?  Or do I give it to a relative stranger that fits the bill for The Curse of the Necklace.  On the one hand, I don’t want to saddle a friend with this thing, but on the other at least I could warn them of what to expect from an angry Necklace.  Conversely if I give it to a stranger I don’t have the same type of guilt in passing along a curse to a friend, but the concern is there to someone that might disregard or be completely unaware of the horrible power of The Necklace.  It’s a real situation.

So as I watched Jayke perform the idea floated into my head that he might be a good person to receive The Necklace.  He has a whole bunch of tattoos all over the place, most of them pretty scary.  I naively believe that this places him at an advantage in dealing with The Black Arts.  Of course, not knowing him at all, it would certainly be weird for both of us to have me in full cowboy regalia wordlessly walk up to the front of the stage, parting the crowd, and then hand him a piece of jewelry.  He doesn’t appear like the kind of guy that would think, “How nice of that cowboy fella to give me this horrible looking necklace.  I think I’ll put it on and wear it forever!”.  No, he would toss it out and think “what’s with the gay cowboy giving me a creepy necklace?”.  How could he know to respect and fear The Necklace?  He might have just tossed it into a field, bringing great calamity on himself.  The next thing I know I’ll read on social media how the The Broken Band had to cancel their tour because Jayke Orvis has developed an extremely advanced case of irritable bowel syndrome and is involved in experimental medical procedures to try to nurse him back to “a state of some limited quality of life”.  No, I just couldn’t do it.  It wouldn’t have been right.  He had done nothing to receive a curse like this. 

The mistake I made was then putting the necklace away.  Cursed necklace?  That's a stupid idea!  Sure, I felt OK early this week.  Then yesterday my Achilles started to tighten.  Oh, I will just stretch and be fine…  Then I woke this morning completely engulfed in pain and limited mobility.  I hobbled over to get my walking boot and my necklace.  I wisely put on The Necklace first.  I will never doubt you again O Mighty Necklace.  With the necklace back on, I’m probably going to be fine in a couple of days.  Well… A couple of days unless The Necklace wants to teach me a real lesson, in which case I will be having my lower leg amputated.      

I’ve got a few shows coming up next week.  I wonder if Barrence Whitfield would like a gift…          


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