Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thoughts & Feelings: Arlington, TX

Despite the fact that it feels like a thousand years of solitude since I left New York for my hometown, it has only been a month. Here, now, my collected thoughts and feelings on the subject, the place itself, the life I'm leading now, and the music of ZZ Top.

Thoughts & Feelings: Arlington, TX

There's a lot of people here who are dressed like hipsters, but aren't hipsters at all. They're recovering alcoholics shopping at the Kroger, or they work part-time as a paralegal in a law office, or they're late on child support while getting gas at a 7-11. They all, in other words, shop at Thrift Town completely without irony. They go there only because the clothes are cheap; looking sharp at the Animal Collective show has nothing to do with it. You have to understand, coming off of five years in NYC, this is huge. It's like discovering that the Man in the Moon is not only real, but can breakdance. Mind blown, for real.

I'm living at the house I grew up in, but out in this garage apartment thing that used to be my playroom and is now filled with old furniture and stuff from my grandparent's house. So it's like I'm living in a memory that's stuffed full of props from other memories. Which is fine day-to-day, but metaphysically it's a mindfuck. I keep waiting to bump into me at ten years old and I kinda hope I actually do; I need to tell him a lot of things that would have been useful to know five years ago.

Since I've been here, I've gone from a very decent social life that was exactly what I wanted and fulfilling in every way to days where the only conversations I have are via text messages, so when I actually open my mouth to sing along to a song on the radio, the sound of my own voice actually startles me. I don't mean that like it's a bad, poor-me thing though. The quiet time has been an interesting change of pace. Plus, with me not blogging as much, it's like I have a non-public, interior life for the first time in three years. It's kind of the same as my regular life, but in this one I can see through time and space and women's clothes, and also I'm a rock star on television. Oh, and it rains beer into flowers shaped like pint glasses.

Parenthetically, I haven't been drinking as much as I thought I would. Before the big move, I just kind of assumed that I'd fall back into my "Los Angeles Nights" habits; every morning would bring with it a hangover and all the nights would run together like wet art. But I've managed to keep shit on a pretty even keel, much to my surprise. Not saying that I'm thriving under a new regimen of clean living and Jesus or anything, but it hasn't been a 24/7 Ray Milland impression either. This might be real-live, actual-factual personal growth. Or it could be a statistical aberration caused by inherent flaws in the poll-taking mechanics. Only time... that cruel bitch goddess... knows for sure. And she ain't saying shit right now.

My new job is so very dull, and I have to get up wicked early for my shift, but the hits to my attention span and sleep schedule have been worth it because at this job... nobody bothers me. I am a faceless ghost (or "temp") that drifts in before sunrise and enters data silently, plugged into my Go-Fuck-Yourself Machine (or "iPod"), and then I slip away in the mid-afternoon, my presence barely physical enough to operate the automatic sliding doors. It's kind of sweet, particularly since I'm pretty surly in the mornings and they don't provide free coffee.

I've heard the ZZ Top song "La Grange" at this point about 14 times in the last month, which is exactly 14 more times than I've heard that song in the last five years. The song is fine, ZZ Top is always good, if for nothing else than their beards and spinny guitars, but... still... that's a LOT of "La Grange." And I'm pretty sure the official city song is still "Misery & Gin" by Merle Haggard. So what gives, local radio? Does the girl no longer have legs and, as it goes, know how to use them?

I'm happy to say that Whataburger took me back, us both weeping gently, like no time had passed between us at all. That's what real love is like... greasy-mouthed and accepting of dalliances with cheap floozies like White Castle if that's what I need during the dark times in my life. Whataburger is a stoic love, an understanding love, a love that doesn't skimp on the jalapenos when you order them extra on your burger. We're having a June wedding!!!


Blogger Braden said...

Nice pic of the watertower. Am I crazy for still liking that city logo? I've never not liked it. Slap it on a Ringer-T and call me Sally!

1:20 AM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

I'm so thankful that they opened a What-A-Burger here in town. Prayes do get answered.

I hope your transition continues to be painless and eventually a welcomed change for the better.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous J. said...

I found that having a job you have to show up early for helps to cut down on the weekday drinking. It also helps if you are getting older and the hangovers less forgiving. I think that my time in San Antonio is probably somewhat analogous to your time in LA, at least in that it was miserable and soul-scarring, anyway, but I also miss Whataburger. Apropos of nothing, I'll be leaving soon, so your regular hits from Japan may cease, for whatever that's worth. I'll still be checking in, but it will be from Monterey, California instead.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Todd said...

That watertower looks like it needs a hug.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arlington's not that bad, and you'll see a drastic decrease in the # of times you hear Merle Haggard if you keep your radio off of 92.5; Try 93.3 or 100.3. As for ZZTop, you might as well embrace it, because there is no escaping it.

2:53 PM  
Blogger bob zombie said...

It was really strange for me to move back to my home town in southern Mississippi from Portland, Or but I suppose I've settled back in fine the past 10 months. I've already gone through a relationship and 3 jobs but I'm finally settled back in. I finally have a "career" instead of just a job, so that's one thing that really makes me happy. I'm doing what I love to do and it keeps me in a great mood most of the time. I had a really good relationship going on for a while, but like all good things, it has come to an end. Hopefully you'll fall back into place in Texas and it'll feel like you're supposed to be there, at least for the time being.

10:16 AM  
Blogger lacochran said...

"Oh, and it rains beer into flowers shaped like pint glasses."

I always suspected Willy Wonka was based on a real person!

2:14 PM  
Blogger Big Daddy said...

C-Dawg, although not as extreme as your transition, I have relocated offices and lost interwebs connectivity recentlt, so I can relate.

Although, I guess when I moved to NYC for school that was parallel to you on some level.

Anywho, hope all is going well and it sounds like maybe this might turn out to be a good[?] thing for you.

Best wishes Daddio!

10:28 PM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

"she's got Legs" is the ring tone for my Ex- Wifes Cell phone --- She really does have some legs and she knows it...(I have to call her because we have kids together)

8:44 PM  

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