Thursday, May 14, 2015

Walking Away

This is the 4th day of the fast and the 3rd without a drink.

I slept last night; after not wanting to go out and busk after 24 hours without sleep, due to the insomnia, which seems to come along with the first day or two of sobriety and/or fasting.

I woke up this (Thursday) morning at around 4:30 AM, in a depressed state of mind, after having had depressing dreams.

In the last dream, I was sitting in my room, depressed; and then woke out of it; to be sitting in my room depressed.

People always ask a depressed person what is bothering them, to which the initial impulse of the person is to say: "If I knew why I was depressed, I could figure out myself how to get over it."

In my case, it is partly due to the withdrawals from alcohol, cigarettes, coffee and weed, though, it had started to creep up on me when I was still drinking, and was one of the reasons I stopped.

I have been spending time during these 3 days off from busking, watching what are going to be the last episodes of the Late Night With David Letterman shows before he retires.

The shows, of course, are full of nostalgia, for them, and for me, also.

The very first time I saw the show, was probably during its first season, when I was about 19.

I remembered how fresh and exciting and different the show was; and I continued to watch it, through the 80's, often setting the timer on the VCR at my parents house to record it, when it came on at 12:30 AM.

It was always one of the dreams in the back of my mind to appear on the Letterman show, either as a musical act, or to promote a book or a film which I had made.

Watching this last week of episodes kind of signals the end of that dream.

I never made it onto the Letterman show; and now I never will. That is final now...and a bit depressing.

It was also depressing to see the lineup of guests who were in their primes when they appeared 30 something years ago, and I saw them on the show, but who are now showing up to pay tribute and to reminisce, and who have been ravaged by time.

Don Rickles needed assistance to get to the chair by Dave's desk.

Cher made an appearance looking like the 70 something year old that she must be; and when she spoke, there was that quivering raspy sound to her voice which the very aged often get.

It is hard to imagine that she still sings; at least not in concert.

And then there were people like Steve Martin, whom we idolised when we were in high school; and who still has a thriving career, but only because he began building it 40 years ago.

Paul Simon recently said something to the effect that he didn't see himself having another album on the charts; the reason being that there were so many younger people in the business "who want it more," as he put it.

It was all fodder for a lot of soul searching.

It really hit home that I was once younger and "wanted it more;" seeing clips from shows that I originally watched when I was 19.

Some of them I watched with Ted Broughey, a friend of mine who played drums in a band that I played the bass guitar in.

We were at his parents house at 12:30 in the morning, after returning from a gig and with the TV turned down so as not to awaken anybody.

We watched with a youthful optimist and a feeling that "that" could be us, maybe in a year or two, playing with Paul Scheafer and the band on the Letterman show.

I had almost forgotten that feeling that we had. If the phone had rung then, and it was our band leader telling us that the manager of the club wanted us to set up and play for another 3 hours for a private party; we would have packed the drums and amps into the van and rushed over there; laughing all the way; not even worrying about what the pay was going to be.
Now, the feeling is that David Letterman is ready to hang it up -he just wants to go to Montana and get away from it all; and that he had learned that there are other things more important in life than fame and success in "major league" show business.

That was a depressing reality for a guy who is still going out at the age of 52, thinking that something might come of it, and that he can still achieve something in life. "Something" of the sort that Dave is fed up with and ready to walk away from; at only 8 years my senior.

The "If you're gonna do anything with your life; you would have done it already!" demon was floating around the ceiling of my apartment, keeping me awake...


alex carter said...

Uhh, Letterman isn't funny. He's old and creepy and sad. It's good to hear he'll stop polluting the airwaves soon.

Daniel McKenna said...

Letterman is very satisfying because of his irreverence for all things "show biz"# (he is never "star struck" by any guest, no matter how "big" their name*) and his ability to see through phonies and mock them behind their backs, even though they are sitting in front of him.
I have, though, noticed a sad creepiness, compared to when I used to watch regularly in the mid 80's (and then not seeing him again for 20 years; after he had his bypass surgery; and then got married and had a kid -things that mellow people out, I guess) but, half his job is just to bring out the funniness in his guests...
#he threatened to wash Madonna's mouth out with soap
*unless the guest is Sammy Davis Jr., he kissed his ass