Mental collapse in three, two…

I’ve stormed in, thrown down my backpack, thrown down my jacket, slapped the kettle on (it can take it), and promptly devoured my finger nails whilst the water boils.

My pulse is racing, my mouth is dry and I can feel my fingers tapping through staccato beats – this is not uncommon for my right (it’s my fretboard hand), but the left is joining, as if it’s typing the word “stewardess” repeatedly (go on, try it – one hand). This is the full-blown fit of neuroses brought on by social events, which I avoid with a dedication and ferocity not seen since…something was on fire, and angry. Hell, similes are failing me. This is bad indeed.

Look, that guy’s on fire. Dance floors require dedication and ferocity.
Shut up.

In fact, that album has been my life-line for the last hour. There’s something about Dick Valentine’s feverish orders commanding you to dance that just makes your brain want to comply, in the most primal ways. This disco-infused brain control was the only thing that guided my stumbly parambulation from door-to-door. But here I am, ensconsced in my cave, and turning to the in-built support systems to bolster my flagging mental capabilities. COFFEE.

And you know what? This hand-flapping, running-in-circles act is all because things are good. Imagine the kind of flipping out I’d be doing if it were BAD. (Actually, bad is easy to handle. You scowl, you squash the hurt into a box in your mind, and then bury it in an unmarked grave. Mentally.)

A long time back, I read about one of my heroes, and how he managed to have such witty replies and answers for all things asked of him. I thought “man, this guy has complete control of his language, and always picks the absolute best combinations of exposition and metaphor.” It didn’t shatter my illusion when I finally found out how he achieved this: he rehearsed answers for the questions he’d be asked. Likely this meant he often got the list of queries in advance, but it also meant he was pre-empting the discussion, and arriving at the logical conclusions.

He would have had a head full of answers, primed and ready, and many likely would never be used. But he had them ready. This is how I aspire to approach social situations. After a while it becomes quite easy, you can pick rhythms, and when they are people you see again and again, there are topics and patterns that you will both fall into. This makes the conversation easy, not quite scripted, but a very natural ebb and flow that bounces from point to point with the minimum of fuss. Spontaneity is for the ill-prepared.

I had the gall to answer the call of the big W during dinner. This is such a red-hot, do-not-do-this action, that I have no qualms in grabbing the trembling 14-year-old that has taken over my psyche, and shaking him until his chewing gum falls from his flapping lips, and he pleads to be let free to do math homework. And I hate math homework. This was a rookie move, and yet I conducted it with all the aplomb and apologies of a veteran social idiot.

I’ve been this embarrassed once or twice before, but they were for far lesser things. One was a car crash. I’m so embarrassed by this, I’m planning on a second meal tonight: as many feet as I can cram into my ridiculous maw, in a vain effort that the foot repast will quieten the guilt-worms within.

I’m retreating back to Electric Six.

Our Fire, which art on record,
Electric be thy Name.
Thou art the Bomb.
And Are A Song,
As is your Dance Pattern.
Give us this day our American Cheese.
And forgive us our Free Samples,
As we Gridlock and Buy The Drugs.
And lead us with Improper Dancing,
With Another Song About The Devil.
For thine is the Showtime,

The Heartbeats, and the Brainwaves,

For ever and ever.


~ by nick on April 6, 2012.

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