Archive for nihilism

Jonesing on Tour

Posted in Cop Shoot Cop, jim coleman, personal histories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 6, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

In my earlier days of recklessness and misplaced rebellion, I had a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I say misplaced rebellion, because in hindsight every time I took another hit, every time I exhibited some kind of twisted anti social behavior and I thought I was laying out a big “FUCK YOU!” what really was happening was I was saying “FUCK ME!” Sure, I harmed most everyone around me, but I sure did not do much harm to the demons I thought I was lashing out at. And I certainly did myself a world of hurt.

I loved touring. Through most of my 20’s, I played and toured extensively both through the US and Europe with my old band Cop Shoot Cop. To this day, I deeply miss it at times. I know though that that was then and this is now. And I know that memories aren’t reality. An ex girlfriend of mine recently sent me a scan of a postcard I sent her once when I was touring. The first line of it was “I don’t think I can take it anymore!”

Touring would also give me a chance to drag my ass out of the chemical induced slurry pond that I would habitually reside in. I was forced to “clean up”. To me, that meant only ingesting what was available. Sure, I could bring a bunch of smack and crack with me, but that always seemed to run out so damn fast. My radar worked really well, but the fact was that hard drugs just weren’t available on the street in every town. If you ran in to me one week after leaving on tour, you would see a rail thin bug eyed twitching embodiment of depression and wonder. I was scared shitless and in Awe, like I was coming out of hibernation. The world around me was painfully clear and in focus. Light hurt. Noise was wonderful. The only place I felt right was on stage. That 60 to 90 minutes a day was exhilarating, being in the instant. Walking on a razor blade. A hyper-reality. And then the crash.

nosmoking

I would bring my mini pharmacy on the planes. FYI: it is possible to smoke crack in the airplane bathroom and not set off the alarm. I didn’t really think about what would happen if my method didn’t work. It wasn’t really even a choice. It had to work. I at least had to try. My life might be different now if it hadn’t worked.

After about 3 weeks of touring, my body would adjust to this new chemical balance. I’d emerge from withdrawals in to exhaustion, and then the exhaustion would turn in to a long lasting permeating giddiness. This would affect everyone in the band. Everything was funny, and anything was prime material for a joke. I remember getting lost in Philadelphia, and Natz repeatedly leaning out the window, asking people on the street if they could tell us how to find the Plexiglass Children. And being in a supermarket in Seattle, asking the woman at the butcher counter if you could make shakes out of chicken feet. Her answer was, “well, I reckon you could make shakes out of just about anything!” Everything was funny, and nothing was normal. Touring was wonderful because it felt like the rules and norms that contained the straight world couldn’t touch us. As a result, we did many things that could have turned out disastrous. Again, things that could have fucked up our lives for years to come but somehow they didn’t.

Canadian Border.jpg

Picture this: I’m handcuffed and detained (with the rest of my band, but it’s me they’re after) at the Canadian Border, where the authorities are going to confiscate our van along with all our gear, then pass me over to the New York State Troopers at which point I’ll be locked in a cell with the certainty of jail time attached. 3 hours later, not only are we driving away with everything intact, but the Border Cops actually gave me back the bag of dope I had stashed in my cigarette pack. How does this happen? At the time, I just took it in stride, but looking back I feel really really fortunate.

Another nihilistic poem from my disenchanted youth

Posted in personal histories with tags , on April 6, 2012 by jimcolemanmusic

Oh no, not another nihilistic poem from your disenchanted youth, I hear you groan. This self involved nihilism gets so tired so quickly. Yes, I know. And yet, I’ve been stuck with these short little poems, these series of words for years. Not only that, but they are linked to very simple melodies. Kind of like a schoolyard melody that is used to taunt the weaker kids. But the schoolyard rests in a sepia toned nether world landscape deep within my own being. Lots of shit happens in that schoolyard, but you’d never know it most of the time, as it just stays hidden behind the fresh shave and a smile. Hell, I don’t even know it. These kids have been running around the schoolyard for years. I wonder, do they grow? And also, can I trust them? Well, here’s the poem without the melody…

What can I do for you?

What can you do for me?

You can make love to me,

You can comfort me.

You can tell me who I really am.

 

…but I won’t listen

 

That voice I think comes from the rebellious teenager in search of self, who asks for help, sometimes directly and sometimes in very indirect ways. But once a helping hand is offered, once anything that is offered that has any semblance to advice, the teenager rebels with a big “Fuck You!”. Light a cigarette, go get high, have a drink. Inevitably, that big “Fuck You!” is acted out in some self destructive behavior, effectively turning it in to a big “Fuck Me!”

So, I’m not a teenager anymore. But I still have that rebellious teenager renting a room inside, actually right near the schoolyard with the kids who are singing that damned melody that I can’t get out of my head. And heck, I’m trying to raise a kid in this world, in real life. Which may prove useful in all this. Perhaps I can take some of the real world approaches to parenting and apply them to my inner child and teenager, so they don’t derail me from being an engaged, fully present responsible adult. I want that child and that teenager inside to thrive, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I want to off them. I just realize that they can be little hellions if shit gets out of whack.

And a footnote: having just started this blog, I feel unsure about this, unsure on how much to share, what to keep private and what to reveal. And it could be that no one will ever read this. It may also be that people may read this that I don’t want to read this. But then I ask myself, what am I protecting? If I don’t get deep here, it’ll stay surface and just be more noise in a planet with way too much noise already. So fuck it, I’ll put stuff out there at the risk of embarrassing myself, at the risk of being seen as a fool, and at the risk of not having a soul even care. Sometimes, it’s like: if I put it out there, it’s no longer in here. And that’s good enough.

Picture of a statue on West 24th street, NYC