The Tourist

In the next six weeks, I will be blogging from Philadelphia, Miami, Nantucket, Los Angeles, and Sydney. And so, lying in bed last night, I resolved that I should add a dateline to my Daily Journal entries. I slept well thereafter.

I was on the receiving end of a few bonus hours tonight when a friend canceled on me, which was a good thing. As a result, I got eight months’ worth of insurance paperwork done, got my passport renewal in the mail, and even managed to cook myself a little dinner. And by cook I mean microwaving a tofu chicken patty to toss into my salad.

I just got done running tomorrow night’s set. Not that I couldn’t stand to run it again. ‘Cuz other than the usual ‘Almost Home’ and ‘Crash Site’ suspects, I’ve dropped a coupla’ new ones from the forthcoming CD. In the middle of rehearsing (picture it: me standing alone in my living room singing to myself) I thought to myself, ‘Why bother trying to perform new songs with the band on three days notice?’ Which, as a line of questioning, goes nicely with, ‘Why try and travel halfway around the world, record and release a record, and run a marathon all in three months time?’

You, Dear Reader, may be thinking, ‘Dude, pat yourself on the back, why don’t ya’!’ And understand: that is not my intention here. This compulsion to do is as curious to me as it is you. Scratch that. I doubt it’s interesting to you. But it’s food for thought for me. Which is good, because I’m still a little bit hungry.

Though I must tell you, I’m not hungry for thought, I’m hungry for ice cream. Given my druthers, I’d live on a constant diet of ice cream. Breyer’s Natural Vanilla, of course. But I digress.

I used to explore melancholy. Now I think I need to explore compulsion.

comêpulêsion (km-plshn) n.

a. The act of compelling.
b. The state of being compelled.

a. An irresistible impulse to act, regardless of the rationality of the motivation.
b. An act or acts performed in response to such an impulse.

I’m going with 2a. So, then, what is it all about? First, is the motivation rational? What the hell is the motivation? Um, making up for lost time? Capitalizing on time running out? Yeah, maybe. But it occurs to me that there’s something to prove. To whom and why, well, I’m not sure. I imagine it has something to do with self worth, yunno’? Like, ‘See, I’ll show you I’m worthy: I’ll juggle knives while defusing a bomb and reciting the Hebrew alphabet.’ Yeah, that makes some sense. That seems like part of the answer.

Impulse. Hmmm, impulse. the word suggests to me that it’s something that exists outside of, or despite of, the brain. Or better, instead of the frontal lobe, the domain of logic and reason. F them, logic and reason. They’re a huge drag. And yet, that very (a-hem) impulsive reaction to rise up against them, Logic and Reason, suggests to me that maybe this whole compulsive thing is some kind of rebellion. That makes some sense. It seems like part of the answer.

Yunno’, heck, I have no idea. I think I’ve said to much as it is. I just meant to tell you about the bitchen’ salad I had for dinner. And the hella’ cool documentary I was watching. It’s called ‘Endurance,’ and its about Ernest Shackleton’s, um, compulsion to transverse Antarctica. He didn’t quite pull it off — his ship was locked in ice for ten months, then crushed, and abandoned — but he did get his men back home safely.

But he had one hell of a story to tell when he got there.

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