Suicide Is Painless

“Hello Darkness, my old friend.” Remember those lyrics? Simon & Garfunkle’s Sounds of Silence? ‘Member, ‘member? Sure you do…suicide music. They were a suicide act. A very big, popular suicide act. Tonight, tonight, tonight, I had the pleasure (misfortune) to hear another act from the Suicide School of Arts and Musical Entertainment. “I had a perfectly good evening, but this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx.

I’m certain that her Mother would say that she is a “nice girl”. Maybe even her boyfriend/significant other/f#@k  buddy would say she is a very nice girl. She dressed in a time warp sort of way… from 1967-68 Haight-Asbury, San Francisco. A thin, short dress, with cowboy boots. That’s it. Easy off; easy access. Windy. Long ago and far away, Scott Mckenzie had a huge hit song  with a John Phillips (The Mamas and the Papas; intimate relations with his own daughter; severe drug problems; him) song, San Francisco (be sure to wear flowers in your hair). That was this girl. Her.

Well, she sang songs that she wrote, “originals”, accompanying herself on an electric piano at an outdoor country market: organic tomatoes, fresh corn, food seasoning, nic nacks, delicioso blueberries and peaches. Hippieville. Outdoors. Very hot and humid. Shticky. And she sang those songs, every one of them, every single one, in the same tone and rhythm; each and every time. Suicide music.

She made Simon & Garfunkle sound like a party band. We’re talking about Simon & “I’ve Lost The Will To Live” Garfunkle. Upon “mature reflection”, those two guys showered us with darkness and doom. Homeward Bound: “Every day’s and endless stream of cigarettes and magazines, and each town looks the same to me…” Bang bang bang. Hello, I’m depressed and looking for a way off this planet. Oh yes, you want Simon & Garfunkle. Right this way.

That was her! Each of  her songs had the same rhythm. That back and forth on the piano keys, G note to C note rocking, dahh duh dahh duh dahh duh mindless musical nonsense that some pass for art. Which is very close to fart. Which is pretty darn close to what she was singing about: “…when I’m stressed, you ask me to dance, I say no, but I mean yes” …dahh duh dahh duh. Lock and load…fire!

It was so bad, that the guy selling organic tomatoes the size of steroid-injected softballs, started to beg for mercy. “What is she doing? I’m tryin’ to stay awake here!” But staying awake was not her style. Her style was: My life is dirt. My boyfriend isn’t worth the paper his name is printed on. Woe is me. And she kept on performing. She wouldn’t stop. She was relentless. “They’ve paid me for two hours and gosh darnit, I’m workin’ it baby.” It was brutal.

But I digress. She departed the market the same way that she came in. Head down. Awkwardly embarrassed. Was it because she was working a hot and humid famer’s market on black top and not air conditioned Carnegie? Not a whole lot of rock’n’roll bands that I’m aware of work farmer’s markets…organic farmer’s markets…organic farmer’s markets featuring Amish kids selling whoopie pies. This was her stage. “I am woman, hear me roar…” Did she hit a wall somewhere?  Was she even aware that she was putting people to sleep like closing the garage door with the car running? For a long long time. Sleep. Deep sleep. No way.

She did three sets. Three sets of dirge music. Three sets of her own, locked-in-the-bathroom-with-the-door-bolted music that only she could fully appreciate. Leslie West of Mountain fame locked himself in the bathroom too, but he created some pretty good rock’n’roll, such as Mississippi Queen in the ’60’s. His music had energy. He practiced his guitar licks while meeting the needs of Nature. She, on the other hand, sounded as if she too was meeting the needs of Nature, but in a much more painful way. It was tough.

In her defense, there were three people that seemed to enjoy her artistry. One of the three was her boyfriend. They diligently listened, paying rapt attention to her every drone. They were loyal. They applauded . They are to be commended for their devoted friendship. They are better people than the rest of us who were force-fed the music. We could not leave. We were prisoners of suicide music. We, too, were doomed. So be careful where you go, what you do, to whom you inadvertently hear. It may take you to bad places inside you. And then YOU will begin singing, “Hello Darkness, my old friend…”

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