This weekend, an early set at our beloved nautical dive The Redwood.
A benefit for Punk Rock Rovers supporting Pasadena Humane Society ya say?
Hell yeah, and why not?
These furballs are us, and we them–and they need our help.
Well, the dogs do, anyway.
Cats? They can take care of themselves, thank you!
Oh sure, we all know that cats are the goths of the domestic animal set, sneaky little devils that lurk in the shadows selling fake black beauties to minors and barfing up half eaten sparrows.
They drink absinthe, listen to Morissey a lot and smoke cloves still.
I know, I know–ya love the little bastards.
Just be aware that they will not give a fuck when you have that aneurysm and keel over mid sentence:
They’ll simply slip out into the night and find the next sucker with a can opener and record collection to destroy.
The pup, on the other hand— this guy is pure punk rock, am I right?
Dogs are all beery slobber and panting enthusiasm, heart upon fuzzy sleeve.
The canine prefers Sham 69 and cheap domestic lager.
He is willing to stage dive at a moment’s notice, not caring if someone’s there to catch him or not!
Ah, fuckin’ dogs–how do they do it?
We bring these guys into our lives, easy as buying a new end table or leasing a car.
And you think–ok, another thing in the house.
Buy some kibble, couple squeakies at Petco, and that’s it.
But somehow, they wedge themselves into your life, into your heart, and become the very dearest part of your daily being.
In the darkest days of Winter , when you leave the house in weak gray light and make it home well after dark after that 75 minute commute, who’s there?
Ears up, mouth open, as excited as you feel on a sunny Summer Saturday, a world of promise and love, the last day of school—-and all of this on a rainy Monday night.
A dog truly teaches us not just what love is, but how to love.
To love without judgement, and more importantly , without words!
After all, why do ya think it is that we love them so?
It’s because they don’t talk back, no matter how many heavy confessions they have to endure!
And, oh, what they’ve seen.
Our triumphs, sure.
The walk in the park, a day at dog beach–those are the easy ones…
But the pup also bears witness to your lowest points, waiting on the other side of the front door as your drunken ass stabs at the lock with key for seven agonizing minutes, one eye closed and pissing your pants.
And do we really need to mention what else she’s seen, hmmm?–
Solo and shameful acts that the poor old girl had to witness, and never utter a word or go tattling to Facebook?
God bless them all!
Owner? Of a dog? yer fuckin kidding me–
It is at best a partnership, but in the end we know that the dog owns us, gives us the very reason to go on.
A tentative tether to the real world, so when you’re off on that 3 day bender, what keeps you from hitting the highway to Vegas or jumping the channel to Catalina?
The bowls need to be filled with food and water, the door needs to be cracked open—–don’t you see?
Who’s going to keep your heart filled?
Who’s going to keep your soul propped open, if just by an inch, to love?
You know the answer.
Lucy is with me every moment: lying across my numb legs all night, farting in the corner of the shop all day.
Enduring awful practices late at night, walking endless loops around Old Town Seal with me, hauntng the streets like restless ghosts.
That’s her snoring in the corner of the Irisher, only the occasional kick of legs and yelp signaling the never-ending rabbit chases of her dreams.
Dog hair has covered my house, car and clothes–my entire life—- the twelve years past.
We’re on stage, House of Blues Hollywood, a million miles from daily life.
They hit you with proper spotlights on the downbeat and there, floating in front of my eyes, I see the floating brindle hairs that come off of my shirtsleeves—
Son, you are never to escape or be able to forget–you have a dog!
But why am I even saying it? You know these things.
Every one that has ever had a dog in their life, they know.
They know the joy and sublime security of having a dog there.
And we all–we all have to some day know the devastation of loss.
And how else to say this?
Say you were parked on some side street in Westminster a recent Saturday morning, 10am.
You might see me, a mess, up all night, and carrying my beloved dog in arms into the vet.
And say you had reason to sit there by the curb.
You might be there thirty minutes later, when I came out alone, holding only a dog collar in hand.
And maybe you see Mr. big tough punk rocker shattered: real tears, unstoppable.
Tomorrow we’ll load in and unpack the gear, untangling cords last packed up in Blackpool, counting the drum sticks broken in Belgium.
And then we’ll open the guitar cases, and i just know what I’ll find.
The tell-tale brindle hairs still covering the guitar strap of the Fender.
BrownBlack strands, fine as whispers, reminders of something very precious that was once in my life.