Saturday, September 6, 2008

A comment on travel.


The following photographs were shot during the morning of the 8th of June, 2008 in the city of Denton, Texas. This is from the book tour, with Unwed Sailor and Sybris. The night's show had been a couple hours previous, on the 7th; those in attendance will recall Richard's mother buying rounds of beer and spirits for the entire bar. And some angry guy trying alternately to offer humorous barbs (that really sounded like bedridden-jock childspeak more than passable humor) or to pick fights with the bands or anyone who was dancing. I didn't actually see evidence of a subculture in Denton; the band listings all kind of looked safe and radio friendly. And I asked around if there were any local punk bands, to which I received various versions of the answer No, some of which were phrased as Probably Not. The drink situation was fab, but the setting, after nightfall hit and we couldn't venture off too far beyond the confines of the club, seemed drab. As most clubs will. It's worse when it's slow, the conversation isn't very interesting AND the drink situation is bad. But directly after last call we'd been led to some stranger's house for a party, and things changed.

What actually ensued was much more than a party, to be sure. It was almost like a long, never-ending shift at work, if your day job was to drink as much as possible but still stay awake and somewhat cohesive and then go swimming for the seventh time of the night and then drink some more but still be able to sing along to whatever song is playing. A block of nine whole hours filled with noise, dancing, smashed furniture, smashed bottles, ridiculous food (bacon wrapped party dogs?), some guy ramming his head into the sliding glass doors, against the fence and even eating a shattered crystal pint glass. People yelling at each other, small groups breaking off. Everything floating in the pool at some point, even stuff that's not waterproof. And unholy amounts of liquor.

This party did not end until 11am, following a slightly confused but genuinely hilarious altercation that drew a quiet stillness to the (by now late) morning and to those few not yet passed out in the yard.

By sunrise, the attempted composition of mixed drinks had definitely degenerated into splashes and spilled cups, and so with little effort, as the sunbeams began to fill up with heat and burn away the coolness of the morning air, the domino effect took place, where every person had their own bottle and just drank from it straight:

And by the time sleep finally did fall over even the sturdiest of the crowd, I'm pretty sure that Eric had jumped into the pool wearing just about every dry article of clothing in his suitcase:

Eric is the type of person who can tell you a story about his childhood, and it'll last for about half an hour, and instead of walking away feeling like someone had just talked about themselves for an hour, you kind of get the feeling that you understand your own childhood a little better. The way Eric can tell a story makes a person feel reflective. Every once in a while you meet a person like that, at work or in a bar after work, at school. Even sometimes you can meet a person like that in somebody's band, but it's not an everyday occurrence.

Eric's a lot like Keith Moon, only not as destructive to himself or inanimate objects.

At some points during the party, it seemed like things were dying down. Drinks would become less sipped and sort of just held. But then something would come crashing down the stairs, or you'd hear another piece of furniture break, or you'd see Eric in mid-air, holding a shovel, or a lawn chair, diving into the pool wearing another set of dry clothes.

And then it would go haywire again and people would be pulled from slow motion. It just took one more bottle to get opened and then everyone was doing it. This happened like five or six times throughout the night. People were in zombie mode. Break stuff mode. A lot of the time I sat back and watched it happen. I like watching people climb out of themselves and start headlong into doing things they won't remember come morning but will be apologizing for nevertheless. It's fun watching people explode.

This here is Johnathon, myself and Angela, during one of those short three-minute lulls between confusion and noise where it looked like the night would be winding down:

But of course, it didn't.

I started to see things flying through the air, landing in the pool. Empty bottles, broken chairs, various articles of trash, Eric, lawn equipment, weight-lifting equipment. A flagstone. Somebody's shoes. And then, whatever Shawn had decided to do with his shirt in the background here, it got even spookier in just a short few minutes:

After the irony of three Red Hot Chili Peppers songs in a row had worn entirely thin, I'd snuck into the phantom ipod that must have belonged to somebody who lived at the house, and I tried to pick out a song that might bum out the party. I was looking for something long and drawn-out, but not danceable. What I'd found was Metallica's 'One'. But it didn't bum out the party. Not at all. No, somehow this happened:

Shawn's actually standing up on a picnic table, leading the people:

This is a long song. And this lasted from verse one, until the very end.

And then some of us spent the "night" by the side of the road and tried to prepare for the drive to Norman, Oklahoma that would be taking place in about three hours:

But I have to be going now.


"You should never try to mold people in your image. Just maybe, one of them will snap out of it, and rightly try to break that mold, to bring it, and you, to pieces. Good luck taking it back, in that case."
- Travis Cambridge.

"I remember when I was 18, I wanted to fuck on the floor and break shit. When I was 25 I wanted to fuck on the floor and break shit. When I was 35, I wanted to fuck on the floor and break shit. Now I'm 40, and I want to fuck on the floor and break shit."
- Henry Rollins.


Anonymous said...

That was a good one. I felt like I was apart of the drunken debauchery that took place that night.

potsie aka pistol shrimp said...

...probably even more beautiful than i could ever wish for. i was a long lost stranger in this equation, but felt at ease and hope that still remains a "special" one. settin the bar with metal yoga, ya'll!t