The confusion of a fleeting youth (rock ’n’ roll as my scapegoat)

*Another chapter of an old book, another glimpse into my mind at the tender age of twenty. (Once again, from Spring 2004ish)

*I’m confused. No, actually confusion is probably too coherent of a state. I’m at that point of being, or consciousness where you don’t know what the fuck you want, who the fuck you want, or if you really want anything at all. You honestly just don’t fucking know. I should probably be used to this, seeing as it’s a most familiar feeling, but it does still get old. Music even starts to become a burden in that nothing feels right. Everything just pisses you off and feels wrong, terribly, horribly wrong. Then a song that’s just so fucking perfect shows up. Of course, three minutes later, it’s gone and the remake by The Lightening Seeds that you own has been missing forever, and you’re back to square one.
Everyone feels like this at some point, at least that is what I tell myself to soften the blow, or rather the sheer indifference. I would rather have someone hate me than have no feelings whatsoever. That doesn’t mean I don’t want them to love me, but I’ll still take hate, because after all you have to love someone to hate ‘em (with a few exceptions). And something’s better than nothing. It’s weird how you reach that crossroads where something’s gotta give or everything’s just gonna blow. (In my case, I chopped off all my hair and started writing profusely. After I went AWOL, took a month and a half sabbatical (from which I’ve since returned) and both fucked up things even more and set them straight. Though give me time and who know what else I’ll do?) Why do we all go through this? Why do we smell stale cigarettes and instantly we’re trying to cling to a past that no longer exists? But more importantly, why do we use music as our scapegoat?

The burdens of our follies as youths (or adults) are placed solely on music. You get told not to sing that one song because it reminds them (him) of (your) past failures. You stop listening to an album that meant so much to you, because it used to, and that time has passed. It’s fucking strange. We’re forever living in the past or constantly looking to and trying to inhabit the future. We never once just live in the present. I’m not talking about living “in the moment” or any other gay ass shit like that, but rather just focusing on how you feel now. Without letting the past or the future influence it. I think the reason music can change your mood so much is that it isn’t changing your mood, rather finally letting you live in that moment. When I’m listening to music, really listening I’m content. I am for once in my life truly happy. So, I have a dream for the future looping through my brain; it doesn’t matter because I’m feeling. I’m connected and I forever feel neglected and alone outside of music. And as long as the song is playing, it’s real. It’s not so much looking to the future but realizing who you are. Who you think you are at that moment (the dream) is who you are. I think who and where you want to be is sometimes more important than the reality, granted you can’t just dream it you gotta live it, but the first step to achieving your goal is dreaming it. Envision. No, you cannot live in a dream world, but I do wonder how real your reality is.

With music, allowing myself to dream lets me focus on how I’m really feeling. And hopefully I can work through it and move on. Because, I’m not stupid, I know the way things are, and the way they ought to be, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times that I don’t want to change them. So music is my consolation, well that and my mantra of: “if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen” etc. (I’ve got a lot of mantras…well, not really, but um, yeah.) Music feels and breathes this. Even though my mind may drift, and it always does, it’s pretty much the only time my heart doesn’t. So if music can and does do all this, why do we take our pain, anger and all that other shit out on it?

The world comes down to two types of people: the people who get dicked around and the people who do the dicking. The balance can shift, but ultimately it stays the same. But every person is capable of strong-arming another. This is what we do with music. Those who regard music as simply background noise will stop listening to something merely because of the music’s bad nostalgia. People like me? Well, we either torture ourselves further by obsessively listening to something that depresses us or we treat it like shit. With the exception of my immediate family (and all my nieces and nephews whom I love more than anything, and I mean anything) I have a hard time loving people. Sometimes I scare myself with my lack of empathy, although I know it’s not so much apathy as survival. I learned the hard way the burdens of everyone else. As a result, I’m simultaneously mistrusting and optimistic: I know people are assholes, but I wish they weren’t. I also realize that I too, am an asshole, and a pretty big one. I can be an absolute prick, and if I’m feeling like shit chances are I’m gonna want you to feel as shitty as I do. That is something about myself I’m desperately trying to change (I won’t lie it’s fucking hard). Because I love music more than anything, I end up treating it like a person, with both the good and the bad. Music is one of the few things I love, and one of the few I have no qualms about loving and freely allow myself to. But, I still like control, and if you can’t live without something then you’ve lost control. (Well, not really it just means that you love and need something, and you really shouldn’t bring control issues into it. But the dipshit that I am, knowing full well, I still do.)

When I was a child I would spend my days crying “Mommy, come here!” I remember perfectly well wanting her so desperately. When she would emerge from the kitchen (slightly exasperated) and say “what Louisa?” she would disgust me (I was four) and I would yell “No! Go away!” This cycle would repeat and repeat throughout the day. The reason I did this was I loved her so much and I didn’t like not having control over my emotions. Although, I gotta say, if I were my own kid I’d let myself cry. My mother didn’t, she was very patient, for the most part, and I thought she was beautiful and flawless.
The reason I brought that up was to illustrate a point. Not all, but some (myself included) have a hard time handling it when we love something or someone too much. We don’t know how to react when we don’t have control so we try to control what’s making us feel that way (a.k.a. you, or whatever else it may be). It’s sick, I know. But to make things even worse, when people and things start doing what they’re told it can seem pathetic, but if they don’t, well that infuriates you. It’s a sick cycle that you have to work hard at staying out of, especially if you ever step foot into it. Music can be both the cycle and what you’re encircling.

You take your anger out on music, and also with it. Wouldn’t it be easier to work through your emotions, rather than burying shit, pretending you’ve moved on, only then to inform someone they can no longer listen to a certain song because it reminds them of an old hurt you caused? I get that if a wound is fresh, you don’t exactly want salt poured on it and music is the salt of the fuckin’ earth. I totally get that; I’m guilty of it myself. However, why music? Why is a song we love punished? I’d still get pissed if I was told not to wear a certain perfume or my favorite purple shoes ‘cause that’s what I wore constantly during that period (and I probably wouldn’t listen, ‘cause that’s just stupid; at least with the shoes) but it’d be better than music.

We do it all the fucking time. You forever hear someone say, “Oh, I don’t listen to so and so anymore because it reminds me of such and such…” And that is terribly sad. I say you should obsessively listen to a song that terribly depresses you until you can no longer remember without trying how you felt the first time you heard it. Yeah, that same old feeling will forever be there, but that can change slightly. I’ll use my favorite band’s first album as an example. I remember completely the first time I heard that album, but because I’ve listened to it so obsessively, one particular time or place doesn’t stand out all that much. That album fits any mood or season, unlike, say STP’s No.4 which needs to be listened to at night in the chilly spring (not Fall, Fall is too crisp) because that’s when I got it and reignited my love of the DeLeo brothers. I could listen to “Church on Tuesday” in the middle of summer, but my heart would yearn for a cold Spring night. That is part of the beauty of that album; but I gotta be in the right mood, versus my favorite band, where they put me in the mood. But, if I so choose I can go back to the first time I ever heard the opening bars. That is precisely why you should listen to a song that depresses you, constantly. You will have worked through your emotions.

Music really does speak the emotions words could never express. That is why we take out all our pain and confusion on music. Because there are certain emotions, certain places we just can’t go, much like my favorite Oscar Wilde line. We just can’t and I need to accept that. So as much as it breaks my heart that I ruined “Meet me in the bathroom” for another it’s actually a testament to the power of the song. Yes, part of the pain was sheer familiarity (I did constantly sing and hum the fucker) but it was the lyrics and everything else blended together. The music was me, because I became it I loved it so immensely, and the story almost became my story (especially for those few days when I decided to take up “they were just two fucks in lust, oh baby that just don’t mean much…” as my new mantra) but more importantly they were my favorite band. That’s why he hated that song, I don’ blame him (though I wish he could’ve worked through it or picked a different song). We pick the music to shun that we do because we (or someone else) love it so much we hate it. We hate it for making us feel- whatever. It’s easier to just say fuck it than to work through it. “Yeah, ya trained me not to love after you taught me what it was”

Why do we still love people? Even after they’ve caused me so much pain and suffering, it’s not even funny. Because we love them.

That last line was me drunk off my ass. And you know what Louisa? It is funny and really, dude you deserve any so-called pain because you’ve inflicted way worse. Besides dear, you were just drunk and maybe there is some truth to “Still in love (song)” but I’m not exactly feeling it anymore. Yesterday I was all about how terrible we are to music, today I’m all about its power of healing. ‘Cause I got new music and the world couldn’t be a more beautiful place.
Let’s face it; I’m so unsure about everything except music that it’s both sad and beautiful all at the same time. Music (with the exception of faith) is my only constant. The only thing I ever remain sure of. The only fuckin’ thing. Truth be told, I am an asshole, and I do have a tendency to treat the things I love (music) like shit. Why? I don’t know, though “asshole” keeps springing to mind. I love certain songs so much it scares the shit outta me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I really fucking wouldn’t.

I don’t handle fear very well all the time (especially the fear of rejection, though I have reached the point where I consider the source and I realize “I don’t like you, so really, who gives a shit?”) and as a result “paper over my vulnerability with arrogance”. I’m trying not to be such a dick, and so damn temperamental, I really am. And I still listen to all my music, even the stuff that reminds me of shit I don’t want to remember (not with the same frequency. I use up music very quickly and have no real further use for it with a few select exceptions) because it’s not fair to the music to quit it altogether. Besides, ya gotta remember the past so you don’t pull that same shit again. So, I’m doing my best (though I’m not sure that means shit) and I’m gonna be angry along with my music, not at it.

*Today, 11/11/11 (I just wanted to type that again 😉 )

So, this is another chapter from the book I mentioned the other day.  This chapter is actually right before the chapter I shared the other day: In Praise of SPIN and/or My All Consuming Guilt (though the Rolling Stone interview still withstands)

I realize that it’s kinda difficult to get a sense of what I was trying to accomplish, and what I was dealing with, without reading the book in its entirety or from the beginning.  I plan on adding more, including the Prologue et cetera, et cetera, however I chose this chapter because, well, I’m not really sure why.  I just did.  Partially because of the title.  In case you haven’t noticed I love this title.  I even titled a short film about  my niece The Confusions of a Fleeting Youth. I also have a song with a similar title- you get the idea.  I think I love this title because it deals so directly with my key fears- the unknown (aka confusion) and the fleeting nature of life.

Anyway, yeah.  Thanks for reading. And if you have any ideas, comments, etc. about what I’ve shared with you, please share with me.  More than anything, I’m interested in what you, yes you, think.

-Louisa

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