Music, Assholes and a Day’s Rantings
Some of the greatest music I know was introduced to me by a few assholes. Yes. Men or rather men who need to grow up. But don’t. They’re not bad you know. Just really fucked up. And by association, one ends up getting either literally or figuratively fucked by them. Not great. In hindsight I wish I had stayed away but at the same time I know I would not have. Something of could and should vs did.
Ah well. So now here’s me, listening to Hallelujah by Pain of Salvation. It’s the middle of the night. I am supposed to be productive. Instead I am listening to this and with it some indignant memories of the asshole. The song actually has quite an interesting arrangement. What the asshole drew my attention to was the high note the vocalist hits. Quite phenomenal, for a man. As a woman, I hadn’t noticed.
My mind is playing out a conversation where I happily tell the asshole to fuck off. My, that would be quite nice. Would warm the cockles of my heart and give me great satisfaction. Ah well. One can always dream.
Today was one of those days. Again. Fuck. Why again. Work had an air of tension that could be cut with a knife. Either the boss was pissed that I was asserting myself, or his boss had told him off or his wife had said something. Whichever it was, I felt it should be kept where it’s at. Not be left to permeate the office. Like the stench of garbage that lingers long after the truck has driven off. The dear colleagues had also noticed. But they never said anything. Sri Lankan age old loyalty prevailed. Where respect is given out of fear more than respect, where implicit obedience translated to respect and where people complained to the silent walls than to the pricked up ears of the perpetrators of oppression.
I actually spent some time looking for alternative job opportunities. Snort. It takes situations like this to jolt you to re-think of what you would do if you were fired. I had hit that point with the last job. Nothing is forever. Be ready to move if required. To have other options ready. I know people somehow survive. I did not want just surviving. I wanted to be ready to live. Comfortably. I did not want to go back to the frugal, hand to mouth existence I once knew.
Enough of that shit. Privilege is a blessing for some and a curse for others. For me it was something in between. Like some vacillating pendulum. You are glad you are comfortable but you stand out like a sore thumb especially when you mingle with the everyday folk. No snobbery here. Just plain hard facts. In fact you will be labeled also for being privileged. For speaking English. For being everything they wanted and yet here you were living like some dumb fuck with your head stuck up some fantasy that is another person’s next life. Aney bung.
I moved to Vangelis. Chariots of Fire was always a favourite. That man could compose some epic stuff. This one was no exception. Chariots of Fire I will remember for a very different reason though. This tune is what was playing at an exhibition of paintings by someone called Sanjiv Mendis. He had shot himself at 19. I must have been about 5. He was obviously talented. And good looking. I asked Ammi why he shot himself coz she’s the one who took me to the exhibition. She said he was ‘playing with guns’. I guess that was how she could explain suicide to a kid. To explain what that pain might be to want to take your own life – is not something I would have ever comprehended at 5. But now I do. This tune is still nostalgic and in a way gives a pang.
I listened to the fan whirring with the cool air of the A/C blowing around the room. It was a bit cold but I was glad that I was not boiling. I remembered the past few days spent with my fellow batchmates of the MSc in Archaeology. They were from all over Sri Lanka. Literally. And they were my window into how the majority of this country lived. Young graduates, who were boarded where their jobs called them. They saw home only on weekends or special holidays. They lived in our sooty and menacing public transport system – in grimy buses and late trains. They carried their world around in backpacks and carry bags. They ate what meals came their way or cooked the cheapest food they could afford. My grand plans of a mallung, veggie dish and a protein was not their menu. Coconuts, rice, veggies and dhal. Fish more often than not. Sprats were a luxury. Chicken was a luxury. They did not eat other meat items. Some were affluent. But still from a village set up and enjoyed rice from their own fields and coconuts from their own estates. They were true pawns in a bureaucratic shit hole of politics, privilege and disillusion. They are doing a Masters, paying out of their own pockets and yet their future in the field of Archaeology is insecure. Most have been appointed as District Officers doing letters, admin and whatever the boss feels like making them do. Most are doing everything but archaeology. Some have now become teachers. Their years of experience in excavations, surveys are lost to the elements and to Facebook and other social media platforms that pop up memories annually. I advised some of them to write academic papers and publish. I asked them to dream of becoming Commissioners that the likes of me will support them. But they are so stuck and so sick of being shoved from pillar to post that I doubt many have much go left in them. The women are still young. Soon they will be married and they will forget the carefree days of travelling this country and exploring the gold mines of archaeology it beholds. My heart breaks for them but there is little I can do for them. I can only push myself into this abyss I hope will yield clarity in my rather convoluted life. For I am the quintessential misfit in there. My credentials would make any academic wonder.
Personally I feel it’s sort of like me. A good achcharu of many things, many shades and many dreams. I told myself that by 40 I must know what the hell I want from life and what my calling is. Seeing the state of archaeology in this country, where museums don’t allow photographs for some cock notion that it compromises the integrity of the museum, I am determined to do something. Never mind how small. Must light a spark. Must stoke the flames. Must. Do. Something.
I am now listening to Queen. For some reason, Fat Bottomed Girls in all its non PC glory has been appealing to me for a while now. The Adam Lambert with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders version. Lol. I can’t believe Brian May wrote it. He’s now 70+ and is still rocking. Quite a phenomenal guitarist too.
Now back to my wonderful life. I need to start reading again. Found a tiny Sinhala book on the Thivanka Image house. Trying to finish that. Have a shit load of archaeology books to read. Have a shit load of books courtesy of binge buying at Big Bad Wolf book sales. Haven’t read a single. Pathetic.
The A/C is off now. It’s time to head to bed. I did not practice guitar today. Maybe I will. I will end my session of music with a heavy metal version of the Ghostbusters theme song. It’s quite good. Or I might listen to a Silver Hawks version introduced to me by another asshole. This version is quite good. Pity the asshole cannot be removed from it. Ah well. Assholes despite the pain they caused, have their uses. Especially if they had decent taste in music. And good music is never a waste. So despite my rather haphazard day I am happy that this music is in my life albeit with an attachment to an asshole in some instances.
Ok, my final listen to was Metallica’s Enter Sandman – the Moscow 1991 version. This song is asshole attachment free –thank God. So I can sleep in peace tonight 😛