Jan 30 2006

“Dark Age” is the new “Enlightenment,” Part 2

Jimmy Griffin: gettin’ married

And then there was the conversation I had the other night with one of my favorite old slacker bandmates. I had just sparked up a chunk-o-chronic (medicinal!) and was watching one of those sexy-autopsy-cop shows with the sound off—they’re hideous, yet I can’t look away!—when the phone rang. It was H. He was drunkdriving home from a Bottle Rockets show in Chicago in the rain.

We chatted of this and that. Our old bass player is playing in a famous band now. Our other old bass player—“the one you made me fire”—is now in a band that isn’t famous but which miraculously doesn’t suck because said old bass player has finally stopped wearing khaki Dockers onstage. Our other other old bass player (known to readers of this blog as “Finn”) is playing in SXSW this year. H had fun teching for Son Volt in Albuquerque. H’s new project will be playing out in March (“project” is musician patois meaning “new band that probably won’t go anywhere because it’s a lot more fun to think this stuff up than to actually practice”).

“We’ll see what happens,” he said about the new band. “It’ll either be fucking awesome or a total disaster.”

“I don’t doubt it.”

“I wanted to call you before,” he said, “but I didn’t wanna talk about cancer.”

“Who does?”

“I might be getting married next week.”

“Oh? How come?”

“Or next month. Maybe. I don’t know, I don’t know. I didn’t want to tell you. I knew what you’d—”

“Oh, fuck that.” My views on the bogosity of matrimony are well known, to the extent that my friends are afraid to tell me when they elect to conform to this patriarchal mandate. “When did this happen?”

“I’ve never been this close to gettin’ married, really.”

“What about,” I wondered, “that time you got married before?”

“Except for that time. Hey, you know who’s gettin’ married?”

“Uhhh. You?” I was sitting on the floor with my golden retriever puppy Bert’s butt in my lap, trying to work an unsightly mat out of his nether region. Bert, as yet intact, was eyeing the scissors with suspicion.

“Maybe. No. I mean, Jimmy Griffin!” Jimmy Griffin is a legendary glam rock guitarist of our acquaintance.

“Hey, didn’t you just say that you—”

“Can you believe Jimmy Griffin’s getting married? Can you believe that? He was always such a player!”

I tried to recollect whether I had ever considered Jimmy Griffin’s matrimonial prospects. “I don’t think I—”

“Did you ever think that guy would get married?”

“Hey, here’s a thought: screw Jimmy Griffin. Who have you never been closer to maybe or maybe not marrying next week or next month?” I required this information.

H never comes right out and says anything unless it has to do with an oderiferous bodily emanation emitted by him personally. It’s part of his charm.

“I’m sick of fucking around,” he said. Then told me how he’d quit drinking for a month. It was a good experiment, he said. He might try it again.

“Who are you marrying, goddammit?”

Eventually the name was divulged.

“She’s a sweet little thing,” H said. “She’s sexy.”

I snipped Bert’s mat, narrowly missing his you-know-what.

“I like her,” said H. He sounded kind of gurgly, or maybe it was the Illinois rain.

I looked up and observed that on the TV, as always, a pale, beautiful, female corpse was laid out on a slab.


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  1. kactus

    Oh man, I just love medicine myself!

  2. LCGillies

    For anyone who’s paying attention, the pressure is getting really intense. During the late 60’s I used to wonder with awe, looking back at history, at the apparent supineness of the public during the heyday of Joe McCarthy—why wasn’t everyone out on the street? Now I’m asking myself the same question about now.

    So as the next dark age is decending, people you wish were doing otherwise grasp for the patent nostrums. Look at my contributions to the famous BSDM discussion, for gawds sake.

    But—take minor heart. We have a bit of a way to go yet. By my calculation, we are about in the time of Augustus’ ascendency, when the hollow forms of the Roman Republic were still paid some lip service. So the Fall is about 400 or so years off. But its downhill all the way…

  3. Tony Patti

    Marriage just doesn’t make any sense for so many people. Fucking patriarchy and its fucking need to pair off everyone whether it is a good idea or not.

    Many things in matrimony frightened me because they seemed to make my wife exposed to any kind of lying abusive manipulations on my part. I repeatedly had to calm myself by reminding myself that she was married to me, not the kind of abusive lout who would use those things against her.

    And yet people still desire the ‘security’ of marriage. It seems pretty insecure to me, but maybe not as insecure as no formal contract at all between 2 cohabitating adults. I would hate to be an insecure young gay man living with an older, more well-off man. When he tired of me he could throw me out and I’d have no recourse at all. Many women have recourse, but are without the necessary support to call upon it, especially the poor.

    I do love being married, though. I would be married even if it were discouraged, I think, because I’m naturally monogamous and basically superstitious.

  4. Sois

    damn, Twisty: I nearly didn’t even notice the argument, your scalpel cut so sweet. That is a particularly beautiful piece you wrote today, gasp-inducing eloquence once again. Thanks.

  5. drumgurl

    I would rather not get married, but I’m engaged nonetheless. The law provides privileges to married couples. So do most employers.

    What did it for me was when my boyfriend got testicular cancer and I couldn’t take even a few hours off of work to be at the hospital with him. That was a couple of years ago, before I graduated from college, and I was working a blue collar job. Had we been married, I would have been able to take time off of work.

    I’m engaged to a feminist and we are both financially independent now. But still, I would rather not invite the government into my life by getting married.

  6. frobisher

    It would be nice for you to wish them well. Some people are happily married you know.

  7. Twisty

    Thanks for the advice, Miss Manners.

  8. laughingmuse

    Nice ending there.

    I wonder if the marriage will actually go through with your friend. Sweet and sexy little things can become little ball-and-chains in the blink of a perception-shift.

  9. Finn

    How is it that you know more about what’s going on in my town than I do and you don’t live here anymore?!?

    I will be at SXSW, taking up stage space with Magnolia Summer. They’re sweet, but I don’t know about sexy… guess it depends on your taste. ;-)

  10. Joida

    Wow. That’s awesome (your writing). Have you given any thought to writing fiction (if you don’t already)?

  11. Twisty

    Joida, I am constanty writing a science fiction novel. I’ve been writing it for about 20 years. it’s about 20 pages long.

  12. Joida

    Hahaha… Maybe you should abandon science fiction. You’re really good at drawing material from real life. I think you would be amazing at writing more realistics stuff, including non-fiction.

  13. Steve Pick

    What the fuck? Hutto?

  14. Twisty

    Steve, I cannot tell. I was sworn to secrecy. That’s why I published it on the internet.

  15. Cat P.

    Just what “H” needs — a sweet and sexy little thing. I think I might puke.

  16. Caja

    I’ve been waiting for a post on this subject, cause I really wanted to say thank you for a post a couple months back (or so) where you ranted about marriage, and it helped me sort out some of my own loathing of the institution, in looking at the cultural baggage it comes with, as opposed to my own personal baggage relating to it. So, “Thank you!”

  17. Mark Early

    Wow! He’s kept this fairly secret from the whole of the world.

  18. Twisty

    Cat, Steve, Mark: I’m sure I don’t know who you mean!

  19. Mark Early

    The only person who I can’t place is your khaki Docker wearing bass player, but then again, you guys went through bass players like Spinal Tap went through drummers.

  20. Ms Kate

    Reading this, I recalled how my husband’s college roommate once asked me if I thought it was a good idea if he got married. This highly intellegent person, who was pretty much the living embodiment of Steve Dallas in Bloom County, theorized that “all that regular sex would help him settle down”.

    Hubby and I, through gag reflexes, gently explained to him that getting married should not be viewed as a means to use a women to morally better oneself. Not only is it unrealistic to expect that drinking and driving, drug use issues, and the like will recede because there is somebody to support and fuck, but, well, it ain’t exactly a woman’s job or purpose in life! We instead suggested that he settle himself down first, then add complexity to his life once he got his own shit together.

    That was 13 years ago. He got sober, met his match, married, has kids, and it seems to be working. I can only hope that what we had to say averted some major disaster, but who knows. Maybe he just couldn’t get lucky.

    I see this in what twisty has to say … the woman is being used as a device, as a means for male ends. That is her purpose in the marriage, to settle the man down. Ridiculous on the face of it, if you ask me!

  21. Cat P.

    Yeah, I’ve been trying to figure out the who the Docker-wearer is too. No luck so far. And Twisty, you write too well to hide H’s identify. You nailed ’em.

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