18 August 2008

Can't Stop Won't Stop (Reprise)

I never could really. I was with a girl for a while who was always trying to get me to slow down; "do this slower", "concentrate on breathing more" and all that ish. It drove me nuts! Theres something inside me that simply cannot purposely do things slow. I do it how I do it; deal with it.

Those new agey exercises where you do everything in slow motion, Qigong or Chi-Gong, I forget what its called, I'll freak the F out. I don't think anyone would say I'm a very high-strung guy; I can take a nap and chill out like nobodys business, but with ish like that, I just can't slow down.

I think being 'impatient' is just expecting more from people. It's that simple. Do it right the first time, speak clearly, think clearly, get it right. I'm not impatient, I just demand better always and NOW.

Most likely it's all a product of being a traveling "entertainer" for so many years; everything has to happen fast; in rest stops, on road sides, catch 2 hours of sleep before the next 13+ hour drive, etc. It isn't a climate conducive to relaxing and taking things nice and slow. Quite the opposite. You may be wild and free traveling the world in a rock band but being your own boss isn't easy. It takes discipline and sacrifice.

One particular time always stands out...

We're literally driving half-way across South Africa; from Durban to Cape Town (about 1,700 miles). My friend Rob and I are side by side in toilet stalls at a rest stop literally in the middle of nowhere; picture the middle of nowhere in your head and now multiply that by ten. So we're talking through the divider, making jokes, whatever; we were absolutely delirious from the drive, it was brutal and the vehicles we were traveling in were quite small and packed with gear (plus the van I was in was being driven by a boyfriend / girlfriend who were brawling the entire time). So we started saying how lucky we were to be the first American punk band to ever play in South Africa; no matter how bad it got, we always pinched ourselves. Then we started talking about the fantasy and what people assume its like to be in a band that tours like we did; incessantly; 250 some odd shows a year, 9+ months a year on the road; making your living off your art and answering to no one really. People think its like rock n' roll excess, glossy and privileged decadence; meanwhile here we are 8,000 miles from Brooklyn in disgusting rest stop somewhere in South Africa wiping pee off the toilet seats so we can sit down to take a shit. And that, my friends, is touring in a nutshell.

Oh, so where was I ? Oh, right... I can't do anything slow... and how the reason that is, is partly because I spent a good 12 years touring and rushing and hurrying up just to wait later. It just becomes a part of you. So there are some things now you just cannot shake. Quirks and habits that become woven into your fabric.

Talking: I talk pretty fast and I have no patience for people who can't just spit out what they wanna say; it drives me mad. I have no time for slow storytellers, either. I don't want to hear your story if you're going to tell it in real-time as it happened; get your ish together and open your mouth when you're prepared to make a presentation.

Eating: I eat very fast. There aren't many 5 course candlelit dinners on tour; you gotta eat quick and keep on going especially when you're a part of some traveling circus with a bunch of bands and people and crew, its like growing up with 7 brothers and sisters I'd imagine; you've gotta stake your claim and shovel down that slop before someone else steals it; its quite territorial and barbaric but I love it; its real and animalistic and human. Basic and simple. Excess-free.

Traveling: I sightsee very fast. Vacation in Paris for a week? Why? I saw it all in about 3 hours; same goes for London. We did the econo sightseeing tour; "saw it all before doors" (meaning before the show starts in that particular city). When I hear about people going to one spot for a week or more, I can't imagine what they'd do; I mean how slow can you walk along the Sienne? Even if you're arm in arm and stopping for serious make-outs sessions? How long can you spend walking around Picadilly Circus or Camden Town?! Days?!?! I have no idea what you'd do for that long; how many bootleg Sisters of Mercy t-shirts can you buy?! We became so numb and jaded, by our seventh time in Paris, I didn't even leave the bus until showtime. We were parked a few inches from the Sienne and we just watched DVD's all day. Oh, I did leave the bus, but only to call my mom and my girl at the time. And during my walk to the payphone I saw a lady wearing a Herm├Ęs scarf walking a poodle and carrying a shopping bag with a baguette sticking out of it. I saw all I needed in that one trip to the phone. See? Though I would love to return to Das Motherland and spend some quality time there; thats the only exception.

Sleeping: I sleep fast. I don't need very much at all and I can fall asleep anywhere at anytime. Day and night mean very little to me, hardwood floors or 5 star suites, it doesn't matter; on the curb or on a California King, once your eyes are closed, its all the same. Right? Right.

Typing: I type faster than my mind works. Last time I was tested, about 9 years ago, I was at 95 wpm; Now, I have no idea if thats spectacular or not, I just know that when I wanna search something on Google, my fingers type "Goo" and then my brain automatically pounds down the enter key. My fingers and my brain aren't synced up; my mind is racing past my fingers; its very odd. But that's why I love New York, everything is now now NOW and faster faster FASTER. It's perfect. Yes, I want to relax and chill out on a sunny day but I want my f*cking iced coffee NOW and my NY Times NOW before I sit on my porch and watch the breeze go by. Got it ?

Making Love: Now this is when I slow it down, like Marvin, Barry and Lionel. It all comes to a halt. Flower petals and Glade scented candles from Duane Reade. Real classy like. Rub her feet and shit, tell her about the stars and them birds. U know all that ish a girl like.