When I noticed that today's date had a certain resonance for me, and when I further realized the reason why, I started to text my friend Nick: "It's been three years since I started the 704. I'm going to do a commemorative post that's just a video of me kicking myself in the balls over and over."
I decided not to send the text. It wasn't amusing enough to disturb anyone over, and Nick probably knows that I don't have the technological capacity to post such a video, nor the dexterity to kick myself in the balls that many times. I'd have to get a suitable camera, and hire someone else to do the ball kicking, and now we're talking about a serious financial outlay that I'm not in any position to make, especially since I couldn't expect any real return on the investment. You can't deposit other people's joy in a bank account. Not even at a credit union. I checked.
And anyway, I'm not sure if the metaphor would be apt. Writing on the internet--or anywhere else, but the internet is the only place where I've publicized my jottings, so let's stick with that--doesn't really resemble getting kicked in the balls, by yourself or anyone else. It's closer to expecting to get kicked in the balls while secretly hoping that you'll get a blow job instead and ending up with a limp handshake and a pat on the shoulder.
You generally get what you deserve.
I thought it would be funny to open every section of this post by quoting the mean things people have written in the comment section here over the past three years. So I started going back through the archives to collect them--which is not to imply that I know exactly where they all are, even though I totally do--but they started to hurt my feelings all over again, so I had to put my computer aside for a half hour and lie down, and then I decided that maybe I wouldn't write this post after all, since heaven knows it doesn't need to be written, and as of this moment I don't know what the point of it is, or where it's leading, if anywhere. But not knowing what the point of it is, or where it's leading, if anywhere, sounds like the condition of any given person waking up in the morning, and most of the time we still get out of bed.
On second thought, I will quote one mean comment someone left--the very first one, in fact, from the summer of 2010. For some reason, it did not wound my ego too badly:
"u r obviously a DOUCHEBAG."
Is it really that obvious?
The 704 is effectively dead, and has been for a while, so it's ridiculous to even acknowledge its anniversary. (But then, given what we're to understand about the universe, it's ridiculous to do anything, except perhaps to wail and cry, or, when that runs its course, comfort someone else who's wailing and crying.) You know that this blog has been a zombie for two years, but those two years have brought us the only decent writing I've ever done here, so go figure. Perhaps the afterlife really is where it's at, where the best things happen, where things occasionally turn out right. Verily I say unto thee....
Or maybe you only get good at what you do once you're dead.
Two years ago I went to South by Southwest, because you have to try new things in this life, to waste your time actively for a change, even if the whole experience could be duplicated for cheap closer home, simply by drinking lousy beer in a sauna while staring at photos of billboards and listening to a playlist put together by someone with questionable taste.
As is my style, I enjoyed the journey there and back much more than the event itself. On our way home, we spent the night in Deming, New Mexico. After eating breakfast in the diner attached to our motel--where the guys in bolo ties gave us curious looks but the game-legged waitress was very sweet and my red chili omelette exceeded anything I deserved--we walked across the gravelly road to a thrift shop. The wind blew so hard.
Once inside, Katya checked out the clothes, Matt riffled through the records, and I looked at the books. "Bibles and religious books are free," said the sign posted over a low, tucked away bookshelf. I knelt down and picked up a New Testament. As I flipped through the pages a small newspaper clipping fell to the floor. On one side was a partial panel of a Zits comic strip. On the other side was an obituary:
Amy Sewell, 76, passed away Friday December 31, 2004 at Sunshine Haven Nursing Home in Lordsburg.
Cremation has taken place and no services are planned.
Amy was born August 24, 1928 in Texas. She left Texas thirty years ago and came to the Land of Enchantment. She enjoyed making friends, being a homemaker and being a part of the Bethel Baptist Church.
She is survived by her sister-in-law Phyllis Sewell and her family and friends at Bethel Baptist Church.
Entrusted to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels of Deming.I returned the New Testament to the shelf and slipped the clipping into my wallet, where it remains.
Death to Anders no longer exists. Pizza! and Big Whup no longer exist. One Trick Pony no longer exists. Red Cortez, Mississippi Man, the Deadly Syndrome. The 60 Watt Kid diaspora has grown to include N O W, Skyline Drive, Pageants. Future Ghost is Missing Teen. Some variation of the Union Line has become Mt. Ossa. Johnny left Seasons. Manhattan Murder Mystery has six members. Who knows what's happening with the Monolators and the Henry Clay People. Joey Siara now plays rousing rock and roll anthems solo to rooms full of the staid and the polite. Web in Front no longer exists. Mouse is married. Time keeps doing that weird thing it does: passing.
Cremation has taken place and no services are planned.
I love you.
Here's a song I like a lot: