The nicest one of the circle will get stabbed on the Metro bus on 3rd and Madison in “normal” daylight hours. The one not known to argue, who gets killed in an argument. He’s the one with the tobacco-and-food-flecked beard crowd you’d ride the elevator with who could carry on a polite conversation, and actually could listen to someone else’s health complaints or offer back some wisdom about the weather. His name is Russell, he was almost always friendly, and yesterday, when he stepped off the bus, stabbed and no doubt dazed and maybe crying, he died.
The coolest thing about being fat is the shit-smeared vomit-speckled half-naked epileptic junkie chronic alcoholic homeless guy coming in for an AA meeting two hours early who just got released from the hospital for cutting up his own arms who tells you he’s “worried about your health” when he sees you eating the lunch you were too busy to eat three hours ago.
The funniest thing was perhaps Russell’s best friend who ran naked screaming through the halls of my building all day, and no one could catch him.
The important thing to remember is that when you ask the really nice publicist not to tell the rock star that you’re asking for a rescheduling of the interview because they ignored every single window of opportunity you offered according to the bizarre schedule of your psychosis-swept existence when they finally got back to you they of course will still ask him because really they can’t make these decisions themselves anyways.
The great thing is that the band you do the favor for, the band you could believe in, and the favor that actually costs you real money, time, and health, is the band that will cancel the interview, forget to thank you in the liner notes, and will inevitably castrate you to their eventual publicist.
“The songs of abandonment and lust, they all address God. … (but) Duende (sadness) is too fragile to survive the compulsive modernity of the music industry. In the hysterical technocracy of modern music, sorrow is sent to the back of the class pissing its pants in terror. … Good is not to be trusted if it has not breathed the same air as evil.” —Nick Cave, “The Secret Life of the Love Song,” 1996.
My wife says that the saddest thing about hating the wealthy students who are coming through her line during rush week at work, buying their textbooks and supplies, maxing out mom and dad’s cards, showing no courtesy to anyone, is that they’re actually as good as they’ll ever be — they get far worse once they become adults.
This is the kind of thing that “just happens.” Nick Cave’s spoken word CD was playing when Sandra, a client and one of the meanest drunks I’ve ever known, came down to make a random complaint, as she often does. Tonight, as she slowly, drunkenly filled out a form, overhearing Cave’s words about the ecstatic “irrationality of the love song” she bursts into tears. She sings some horrid R&B pop song on her way back up the elevator.
The thing I hold dear is that there has to be an end to activity. The night worker doesn’t feel the “end” very well sometimes — but it’s a blessed clarity, not from the reversal of the common human schedule, the mere tinkering of the biological frame, no, it’s in understanding that day and night are never truly separate — the world is the same no matter what position the sun is in.