fin & begin

Just returned from a small trip to my best friend, Jeff’s place in Salinas-With the goal of the trip to drop off much of the media that I can’t quite part with, but will be far too costly to initially ship. I plan on sending him money ever so often so that he may send it to me via post a bundle at a time. The content was primarily large books, so the large plastic tub weighed perhaps close to a hundred pounds.

On the way there, I rather did the unthinkable-I sold a majority of my music  recording gear-Two synth keyboards, a nice Mackie mixer, recording monitors, some mic stands, and effects. Most of those items I’m sure I can find again at a reasonable price. What hurt me was letting go of my first keyboard: Yamaha SY-22, aka the poor-man’s Wavestation. It was the primary keyboard for my favorite band in highschool, Switchblade Symphony, and it had a very defining sound-A sound that got me interested in producing music of my own. In any case it’s now gone. All I have left for recording music is my laptop which has Reason installed, and my favorite microphone, the Shure Super 55 and a pre-amp for it. Additionally, I had a very nice Boss VE-20 vocal effects box that I chanced on eBay, and it sold last night-I would have kept it if it didn’t sell.

Dan, the owner of The Guitar Showcase in San Jose gave me a reasonable offer (rather what I expected) for what I brought, and of course I took it-I had no choice really. I needed the money, and I needed less stuff to move. It worked out. At least that’s what I keep saying to myself.

After Dan wrote me that check, handed it to me, and I walked out with gratitudes, farewells, and a smile, I stood outside by my van and just stared at this piece of paper with numbers and scribbles on it. I questioned myself, This is who I was? This is what it has come down to? Why am I doing this? What have I done? These questions plagued me during my drive down to Salinas where I was about to secure my books and media. I actually find more value in books about ancient Rome over tools that  I can create music with? Who am I kidding, if I was going to do serious music, I should have already, why hold on to hopes and dreams when you’re not really going to act on it? I am a fool, but I need the money to survive for and with mom. Damn it! I am a fool.

It was a long drive to Salinas.

[It should be noted that I think Dan gave me a few extra bucks cause I told him the reasons as to why I’m getting rid of all my gear. I find him an honorable and caring man. And Guitar Showcase has always been a fine store]

Jeff is a good hard working and classy man, whom I am proud to call my best friend. I often question myself as to why he puts up with someone like me, but that’s the way he is, patient and a very (for)giving. His girlfriend, Ezzie, whom I also adore, is the same. They are decent people by my estimation. And it was good of them to host some of my old stuff for me.

I stayed there overnight. Looked over my old fishtank, and the community and plants are doing well. I rented “The World’s End” from Red Box, and we three viewed and enjoyed it. Jeff was thrilled to see Simon Pegg in an old Sister’s of Mercy t-shirt in the film, and the overall theme and message of friendship, loyalty among friends, meshed within a very zany comedic adventure kind of hit home. Simon Pegg isn’t so much older than Jeff or I when were in the goth scene, so we could relate quite well with his reflections on the good times as a younger men.
That night, I actually slept a full 8 hours, which I hadn’t done in months. Jeff’s couch which I sleft on was that comfortable, as was I who was really taking a break from my immediate reality.

One of Jeff’s co-workers, Lenard visited that morning along with his best friend, Allen-A similar relationship to Jeff and myself-They were close friends since highschool, and have since become bandmates as well. We had breakfast and lounged watching some videos on Youtube. What they showed is supposed to be really funny-Some user named Vitalysd or whatnot, has millions upon millions of views of him basically wasting food, while damaging expensive electronics, and doing it in a hyper sexualized, and derogitory way. I suppose it’s supposed to be sort of shock slapstick, and I really tried, but I just didn’t find it funny or thought provoking at all. I’m not disrespecting anyone’s taste, but that’s just me. Give me Carlin, Prior, Rollins, (Eddie or Tex) Murphy, Ferguson, Atkinson or Monty Python-That’s my kind of humor, I suppose.

In anycase, Lennard and Allen eventually left. I decided to take advantage of Jeff’s fast wifi connection, and finished some updates on my phone, tablet, and laptop. There were further discussions on the fish, and what I was leaving behind in his care. And soon enough it was time to leave.

I tried to make my exit as anti-climactic as possible. And it was. Jeff paid me for the dum machine I sold him. Then we said goodbye as best friends do-Well wishes, a hug, and I was off.

Less than five minutes later as I was returning “The World’s End” to the Red Box, Jeff called me, and told me to come back, he had forgotten to give me something-And so I returned, and he greeted me outside. He told me to take out my wallet and give it to him. I was a little shocked of course-Thought he was going to give me more money which I would have protested, but then he said, “Ezzie read your blog about you giving up that two-dollar bill that your grandfather gave you. Well it just so happens I have a couple, and we want you to have one. Maybe it’ll give you some luck.” He then stuck it in my wallet and gave it back to me.

I was so shocked that I actually began to cry. I am about as speechless now, writing about it as I was when Jeff made that gesture. It really was just the most thoughtful thing anyone could do for me.

Then Jeff took my hand and shook it, and I think he said, “To new beginnings.” And all I could say was, “Thank you.” As I said, I was just speechless and in shock.

It was at that moment that everything just became real. I was leaving. I am leaving. I may never see this old town where I spent my highschool years in again. I am not going to see my best friend for a very long while. As opposed to living some eighty to three hundred miles apart at a time, I would now be days away, some two-thousand five hundred miles away-On the other side of the country.
All manners of comfort and familiarity between people, family, friends, and places that I’ve grown accustomed too over my 35 years of life-It will all be out of reach.

Needless to say, while lost in my thoughts, it was a very long ride back South San Francisco.