By Parson Thru
I have two more works by Kerouac (courtesy of the postman – what a wonderful profession). And I’ve just about read myself into More. What do I do? More? or more Kerouac? I am becoming a Jack-junkie. I finished “Lonesome Traveler” and searched desperately to see what other titles he’d left me – “The Town and the City” excepted.
Families! Christmas with my mother. Bless her – I love her so much. I listened to a Bluegrass song driving up from my lovely in-laws – something about letting go of mother’s hand – and actually cried, which is a life-threatening situation while driving on fast country roads in the dark with ineffectual windscreen wipers smearing rain back and forth. Anyway, following a predictably depressing conversation with my mam, I think “Why am I going there?” Handicapped from birth by in-bred working-class insecurities, why go? I have broken and torn every sinew in my body to escape this shit. I ran away. Why the fuck did I ever stop? Because I love my mam and dad (deceased). O heart. O conscience.
For Kerouac and a whole load of other stuff that I haven’t even touched yet, I thank my lovely friend, influence and cultural mentor, living it in Italy. Living it. When there’s fuck-all left, what should you have been doing all your life? Living it. O heart. O conscience. What the fuck is an upright ape to do? I don’t think we come and do this again (sorry Buddhists). I don’t think we go to a better place (sorry Abrahamic faiths – great stories, but…). This is IT. THIS is it. This IS it. Oh, fuck. This is it. Born by accident. I love all the energy that does all this but... The “laws” that Newton etc. try to understand (all very elegant and beautiful, but just an accident, just naturally elegant and beautiful).
So I’m typing all this shit into the laptop, having just finished playing some guitar. Singing some o those Texan songs. It’s coming along (as Irina predicted on the flight home from Moscow). A few frozen vodkas to the better and the whole carcass settles down and gets on with playing. Even the voice pitches in. I daydreamed of sitting on a stool in the back room of the Halo Bar and having a brief chat with the mic before launching into my five songs and looking up to see the dearly-beloved still in the room when I came out of my reverie. Imagine that. I am imagining that. Jesus, you have to have some reason for keeping going, don’t you? I can’t submerge myself in that whole sport, expensive holidays, cars, restaurant raison d’ etre. (Jesus? Just tradition.)
Maybe I should study sitar in the Himalayas. Or maybe five years at the feet of a banjo master in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I have a banjo. Recent pawn-shop acquisition. Dungarees not included. Have you felt the energy that a banjo gives to a Bluegrass band? Energy. Life. Listen to the Foggy Mountain Boys “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” or Country Gentlemen “Matterhorn”. Wouldn’t you like to be able to do that? No? Well I would.
Mam - mother - I’m sorry. I am so sorry, but I can’t keep those insecurities going. I am the hell out of there. I love ya and I ain’t gonna see you left high and dry but, shit. How many goddam times do you you think I’m gonna be doing this? Everyone has to get out there and do their thing, whatever that is. Each and every one of us is born with the potential to write the symphony that brings down the stars from the sky. Any one of us could stand on the stage and connect to every soul, living or dead, and turn the dark night into perpetual day. God is somewhere among us. Is one of us or all of us. The human spirit has not appeared in this universe to hide itself.
To borrow an Indian phrase: "Everything is possible." But first we must conquer our fear.