5-Day Song Challenge: Day the First (Or: Slow Cheetahs are not faster than me.)

The awesome Rob at The V-Pub invited me to do a song-a-day challenge thingy. And since I love songs. And thingies. I decided to participate. Plus, it gives me extra incentive to actually show up every day for five days straight. What! To think I once posted every day for like forty days. Who was THAT person?

Anyhoodles. I love – and agree with – what Rob says about music: “It’s something that speaks to individuals in different ways. It’s universal and paradoxically personal.” Yes. That. Yes.

So. Yes. Rules. How I love thee, rules. (Did you hear that? I just snorted.)

Rule Thingies:
Post a song a day for five consecutive days. (Oh shit.)
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional. Sweet. I like options. And crawfish. Damnit, I miss crawfish. Oops.)
Post the name of the song and video. (Not optional. Come on, dudes. This is supposed to be the easy part.)
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge. (Fuck.)

Today’s Song

Slow Cheetah – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Yep. Gotta start off with my current favorite Peppers song. (Peppers favorites shift for me. But right now, it’s Slow Cheetah.) Have a listen and take a look at the lyrics, and you’ll see why.

The Lyrics:

Waking up dead inside of my head
Will never never do there is no med
No medicine to take

I’ve had a chance to be insane
Asylum from the falling rain
I’ve had a chance to break

It’s so bad it’s got to be good
Mysterious girl misunderstood
Dressed like a wedding cake

Any other day and I might play
A funeral march for Bonnie Brae
Why try and run away

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

I know a girl
She worked in a store
She knew not what
Her life was for
She barely knew her name

They tried to tell her
She would never be
As happy as the girl
In the magazine
She bought it with her pay

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

Everyone has
So much to say
They talk talk talk
Their lives away
Don’t even hesitate

Walking on down
To the burial ground
It’s a very old dance
With a merry old sound
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

~

I’ve added emphasis to the lyrics that resonate the most with me and, therefore, mean the most and hit me the hardest.

I’m not one to look up song meanings. I’d rather listen. Feel. Soak. On my own. I don’t want someone telling me what the takeaway is. Not even the singer/songwriter. Music is so deeply personal, and lyrics are so often the poetry of my soul.

I don’t need someone to tell me that Slow Cheetah is about being: lost, adrift, alone, aimless, pointless, worthless. And fucking numb and over it all. It’s…euphoric. Right? No matter what they say. And I sure as hell don’t need someone telling me that not what it’s about. Even if it really isn’t. After all…everyone has so much to say, they talk talk talk their lives away. But this song…is deeply personal to me. And for me, it has become about survival in spite of myself, no matter what they say.

Because this is one of the many songs I attribute to saving my life. Even on days when I barely knew my name, this and countless other songs spoke me in the dark. Made me feel seen. Understood. Part of something – even a dark something – and therefore less alone. Not alone. I’ve had a chance to break, so I took that chance – even against my will – and I’m still. Fucking. Here. And no matter what the fucking predatory depression says or does…I’m not alone.

No matter what they say.

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Fuck You, Jiminy Cricket

So I get back to basement after a grueling (read: not grueling at all) day of tutoring (one whopping student). I flip on the gas fireplace and bundle up, because it’s snowing and the basement is cold as fuck. Ask my nipples. (Don’t. That’s creepy as fuck. Pretend I didn’t say that.) I go into the bedroom, flop myself down onto the bed and greet first the boys, then Lucien.

I named my iPad after the librarian in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. And then I promptly filled him with books, anime and games. I’ll give you one guess as to what Lucien and I get up to the most. You guessed it: I wile away the hours playing mindless games. This. Is what I’ve been doing instead of Reading. Writing. Watching. Observing. Hiking. I’ve been sleeping. Fiddling on the iPad. Facebook. Sleeping some more. Sleeping. iPad. Facebook. Sleep. Work in progress. I’m a work in progress.

After the boys abandon me to go wrestle in front of the fireplace, I cuddle up under the blankets. With Lucien. Will he fill my mind with obscure ideas and scintillating wit, as I intended him to? Oh no. Definitely not. You’ve forgotten we paired Lucien with The Stephanie. The Stephanie abuses Lucien and dims his mind with trite rounds of knock-off candy-blasting and time-management games (because she’s oh so fucking skilled at that). The idea is always: 15 minutes to wind down like this. Heh. We all know damn well it never ends up that way. The Stephanie is a work in progress.

Ahem.

So this fucking piece of candy didn’t go where I swear to fucking crackerjacks I told it to, and it ruined everything. My last damn turn for twenty minutes. And I blurt out into the quiet (aside from the insane racket coming from the televisions upstairs),

FUCK YOU, JIMINY CRICKET!

That is what it took to snap me out of my mindless daze. I actually sat up and shook my head. What the actual fuck? First of all, how do I come up with this shit? Second…what the fuck did Jiminy Cricket ever do to me? Or anyone, for that matter?

He goes around teaching that splintered, lying piece of driftwood about manners and morals and shit. He’s like the ultimate good guy. Pinocchio’s a lying little twatmonkey, but Jiminy Cricket?! He’s the adorable little crickety conscience, hopping about, tapping his little cane, and talking about how it’s wrong to steal and lie and cheat and gamble and all that good-for-nothin’-scoundrel, now turn-your-life-around-and-make-your-creator-proud shit.

And here I am, all FUCK YOU, JIMINY CRICKET, because I mismatched a piece of candy and my little witch can’t concoct her fakeass potion on a fakeass game that means nothing. Yeah. Take that, Jiminy Cricket! It’s a double rainbow! What does it mean!

~

I’ve been thinking on this a lot lately: I’m kinda disappointed that I never got detention. Okay, maybe even a bit pissed off at myself.

Part of me says I should be proud that I was covert. I mean, I did smoke cigarettes and pot at school and on campus, albeit extremely rarely. Seriously, through all schooling, college, post-grad, blah blah…definitely fewer than a dozen times. I was too afraid of being caught. (Smokes were different in college, obviously, but even that I kept to a minimum. I never wanted to be perceived as that girl. Even though, I kinda fucking was…kinda.)

The other part of me is (and always has been) sick to death of convention. And sick to Jiminy.jpgdeath of myself for not bucking convention as much as I feel compelled to. Pot at school? No. I would have gotten a fuckton worse than detention. But there were times that I wanted to speak up in class. Stand up for something I believed in (or didn’t). I felt compelled to say something. Do something. But I forced myself to conform. I’m a non-conformist at heart (and I’m not talking about the twats who call themselves non-conformists, then gather in a group and commence to conform to their own set of rules and norms), but I force myself to adhere – often to things I don’t want to or feel I shouldn’t.

I’ve been so fucking well-trained at conformity. So fucking well-trained at tucking my head and saying “Yes, Ma’am,” and “I’m sorry, Sir.” That sometimes I fear I can’t break out of it and even tell the difference anymore: which ones are my own personal guidelines, and which ones are the ones I’ve been inculcated with? Which ones do I want to keep, and which ones do I want to dash?

A work in progress indeed.

~

So perhaps this sudden, “Fuck you, Jiminy Cricket!” makes a lot more sense given the things I’ve been contemplating lately.

Perhaps I’m saying “fuck you” to my own enforced pseudo-conscience and searching for my own.

Or perhaps I’m fucking insane.

Either way, at least my musings separated me from Lucien for a bit.