Have you ever hated someone? Have you had that person hate you? It's happened a couple times in my life where I hated someone and then they died. I don't engage in too much magical thinking and believe that I can kill people with my thoughts but sometimes I go there and it feels good. Ok I'm a bad person. Or maybe I'm human. It should never feel good when someone dies right? Stop shoulding all over me.
The guy that introduced me to my wife I ended up hating, but he gave me a lot. I guess you could say that all the good family stuff that's in my life was a result of this guy. I'm sure that's what he thought. I heard he was upset that he wasn't invited to the wedding, that's what he told people and that he introduced us. I actually forgot that he introduced us until I heard of his complaints. We probably would have invited him if I had remembered that but the wedding was expensive enough and the guest list was getting ridiculous. The wedding was pretty ridiculous too in the fact that it was a sober wedding but half my friends were drunks. The wedding is a different story altogether.
How did I meet my wife? I thought I was going to write about hating people to death but here we are at the romantic stage of my love affair with my wife.
On a tangent it seems like every time I try to string a story together I have to jump years back to give the listener the back story. I usually get so frustrated in my head thinking that the listener needs to know all the facts, but then I think the listener wants the condensed version and then I start stressing out that I don't have the condensed version and then my story ends up being me stuttering a group of incoherent words together. Later on or probably right at that moment I begin the negative self talk and shame spiral.
Fuck it, no one is reading so tangents and backstories here I come.
My mind went back like three more stories just giving it a second to think. I went from the ninth grade study skills class where I made a list of goals. My list was a group of actions to be in a rock band.
But then my head went back to junior high. We rented a guitar and I banged away and made recordings and songs before I knew a chord.
I wanted my own guitar and my mom got me one on Christmas the day after I tried acid for the first time. That was when I was a freshman in high school, the same year I heard purple haze and the Beatles later albums. I also listened to the Dark side of the moon and thought that I met the devil after my friend and I were making each other faint while listening to Pink Floyd and I triggered my first ever panic attack at age 15.
Then my mind went back to fourth grade. In 4th grade were allowed to join band. For some reason I thought the saxophone was really cool. I imagined myself dancing around in a cool way playing jazz. Music was the beginning of not practicing and my relationship with procrastination. I rarely did homework in school too and I'm remembering, always showing up empty handed. I remember Mrs. Mays yelling at me.
Let's get out of elementary and go back to jr high. I met Jason E the first day in 7th grade in band. We both played sax. I said, "Are you good?" And he replied, "Yes." Jason is now the equivalent of the town drunk. How did such a sweet guy, who was my junior high band friend end up there? I remember when we both wore Don Johnson jackets to the 7th grade dance.
In seventh grade I signed up for the school elections. The position I ran for? 8th grade rep. I know, you're thinking this Duke guy is pretty cool. I remember my friend Chris's Dad helped me write a speech. I lived with Chris's family because my Mom worked so much. I was a latch key kid but that's another story and I'm already working on about 7 stories now.
I was Joe Isuzu.
I just took a moment to watch a couple videos of Joe Isuzu on youtube.
He was a commercial spokesperson for Isuzu who was known to tell corny lies. He would tell a funny lie and then there would be words at the bottom of the screen which would tell the truth. I was Duke "Isuzu" Fightmaster running for 8th grade rep. My friend David K came up on stage with me in front of what felt like 1000 kids. Dave was carrying big signs with words on them that I put together with my friends Dad's help. I told the School, "If you vote for me I promise free limousine service to and from school."
Dave held up a sign that read, "Look for large yellow limousines carrying 50-60 kids".
I said, "If you vote for me I promise no charge on Nachos."
Dave held a sign that read, "No charge, cash only."
As I'm sure you can guess I won. People were calling me Duke "Isuzu" for the whole next year.
The following year the student government class was at the same time the 8th grade band was so I had to be in the 7th grade band when I was in 8th grade and I wasn't into it. By the way, just thinking of the student council class right now reminds me of Amy, another student leader, coming up to me crying and showing me where she cut her wrists. She also told me that if a girl puts her legs together standing up and the thighs don't touch each other all the way up to the crotch then the girl has perfect legs. I came into class one day and Amy was sucking on a popsicle called a big stick and she asked me how my big stick was. I also remember her talking to another student leader about Friday night. She was saying that they were going to meet high school boys, who were going to take them out, then to a party and then they are (She said this last part in a screaming, giggling happy voice) GOING TO RAPE US!!! YEAH!!!!!!
So like I said I didn't want to be in 7th grade band when I was in 8th grade. They were all nerds including the teacher and I was pretty cool as you would have guessed.
---------got to go pick up one of my crazy kids now-------------
--It's like 7 hours later. I went to an audition in Santa Monica. Had a big panic attack at the end that lasted half of the ride home. I'm depressed about the recent panic attacks in my life and don't have the energy to keep the home in order. I also keep eating candy.
I did meditate this morning, which is a good thing. Now back to the blog------------------------
My friend David K was in drama in 8th grade. It seemed like fun. I remember him telling me a story about how they were improvising in class. He had to walk on stage and a girl walked towards him from the other side of the stage.
She said,"Are you Dave?"
He replied,"Are you Cheryl?"
She said, "Yes."
"Then I'm not Dave." He walked off the stage.
I thought that was a funny story and I wanted to be in the class. It just sounded fun.
I told my music teacher I wanted to quit band and be in drama. The band teacher said I couldn't quit until she met with my Mom. I still remember to this day waiting for my mom to get out of the meeting with the music teacher after school. I remember I was trying to show off in front of a band student in front of the school. For some reason I had my Mom's car keys and I was taking up my friend on a dare to drive the car. I was in the drivers seat and had the keys in the ignition. I kept stalling the car because I didn't know how to drive a stick.
My Mom came out finally, I didn't get caught driving the car. She let the music teacher convince her that I needed to stay in music. I still resent my Mom to this day for that! I think I would have been good in drama. 8th grade was perfect timing. Fuck you Mom. How lame is it to still be mad at your mom for something in 8th grade?
My resentments towards my Mom go back to birth. My Dad was a John Wayne fan. He wanted to name me Duke. My mom got cold feet and put Paul on the birth certificate (Paul was my Dad's name). Then she brought me home and decided to call me Duke. Typical wishy washy Mom move that will effect somebody's entire life! All through school I had to explain that Duke was my real name. Still to this day at jobs or any type of paper work I have to go through the hassle. JUST FUCKING PUT DUKE ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!!!!!
When I was fooling myself into being a music vocal major at SFSU I took a theater class and really enjoyed it, so I know at some point it's my fault for not following up. The signs were there in college. I should take a class now probably. Stop shoulding all over me Duke. OK, I could take a theater class now.
So in ninth grade my teacher had us write out a goal and all the actions to achieve this goal. Although that teacher didn't like me too much, out of all the teachers she was the one who had some lasting impact. My goal was to be in a band. I took the actions and did it. We had fun, we rocked, we broke up, but that's another story.
I'm 22 years old now and the band has broke up. I moved to San Francisco to chase the girl I was going out with that wasn't going out with me. That girl wanted nothing to do with me. I'm sober and going to meetings. I'm writing a ton of songs and I guess people knew that I played music, at least Tom (the guy I eventually hate) did.
Tom approached me and said he was the drummer in a band and said they had a three hour gig and were looking for musicians to join them to play their original songs with them. I agreed.
I remember showing up to the practice space. One of those dirty places downtown. I walked in the room and saw this beautiful blond. She was wearing bike shorts. I remember trying to look away because all I wanted to do was stare at her. I remember thinking this girl is hot, not to mention she can sing and she's singing my songs.
The gig was great. Lesley and I danced together and the song "sleepwalk" became our song. I remember trying to hide my boner. We became inseparable and started our own band. There's another 40 stories with me and Lesley but that's another time.
This Tom guy was and artist. He would have art shows with bands.
A little tangent. I told my mentor Lord Ha that I wanted to start a skateboard company. He said to call the company "Broken". "Broken" was the one tattoo he ever gave anyone. To a girl who ended up saying she regretted it and then hung herself but that's another story. Lord said to have a mascot, I guess he would be the broken guy who would skate around and break things. He would break a church, a sidewalk, or maybe a car. Our motto would be EFW Eat Fuck Win!!
I hired Tom to draw the character. He said he would do it for $25 a drawing, which I know is really cheap (maybe it was $50 I can't remember). I asked him to do three. He did two and I paid him for two. Then one day he called me up and asked for the rest of the money. I told him I wanted the third picture if I was going to pay him the rest. He said he would bring the picture and wanted to meet me right then. We met by Van Ness and jackson. He didn't bring the picture.
He said, "Do you have the money?"
I said, "Where's the picture?"
He said, "I forgot it."
Then he told me how he could go back and get it but it was in a tone that said, "Duke you are an asshole if you don't give me the money right now."
I reluctantly gave him the cash. I never saw the picture and I just felt burned.
Like I said Tom had art shows with bands. He had multiple bands lined up to play and he told us we were to play last. I hate playing last by the way. Even comedy, you want to hit the sweet spot, right before people are getting sick of what's going on. The 2nd music act finished and it was maybe 10. The place was pretty full with people. It was the perfect time to play. I asked Tom if we could go on then. He said no you guys are last . I watched 5 minutes go by, then 10, then 20 then fucking 45 minutes went by and we could have finished playing by now you mother fucker!!!!!
Finally his band went on and played forever. By the time we went up most of the people were gone. I was so pissed! I swore I would never step foot in his studio again.
Tom had a toothache. It got worse but he ignored it. He got sick and kept thinking it will go away. 2 and a half days later they took him to the hospital and the doctor said the infection spread through his body and he would be dead in a few hours (This same thing happened to my friend Paul Cohen who had his feet amputated but it was too late. He got to call his best friend Cody and make amends on his death bed.)
I didn't get any death bed amends. I don't think anyone did because Tom went so quickly. When you resent someone and then they die it's a strange thing. Part of you doesn't feel bad, but it's not a good thing to hold on to that anger. The anger then just gets stuffed deep down and comes out years later in the form of a panic attack at an audition in Santa Monica.
The thing I don't want to see is how I'm that guy. I'm the guy that I hate. I can be so wrapped up in my own world that I don't care about others. I can screw people over without knowing it. I don't want to be hated. I want forgiveness. If that's what I want then that's what I have to give.
I forgive the debt Tom. Keep that picture for me in the after life. I also forgive you for not letting me play the sweet spot. There's more sweet spots that I will hit in this life.
I also want to thank you for bringing me to play with your band. I met the most beautiful woman in the world and made an unbelievably rich life with her. Many thanks to you for the love that surrounds me and continues to grow in and around me.
Rest in Peace Tom.