October 28, 2002

we could be happy underground

It’s been a neat weekend of two jazz concerts, a combo rehearsal, a cabin by the lake with Al the One-Eyed Short-Tailed Pirate Cat, a sauna, daylight unsavings time, singing in the wagon, tasty omlettes and pizza, swearing in front of an old lady and a little bit o’ homework.

Here’s the current dope. Entries around these parts have been a bit sparse, and have offered an unprecedented amount of linking and non-talking. After mulling this over for a few aeons I decided I don’t really mind the change. I hope you don’t either.

Let’s talk smack about the history of this thing. In December of 1999 I started keeping a journal (the old paper kind) where I would plunk down thoughts, philosophies, experiences, convictions, enemies, plans for world domination, etc… I wrote in it fairly consistently until January 2001, when a cigarette conversation with a fellow music major tipped my world on its axis. I wrote the following on January 21st:

An idea so grand, so shaking that it forces all other thoughts out of your head… something you would have never considered before, but now… a switch has clicked a connection soldered, the expoxy has hardened, the hard drive finished defraggin’… eh… well, dammit, now it makes sense! Why not? Hold it. Consider open doors.

What was I really going to write? drool drool droll droll drool drool drool drool drool drool d—- no… that for sure was not it.

Maybe? Quit pushing in the direction you want to go. Just flow, see where it goes.

That weekend, I held in the breath of this conversation while spinning in a recent discovery of Lileks.com. It was during that weekend I realized that I didn’t want only music. I wanted humor. I wanted wit. I wanted irony.

Wouldn’t you like to be a pepper, too?

Words of my own burned inside my breast. On Febuary 2nd 2001, after a weekend of splashing through the wet alleys of web design, I launched Cromlech version 0.001.

By February 28th I had changed my major from Jazz Studies to Interdisciplinary Studies – Fiction and Non-Fiction Writing. I originally wanted to call it The Philosophy and Techniques of the Scintillate Writer. I’m glad they didn’t allow that.

On March 8th I got the highest score in class on our Music Theory IV midterm.

On March 9th we left for spring break in Dillon, Colorado; a week of hardcore skiing that would bring me back into the downhill circuit for the first time in six years, eventually transferring all my passions to snowboarding. Most importantly, it was a week of guilt-free time away from my saxophone. I was no longer tethered by my responsibilities; I had pulled up anchor and could drift where the current chose, float upon my back, and if perchance a newt swam by I stuff it in my sack.

In May I received an award for getting the highest grade in Music Theory IV. I was no longer a music major.

Summer offered a job reading Kentucky essays, a slow internet connection, and an unfettered hiatus from Cromlech. Fall Semester 2001 brought journalistic realizations, something about four planes, and a sudden interest in politics.

Spring 2002 saw a few new versions of Cromlech glance across the surface of the internet, ending with a fiesty dip in Greymatter and unharnessed web publication. Camp Ihduhapi graced the summer. Last month saw the final dissolution of Cromlech, with Dane’s Bored.com erupting from the ashes.

Same great taste, now with 12 percent more Phoenix meat.

And now, I still need to write. More than ever, I need to channel the flames out of my body to avoid a wildfire of the soul. But exhibitionism is no longer the way and I need to take this whole thing underground. The work that needs to be done right now cannot be made public on a daily basis, as has been possible in the last year or so. A certain larvae would never germinate into a monarch if it spent its days in a chryssalis but left every evening to get drunk and splatter the walls with malted words.

Channeling words is an art, and I’m realizing now that my efforts are to build a piece much larger than this site. I have plans, but they are not finished. My writing is a delicate process that requires a sledge hammer and a chainsaw, and when I make the mistake of exposing the work to the sunlight too early, it evaporates from my hands. I’ve already had to euthanize one short story this semester for that very reason.

I would like to write a book about driving around this country, siphoning truth and meaning from my gas tank. That’s one idea. There are more, about which I will speak no more, for as soon as I proclaim a course of action I risk eliminating other possibilities. Yes, I can just disregard the erronous words in the future, but as soon as the cunieform is set into clay and the clay hardened, it is difficult to chip new thoughts into the stone. Better to maintain a fresh lump of clay until something breathes into my soul and animates my limbs.

To claim I know which direction this swirling orgy of colors is going would be to make false pretenses of knowledge. I gotta keep it real, ya know. No masqurade ball with pink feathers and sparkly masks and volumous breasts spilling out of salmon skins. Just grit. Grit and parties and reality. We’re chock full of that.

I need to write, but I need to write for myself, not for an audience. My journal will burn with the word but you will bear witness only to the result, whatever it is, when it emerges. Gears will continue to spin here, as they have the last few weeks. Perhaps journal entries will end up being transcribed. I know not the course my future will take, nor will I ever claim to know.

I blow on the autumnal winds like a leaf asunder.

This is going to be fun.

Trust me.