I’ve had my heart set on getting a week off between Christmas and New Year’s. It ain’t happening. No one’s taking it away; I just have too much work to do to take off. I can live with that, and I’m not particularly bitter about it. I can definitely appreciate having work; shit, my promotion was stalled for two years because there just wasn’t enough work coming in.
It’s a mild bummer, ‘cos I was looking forward to making an annual habit of seeing live music on my Christmas vacation. My summer vacation, I get dragged to San Diego — it’s no live music capital — or the Eastern Shore, where the music is like the Harford Road cover band circuit from 15 years ago, PLUS IRIE!
Last Christmas vacation, I got to catch up with my music ‘friends’ who were still doin’ it, INDIE STYLE. That is to say, for fucking pennies* on Wednesdays and Thursdays. LIKE ASSHOLES. I even tried to keep going after vacation — I had a friend who got himself booked in some shitheap PG county roadhouse, near a body shop with Roy Buchanan airbrushed on the exterior wall — but jeezum crow, around January/February you encounter nasty ice storms that make it totally not worth leaving the house on a work night.
‘Round Baltimore last year, I got to see the guys who were slightly younger than me, and who had surpassed me after I walked away from music years ago to get a life. They’re fat fucks now; I take a bit of joy noting that. Nothing sorrier than a fat, middle-aged (yeah, 36 is middle-aged) rocker dude who thinks he’s still IN THE GAME.
Cripes, it seems like half the guys I hung with last Christmas vacation have all left town. I don’t go to town ‘cos I’m not wanted there. You guys agreed to all sorts of bullshit, ate shit from indie music dickheads with a smile on your face, and now you’re splittin’ town? I think you’ll find the same shit when you get to whatever Southern college town it is that you’re moving to. In fact, it’ll probably be worse because you’ve gone to your late 30s without having to deal with the Frat Stranglehold On Small Town Nightlife. You think it’s bad that an art gallery doesn’t think you’re ‘big enough’ to play a 100 person capacity room on a Friday (believing you to be more of a ‘Thursday’ thing, you know, before the art student dorks go back home on the weekends), wait ’til you find out how conservative and reactionary college kids can be towards music frat social secretaries don’t understand.
I had an opportunity to go see a buddy play in Silver Spring just this very evening, but I passed. Like Roger Murtaugh, I’m getting too old for this shit. Cripes, I know what’s gonna happen — I’m gonna buy a diet soda and all the bar staff is going to be fucking annoyed with me for not getting shitfaced and spending forty bucks trying to feel like I’m 20. And grit my teeth thru my pal’s music for the opportunity to shoot the shit with him. Fuck it, I’ll see him some time. On my schedule.
*Let’s be honest. ‘For fucking penis.’ FOR. FUCKING. PENIS.