Friday, October 08, 2004

It was a good day for the blues.

A better night too, I suppose -- blues seems more appropriate after the sun has left the sky. It's not a terribly sunshiney kind of music, and it shouldn't be. The blues makes its own dim light, its own distant warmth, in the sharing of something just a bit morose and sombre.

Yeah, it was a good night for the blues, and Harry Manx put on a hell of a show.

The thing about the blues is, even if you love it, there seems to be a certain mood, a certain frame of mind, that makes you a bit more susceptible to it. I wasn't quite in that mood tonight; probably by tomorrow I would have been.

Yeah, my mood is slipping again. I knew it yesterday, or would have if I'd been paying attention, becuase I could already feel it slipping then. I just assumed I was overtired, a little off kilter and not sure of what to do with two-whole days off after working six days the week before that. I felt acceptable for the first half of the day, but the end of it, as the sun was threatening to sink, my mood started to sink with it.

Which ultimately made for a more satisfying blues show for me, true. But which may not bode quite so well for the days to come -- no more blues shows to take in, sadly.

Someone told me yesterday that they thought I was manic depressive, I just hadn't hit the manic phase yet. I laughed and told them there was another name for someone with those symptoms -- depressed.

The thing is, in spite of the fact that I've never hit the bursting of energy and ideas and passion and drive that, traditionally, comes with the manic phases of people with bi-polar personalities, I'm not stuck in the hole of depression 24-7. When I'm not in it, I'm in some kind of mildly-contended middle-zone, which isn't a bad place to be. Not the best, certainly, but better than the alternative, it seems.

I wouldn't mind getting hit with a sense of mania, just for fun, just to see what it was like -- it'd be so different from anything I've ever felt -- but if it got too exciting, and my heart started pumping too quickly, I'd probably have a panic attack.

Picked up a CD at the Manx concert. Couldn't afford it, really, but I couldn't not pick one up. I was so struck by his unique mixture of blues and indian musical sensibilities that I knew wnated to take a souvenir with me that would last a little longer than memory.

But I couldn't afford it, particularly not after dropping $90 on a new keyboard. Which I'm typing on right now, which I'm growing increasingly happy with (excepting the still-stupid Function Lock key) the more I write with it.

Couldn't afford the keyboard either. Now that I have it, I'm going to write something every day for the next two weeks until I have even a small amount of disposable income again. I bought the fucking thing, might as well get some use out of it. Might as well remind myself each and every day that I just spent almost a hundred-fricking-dollars on the stupid thing, and it's worth it. Better be worth it.

The keys feel good. The click nicely. They sound solid. The feel solid. The feel like they could 50,000 words in a month without breaking a sweat, which is exactly what I need in a keyboard right now.

Not sure if I can do 50,000 words in the month, but the keyboard can, so that's a step in the right direction.

I was thinking earlier tonight, during the Manx show, that in spite of my traditional approach to background music while writing -- which is basically to play instrumental, ambient, industrial, techno kind of stuff -- my work actually needs to have its musical accompaniment decided by the material. Because otherwise, the material ends up decided by the musical accompaniment.

The novel I wrote last year -- tentatively titled "Stealing Time" -- actually needed that kind of instrumental, ambient, industrial, techno kind of stuff. The book I'm prepping for this year doesn't. Nor does the short story I want to work on this month as a warm up.

The novel, I think, needs the blues -- and this, of course, is why the whole idea struck me tonight. I'm not sure about the short story. Almost blues but not quite. It's going to have, I think, a kind of bittersweet flavour to it, as people prepare to watch the world end around them with a sort of, "Well, we had a good run, didn't we?" attitude -- celebrating man's millions of years of history with a party larger than anything in history because, hell, no hangover the next morning, right?

Sitting on the hillside, looking up the stars -- stars that I'm sure would live on for millenia beyond us -- I knew that the end was approaching. I was miles from town, but even out here, embraced by the stillness of the uncivilized world, I could hear the chanting begin, the countdown to oblivion. Thousands of voices, millions, billions, all speaking with a single voice that grew louder with each passing moment until I felt as I was surrounded by the billions, as if I was a tiny speck in a sea of faces.

I remembered, suddenly, the old idea that if every man, woman and child in china lept into the air at the same moment, the combined force of their reconnection with the earth would throw the planet out of its orbit. We had laughed at the notion at the time, but now, hearing these voices grow louder and louder, until the world was blanketed in the sound, I knew that it was true. I knew that we, as a species, as a world, had carried with us the power to move mountains if we had only willed it. And we never did.

And why not? Because some idiot somewhere said, "Don't be ridiculous."

Before I had the chance to think about just how fantastic a tragedy this was, the countdown came to an end, and the world, dwarfed by a deafening roar only a moment before, was suddenly blanketed in silence, and I closed my eyes and waited for the end.

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