This piece was published years ago in Geez. This is the first thing I ever had published in a print magazine.
I carry extra weight and acne like battle scars and badges. I read this thing online the other night, something that Updike said after Kurt Cobain killed himself and everyone heard about it from Kurt Loder a few minutes before I left for an 8th grade dance where they’d still play Teen Spirit and everyone would cheer.
Everyone has their thing, Updike said, the thing they do to cope, the thing they do to deal with the quiet desperation that plagues most men and he said he got that from Thoreau. Some people drink or shoot or fuck (and here I’m paraphrasing) and “some people shoot themselves in the head.” For me it has been eating and refusing to sleep.
Rock stars come from suburban basements, Updike said, and I think he must be right. The instant fame’s what kills them more than drugs or sex. The fame, yes, the fame and all that pressure – the burden of heroics is a heavy cross to bear. Even Dylan lost it, Cash and even Elvis. Tim Buckley once said that it was sad, all these other people living through musicians, hanging to their words and deeds instead of really living. We look to them as “easy gods,” he said, easy things to follow, album notes and singles charts like poems or moral codes. Tim Buckley died at 28 and must’ve had some kind of living, but I think it must not be so easy after all, being a god I mean.