Yesterday, I wrote about an album that helped redeem me. Today, I was feeling listless, frustrated, and blocked in my writing. Later in the day, after my calming tea and CBD supplement (magic to those of us with anxiety), I was singing “LET ME OUT!” from “Cherub Rock” by Smashing Pumpkins. (I’ve heard they don’t want the “The”). I got to thinking about how EPIC that album still is.
Then, it occurred to me that Billy wrote the entire album while going through a rough period of suicidal ideations and general melancholy. To me, track 9, “Mayonaise” with one n, yes, not like the food, is my saving grace, too. I can’t tell you why he named the song as such, though I’m very good with backstory and music trivia that no one else cares about. Well, not “no one.” You do. Thank you.
The sounding refrain for this one is “I just want to be ME; and when I can, I will.” But I’m also drawn to the other lyrics as well. “Cool enough to almost be it; fool enough to not quite see it.” Sounds like my plight my whole life. I know that I can be an extremely successful music writer/songwriter/creative writer of almost anything…but I’ve always felt “stuck.” And I’m probably the one “sticking” myself. Wow. Okay, that sentence was terrific. Take it as you will.
Back to the song. What an amazingly slow opener that makes the electric guitar hum into every crevice of your synapses. Do synapses even have crevices? Mine are rocking out so hard right now, they probably made their own. “Mayonaise” on headphones, cat in lap, Rachael writing. There could be almost NO other joy like this. “All our time can’t be given back.” enJOY it.
And when I can, I will, as soon as I “SHUT MY MOUTH and STRIKE THE DEMONS!” I’ve been thinking sometimes that “words defy the plans.” Okay, I’ll stop.
“NO MORE PROMISE NO MORE SORROW NO LONGER WILL I FOLLOW Can anybody hear me? I just want to beeeeeee ME. And try to understand that when I can, I will.”
I didn’t realize I’d get so personal here, but music has a way of doing that to us. And I want to be personal with you, because you’re my readers, and undoubtedly, you saw some merit in my writing, or you enjoyed the same bands as I do, and you thought you’d give me a chance. Well, thanks again.
I think the reason I love this entire song is because of how raw and real it is for me. Depression says that. “When I can, I will.” And sometimes we never do. And then we beat ourselves up about it. Even if it was something we really didn’t want to do anyway. Or we’re really hard on ourselves for not doing something we love, or punish ourselves with the dance of regret over and over again. “I shouldn’t have left France so early,” I often say. People have asked me why I did. Why ON EARTH would you LEAVE FRANCE????? That’s what I ask. But my answer, after all these years, is a regret-singed, “Because I had untreated clinical depression and I felt lost and alone and inadequate even though I was the most fluent one there in my group, save the professor and his son.” FOOL ENOUGH TO NOT QUITE SEE IT.
BUT BUT BUT. Billy instructs to “SHUT (MY) MOUTH AND STRIKE THE DEMONS!” And we constantly do that when we confront the doubt that cripples us. Sometimes, I write a blog and proof it and change it and wonder if I should have added more or less or more or less or…
I’m getting better at letting it be a natural first draft. I just now critiqued that I should have organized the blog by the lyrics as subheaders. And then I said, “No. Stop. They’ve read this far, so it’s okay.”
Whatever your doubts are, strike ’em. Be yourself. That burn in your soul that can’t be ignored? Stop ignoring it. Stop pulling up the blanket of depression to smother the embers. Let it roar.
Because “life’s a bummer, when you’re a hummer. Life’s a draaaaag…” but that’s another song for another blog.
Be well, be safe, and rock the fuck out.