You were real surreal man. (This is not an Obituary)

By: Craig Gaulzetti Nov 6

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i’m higher on the anxiety about getting my next fix
than i am when i get it
until i can’t take anymore watch me drop to the floor
won’t you revel in it all
i deserve it all

If you lost yourself and I was
Looking for someone
Would it be like
A loaded gun?
And if you found yourself to be
Innocent and free (I want you to be)
I want you to be (innocent & free)
But the things I’m lead to believe
A nothing life want us to be

Thank you for yesterday
I enjoyed the solitude
Worlds apart, we’re both in pain
And when I heard you cried on the phone
I tell you, you’re not alone
There’s always a hand to hold
And your tears inside are mine
When you cried, cried
I love you there
I love you there

S*M*A*S*H, spring 1993

Neither the answer nor the question really bespeaks my true sentiments on the issue at hand. But it nonetheless epitomizes the disdain I have towards the caustic, insulated, reactionary, sentimentalist view the vast majority of thinking people seem to hold on just about each and every issue. To the interweb expert guy, waxing in-eloquently about the hardness of some 25 year old man child who’s paid twenty grand a year to pedal a bicycle and lives with his mother when he’s not sleeping on someone’s couch; to the guy on my ride who insists on chirping code words he gleaned from a bad translation of the Bernard Hinault’s Complete Ghostwritten and Useless Guide to Cycling, while pointing out variations in pavement color tint as if they were the missing manhole covers, to the dude who asked me why I hate the environment as I channeled a long line of dead under-achieving, working-class white American ancestors and installed louder, freer flowing axle-backs in my Mustang – I know you have an intense desire to attach meaning and value to your existence; it’s only human. I do not hate you for it, I hate you for the fact that you have never added any meaning or value to anything; be it your existence or a 2008 Mustang Bullitt.

Action and work have an inherent value and an inherent ability to manipulate and change the world in a way, which sentimentality and romanticism and an unhealthy regard for insulation against risk do not. It is perfectly all right to hop on a bike without a helmet and go get a beer, to tell your kids to go out and play in the street, to go buy a handgun, because you think it’s the fucking coolest thing ever and you want to shoot shit with your buddies. It is not alright to hide behind a windshield in order to act like a tough guy, or sign your kid up for every single sport you sucked at as a kid when all he wants to do is play with barbies and work on his tap steps, or buy that handgun because you sincerely are such a small-dicked, little, scared douchebag that you honestly believe without it people will break into your house and steal your tv. If people are going to break into your house and steal your tv, you need to either move or lock your door. In short, living is about action, and doing things and a little bit of risk and fun and stepping outside. If for every 25 tussles you get into with nameless, faceless persons on the interweb, you had just one fist fight, you would be a better, kinder, more considerate and caring person.

Much if not all of this nihilistic vitriol stems from my own attempt to make sense and (gulp) attach meaning and value to something I simply cannot. I lost a friend and a hero this past month. Someone who shared an adolescence of big hopes, shattered dreams and even some gut wrenching hard fucking work with me and many others of our generation; an adolescence he unfortunately or fortunately inhabited for the entirety of his short adult life. My own brand of bicycles is even an homage to him; something unbeknownst to me until my friend Justin pointed it out. Honestly there is no story to his death I don’t think. It was neither inevitable, apropos, meaningless nor meaningful. It was simply a stupid act undeserving of the permanence it caused for those of us who are left standing. We’ve all imbibed a bit too much of life at times, and the scary thing is, I could see my self popping another pill while sitting shitfaced on vacation having fun. It’s bad luck and it sucks but the levity only exists up to the minute his heart stopped and he was gone. Trying to make anything stick to something as real as life and death is pretentious, dumb and banal. Unrealized potential is never what any of us are about; and no one should ever, ever think about life in those terms. Meaning can only transcend reality when realized through impossible action. Navalmoral, Liege, Flanders, Paris-Nice, that stupid race in Leper where he lapped the pro field twice as a junior; no one on a bike ever had as many of those moments as him. Die wade et arvey, con. I’ll miss you. Oh and I want my S*M*A*S*H CD back.

 

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