Monday, March 9, 2020

It’s not the world, it’s me. There’s plenty interesting stuff going on, I’m sure. I’m just not inclined to spend much time on it. Melancholy? I don’t know, but let’s get our write on and see if we can’t get the word count anyway.

But really, melancholy is a good word for the mood I’m in. Still sleeping way too much, but today at the gym I got to remembering my time post-graduation in Florida. I stayed there after getting my degree in journalism from the University of Florida just over two years. It was a pretty sweet deal.

I was living in a trailer park on the edge of Gainesville, FL, paying around $150 or so a month for rent, maybe $200 total in expenses. I worked a couple, three days a week at a sandwich shop to cover that and had several writing gigs that made me around $800-$1,000 a month. I wrote all the time, but because I was in my 20s, I rarely slept.

I went to see live music and raised hell in bars. I did all manner of mind-altering substances, felt the rotation of the Earth and talked to Hank Williams. Except for cocaine or heroin or some sort of horse tranquilizer, if it came from the ground and blew one’s mind, I did it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Somehow my homely ass managed to hook up with any number of fascinating women for rarely more than six weeks. Most of them, I can’t remember their names, which isn’t a good look on me, but I remember their smiles or their favorite poet or the music they turned me onto.

I rambled all over Florida, from Panama City to the Keys. I drove as far down state road A1A as one could go at the time, spent a weekend in Saint Augustine sleeping in my car, and got thrown out of bars in Ybor City. I enjoyed a block party in a Cuban neighborhood in Miami and hung out with retired Hell’s Angels in Cedar Key.

I spent a month doing nothing but playing the Ultima series of computer RPG’s, beating them all except for the second one and the eighth. Only left the house to buy food, and that was mostly chili and Dr. Pepper. I would hook up with bands like The V-Roys as they toured around Florida and helped them sell merchandise.

And I wrote constantly. If I was not actively doing something else that physically prevented me from doing so, I was writing. Those composition notebooks with the salt-and-pepper covers? I had dozens of those filled with basically the same gibberish your reading here, but with tales of debauchery, mine and others, and heavy notes about the world around me. Notes for potential books, random interviews, questions about Elvis I asked everyone from Bo Diddley to James Brown. I had god alone knows how many essays, short stories or paragraphs of complete nonsense.

And during the move to Athens, I somehow lost every single scrap of them. All gone, lost somewhere on the road in south Georgia. It happens. In any event, that move was supposed to be a new chapter in my life, and it was. One day I’ll talk about that, but today ain’t the day. I don’t know how long I could’ve kept up that sort of lifestyle, but it was fun while it lasted.

Anyhow. The News is eaten up with the CORVID-19 worry and the Trump Administration’s increasingly ridiculous bumbling and deflection of the issue, including the continued unhinged temper tantrum from the president himself. Something that hasn’t happened in almost two decades happened this morning when the stock market dropped so much and so quickly that trading on the floor stopped. I’m not going to lie, I don’t know exactly what that means but apparently it’s not good.

One sort of funny-but-not-really thing that’s happened is the whole CPAC business. Apparently one of the attendees tested positive for CORVID-19 and made the rounds with a number of Republican congress critters, including Georgia’s Doug Collins and Ted “Made Entirely of Spam” Cruz. Of course, politics and them being fascist dirtbags aside, one hopes the Honorable Gentlemen don’t come down with something serious, but what’s funny is Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert is claiming he’s one of that group. However, while the rest are self-quarantining for a fortnight, that dumb son of a bitch is going to walk around out and about. I’m convinced he’s making it all up so the weaselly bastard can look like a bad ass, but it’s entirely possible it’s reality. He is that dumb.

And all of these yay-hoos have shook hands with the president, a notorious germaphobe, while he still claims it’s overblown, Obama’s fault, and tax cuts will fix everything. How much of this is actually worth the lunacy? I seriously do not know, but there is something seriously worrying the financial world and the Trump Administration is over its head with the Boss more upset that the whole thing is making him look bad than how it’s going to affect the rest of the country. On the upside, the poor infected bastards who’ve been stuck on the Grand Princess for two weeks are being relocated to dry land and hospitals, so let’s hope that goes well.

So, there you go. I’ve been doing a deep dive into Swamp Dogg’s new album Sorry You Couldn’t Make It. Very interesting record, especially when put against the man’s previously releases. One song in particular, a duet with spiritual brother John Prine called “Please Let Me Go Around Again” struck me and is probably why I’m so melancholy about my rough and rowdy days. I’ll probably knock out a review of it before the week’s out, it’s that good.

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