It felt like a month ago, twenty two minutes would be some kind of impossibility. Running twenty two minutes straight? You have to be shitting me. Cue today, where I'm heaving like a champ. The end of "Mountaineer" (No Trigger) had signaled the end of my run. Two miles in twenty two minutes. In real life, that's extremely slow. In my head though, I'm freaking king of the asphalt.
I began my trek back to the house. I always was about a quarter mile from the house when I finished, so I had time to cool off. That is usually the time when I think about the next step of the day. It's my focus time. Well, as much as one can focus while Red City Radio is blaring in my ears.
Unfortunately it was a day off. No plans. My worst nightmare.
I'm alone without my phone, and I'm stuck with my thoughts. The internal inquisition begins:
"Why are you doing this?"
"Working out isn't YOUR thing, Ryan. You haven't written a thing in weeks and you're being pathetic."
I don't know why I work out now, I feel like my stereotypical answer is that I wanted to look better for girls. Girls like a fit guy, right?
"Ah, balderdash! You don't enjoy the company of shallow girls." My thoughts told me. They were right. A shallow girl will never enjoy my presence in any mental capacity. "Shallow girls are pretty and you can fawn over them if you like, but they'll only disappoint you."
Disappoint me, why?
"Ryan, you've gone down this road. You've gotten into the room with some 'Hottie' and you do the deed and get bored. Then you limp in to the relationship for the sake of trying and you ruin everything because you're fucking bored and so self involved that you just end up looking like a sociopath. That's usually when they break up with you."
Ah, true. You little shitbag, you know me all too well. What about the good ones that are beautiful?
"They can do better."
Fuck you, voice in my head. Stop being right.
"You're not out here jogging to bolster your loins with more conquests."
Why am I here, then? For my health?
"No, Ryan, you stupid bastard."
Oh, yeah. I forgot. I jog to get my thoughts away from me for awhile. There is a singular goal in jogging and hot damn if it isn't to clear my head.
"Good man, I knew you'd get it!"
You're lucky you are my mind and you belong to me. Or I would take you out with a drill or something.
Court documents released Thursday revealed details about the case against Chris Brown, including a police statement that the incident began when Rihanna (real name: Robyn Rihanna Fenty) found a text message on Brown's cell phone from "a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with."
A search warrant used by police to obtain cell-phone records related to the case included the sworn statement by Los Angeles Police Detective DeShon Andrews in which he detailed what allegedly happened in the early morning hours of February 8.
"Brown was driving a vehicle with Robyn F. as the front passenger on an unknown street in Los Angeles. Robyn F. picked up Brown's cellular phone and observed a three-page text message from a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with.
"A verbal argument ensued and Brown pulled the vehicle over on an unknown street, reached over Robyn F. with his right hand, opened the car door and attempted to force her out. Brown was unable to force Robyn F. out of the vehicle because she was wearing a seat belt. When he could not force her to exit, he took his right hand and shoved her head against he passenger window of the vehicle, causing an approximate one-inch raised circular contusion.
"Robyn F. turned to face Brown and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand. He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand. The assault caused Robyn F.'s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle.
"Brown looked at Robyn F. and stated, 'I'm going to beat the sh-- out of you when we get home! You wait and see!' "
The detective said "Robyn F." then used her cell phone to call her personal assistant Jennifer Rosales, who did not answer.
"Robyn F. pretended to talk to her and stated, 'I'm on my way home. Make sure the police are there when I get there.'
"After Robyn F. faked the call, Brown looked at her and stated, 'You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I'm really going to kill you!'
"Brown resumed punching Robyn F. and she interlocked her fingers behind her head and brought her elbows forward to protect her face. She then bent over at the waist, placing her elbows and face near her lap in [an] attempt to protect her face and head from the barrage of punches being levied upon her by Brown.
"Brown continued to punch Robyn F. on her left arm and hand, causing her to suffer a contusion on her left triceps (sic) that was approximately two inches in diameter and numerous contusions on her left hand.
"Robyn F. then attempted to send a text message to her other personal assistant, Melissa Ford. Brown snatched the cellular telephone out of her hand and threw it out of the window onto an unknown street.
"Brown continued driving and Robyn F. observed his cellular telephone sitting in his lap. She picked up the cellular telephone with her left hand and before she could make a call he placed her in a head lock with his right hand and continued to drive the vehicle with his left hand.
"Brown pulled Robyn F. close to him and bit her on her left ear. She was able to feel the vehicle swerving from right to left as Brown sped away. He stopped the vehicle in front of 333 North June Street and Robyn F. turned off the car, removed the key from the ignition and sat on it.
"Brown did not know what she did with the key and began punching her in the face and arms. He then placed her in a head lock positioning the front of her throat between his bicep and forearm. Brown began applying pressure to Robyn F.'s left and right carotid arteries, causing her to be unable to breathe and she began to lose consciousness.
"She reached up with her left hand and began attempting to gouge his eyes in an attempt to free herself. Brown bit her left ring and middle fingers and then released her. While Brown continued to punch her, she turned around and placed her back against the passenger door. She brought her knees to her chest, placed her feet against Brown's body and began pushing him away. Brown continued to punch her on the legs and feet, causing several contusions.
"Robyn F. began screaming for help and Brown exited the vehicle and walked away. A resident in the neighborhood heard Robyn F.'s plea for help and called 911, causing a police response. An investigation was conducted and Robyn F. was issued a Domestic Violence Emergency Protective Order."
At the end of his statement, Andrews said Brown sent a text message nine days later apologizing.
All my friends are getting houses and starting families and I'm 25 and I'm only in my second year of college. What is my desire? I don't know. I see people getting their new cars and their new houses. I tell myself that "I want that." But I think that maybe I'm wrong.
I mean, the car, the house, the kids. It's an enticing prospect. It always has been.
Maybe that's not what I really want. Maybe I just want the happiness that goes along with it. While I've been in bands and dicked around at dead end jobs for the last 7 years, everyone has been moving on. I have few friends now(but I honestly have always been okay with that) and I'm years away from some form of a future. But I've kept my head down and started going to school again. That's all well and good, but where will I be in a couple of years? I can't even meet a damn girl that can relate to me.
While I keep my nose to the grindstone, I betray myself. On wednesday I'm taking my notebook and my guitar to a friend's place and we're going to hash out ideas.
You go on youtube and any video featuring a woman with any level of attractiveness, there's like 1000 comments about how they'd "totally do her". In real life, if you were standing in front of a woman and you said that to her, she'd probably mace you. I'm going old school with my ladies, I'll meet them in person and be myself. If she's interested in me, then I'll mumble nervously and nurse my drink trying to think of clever things to say. That's what the cool kids do, right?
I wish we were still in a world where people didn't demand attention all the time. Geez, I was horrible about that stuff when I was younger. I almost don't want to have an internet presence anymore, but I want to keep in touch with people that I care about and things that I'm passionate about.
The Gaslight Anthem is the one band that I've ever listened to where I wasn't anticipating a new record after I heard it. I remember after hearing The '59 Sound. I remember when I heard that American Slang was coming out I was thinking "Already? Didn't they just release an album like, 5 minutes ago?"
Then I realized that nearly 2 years had passed. That's what happens when an album is that good. You're never thinking about what's next. You're thinking about how much you enjoy it at the time. If it's an album you're never sick of. The same thing is happening with American Slang. People are talking about this new album business and I realized that TGA released it in June of 2010.
This band is doing something special to my brain.
But it's also making me feel like time is going by too fast. Fuck I'll be 25 in a week.
"I go out to dinner, and I get a new story. And that's about it. I find it difficult to get a second date because well, I don't have a dating personality."
"Oh I'm sure you're fine."
"I'm almost 25 and I am not halfway done with college. I am emotionally unreadable and I have a knack for saying terrible things."
She laughed. "I can see why you don't get many second dates."
"I didn't mean anything bad by it."
"Oh I am just giving you a tough time. I work in a restaurant, all I do is josh around with people."
"Your tone seems way more confident than what you're actually saying."
"Well, I don't really expect much from dates anymore. I have already made my bed and told myself I'll die alone."
"Why is that a good mindset?"
"Well, I've been on my own for a few years, now. I have never been in a situation where I felt like my life would be better if someone was in it. I've been in relationships in the past few years, I have found I'm terrible at it."
"I don't get why you're telling me all of this."
"I dunno, I guess I just want you to be more comfortable. Dating isn't fun, and it's easier to just be pleasantly surprised when things go well. Relax, I'm buying anyways."
"You are certainly not helping your cause by being this way."
"Well, as much as I do think I'm leaving this planet alone, I go on dates on the hopes that maybe I'll be proven wrong."
"That's actually kind of sweet."
"There are nuggets of good in there, I guess."
"What exactly are you looking for in a woman?"
"Well, I suppose she'll have to simultaneously put up with my bullshit AND she'll make me want to change, too."
"Not as tall as you'd think. People my age are picky as hell. I suppose that's okay though, we're in our prime right now. I feel like I'm just a service where I get girls free dinner. It's never really free, though."
"Why is that?"
"Mostly because they have to listen to me and be my psychiatrist for a few hours."
"I really doubt going on these kind of dates is cheaper than a psychiatrist."
"I don't think there are too many pretty 22 year old psychiatrists either."
"Are you hitting on me?"
"Hey, practice makes perfect. It's still a date. Now tell me about yourself...."
I spent a lot of time in you. You were the year of goals. The year of so many things coming to fruition that I had been working on.
"You were supposed to continue school"
Yes, I was. I had made the plan to go finish school. I ended up not being able to afford it.
"You were supposed to leave Stockton."
I did. For two months. That's it. Everything there fell apart. The college wouldn't accept me, my job sucked, my roommates were irresponsible dickholes. I lost an extremely large sum of money there through poor decision. I walked back to Stockton with my head hung low, broke and feeling like an idiot for even trying. I crawled back to my old job only to be rejected from it. I found a job out of town that I actually enjoy very much. Can't complain.
I spent my first few months back sulking. Then I moved on to plotting. Now I am moving into the preparations stage. I will finish my work in Stockton before I go. It'll be shitty but I don't care. I feel safe in one of the most unsafe towns in the united states. I know this place, and it'll work with me in the end.
"You were supposed to finish writing "Unnamed Writing Project that is 70% done."
In about 2 hours, I'll be 80% done. I had one of the meanest bouts with writer's block ever. 8 Months and no words I was satisfied with. I put together some more projects to inspire me to finish so I would get excited about the project now. And after a weird occurrence with one of my managers at work, I feel like I can go on with it now.
My manager happens to be a guy who thinks I should continue writing. In fact, I never told him that I write. Wait, that's strange. He says he's psychic, but I don't believe him. Either way, I just sat down and the words came out.
After a year like this, I shouldn't be surprised.
In 2012 I have one goal.
If the apocalypse does happen, then fuck it, I don't want it to be the year I surrendered.
Something about Latterman for a moment:
When latterman had not done anything for almost half a year, the punk community was suspicious. I was, as well. It was revealed on punknews that they had broken up. The worst part about all of it was Matt Canino's description about how jaded he had become: Personally, I don't give a shit about "being positive" or whatever that meant when we were all 18, and the most people seemed to be getting out of the band was "how important friendships are." Well how fucking boring is that? No shit friendships are important, but I think that was far away from the messages we were trying to convey with Latterman.
I Felt like a broken record going on tour and talking about sexism in punk rock every night and then some fucking bro-dudes coming up to me and saying some fucked up shit. I even got to a point where I stopped calling them out on it, and that just felt wrong. I was tired. Basically, it just stopped making sense for everyone in the band to keep on doing the band.
And of course, that was a huge bummer to a lot of the fans of the band, but he had a point. Even on the band's somewhat melancholy final track from their (ironically titled) final album We are Still Alive, "Will This Be On The Test?":
The final line seems relatively unsure and melancholy.
"If today the ground gives in... Hope we won't fall alone."
Between that line and Canino's statement about how he felt the state of the band was going. I felt like they didn't leave on the best of terms with their original vision of being in a band. Leaving a band jaded and bummed is never a great feeling (I've been there).
When the last song the band ever recorded was released a little bit earlier this month (along with the few scant shows they played), it felt kind of nice. With that and watching the live videos of the reunion shows, you could hear the thanks in their sentiments in performances.
If this is the last song they ever unofficially release, I'll be okay with it after the final line and the sweet sound of their instruments emitting static.
"I'm fucking proud of the things that I've done
Cross my fingers and cross my heart."
I remember when I used to pretend that being a teenager was difficult. As a freshman, I'd walk down the outdoor hallways with my cd player (holding it steady, in fear of skippage) and headphones on my ears in fear of social interaction. My only solace is hanging out with my friends and plucking away at my guitar. Every once in awhile, I would get that inevitable tap on the shoulder:
I sleepily took off my headphones and looked at random high school student. "What's up?"
"It's not Thursday."
"Uh, I know."
"But it says so on your shirt."
"Yeah. It's a band name."
"That seems like a really stupid band name."
"The Beatles and the Rolling Stones seem like pretty stupid band names, too."
"I guess so. Whatever dude, later."
I put on my headphones again as random high school student walked off. I had this conversation for what felt like once every two weeks. I didn't care. Thursday were my boys, Full Collapse blew my mind far before Deja Entendu. Playing along with "Cross Out The Eyes" on my guitar in my room with my stereo playing loud. Nothing else mattered as long as I had enough batteries for the bus ride and there were no scratches on the cd.
Thursday, thank you for making my melodramatic high school days a little more bearable. Thank you for making a rather extensive, incredible discography that helped define my own (still working on it) maturity.