|Pictured above: I just realized that the Kool-Aid Man is basically stoked in this picture to drink his son.|
I have a story for you. I had a dream last night. I was in Owensboro, KY with relatives. The plan was that we wanted to go and see some nuns sing Christmas themed choral music, with tuned bells as the only instrumentation. I was warned that I would get bored eventually, but I thought the experience would be cool. I got sidetracked in that way that you do in dreams though, where Phil and I met up with a Japanese kid that loved Never Nervous. We decided that we would pool our resources, and have a Japanese correspondent, because fuck it; the kid was real nice. The Japanese kid and I went to a local antique store/library -the obvious meetup, y’all- and got to work trying to design our joint logo.
We were interrupted by a man that was friends of the family, but who I had never met. He was older, had white hair, no beard, and I knew he was retired from the service, although I didn’t know which service. He had a cantankerous dog that kept wrecking shit in the store, since, you know, dogs shouldn’t be in an antique store running wild, but everyone was mostly cool with it. The Japanese kid, the older fella, and myself talked about whatever for a bit, and we got along really well. It was great.
The thing is, this is essentially the world I live in. I don’t like Christmas music (except for Charlie Brown Christmas, duh), and I’m not religious, so why would I care about hearing people sing about god or any of that? I find Japanese culture interesting, but it’s not something I’m especially passionate about, although analogically it is about the most alien culture I can imagine that’s still earthbound, which I’ll admit fuels a lot of the interest I do have; I love how interesting that culture is. I didn’t know either person I was talking to in the antique store, but I was happy to do that, because I like knew experiences, and always want to remain open to them. And the antique store/library… well they didn’t seem to give a fuck that a dog was running loose in their store, so why should I? Let’s see how this plays out, shall we?
So what does that have to do with anything? Last night I had band practice. After band practice I ran into Evan Bailey and shot the shit with him. Evan and I have never been close, but we’ve been acquaintances for years and we’ve always gotten along. It was nice to get caught up, to hear about the changes that his band, Second Story Man, have made, and to imagine how cool it would be to still be in a band with my friends after fifteen years, and to still have the freedom to try something completely new. I love that, and it certainly resonates with me.
While we were talking, we heard a knock at the door to the practice space. A very drunk man was there, and was excited about the music we were making, which fun fact: we weren’t. No one was playing music at the time that he came through, and hadn’t been for hours. Apparently, the drunk man, later self-identified as Kool-Aid, a bilingual ex-boxer, had overheard the Trophy Wives practicing their Nirvana set (which was apparently, and unsurprisingly awesome), and he was way into it. He felt it in his heart, which he told us in great detail.
The long and the short of it with Kool-Aid, is that after a few Keystone Light tall boys, he had a bad case of the feels, and wanted someone to talk to. It was apparent that Kool-Aid wished he could play music, as he explained with great repetition his desire to sit in with a band, that he could play Latin influenced drums. I mostly stood there mute, because trying to talk to someone that drunk is like trying to punch a hurricane. I wanted to stay both polite to the fella, and open to the experience, but I didn’t know what to do. This is the point where Evan stepped up.
Evan went to the back and got his guitar. He played him a song, which I believe is part of a new SSM song. Kool-Aid was fucking stoked. He made up some lyrics. He banged out a beat on his lap. He was so, so happy. He talked to us for a bit longer before we had to wrap it up, as it had gotten way beyond our bed times.
So today, I’m happy to have had that experience, to remain receptive enough to meet a drunk man named Kool-Aid at 1am who just wants to hear the Trophy Wives shred Nirvana songs, but who is just as happy to be able to talk about the things he wants out of life. I’m happy that I stuck around with Evan and caught up, because I liked hearing about his band. And of course this resonates with me, because I’m happy to have the things I have, which were all there because I was willing to accept the experience. I have a beautiful wife, and awesome friends, two of which make music in Visiting Nurse with me, and one that collaborates with us. And I’ve been fortunate to have those experiences, and to get to share it with you because I fought my innate desire to be cynical and let myself experience something weird, different, or otherwise out of my immediate comfort zone, which to be fair at the moment mostly just consists of me sitting on the couch, slowly sipping a Breakfast Stout fresh from the tap (so now you know what to buy me if you see me out, y’all), and busting some fucking Dragons up in Skyrim; I’m a simple man.
And I hope that I can die knowing that one of my favorite things in life was telling stories, because I fucking love to tell them. Glad I just shared this one too, because that’s what we do here.