My Blog__ Soap

November 01, 2010 | By

The last thing I remember was sitting in the van on the way to Seattle to see Courtney Love play. I was texting my boyfriend on his European burner phone saying "I love you" while "Boys on the Radio" blasted out the speakers and everyone sang along behind me. I was wearing my jean jacket with the rips in the shoulder. My hair was slowly getting longer. I was jobless and free. I was post-tour and pre-winter. I was slightly depressed, but it didn't matter because everything was going to be alright. Besides, I was only depressed from the alcohol and a lack of steady income. I missed my boyfriend. I had missed him all summer when I was on tour and now, he was in Europe and I was at home watching my toe nails grow and trying desperately to find a job I liked. Suddenly, the song switched from Celebrity Skin Hole to Pretty on the Inside Hole. I was an hour away from seeing Courtney Love live with a bunch of people nerdy enough to love her as much as I did. Things felt good. I wasn't alone.

It's November now. It's cold out. The sky is gray and ugly. My apartment can't choose between being too hot or too cold. Cigarettes are more expensive. We all got jobs. The insurance ran out on the van. And then, the universe had a giant geek spazz [sic] leaving everyone I know, including myself, newly single, broke and bummed out.

Today my last fish, Daniel, died. I used to have four fish. They were all males named after men in my life - Daniel, Jordan, Tony, Maurice - and they lived in separate bowls. I loved them as much as you can love an animal that can't love you back and only comes up to make bubbles when you drop some stinky flakes into his water. Last night, I had cleaned my fish's bowl but there was some soap on the sponge. As I cleaned the gunk from the sides of the glass, I was careful to rinse over and over. Soap kills fish. I didn't want to kill him. Today I found Daniel floating at the bottom of the bowl. His head was stuck in the little plastic tree I had situated in the rocks for decoration while the rest of his body bobbed upwards like a limp noodle. When I flushed him I had to laugh. Even my fish had given up. From the way his head was so perfectly lodged in the plastic I can only assume it was a tragic suicide. The soap killed him. He couldn't handle the change in his environment. He wasn't strong enough.

What is it about a sudden change that makes you feel as though everything in your life doesn't make sense anymore? I have this problem where when one thing changes, I lose all confidence in myself. If the change was my decision, I feel slightly better. At least I can tell myself that I have control. "I chose my choice" and all that Carrie Bradshaw nonsense. But when the change is a result of someone else, I can't help but feel like I'm spiraling. I'm not strong enough for this. The soap is too much so I'll stick my head into the little plastic toy and just dangle.

When we tour I don't like to drive. I don't want to be responsible for my band mates safety. I don't want to navigate through a crazy city I don't know very well like San Fransisco or Atlanta with its terrifying hills and passive-aggressive highways. However, I love driving at night in Vancouver. I know the roads. I know the traffic lights. I know that it's only me in the van and the streets are nearly silent. When we tour I sit in the back seat, close my eyes and let Anne-Marie speed down the foreign high ways. Anne-Marie isn't afraid of a little soap.

According to popular culture, winter is a bad time to be alone. People get drunk and scramble to meet someone acceptable enough to take home and cuddle with until spring comes. It's survival. No one likes to be cold and alone. No one likes to dangle at the bottom of the bowl.

We're going to play a few shows in November down in the states with Nu Sensae. I know we'll listen to Hole. Anne-Marie will drive, Daniel will sing, Grady will read, Andrea will tell jokes and Kenny will sleep. I'll sit in the back, squished between them and hum along to "Boys on the Radio" and know as long as I'm with these clowns I'm never really alone.

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