The guy next to me at the bar keeps talking
about how amazing this band is
but by amazing I think he means
It’s cool that they play instruments.
Wonderwall is a hard song
to fuck up, yet here we are. And don’t get me wrong,
I like an Oasis cover just as much
as the next guy but it just feels like
maybe they’ve already had their
fifteen minutes and it’s time to pass the torch
to Ed Sheeran or Jason Mraz or some newer hipper
embodiment of white mediocrity.
Cynicism is funny but it’s a curse.
It, of course, served an evolutionary function
as the cavemen should not be too trusting of the tiger,
no matter how adorable. But in the world we live in
it probably serves us better to like more things.
For example, if I liked this terrible band
I would be having a better time at this
concert and not be so painfully aware
that I have nothing to say to anyone here
or really anywhere outside of a confession booth. Needless to say
this ska cover of Piano Man is not very good.
The tough thing about pulling off ska covers
is that ska is bad. But based on the guy’s reaction
to this band’s ability to play instruments,
you’d think they were not terrible and also not playing ska.
The guy next to me is drunk but I pretend
he isn’t because I want to believe that adulthood is more
than having to get drunk to enjoy the mediocre
details of your day. Sure, it’s easy to be awed by the blood
moon, but it’s hard to love muzak or the sidewalk
or another person without a slight push from whiskey
or religion’s gentle bleeding palms.
Some theologians say it is the same to love
G-d as to fear G-d so maybe all this anxiety is a blessing
because it means I encounter the Universe with such awe
that I can’t stomach it without pills. Still,
I’m the one hate-drinking Buffalo Trace
while the man next to me chants
along to a ska version of Tiny Dancer like it’s a Kabbalic prayer
or a song that is good. It is dangerous
to grow jealous of another’s joy.
It is better instead to try find that joy yourself
so this time I ask the bartender
to leave the whole bottle.