I ain't running no more. I think that as we land. I look out the window and I see the South Bay, I see a Land of Strangers, and I know I'm not escaping something. I'm arriving. That's important fact number one. Important fact number two is that I've travelled light. I haven't brought baggage this time, like I took to Paris. My heart does not feel heavy. My heart feels clean. My heart feels nothing at all, if I had to tell the truth. That's that. My heart feels nothing at all, though my eyes are wide open.
I play my first show then I stand at a crossroads. Dusted signs which point to differing nights. I choose a glass of red in a home, with my shoes off, no jungle, no animal, no exploring, no wanting, needing, hoping. Those people who died, they killed that lifestyle for me. They used to tell me things, what they knew about everything, what they were going to become. They'd talk, all people fucking do is talk - then they'd fall apart on a cocaine hurdle, throw misguided missiles of fuck, suck, and shit out of luck.
I used to to do the same.
I drink a wine, and keep it close, keep it internal, and that's when the year's work really kicks in. That I've travelled all this way in a huge metal fish, over an ocean infested with sharks that shoot spiders out of their mouth - and I didn't change. I didn't blend. I just smiled and stayed safe. And waited for the right thing, not the Old Thing. The Old Thing is dead. I know that now. It's dead and it's getting deader.
Similar things happen to last time. I walk a lot. I don't make friends with strangers like I could. I keep my head down and I try to use the streets as currency, to buy another piece with which to build a greater understanding. Everything looks like it should. The painted ladies, 2 story, 3 story, a static pirate station where no one knows any longer, just what they're tuned in to. Like anywhere. Like home. It's all shirts and shops and safety zones.
I can sense the death of this place. This once great pioneer flailing into the New Age.
I think about Space.
I think about China.
America will tumble, slowly. It won't die. Instead it will remain a place of ideas, of invention, of wild theories and outsider glory. America will become the wild, grey haired loon, and it will remain valuable for that. But China will be the one to take us out into space. China has the numbers, the discipline, the ability to dispose of whoever or whatever does not serve the greater good. America failed there. It placed too much value on the individual. Saving three astronauts, saving democracy, saving face, all of these things are holding us back. We need to cut things loose. Keep our eyes on the furthest galaxy. If we are to conquer Space, if we are to shift focus, we need to value the Ant Kingdom over the Me. I don't think America can do that.
That's what I think.
I light another cigarette. I'll always do that.
I don't order a whiskey.
I don't chase a girl or a guy who can help me be more than I already am.
I am dying. So I die with dignity. I pour a wine, and remove my shoes, and think about the show I played, and look forward to the next one. I live each day in this dying world as though it were my last, and I frighten myself with the knowledge that right now, if I had a choice, my last day would be spent alone, in comfort, rather than burning in a gutter beneath the stars which we as a race are forever pretending we have already reached.
I don't need to see the stars.
Though there is one, ahead, that may just be an angel.