smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette

I haven't blogged pooh here for the last little while. I hadn't really known why until the other day--i've quit smoking again. Doing it has sucked all the creative juice outta me. S'matter of fact, it's gotten so bad that i've partially given up thinking all together.

Here's an example: Alison and i spent (a wonderful) couple of days with some friends this past weekend. Since Alison was in New York already, and our destination was on the coast of Virginia, we just met there rather than backtrack. Anyway, me and the deeze drove up on Friday--6.5 hours. ("the deeze," aka Baxter, by the way). So the deeze is a great travel companion in some ways, but she doesn't really talk all that much and she can't play the what-i'd-take-if-i-were-going-on-a-long-trip-game because dogs don't have a memory to speak of. This doesn't really bother me all that much because i can be fairly quiet on long rides anyway. I take it as an opportunity to sit and think. no radio, no nothin'.

So there i am, driving down the road, and i think...hmmmm, maybe i could write a musical, a rock opera...no! a Hip-Hopera! about a middle class, white family of four, in a minivan, that go on a cross-country crime spree. Sort of a Natural Born Killers meets Falling Down meets The Sound of Music kind of thing. They do things like steal a shiny new Suburban, rob EarthFares, drive too fast with the baby not even in its car seat. At one point they rig the election results of a neighborhood group meeting (where they don't even live!) that's deliberating the use of non-historic colors on their new "welcome" signs. They even start killing people. They buy the family pack of handguns at a WalMart clearance sale and go do a drive-by at an inner city middle school (choosing the victims democratically--although daddy claimed three votes and fucked the whole thing up).

They sing the whole time.

And they never get caught.

Oh, sure! The cops pull 'em over the whole time, APB's constantly: white family of four shiny new minivan suspected of cross country crime spree approach with extreme caution...but first of all, how do you distinguish one of those families from another, and secondly--come on! a white family of four? on a crime spree? ridiculous!...

i thought, man, i should start makin' up some of those songs right now!

and then...i reached for a smoke...that calm, thoughtful way that i start to think about things...and then remembered that i'm not smoking them right now and thought...Naw, Screw it! I don't wanna be creative! So i turned on an oldies station, playing the best of the sixties, seventies, and eighties and sang along to Freeride.


A. said...

I think your new musical is the perfect medium for you to test out MY way of creating songs and stories. You make yourself REALLY fidgety and kinda bored (you know, that feeling that makes you want to drool and scream and wiggle untile something pops in you neck or you blow snot on your chin?), and instead of doing the above expression of physicality, you start singing!

Use a tape recorder, because you won't remember anything you've come up with after you're done.

Trey said...

Oh crap, that's funny. If you start smoking again, I'll help you write some songs.

Anonymous said...

This is the best idea for a movie I've seen in awhile! I'm waiting eagerly for the songs.

And, yes, I realize that the point of your post was how smoking has historically facilitated the kind of thinking you need to compose and how not-smoking complicates this. However, I'd like to celebrate your attempt to quit instead, particularly having watched three people I love die painful, gasping deaths from lung cancer and emphesema. So, I'm jumping right to asking some annoying, non-smoker questions like--"are there other, healthier habits you can establish which would allow for this kind of reflection?"
good luck,

Trey said...

I like a coffee when I need to focus on something.

A. said...

I like to have a video game going...

When I was writing my 40+ page senior thesis AND my 40+ page business plan for gridge's (yes, at the same time during my last semester of college), I took frequent breaks from work to play 8 Ball on the Yahoo.com-Games website.

I still feel like video games are an important part of relaxing my mind in order to focus.

mary said...

bring on the guitar hero! that is my new favorite video game!