It occurs to me that I’m living a plethora of dichotomies, all at once. And as I sit here, my mind is racing with unformed thoughts. So brace yourselves for a rambling mishmash of assorted mumbojumbo. Let’s start with a song to enjoy while you read this bullshit, mkay? Mkay.
With the music sorted, let’s start with… Oh. I know. Music. Duh.
As I was listening to a song earlier, on the way back to work from the post office, it struck me as how different it was to my usual proclivities. I was listening to Jake Bugg’s Lightning Bolt. Now, here’s the thing, y’all. This Louisiana-born-and-raised chick loathes country music. Loathes. I’ve refused to date country-music-fan dudes, because music is too important to me to compromise that harshly. (Yeah. I said harshly.) I mean, super recently, too. Within the last couple months, I let a good dude pass me on by, because – while he shared my lust for live music – he was all and only about country. Major. Serious. Country. Everything else about him was cool as shit, but we just couldn’t hang, because he was always listening to some ear-bludgeoning nightmare – and proved equally unwilling to listen to my jams.
And yet. There I was. Jamming out to Lightning Bolt. Singing along, for fuck’s sake. Alarm bells went off in my head, and then I just said fuck it and went with it. Granted, dude is hardly country in the traditional sense (or even in the modern sense), but there’s a palpable country vibe to it. I tried to forgive myself because of his obviously overwhelming influence by Bob Dylan, one of my all-time favorites.
But yeah. One day, I’m listening to Fugazi’s brief discography. The next, I’m going all out on some Trombone Shorty and Keb Mo. Following that with Wax Taylor and Portishead. Then, I’m all up in some Pharcyde and Mos Def. Let’s not forget my love of the Peppers. How about Leon Bridges or Band of Horses? Fucking hell, if I could only stop listening to Clint Mansell and Damien Rice. Then, there’s my new little occasional metalbar haunt, and Church of the Cosmic Skull, for fuck’s sake! So, should I really be surprised by yet another style of music? No. And yet I am.
Lifestyle stuff and stuff
I’m also contemplating my sudden love of Downtown. The whole downtown scene appeals to me, on a visceral level, really. I love the sites and sounds, the absurd snippets of dialogue as random passersby, well, pass you by. I love the snatches of music, the invisible notes and melodies losing the chase as you stroll on down the sidewalk. The various aromas, at once arresting and enticing, alluring and repulsing. Thai spices and incense. Rose petals and cat food. Greek salad and craft beer. Gasoline and perfume. Sex and vomit.
But it’s so fucking weird to me. To like it, nay love it, the way I do. It pulls me, draws me, keeps me locked in when I give in to the call. And it makes no sense, because I’m a trees girl. I’m a sky girl. I’m a mountains and rivers and stars girl. I’m a birdsong and wind girl. I’m a bubble over with giggles and laughter at the sight of a tiny woodland creature girl.
I’m a fuck society girl.
So, no, I don’t get it. This sudden fascination, even obsession, with downtown. Or do I? I think it’s part of me coming into my own. My self. One of the many parts of me that I denied for all of my life: being social. Not hiding myself away from people and society and the sorts of experiences only exposure to a place like “downtown” can bring. And damnit, I’m loving every second of it. Even the ridiculous, frustrating, maddening, and absurd. I’m fucking loving it.
My favorite bar is a jazz club. They have live music all the time. All. The. Time. Jazz, funk, blues, soul. And I’m in fucking heaven, every single time. I sit at the bar, smiling, and clasping my hands in joy, and groovin’ to the music. I stand outside, on the sidewalk, and laugh and dance in the rain. It is so…freeing…and perfect.
I also strangely enjoy the metalbar. It doesn’t have live music, and it doesn’t necessarily have the kind of music I dig (generally speaking). But I appreciate it for precisely those reasons…it’s different; it’s new; it takes me out of my comfort zone (but not to an extreme level). It’s great for culture-learning/people-watching. And I really fucking like their pineapple cider.
Another little spot is a wine bar; a friend of a friend plays his trombone and keys, while we drink wine, snack on an appetizer, and talk about meaning and purpose and music and books and life and whatthefuckever. People meander on down the sidewalk, occasionally stopping to drop money into the tip bucket or chat with us or peruse a menu.
This amorphous entity that is downtown has me in its grip, and I love it.
It doesn’t stop me from going kayaking, checking out nature trails, spending an entire afternoon reading beside the lake. But there is less of that than I would have expected of myself. Not because I’m holed up, depressed in bed, but because I’d rather be downtown. (Then, there are those brewery crawls. A whole ‘nutha story!)
I’ve suddenly talked myself out. So I’m calling an abrupt end to this particular post.
But I’ll be back.