Ian Curtis

There are few singers I feel in tune with when I go and make whatever it is I do in my underground music. But, I make music in order to feel alive, and that's all that matters. 

But, I'm inspired by so many people who have had the courage to put it out there.

Some of them didn't make it, like Ian Curtis. He killed himself in 1980, I think. I'm off work so I'm not going to fact-check. 

Tonight, I needed music to help me through the last moments of my work. I needed something that made me feel alive, and the Joy Division songs put together to support Ian Curtis' expression was exactly what I needed. 

I don't know why he killed himself. I'm sad that he did. The songs he recorded with are an incredible capturing of a time and place and they are universal in that regard. The way he sang gives  me hope that there are others out there like me. And in a time of loneliness, isn't that what we want?


Being accountable (or A Fat Man Speaks)

In five days, I'll  know for sure if I've managed to run the Charlottesville  Ten Miler again. I'm not looking forward to it because this has not been a stellar year for running. Or fitness of any kind.

I'm back at the weight I was at in December 2008 when my life changed. I spent 2009 and 2010 exercising as much as I could. My work duties had not yet expanded to where they are now, so I was both motivated to run and I had the time.

I've not run since last Monday. I was going to go today, but I ended up with too many appointments which allows me to make yet another excuse. I'm sitting at my desk when I should be out there. 

I remember when I was at the peak of my fitness, in the middle of 2010, that I was convinced I would never again let myself get out of shape. I swore I would stay fit, swore I would stay healthy.

But here I am at just under 200 pounds again, with no real strategy for how I'm going to get back to 170. 

Yet, I'm still going to try to run on Saturday, because I need to do it. 


The now is the then mixed with the middle

I'm certain that if I think hard enough I can look back in time at all the other nights I have stood in this spot. Ten years ago it wasn't like this, but I don't always remember now what was here and what wasn't. I'm standing looking towards the front door, looking down an empty bar with 65 minutes left until close. I'm going to coast and collect the money for looking after the handful of people who are in here.

I've had fantasies about buying this place, and that's the only way it could work. I feel like I am in the middle of a space where there has been so much experience, and there are so many experiences waiting to happen. I'm aware of a timeline that could be created should I decide to go forth into the direction that makes that happen.

But, I can't make that choice. That decision can't be decided, not now at least. This is a time in which I'm here, listening to conversations while reading a lawsuit and wondering if I could find a better music channel and then realizing I wish I could just let go of all of it and concentrate on ten years ago, the time I would have been right here, or close to it.

The last ten years have been the last ten years. There's no magic formula. There is no time machine. This is just a thread that ties together many points of my life. I don't know the pattern anymore and I question whether I ever did.

This has been a fantastic night, though. I had a fantastic conversation with a woman who lives in an apartment on Market Street. Her husband died last year and she's still adjusting to being alone, so she came into the tavern looking for someone to talk to. We chatted for an hour and I was glad to be able to share some time with her. 

I have to admit I honestly admitted to some other people that the food might not be the best because I don't know where anything is. The weak point of being here is that I have to cook food, which I find hard to do when there are people to bring drinks. 

Other things happened. Right now I'm listening to a group of people who were born in 1991, the same year I graduated high school. I'm over any sort of idea that I might be older than them. In fact, I feel younger than them in many ways because I have absolutely no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm busting my ass to make ends meet and to make the beginnings at least make sense. 

What will the next ten years be? This is the biggest unknown, and why I feel kinship with my 1991 self. At least he had a pathway for the next four years. Go to college and see what happens! 

Right now, I feel youthful because I don't have that certainty. So many mysteries await me, but my reception of them is tempered by history and the way that things have gone. 

Ten years ago I sat here and was somewhat hopeful the future, the future that is the now. All that I am leads up to this moment, now, writing at a bar at which I am working with 52 minutes until I can lock the door. 

Will I still be here in ten years? If so, is this the middle? Is the middle the time when you figure it all out? 

I don't know. I only know that I feel so out of sync with my age. I remember being 31 and not knowing what was going to happen next. That uncertainty seems to be the only constant, but I have no idea how to plot that out mathematically. 

All I know is I'm glad I am alive in this moment. To capture thoughts in keystrokes about the memories I've had here, and to imagine a future I know is possible for this little space. This place should be crowded. This place is real. But even the real can have a fantastical sheen that must be guarded against. 

So. This is the now. It's mixed with the previous middles and hopefully I can plot out a trajectory to a satisfactory future. That's the goal. I will make it happen.