On the street below Elm, rounded at Yonge. Looking up and moving to the underground. Following conversations about Morris and Bush, tracked down the street from the Second Cup. Hours after the famous outburst, looking incredulous, after I say (scaling up! because I know who I’m talking to) “I think it’s possible to live comfortably on 100,000 dollars a year”. Because he’s a man obsessed with big numbers. Focused on his next project. Thinking of his brother, the genius-granted Mercedes-driver, the one who brought the corporate lawyer to our first show. Her laughing about losing her morals already, his brother applauding her outburst with his eyes and attitude.
He is (at Edward, below Elm) looking for the big score. His parents money, though I don’t know from where. Looming in the background, dismissed quickly when mentioned. Smart, sure. Driven, definitely. Excited but too grown-up in his thinking. He wants to save the world but with the free-market carrying the brunt of the load.
(The free market our generation’s miracle cure: I heard a man on the radio arguing about how it should be used to resolve the Michael Vick suspension situation. Why? Because now we have to suspend our judgement in every case? If the market will bear it, then it becomes good?)
On Edward we’re talking about art. Eyes on the 24th floor, I think about how noble it would be to be the best guitar player in the world, but completely unknown. Working in obscurity, concentrating on the art. Not trying to sell anything. He’s shocked. Horrified!
“No,” he laughs. “Are you kidding me? No.” There’s no way to explain it. That’s it and he’s done. What’s the value of something if others aren’t around to see it? How much is something worth if people haven’t shelled out to hear?
Everyone has a price, right? We define ourselves by the things we buy. By looking at ourselves and thinking what we can sell. Living comfortably, floating from one room to the next, trapped in a techno-daze, affirming ourselves and forgetting all at the same time. (An ad for an airplane, announcing live television pumping out the back of its seats: ‘So good you’ll think you’re at home’.)
Sometimes you need to record private thoughts. We (internet journal-ists) note it when we do it, that we’ve been squirreling them away in secret little books. Because even that act must be shared and published, made worse through our inter-share. Cheapened, broadcast over tinny little airwaves. Attention, attention, attention. This is me and I’m screaming my worth.
What’s sacred? Not this, not here. The bits of life that we hold tight are most special, and we’ve got to fight to keep those as tight in as we can. Shared in secret moments, face-to-face, mouth-to-ear.