What I did tonight instead of going to see Beaches play live
The other day I was talking about depression.
Some days are better, most days aren’t. It’s the sense of inertia that mostly gets me, the sense of not being valued. The continual weariness. (“Bad news,” announces Isaac, having just read a scientific article. “It’s not possible to catch up on sleep.”) Living in a country where behaviour like this is considered acceptable. The relentless sunshine. The reliance upon Facebook for any sense of community. The clock ticking over. The weariness. The inertia. The way that even shutting off conscious thought doesn’t keep the roaring abyss at bay. And sometimes… sometimes you figure you’d welcome the roaring abyss.
It’s difficult to write about depression without lapsing into self-pity. Very difficult. Especially when you’re aware that – surely? – this feeling is of your own making. So you try and ignore it. (More obviously, you should try and do something about it. Bangs alive! If only life was so straightforward.) And you try and ignore it. And you try and ignore it. And then you find it’s been weeks since you’ve been to a rock show, and look there’s one on this very night you’re typing these words AND you’re on the list for it WITH running times and there’s NO reason not to venture out, not unless you want to increase your sense of isolation. Still, you stay inside. The paranoia is overwhelming. You don’t want to be boring. You don’t want to be a burden. You don’t want to be seen not fitting in, but you’re not part of the gang.
So. What I did tonight instead of going to see Beaches play live.
- I went to the Black Cat Bookshop with Isaac for board games night. He took my rook in our first (and only) game, but although I was blind-sided it was a fortuitous mistake as it meant he left his king with inadequate protection. We drank a vanilla ‘shake together, and I amused him on the way back with my made-up characters, Bob-Jane and Jane-Bob. Also chatted briefly with a psychiatrist, formerly from Melbourne, who wanted to know whether I taught my students about the “morbidity and mortality” at the heart of rock’n'roll. I said I don’t but that I might now.
- I felt relief that I don’t need to further encounter the outside world.
- I listened to the Beaches new album (on my headphones) and felt the same vague feeling of disappointment that I felt before. They ain’t reaching for the stars, but for the comfort of the under-stairs cupboard. That’s OK. Really. But I wanted them to reach (and fail to reach) for the stars. Scott Creney (as ever) put it best. “They’re too good to dismiss, but they take way too few risks to leave me stunned, too few to ever fail, to leave themselves open to embarrassment. This is well-done, solid, enjoyable circa-1991 rock music performed better than most bands who do this kind of thing.” This next song is the new album’s finest moment, and it’s truly wonderful (and I arrived at it separately from Scott), although maybe that’s cos it reminds me of the wonderful warm feeling I used to get, venturing out down Brunswick St in Melbourne circa 1999. (I’m sure I could narrow that down further, but what for? Oh wait. Autohaze. “Driving Into The Sun’.) The rest is OK, but it underachieves in a world where underachievement is usually considered a plus.
- Felt bad I wasn’t going out down the Valley. (Sorry, Guy.) I say that I’m not a part of their community – and I ain’t, everyone in Australia (for the most part) considers themselves way too fucking cool to be in contact with me – but (sighs) some of that MUST come from me. The Native Cats supported them a few nights back, and Julian is a friend. Maybe if I’d gone out… yeah, maybe I’d have just stood and glowered in a corner and hated myself for no longer being myself. What? I’m going to bound up to people and go, “Hey my name is Everett True and how the FUCK are you doing?” I fucking think not. This next song is quite something too… ‘though the reason I like this one is even plainer. Hem… *Electrelane*…hem hem. Nothing wrong with stuff sounding like other stuff. Nothing at all. (Fuck me, if it isn’t the other song Scott picked up on in his review.)
- If only I’d listened to this one properly before tonight, I might have risked a journey down the Valley.
- It’s still only 8.25pm. I’m not going to. I’m really not.
I think I might have talked myself into going out anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes.