karen dalton – something on your mind (1971)
the time is now.
one night, two men -Paul and David, early to late 30’s – meet a friend’s house party…
‘so what have you been doing…. all these years?’
‘tell me…what you did with your time…the past ten years or whatever…what happened?
‘well…good question…i’m not sure.’
‘oh come on man, I haven’t seen you in i don’t know how long. what have you been up to? you had a blackout? (he/she laughs)
‘um…no. I didn’t have a blackout. what about you? what’s your story?’
‘hey, I asked you first. look, i don’t have much to tell you. the job..work is still work, Linda is doing okay and we had a couple of kids; jonah and larry..they are three and five…nothing to set the pulse racing, i can’t complain…i got into kitesurfing…not much has changed. you’re looking well though.’
‘eh…thanks. you too. good to see you again.’
‘so tell me…’
‘okay…you want an honest answer Paul?’
‘sure. you can be as honest as fuck with me dude, go for it!’
‘the last ten, maybe fifteen years…maybe longer…i think i’ve been chasing some crazy dream that doesn’t and can never really exist…a lot of time spent worrying about nothing, making bad decisions, doing nothing….or not doing or feeling enough…no! too much feeling sometimes…frozen with indecision, insecurity…thinking about doing things as opposed to doing them…sometimes managing to get past my own bullshit and self-loathing to actually do things and live…be an actual live human being from time to time…two dozen jobs, plenty of debt..failure, occasional small, incremental successes and breakthroughs, self-destruction, self-realisation, selfish-ness…looking for answers, so many questions, denying who i am, denying who others are, accepting and rejecting people, beliefs, places, things…confused, goddamn bemused and amused…terror and joy, fear and ecstacy…sadness and relief…medicating with pop culture, food, relationships crashing, friendships fading, body aching, soul tiring….learning, unlearning, unravelling, kissing, fucking, eating, dancing, bullshitting, repressing, giving too much away, hiding and jumping in…too nice, not nice enough…sacrifice…good deeds unacknowledged…why the fuck should they be anyway?
thinking thinking thinking…sleeping too much…sunlight burning, mornings stabbing you in the heart…heaviness..hurting others…being hurt…inertia, panic, too many choices, too few of the right ones made but hey we are all suffering right, we are all in the same boat…death, distraction,enjoy the show….we are the sinking of the titanic! and i’m the captain! crying, denying, bleeding, sweating, choking, pissing, laughing; cracked, diminishing, reborn, courage and cowardice; wisdom found and lost, caught by the cops, drowning in shit… rinse and repeat!!!! ‘
(laughs mordantly… to himself)
(uncomfortable silence. the other party guests have been listening to David’s ’emotional’ confessional)
‘jesus!…i mean…christ dave…’
‘sorry i asked…’
‘you wanted the truth so…there is my truth man.’
‘ah fuck it dave huh! i say…fuck it all! right?
‘yeah. fuck it all i guess. what’s this music?’
‘yeah, it’s fucking awful isn’t it?’
‘awful? no, man…i like it.
‘you like it? it’s fuckin miserable soundin…they should have some music you can dance to, music to break stuff to, no?’
(he grabs dave’s shoulder)
‘sure paul. but this…i hear this and i don’t feel so shitty. makes me feel okay. a little less alone..’
‘what? come on, don’t get so maudlin, it’s not even midnight…way too early to be getting like this no?…right, what beer are you havin? i’m gonna grab a couple a check up on Linda. be back in a few? alright?
‘yes sir…hey..hey..paul! just a sec!’
‘your kids names…. Jonah and Larry?! really?