Thursday, May 6, 2010
We done got old! We're reproducing like a virus and dropping like flies!
Last summer, an old friend of mine was involved in a pretty serious car accident that totaled his truck, but apparently only bruised his elbow. A week after the accident, he suffered two massive strokes as a result of his carotid artery being severed by his shoulder belt.
He survived, but will never be the same.
Needless to say, this has been devastating to his fiancé and two very young daughters in a myriad of ways. Their father is incapacitated and a shell of the man he used to be. I say shell, because his soul and conscious are still there, but the ability to operate and control his body is gone. So he's essentially imprisoned. His fiancé now has to be a caretaker to three people in the family, two of which are completely dependent upon her; her infant and her fiancé. To say this is physically exhausting and overwhelming is the understatement of the century. Pile on top of that a bureaucratic system designed to hinder instead of help and social workers whose only advice is to drop the father of your children off at a VA hospital and forget about him.
AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!
His fiancé set up a CarePages profile for him, which she updated often. Many friends and myself were keeping abreast of their struggles and donating what we could, all the while feeling incredibly helpless about their dire situation. Our social group is comprised of artists, punks, do-gooders and liberals...... all of who are not known for their vast financial resources. It was frustrating to continually read about all of the heartbreaking obstacles this family was facing and really not being able to do a fucking thing about it.
One night while sipping some beers around a local bar, owned by some swell friends of mine, we discussed the heartbreaking situation our mutual friend was going through and the dissolution we were feeling with the systematic refusal to help them from the government and how life was unfair, and we wished we had money, and yadda yadda yadda.... When five facts dawned upon our thick, inebriated skulls:
We have friends in popular bands
We have friends who own bars
We have friends who own other types of businesses
We have big mouths, eyes for detail and good organizational skills
We all wanted to help in any way we could.
We created a benefit show and tagged it as a reunion of sorts. A reunion for all of the Cincinnati punk rockers, skinheads, rude boys and girls, and straightedge hardcore kids from the late 1980's and 90's, who all hung out on Short Vine Street. As we started to pull it together and raise awareness for the show, it became evident how much time had passed. I know in my rational mind that it has been over 20 years since I have seen some of these people, and the last time we saw each other, we were absurdly young. Much too young to be pulling the kind of shenanigans we were pulling at the time but so be it.
I started going through picture after picture from "back in the day" ( I really fucking hate that phrase, I need to find a new one... I am too lazy) and comparing them with recent shots.
Many thoughts were racing through my wee brain, but the ones that stood out the most were:
WE ARE FUCKING OLD. LIKE "MY PARENTS SUCK!" OLD.
MANY OF US ARE FUCKING DEAD. STONE, COLD, DEAD.
The picture album was eerily similar to an "in memoriam" album and it was quite depressing.
One of the side effects to the alternative, rock and roll lifestyle is early mortality and I have the pics to prove it, Internet. I really cannot believe how many people we have lost and how much we used to take life for granted. Cliche but true: Youth is wasted on the young.
Each and everyone of us who are still here and not imprisoned are fucking lucky ducks, because Xenu knows, I have done my fair share of life risking and crime committing, as many of you.
So come out to the show for Ben Stigar. We'll eat, we'll drink, we will sing, dance and ring in the new! HAIL ATLANTIS!
See you there. RIP Iron Mike.