Sunday, August 7, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate Summer

There are only a few more weeks of true summer weather here.  I once again have the sneaking suspicion that I have wasted the summer.  This, of course, leads to further ruminations on if I have in fact wasted large tracts of my life.  Once I find my mind wandering down that dark corridor I tend to shove all of those thoughts deep down in the box and hope the lid stays shut.  It’s best not to look in that box.  Lock that up tight.  One has to keep moving forward and keep the box well behind you.

I had a great summer one year when I lived in an attic of a horribly run down house in Kent.  The attic was always 120 degrees.  I had subleased half of the attic for a few months as a temporary residence until I moved that Fall.  There was a nice enough giant of a man named Jim that lived on the other side of the flimsy wall.  He spent his summer working on road construction and continually fucking his hometown girlfriend.  I would blare The Cure, which he found to be acceptable, to help drown out his jackhammer fucking from 6p-8p as I read my way through “Great Books 2”.  I had to read a monumental novel every week in the accelerated pace of a summer class.  If I think of Herman Hesse’s novel “Steppenwolf”, I immediately think of his girlfriend’s slightly Appalachian twang saying “Oh Gawd!  Oh Gawd!” as his bedpost thumped in time with “Just Like Heaven” as the backdrop. 

I had a really good summer a couple of years ago when I frequently took to taking my kayak out at daybreak before work.  I would set the alarm for 500a so as to be in Lake Erie just as the sun rose.  I would paddle out a good distance from shore and take in the calm of sunrise.  I liked being so far out that no noise from shore would reach me.  It was totally quiet except for the lapping of the water on the side of the kayak.  I am sure there is an explanation for why the water calms as the sun breaks the horizon line, but I don’t know what it is.  I would think about drifting around on the Lake all day and blowing off work, but I never had the courage to do so.  That was probably a mistake as that day on the water would have been much more memorable than whatever I did with it.  When I disappear without a trace some summer morning, look forward to a newscast where a Coast Guard spokesperson says to the camera "We tell people to NEVER go out on the water alone.." while the reporter shakes their head in feigned grief and resignation.  My body will wash up in a couple weeks.  Kids will poke at it with a stick until they finally decide to tell their parents "Kevin found a body on the beach!".

I had a really good summer when The Cowslingers played a bunch of festival dates.  2003 maybe?  I saw a poster for one of those shows on social media this week.  The band was playing really well and had been on an uptick of popularity.  One of the odd things about playing American roots music is that you find your band and genre falling in and out of favor for no particular reason.  We would peak and valley while continuing to do what we have always done.  It never makes any sense.  That summer we were on a peak.  I remember a show in Buffalo where a large gathering of friends had made the Americanarama Festival one of the best days of the band year.  We played last I think and a large projected cowskull was shot onto a building like a bat signal for degenerates.  We all drank too much, laughed too much, and smiled until our faces hurt.  I got two songs out of that night.  “The Ballad of Bar-B-Que Bob” is on Greatest Hits Vol 2 concerning a fella that made brisket, got busted selling drugs to pay off his mortgage, and then fled to South America with his bar-b-que wagon.  That guy told great stories and made terrific brandy.  The other was “Cosmic Cowboy” which is coming out on our upcoming “The Good Fight” LP later this year.  The principals of that story know who they are… 

It’s time to reclaim summer.  This weekend the band is playing a couple of festivals.  The Pabstsolutely show in Youngstown at the Royal Oaks is great.  Youngstown has been kicked in the teeth more than once, but they keep getting up swinging.  This is a group of people totally committed to making their own fun.  The fringe element of the region comes out to go crazy.  It’s what punk rock was supposed to be, not the Maximum Rock N Roll rulebook it became.  It’s people doing creative things for no reason than their own pleasure.  There are a zillion bands, a monster sound system, and the street is closed off probably without any permit.  I mean, what fun would permission be?  Do you even need permits in Youngtown?  We are playing last on Saturday night.  I would strongly suggest that you attend.  I know I am going to have a good time and try to play as well as possible so I don’t let anyone down.  This week I am also going to go out before sunrise in my kayak.  I’m going to listen to The Cure “Just Like Heaven” on the way out to the Lake in the dark (or at least Dinosaur Jr’s version).  I’m going to float around and think about nothing and everything.  I might not go to work afterwards either.  There’s not much summer left after all…       


At August 8, 2016 at 4:48:00 AM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

Nice and no on Youngstown permits. Best way to enjoy a true Summer.

At August 11, 2016 at 5:58:00 AM EDT , Blogger Oanh Oanh said...

Thank you for providing information. That’s just what I was thinking. We service providers man hinh sky. Many thanks!

At August 12, 2016 at 4:47:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Hey Oanh Oanh, let's go kayaking soon!


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