In celebration of Joe's epic takedown of Boy Munster, I am giving Kossaks free copies of my kindle ebook Jukebox Loser: An Owner's Manual for Idiot Desires.
It's a little story about art, local music, gender roles, surviving (barely) the Bush years, overcoming ingrained redneck homophobia, stomping on the bones of Elvis, and trying to save the world through art.
A note to mom and dad beneath the squiggle.
Memphis-- some time in the 90s
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have decided to leave graduate school. I don't think it is quite what I am looking for. Ok, that' a lie. I have been asked to leave graduate school. It's all bullshit, and I can explain if you want to hear it. In short, they wanted me to give bad grades for good work, and I wouldn't do it. I know I'm eventually supposed to give up my ideals, but I haven't been able to swallow that one yet. I promise I'm not trying to screw everything up, I just keep hoping that someday the clouds will part and I'll stop hating everyone. I can't seem to make the world MEAN anything, and I think I'll be useless until I can. When I was a kid, I used to want to make a million dollars. Now I'd be happy with 20 bucks, a pack of cigarettes, and a bottle of cheap booze, if only I could do something that affected the world in a meaningful way.
I remember this one time back in Texas when I was in high school. I had just bombed the SAT, and it looked like I would never get out of there. I was driving outside of town on the farm roads, scanning the radio stations, when I heard this great song on some station I'd never picked up before. Sometimes when there is just the right kind of cloud cover, radio waves will bounce around and go farther than they would have. Sometimes a song can hit you like a ball peen hammer straight to your soul, and you know it's true and you know you love it the second you hear it. I was listening to this song, and it made me feel okay--that the world was a crazy trip with no driver, and that I could make something weird and cool and resonant happen if I hung on long enough. About halfway through the song the station drowned in static, and I never heard it again. I didn't know the name of the song, the band who sang it, or whether it was old or new. But it didn't matter. All I knew was that it was timeless and perfect, and that I had to follow it. I don't remember any of the words or even how the tune went, so I guess I am chasing something unattainable.
The world is illusory, you know. I could try to act like everyone else, open a dry cleaning business, get married, buy a house, and populate it with some ingrates, but in the end I would still die someday. I want to be a part of something permanent, even if it's only a phantom song for some kid lost in the middle of nowhere. That's where I am again: hanging out in Memphis for a few more days until I figure out what I'll try next. I did okay in Denton. I struck out in Memphis. I guess I am batting .500. Maybe the next place will be better. I'll probably make Texas by next Wednesday. Maybe Thursday. I want to get my bearings, but I don't know where I am going after that. I guess somewhere. Anyway, sorry I keep fucking up. I'll get it right eventually. See you soon.