I'd been so thoroughly stressed by my morning at Comet that I figured I should buy some new music to comfort my nerves. So at Plan 9, I bought a new CD. Yes, new. It was the Guided by Voices I am a Scientist EP for about $7. Especially good on this four-song wonder (which came out in 1994) is "Do the Earth." The rework of the song from which the EP is named, "I am a Scientist," actually sounds more chaotic than the original. Sometimes I feel like I'm buying Steve Keene paintings when I buy GBV albums: they cost about the same and appear to have a similar lack of deliberation evident in their composition. The thing I like most about GBV is the timelessness of the music. I'm always pleasantly surprised to hear contemporary issues addressed and 90s levels of profanity deployed in a CD that sounds so very much like a leftover from the 60s. Such anachronism seems to be pleasing me more and more each day. That's why I like the goths so much; they are simultaneously post-industrial and medieval.
I fear I am developing arthritis in the first joint of my right hand's ring finger. The joint has been getting progressively worse over the past few days. Maybe I need to eat vitamins.
I played some with my keyboard before bed. I figure I will be able to make some very interesting music if I combine my guitar and piano styles, which are completely different. Originally I'd been opposed to using a keyboard as anything but a rhythm source...but now I like what I can do with it melodicly.
After I woke up I ran the keyboard through effects and got some nice rich industrial sounds. I also did an obligatory disassembly of the keyboard to see how it might be modified. One thing I want to do is separate the accompaniment from the principle sound source and have them come off in two separate jacks so I can apply effects to them separately.
While I was doing these things the goths came by to begin the Friday night fun. All kinds of crazy stuff happened, but you'll have to wait until the resulting hangover wears off to hear the details.
The night was an unnaturally warm one for February (temperatures were somewhere in the fifties Farenheit), so outdoor adventures were inevitable. Today's field trip was to prove incredibly evocative.
There are lots of interesting places in Charlottesville that appeal to gothic sensibilities. I was just about to discover yet another one: an abandoned factory beyond the southeastmost end of Market Street. First, per Jesse's instructions, I drove to the last whimpering stretch of Market Street, where it dies out in a working class white neighborhood dominated by the relict shell of a strange concrete building standing across the street from a row of gothic-revival houses. We were soon befriended by a pregnant yellow cat who decided we were a cool gang to hang out with on this Friday evening. In the gutted concrete structure, we stood around and smoked pot and Cecelia cradled the yellow cat in her arms. As Cecelia pointed out later, it's a rare pregnant cat that will permit being held by anyone, let alone a stranger.
To get to where we needed to be, "the Factory," we needed to walk on the railroad grade and cross the Rivanna River on a railroad tressle. This quite naturally fueled my paranoia; I'd seen the movies where drunken teenagers are caught on the tressle as the train bears down upon them. This seemed to be a scene from such a movie, and I wanted no part in it. I turned back a quarter of the way across the tressle, but Monster Boy and Ceclia convinced me to continue.
But Monster Boy held back from approaching the factory directly. He was concerned that quite possibly a gang of ruthless homeless people were squatting in the building and might take offense at out vampiresque presence. He and I sat on a concrete ledge by the railway track and discussed this possiblity while the others approached the Factory. The scene looked so primitive down there among the Factory ruins, like a stone age cliff dwelling. This was related to the fact that there were no lights burning in the structure while the City of Charlottesville glowed warmly across the river beyond. But of course, this was no stone age structure; it was a relic of our modern Industrial Age. The possibility that homeless people, (who could be viewed in this context as stone age people somehow coexisting with the modern world that surrounds them) might live in such ruins was a marvelously anachronistic concept. But it was also a frightening idea, especially in the state I was in.
But no screams could be heard from those who had gone before us, and so Monster Boy and I eventually joined them there. I sat by the front door and imagined the workers who every day came to this very building to toil away to earn their daily bread. It was as though I could feel their now seemingly irrelevant presence. It was like wallowing in multiple levels of death at once: the ultimate gothic experience.
I was so messed up from bourbon and marijuana that I was feeling about as weird as the time I took tussin in Philadelphia. That's weird; the only other experience that may rival these two is the time I took mushrooms for the first (and more or less only) time, in the Spring of 1987.
There was no way I could imagine driving in the state I was in both at the Factory and the Interstate Bridges. But by the time we'd made it back to my Dart, I was feeling capable of driving. The alternative was having Theresa drive, and (knowing what her Monte Carlo looks like these days) that seemed like a bad idea. As it was I had to strongly caution Theresa not to claw or otherwise molest me such that I could drive undistracted.
Theresa had me drive to the Eastern Standard (now known as "the Escafé") on the west end of the Downtown Mall so she could reassure her jealous boyfriend Persad, who was washing dishes there. Once Persad had been reassured, we continued on.
We went back to Goth Central and listened to music and drank lots and lots of booze. The evening quickly becomes unclear in my mind. I recall snatches of things vividly, but their connections to one another are uncertain.
We smoked some pot (that I supplied) at my house, and went back and forth between Goth Central and my house on several occasions. There was a mission at one point to the Corner Market to purchase orange juice and cranberry juice (Monster Boy said he couldn't drink orange juice). Of course, being rich, I was paying for everything. We also went to my house specifically to listen to Sepultura's Roots. This was encouraged by Theresa, who was making a show of wanting to listen to especially hard Industrial Music. After Sepultura, we played Pantera. To broaden their horizons, I also played some ridiculously hard Sebadoh that I happen to be in possesion of (the first track of Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock). The next day, of course, I found my CDs all over the place, but with barely a single finger print on any of them!
Monster Boy was in a good mood, and Theresa proclaimed to us all that this was because Jessika had finally gotten around to calling him last night. Even if this was the case, Monster Boy certainly didn't want Theresa saying so. We both told her to "shut the fuck up."
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