I spent the end of last week careening through the perfectly lit and temperate streets of early autumn New York. I ran around with beautiful Hawaiian princess Kelia Moniz and we drank rice wine margaritas, shopped for jewelry and watched golden hour illuminate over the bustling streets as we ate oysters and sipped Stellas. There was a stranger at the bar who we helped with the New York Times crossword puzzle. We rode the subway across town. We eavesdropped on conversations. A day of human interaction and dancing together that only NYC can provide. Then the following day we climbed through elevator shafts in Brooklyn with artist and friend Jason Woodside as he showed us his studio and then where the world’s best sandwich is (spoiler alert: it contains anchovies). I was high. High on people. On diverse, radical, creative, friendly people. Three days surrounded by every single odd walk of life there is: creative, beautiful and diverse people. Something was restored inside my oft-confused little heart.
I returned home on early Saturday and immediately surfed in front of my house, got juiced from the buzz that that provides, then loaded my car with the same suitcase and drove to Los Angeles to watch the band that I like to think re-routed my potentially generic (college, corporate career, house, 2.5 cars and kids etc) life and truly showed me that music was deeper than the few punk bands I was into. It could be thoughtful, morose, uplifting and dark and light all at once. The band was Interpol. A group of art students from NYU who created the post-9/11 soundtrack to a generation of New Yorkers and young people. It provided sentiment and tempo for living in this new world. I don’t think they even meant it. But they did it perfectly.
I left that concert Saturday night the same way I’d imagine everyone in Las Vegas would have left their show: euphoric and inspired and truly happy. I had picked apart songs and tapped emotions from them I’d never felt even after listening to them no less than 5,000 times. That’s what live music does. I had “the new” in me. A new everything: new outlook. New depth. New thoughts.
And then Sunday night and Monday morning came.
And I’m really having a hard time with this one. I just don’t have words. Music, writing, crying, not crying, anger, yelling, surfing, drinking, running, hiding, creating, sleeping, panicking…none of it is having the usual impact or therapeutic effects they do for me. All I have are people around me. And It was a person who did this to people. And I think it’s gonna be people who will make this feel OK eventually. And I’ll tell you right now I’m going to need a lot of you to get through this one. Probably all of you. So let’s be together. That’s all. Let’s just be together in this fucking berserk new place that’s been created. —Travis
PS: RIP Tom.