Thursday, December 23, 2004


On Friday, December 17th I had the wonderful experience of going to see Hawksley Workman in concert for my friend Sara’s birthday. I was in such a good mood for several reasons: (1) I made some headway on an essay I had to do and could see the finish line; (2) I got to be outside of the house and see the diversity that the subway in Toronto brings; (3) I was going to see my friend Sara whom I’ve missed and haven’t seen in about 3 months; (4) oh, and there was this concert thing too. The venue was a church, which translated into a peaceful atmosphere, seating, and happiness for acoustic music played. Those two things, sitting down and acoustic instrumentation, are my ideal listening conditions. (If you add the freedom from alcohol and smoke, you have a very happy Darren).
The concert was great, I’ve never seen Hawks before, but have heard his music. He’s a great performer: relaxed, passionate, a little funny, a little kooky, and talented. The Hawks can belt it out! Not only was I enthused, but Sara’s delight was happily infectious. It was a great show. I was tired at one point, but it was such a warm, cozy vibe it was still good. He did the appropriate encore thing, which rounded out the evening marvellously. After the show I felt no ear damage whatsoever. No “What?” and that annoying hissing static telling you that you need some instructions on how to use your ears. We then embarked to Sara’s for cake and conversation. It was great! So many laughs and so much silliness. I’ve missed doing my various voices for both others and myself. Overall, one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. Heck, her birthday was more fun for me than my own birthday! I even received a lift home from her kind roommate. Good times. J

So… that was Friday. On to Saturday the 18th…

In the evening, my good friend Owen returned my call. After some excitement usually reserved for those with more estrogen, we decided to go out, despite my fatigue. We hadn’t seen each other in months and he happened to be going to a bar/club downtown to visit a friend. Not our usual thing for obvious reasons if you know me, but, heck, once in awhile. First off, $12 for parking! Back in the city, that’s for sure. But as there were 3 of us (myself, and brothers Owen and Rory), it wasn’t too bad. We went to see one of the bouncers to say we were on the guest list and he said you could get in the guest list line… which was the only line. Hmm… if we are all on the guest list… there really isn’t any specialness here now is there? Anyway, while we waited Owen got to listen to concerns (i.e., whining) about how we were not paying cover so we might have to go somewhere else if things don’t work out. Just as we are next in line, a bus with 50 people arrives and they all go in ahead of us. Punked off! Fortunately, it wasn’t too long a wait. I don’t know if we were supposed to pay cover, but we just walked in and no one stopped us. Meh.
“What the hell is going on!?!?” were the first words out of my mouth. Loud music, people, darkness, and girls I feel I should be paying just to for looking at them. My senses were bombarded by salacious stimuli. I honestly didn’t really feel I was there most of the night. Instead, it felt like some movie or TV show. I almost had trouble fully comprehending that these are real people and this is their life. We chatted about our lives, culture, corporations, media, the seeking of approval, and the uni-dimensionality of places like the one we were in. You know, what everyone else was probably talking about. I looked at some of the bartenders and thought “They don’t have that in Halifax.” Later I realized that Halifax might, I just haven’t gone to those places much while I was there. The jubilant drunk girl is always a fun thing, with her utterance of, “Yeah!” To which you can only reply “…Yeah!” Additionally, there are the servers who float and ask if you want anything to drink. I think they only know about 15 words. Several being “uh-huh, yeah, right, yeah…” Rory and I discussed how the whole thing was almost the antithesis of what we want to see in the world. Owen actually tried to enjoy himself on more than just a psychological level. (Silly Owen.) I couldn’t help but see the bartenders as drug pushers. Well, dealer is perhaps a better word, because I don’t think there is too much persuasion. Well… the cleavage and tight pants might help out a bit. “If I buy alcohol from the ‘pretty’ girl, maybe she’ll like me. Even if she doesn’t, I’ll like me more because my brain will function differently and I can escape from my own being. Regardless, shouldn’t you pay a girl something if you look at her and she’s dressed like that? Isn’t that the protocol?”
We can see that I all to easily condemn many of the practices and events occurring at these locals, but it appears even those who cogitate cannot escape. Ashamedly, I found a bartender's chest to be mesmerizing in its event horizon plasticity. Dang hemoglobin! It seems there is only enough to go around, and the brain all too often sacrifices its share for lesser areas. Such is the battle of mind and body, principles and libido, superficiality and depth. Goodness won, we left.
On the way home, we stopped by the lake in our traditional manner. It was peaceful, beautiful and freakin’ cold! Some catch up conversations, sharing of life’s events and emotions, and some sticks thrown in the water. Ooh, and some miniature sand cliffs crumbled. Home to try to sleep away the exhaustion (and ignore the damage to my ears that indicates I need some instruction on how to use them).
In summation, I learned things I already knew. Duh! Of course a calm, warm environment that allows conversation will be preferred (by me) than a noisy, drug filled one that promotes the evaluation of just the physical level. I could say “Life will teach you lessons until you learn them,” but any insightfulness connoted is actually specious and the statement is relatively trite once briefly pondered. Oh, and there is also a bit too much intentionality. One would think that someone who has several issues with a particular sentence wouldn’t write it in the first place, right?


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