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take care

today at the pool i was luckily all by my lonesome doing some swimming and reading and basking and so forth.  it was a sunny day and nice.  i was taking pool breaks every half hour or so.  so as i am doing some water treading as a lazy way of aerobic exercise since i don’t feel like going running, this blonde office girl comes out of the clubhouse and says “hey” and i think, ” ok, this is it, finally, after i have used this pool nearly every day for two months, finally on one of the last days i use it they are going to catch me and kick me out because i do not live here and even though i do not want to leave the pool, the pool being so wonderful and all, it feels almost appropriate to get kicked out, like every time i go in there i have this little bug in my stomach that says,  ‘you do not belong here, you are going to get caught, etc.’ (i would not make it as a criminal if you hadn’t guessed), it gives it a sense of finality, an end to the narrative of my summer at the pool.

but instead the girl said that they had just shocked the pool and i might want to get out.  “shocked,” i said, images of electric eels swimming through my periphery, “what does that mean”.  but she said it just means that they put bleach and a lot of chemicals in the pool and that i might not want to spend too much time in the water or accidentally drink out of it or something.  i thank her and paddle around lazily for a few more minutes before getting out.  if i have learned anything in college it is that i do not fear chemicals.

anyway so over the next couple hours i get in and out a couple more times, not spending long in the pool.  fast forward to later when there are a few girls laying out in various states around the pool.  i decide that it is time, that i can’t take the heat anymore.  so i start down the ladder on the side of the pool and i don’t even think my chin has hit the water when i hear a door swing open and two guys yell “stop, get out of the pool”  and i do and turn around immediately and for some reason i put my hands up because the whole thing feels like i have been told to put down a gun or something and anyway behind them is the blonde girl from earlier who was apparently mistaken and the chemicals are a bit more toxic and i am not allowed to be in them, wonderfully cool as they are.  and so as much as i hate illness i wonder if maybe something will happen to me now like i’ll turn green and then i can file a giant class action lawsuit which is the american dream or at least mine and then i will make it rain, i will have a machine in my house to make it rain 24/7, like those glass chambers they used to trot out in middle school for kids who sold a lot of things out of shitty catalogs.

anyway i had hoped to do a song a day this week as a way of saying “goodbye, tallahassee” but actually spending time in tallahassee as opposed to at my computer seemed like a better use of my time.  tommorow i’m going to have to pack up the studio so this will be the last recording until i can get things set up at home, if i can get things set up at home.  it is a very crude, rushed cover of my first favorite big star song, which if you want to simplify you could just say my favorite big star song, which is called “take care.”   i am not a sentimental person at least in public so in order to leaven the honeydripping sentiment in the song i will say “fuck you tallahassee, i don’t like you, not a bit, and i am happy to leave.”   but that’s not a very catchy song so instead i sang the other one.

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this is a little cover i glued together of “thirteen,” which is my second favorite big star song (my first favorite big star song is “take care” but not their version, the version that yo la tengo plays). my favorite part of the song to sing is the ooh ooh ooh.

one time i was at a party and this was just after i had learned to play this song and we were all around a bonfire and this guy i knew was playing this song on acoustic guitar.  and this guy was and is a much better musician than i am, a million times better, but he was strumming the song instead of picking it.  and it just made me angry because it was wrong.  listen, covers don’t have to be slavish, but it’s just wrong to strum this song. it should be against the law.

but of course if he had passed me the guitar, there’s no way i would have played it then because i was such a wuss.  i am a person who lives inside their head a lot of the time and i used to (and occasionally still do) have these fantasies that i would be tested, that in the middle of some humdrum day a teacher or a girl i was in love with or just a random person on the street would pull out a guitar and say, “play, now” as if it’s a life and death matter and in the fantasy the light of the world would dim down to a spot on me and cars and bugs and people would be silent  and wind cut and rain cut and the climate would be temperate if a bit warm and basically if you want a visual reference, something like the album cover of “time fades away” by neil young but in real life and in the fantasy, i would tear it apart, i would own the moment and this would prove to the world that i was worthy of love and success and attention. but you know what, in real life that doesn’t happen, people don’t walk up to you while you’re waiting for the bus and ask you very seriously to play a cover of “i found a reason,” so here’s this right here.

i also watched the movie almost famous like twenty times between high school and freshman year, which is really disturbing in retrospect.  i am trying to have a more respectable fantasy life nowadays, promise.