So Used To Having None Am I

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It’s wa-a-a-a-ay too easy to get used to losing, to giving up, to living without. Late-stage Devastationalists often try desperately to convince others and themselves that they’re actually happier doing without, and may even try to make a case that it is a better, cleaner way to live.

This song, of course, is not lacking in irony, but it’s a shell-shocked kind of irony. Making fun of your own life in a song — that can’t be a good sign. At the very least it’s schizophrenic. Is the singer secure in his all-too-cleverly conceived rationalizations for Devastationalism? Numbly resigned and fatalistic? Or angry and terrified of the person he’s singing about? Knee-jerk defiance, yes — but about what and towards whom?

This is live. Marni, Bianca, Gerstel.

So Used To Having None Am I

You’ve been on about
Learning how to live without
You say, A clearer path through austerity

But while you run your mouth
All your birds headed south
And it’s a long, long way from sea to shining sea

And lately I’ve been losing track
Of the life I used to know
I don’t expect to get it back
But I do enjoy the show

So take the thoughts from my head
And the love from my heart
You can spill the milk and I won’t cry
So used to having none am I

I believe life is all about
Learning how to do without
I don’t care, it doesn’t bother me

I never run my mouth
While my birds are headed south
‘Cause it’s a long, long way from sea to shining sea

Eventually they’ll clean me out
The devastation I can’t feign
I’ll eat my meals without dessert
And celebrate without champagne

So just un-pop the cork
Take the cake right off the fork
You can spill the milk and I won’t cry
So used to having none am I

And lately I’ve been losing track
Of the life I used to know
I don’t expect to get it back
But I’m dazzled by the show

So take the thoughts from my head
And the love from my heart
You can spill the milk and I won’t cry
So used to having none am I

Her Mother’s With a Soldier

A big topic over the past weekend was the often absurd discrepancies that arise between what people say they want with all their heart and the actions they take in pursuit of their stated desires. To choose a random, hypothetical example, one might say something like, “I want to fall in love and live happily ever after” while acting in a manner all-but guaranteed to result in desolation, isolation, and a complete lack of genuine (non-sentimentalized) romantic intimacy.

A while back I did figure out, finally, that actions were way more important in the real world than what went on inside your head. Most people don’t give a fuck about what you’re thinking, they can only judge you by what you do, how you act. It was hard for me to figure that out because it went against how I was raised, which was to always take another person’s mental state into consideration. And I still think we should try to do that whenever possible, especially for people we love. But it’s a luxury, no doubt about it. The real world just doesn’t have the time to be interested in everybody’s “thoughts” or “feelings.”

And more importantly, your thoughts aren’t doing you any good if they’re locked up in your mind anyhow. It’s your responsibility to figure out a way to get them out of there, and into the real world where they might actually do some good. With the exception of the truly evil, almost everyone “means well.” And, as my voice teacher once said to me, “anyone can be a genius inside his own head.” If you mean so fucking well, figure out how do so fucking well.

My beloved ex-wife, Jacquelene, used to complain half-jokingly that there were never any songs about her. But I didn’t know how to write about real love and a real relationship with a real person. It scared me too much, made me too sad. The only love I knew anything about was the kind in 3-minute pop songs, the more heart-breaking the last verse, the better.

This untitled song was written for Jack, though she might understandably wish I hadn’t bothered. I’d like to think I’ve learned a little something since it was written, though definitely not as quickly as I’d like. This version is live, and has a few guitar mistakes (not drunkeness, for once — I’m pretty sure from the vocal that I’m sober — it’s just a tricky line for me to play and sing at the same time without really concentrating), but you’ll get the idea. Since it was never properly recorded or otherwise set to stone, the lyrics to this song varied sometimes. And though it never got a proper title, the Girls gave it the set-list name of “Rain,” or sometimes “The Rain Song.”

Rain

I wish we could find a path
One that isn’t strewn with trash
You lie there looking sad
And up at me with tired eyes
And I know it won’t come true

I know we can’t outrace the past
That nothing here was built to last
So you can just sit back
And contemplate on my demise
And I know, it might come soon

I know I let a little rain fall on you
I know I let a little rain fall on you

Take the stars out of the sky
‘Cause you’re my only reason why
You lie there looking sad
And up at me with crying eyes
And I know, it won’t come true

Is it a blessing or a curse
The secrets of the Universe
Reside there in your eyes
It’s up to me, that’s no surprise
And who knows, it might come true

Although I let a little rain fall on you
Although I let a little rain fall on you