Ah, Windsor! Bordertown. Home of a casino and dense with strip clubs. Flooded every weekend by thousands of thirsty, horny Americans, spilling over the bridge and through the tunnel. My associates and I were playing a different game. We were going to Alvin's, in Detroit, to find our pleasure.
High on Fire
Hunter S. Thompson died. Monday, February 21st:
Back in the office, the inevitable Monday morning questions came. The kinds of questions where the answers are less important than the show of asking. This time was a little different though; the reactions were livelier than usual -- surprise that I willingly went to Detroit and surprise that I liked the heavy metal I saw and heard there. Raised eyebrows, embarrassed smiles. One of my co-workers tried to rationalize my trip by saying, "Heavy metal, huh? I guess that can be a great escape from life sometimes." Heavy metal is an escape from life? The poor bastard. Heavy metal is life. Sitting in front of a computer for eight hours, engaging in phoney banter, minimizing my web browser every time someone walks by, feeling guilty about stepping away from the desk too much, always knowing that finishing one boring task just means I have to move on to the next one -- that's not life. The little raccoon wasn't dying as it clawed its way across the street; it was living. It was doing all that it could to keep moving. It wasn't bogged down in maybes. What we call life is overflowing with alternatives -- what we'd rather be doing, what we could be doing. At a High on Fire show, when the music starts you can't do anything but scream and jump and go with it. It can be unbelievably hard to do what we have to do to make sure we're living and not dying. Sometimes we're not up to the task. We're told "that's the real world" and we put the bit in our mouth. Sometimes we can get away for a weekend, drive to Detroit, and see High on Fire. And sometimes, after decades of trying anything and everything to avoid choking on the bullshit, we wake up one morning in Aspen, decide we're too tired to keep living, and blow our heads off.