Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

XX. "Observations of a Dying Aspirer"

This past week I was kept away from all writing and working because I was sick. It was terrible and it was hard. I vomited, sobbed, sweated. Once I stumbled to the grocery store to buy Tums, and along the way tried to get hit by a bus. I didn't have the energy.

Being sick, and convinced of imminent death, I had nothing to do but make observations on all the modern art, music and culture in my apartment, of which this column is supposed to be about.

Here is what I remember (I was on a lot of drugs).

  • Music makes the people come together.
  • Just lying in bed when you're sick, listening to music, this is what being dead is probably like. Except there's no barbed wire in your throat. Maybe this is what Hell is like. In Heaven there's red wine and sleeping pills and John Malkovich reading you excerpts of your favorite novels while someone very beautiful flips the record on the turntable for you, so you don't have to get up and walk across the cold wood floor.
  • I keep empty wine bottles on top of my cabinets. I don't know why, probably a leftover habit from college, where everyone seems to keep empty liquor bottles in kitchen windows like trophies of completed goals. I think I do the same thing with books. I have a lot of books.
  • Why do I have so many books? I have three versions of Madame Bovary, each one a different translation. I remember each one was different, noticeably different. I forget which was the best. Is a book the same book if it was written in another language? I think translators should get more credit for things. Stuart Gilbert should be remembered. He did The Plague.
  • When you're sick, the best music to listen to is Miles Davis' Kind of Blue or Radiohead's Kid A. Those were the same records I always listened to when I had a lot of studying to do in college. I guess there's something to be said about that.
  • I really like the new John Vanderslice record, I think. Maybe I don't. It's weird that I can't tell yet. You'd think that'd be something you just know right away. I like this" or "I don't like this." Maybe I think too hard about things.
  • Maybe thinking too hard about things makes me sick.
  • Maybe being sick and thinking hard about what made me sick will make me so sick I get better.
  • I'm a retard.
  • I think I like this record. Yes, I like this record. I like it when he sings about Joan Crawford. I should start recording songs again. But I shouldn't try to be Bright Eyes this time. That last CD was stupid.
  • My old band was awesome. Named after a Pumpkins b-side and with a four-octave range female jazz-er as a lead singer. Then she moved to Paris. That sucked. We were awesome. I bet a lot of awesome bands get screwed over when a member moves to Paris.
  • The lottery is 250 million dollars right now. What would I buy…probably books. Go on a spending spree and get that big Nan Goldin book.
  • If everyone moved to Paris, I bet there would be some awesome music coming out of the quarters.
  • Books are trophies. No shame.
  • When I get well again I am going to go for a jog. Then again on the next day. And I'm going to drink less coffee. I am going to be healthy and donate money to people who need it and I'm going to adopt a puppy and send a kid in Uganda to college. I am going to be a better person.
  • Death Cab for Cutie has a top ten record and was on the cover of SPIN. That's weird. It's like my little sister turning 21. The universe is a Volkswagen. Weird, like a new VW bug.
  • The Divorce was SPIN's band of the day. Congratulations all. Today I accomplished buying Gatorade, and you did that. Tomorrow I am going to be a better person. I'll build a house out of bricks and fruit roll ups.I'll write a beautiful novel.
  • Being sick is like having your hands tied inside a goldfish bowl. I'm going to sleep now.
  • {sounds of vomiting}
  • Now I am going to bed.