I’m afflicted with a horrible maudlin gloominess. I’m a dark, dark, sad boy.
I was born on Wednesday and Woe is my middle name.
It’s not that my life has been unusually bleak or riddled with misfortune. I have had my share of tribulation and tragedy, but I would not presume to boast that I have had a harder life than you. Of course, life is hard, life is unkind, and life is fiercely, coldly incautious. Don’t we adults know this? Join the gloom club.
The mere act of living spells despair, and periods of happiness are rare and interspersed and our ability to weather this shitty existence depends on skillfulness at grasping and embracing the moments of happiness which rarely intrude upon our bleak psychic landscape. Happiness is one’s ability to overlook the infrequent visitations of joy in our brief lives. Those who are chronically happy sieve those precious moments of happiness into condensed existential bottles of concentrated levity which they pop open when life becomes too much like…life.
I delight in gloom. I’m happiest when gloom abounds and even more so when I can do my part to contribute to its discursive proliferation.
I see the dark clouds in everything. I realize this is not a strong selling point on the mating market, but I ceased selling my soul to the pussy gods long ago, so I happily revel in morbidity and the indolent fight to accept life’s default state of doom.
And there is no finer place to remind myself of this woeful descent than my old writings and files of a personal nature, such as I might find on an old computer, and it was an old computer which I was cleaning up today (in preparation for a long overdue destruction of its hard drive) that I found a “music video” I created in 2011 during an argument I had with a girlfriend. I don’t recall the argument’s details. Perhaps it’s not that important. This must have been October…this is when the file was created. I seem to remember vaguely that I was home during the day. I probably played hooky or took a vacation day, but whatever the case, I took the opportunity to create the most maudlin, heart-struck little video. Undoubtedly, I had sunk to Beta depths of despair, and allowed a woman to destroy my day in spite of all the good advice bold PUA’s might dish out in such situations. Aw hell. I have a heart, damnit. If being a man means having no heart, I guess that ain’t me. I have a dark, shadowy heart of agony, and when I’m sad about a girl, I let it all out. I wail like an abandoned creature. I unleash all the relentless stream of pain and sadness that my heart can stuff into its quivering little walls of hurt. It’s what I do.
After the catharsis, I am fine again. I am shameless in my morose effusion.
So anyway, this October day in 2011.
Argument, fear of my girlfriend leaving me, all the typical weak male bullshit culminated, and naturally, the song that came to mind for such a dour occasion was one of the darker, gut-wrenching offerings from Moby’s 2009 album, Wait For Me. The track, mysteriously titled “JLTF,” is a downbeat dirge of an ode to finality and deathly irretrievable despair. The song’s funereal tempo is further emboldened by the voice of Kelli Scarr, a Northern California vocalist who toured with Moby through most of 2009 and 2010. A pretty, angelic woman of serious musical background, Scarr’s voice belts out despondent hooks that pierce your soul. The song is of love, of end, of defeat.
At that moment, in my mindspace, me and my girlfriend were history. Over. And I questioned why any of it really fucking mattered, but Kelli Scarr’s voice added the quality I needed to convey my pain. I used a photo taken in 2007 at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles where we were celebrating my birthday (a week early). The crude, evil simplifications of the human face and corresponding mockery of dire emotions seemed particularly fitting for this Moby project.
And I wondered, too, if the world had lost its smile.
Alas, it hadn’t.
But I always revisit that dilemma, for doing so prevents me from losing mine.