For those who just want the video and lyrics…

“No. You’re a writer,” she supported.

It only took those 4 simple words said in a back alley Broad Ripple bar around 2:15 AM by a supportive lady with designer blue eyes to Brian Wilson me into an emotional cocoon for the following ten days. Barenaked Ladies summed up the agonizing experience in the song, “Brian Wilson,” from around 1992. Take a listen / view:



I’m strong and secure with myself until I remember that Book of Blues is still not published. I mean, how does she know I’m a writer? She hasn’t read a word I’ve thrown down. She’s just had a couple conversations with me. She knows I won’t drink too much. That in itself should give her an indication that I might not be any good.

The cocoon became accelerated even faster when I talked to my cousin a couple days later and, though he likes the book, he’s only on to chapter 2. Not his fault. He knows I’m getting impatient, but I didn’t get the instant gratification I needed.

The cocoon starts off simple, small – almost unnoticed: waking up in time to do the necessary things – work or school, writing / blogging, the other whatnots – and starting the day still feeling stuck in the tail end of REM sleep. Then finish the day’s activities before someone notices you exist, skip social activities or the auxiliary events such as going to the gym or watching prime time TV – because all the worthwhile shows can be seen online. Go to bed early, again, get the extra sleep to shake the sleepiness, and the circle continues.

It took me a year and a half after my time at Denominational University to diagnose this first symptom. This time, it took 4 days. I’m getting better. Once the symptom is diagnosed, the hard stuff begins.

For some, it’s fighting the drinking and smoking and carnal vices and the other La-la-LA-LA, Hey Jude, but for me, it’s comfort food and video games. Actually, it’s not even video games any more. Just overeating. Without thinking, I’m grabbing the extra donut at work and downing it before I’ve realized there was a donut. I’ll get more than enough food because I’m afraid of going through the day with less then a full stomach or with something in the bladder, afraid of the Sci-Fi channel B-movie worst case scenario happening to me in my high-risk environment of a table seat in a corporate office and not being fully prepared to handle it. Overeating forces hibernation, and the circle reforms.

Little stresses become big stresses, big meals look like little meals, hours turn into minutes and the world flies by at a bully pace. And I run and hide till I’m ready to draw a line in the sand, relearn my relationship to the world around me and live again. The days become struggles, but eventually the routine is back. It’s the haunting, mutated variation of being conscious of your own breathing and trying to breathe without thinking about it.

The good news was, while in a cocoon, ideas swirled around for the Book of Blues sequel. The title is solidified (a first), rhythms and story lines are forming. I don’t have a middle yet, but I didn’t last time either.

I’ve got a month before I go into exile at Ft. Myers for the duration of the holidays. I dunno if the book of blues sequel will be diagramed by then – wouldn’t put it past me if it was- but I have a feeling quite a good chunk of the sequel will be written. In the mean time, I have to grind out days as a SEO Specialist / Copywriter in Chicago. I grind them with joy because living plan B (career) while I’m working on plan A (published) is still a great place. I just have to relearn it once in awhile.


Lyrics to “Brian Wilson,” by Stephen Page [when he was with Barenaked Ladies]

“Drove downtown in the rain
Nine-thirty on a Tuesday night
Just to check out the late-night record shop
Call it impulsive, Call it compulsive
Call it insane
But when I’m surrounded I just can’t stop

“It’s a matter of instinct
It’s a matter of conditioning and a matter of fact
You can call me Pavlov’s Dog
Ring a bell and I’ll salivate
How’d you like that?
Dr. Landy tell me you’re not just a pedagogue

“‘Cause right now I’m lying in bed
Just like Brian Wilson did
Well I am lying in bed
Just like Brian Wilson did

“So I’m lying here
Just staring at the ceiling tiles
And I’m thinking about, oh what to think about
Just listening and re-listening
To Smiley Smile
And I’m wondering if this is some kind of creative drought

“Because I’m lying in bed
Just like Brian Wilson did
Well I am lying in bed
Just like Brian Wilson did, whoa

“And if you want to find me
I’ll be out in the sandbox
Just wondering where the hell all the love has gone
I’m playing my guitar and building
Castles in the sun, oh oh oh
And singing “Fun, Fun, Fun”

“Lying in bed
Just like Brian Wilson did
Well I am lying in bed
Just like Brian Wilson did, whoa

“I had a dream
That I was three hundred pounds
And though I was very heavy
I floated ’til I couldn’t see the ground
I floated ’til I couldn’t see the ground
Somebody, I couldn’t see the ground
Somebody, I couldn’t see the ground
Somebody…

“Because I’m lying in bed
Just like Brian Wilson did
Well I am lying in bed
Just like Brian Wilson did, yeah

“Drove downtown in the rain
Nine-thirty on a Tuesday night
Just to check out the late-night record shop

“Call it impulsive, call it compulsive
You can call it insane, oh oh
But when I’m surrounded I just can’t stop”

“Gordon” by Barenaked Ladies on Spotify

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