My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Dec 9


Category: Life

So, I’m listening to Aimee Mann and Elliott Smith, wearing a little pink bracelet that says, “Elopement.” This is because I’m in the e.r. waiting to get a psych evaluation. I don’t know why the bracelet’s pink, I don’t know why it says Elopement. I just decided that I’ve been thinking about, and writing about bleeding in the bathtub for far too long.


18 Comments so far

  1. Ali December 9th, 2008 3:06 am

    Good for you.
    I never got internet or music while waiting for a psych eval at the ER.
    I just remember having to wait HOURS every time.
    I hope you find the help you are looking for.

  2. Will December 9th, 2008 6:32 am

    Elliot Smith, please, put it away forever, not just a long time, f’ing forever. You are vulnerable and that DEAD guy has always pissed me off, $1,500 a day CRACK AND HEROIN habits, pissing off all who loved you, being a selfish, Doom Focused a-hole making money off of misery will indeed fuck you up…man this pisses me off because I’m helpless and I don’t know what is really going on but I do know, Elliot Smith triumphing is a dead end. He pisses me off to no end, he gets all this “attention”, literally to “express himself”, that has encouraged more people to feel like shit than any other “artist” I know. He went from a “bad” childhood (welcome to the party, pal) to a very successful career in music from keeping the most narrow possible focus on music to want to fucking kill yourself to. Oh, Brav’ fucking Oh you skillful creator. What did he DO with that money, his intelligence? Pissed it away. I do not come to these conclusions lightly or without pause.

    It is NOT okay, it is NOT healthy to consistently encourage your “audience” to be the most isolated, lovelorn, depressed bunch on the planet all in the guise of Oh, he’s Whispering-singing, it’s so SOFT and so Lovely…. bullshit, it’s suicide swan song, and he knew it – and when he tried to get upbeat songs going what, was there was too much competition? I don’t know. He did start in a Rock band, he was capable of many things, but he consistently chose to focus on the negative and he ended up paying the ultimate price: HATING himself and stabbing himself in the F’ing chest!

    All I know is I feel, your call Mike – you should ditch the SOFTWARE you keep PUMPING INTO YOUR HEAD that is full of self pity, self hatred, self-torture, all in the guise of OH, he’s misunderstood, he’s in pain, he’s been hurt – Fuck That, Elliot Smith made A LOT OF MONEY on focusing on the pain of life, but he never wanted to SOOTH pain, he only wanted to CHAMPION IT. Life is too short on it’s own, why the FUCK would you invite such a killjoy Dick into your head and then have him camp out there for weeks?

    I’m glad you’re freaking wigged out by your focus lately on suicide. How could you NOT think that way, cramming software songs that literally hover over your focus?

    Ditch that bullshit.

  3. Will December 9th, 2008 7:01 am

    Sorry for the heat.
    I don’t know what to do about the worry I feel for you man, this ain’t easy on anybody.

    I am mad at Elliot Smith because you are now person #3 in my life that did nothing but sink lower after listening to the guy. Those 2 people I knew; that was decades ago; and one is dead, the other, thriving.

    I’ve sincerely tried to appreciate the guy, but I know his story, and I’ve seen too many people in vunerable places champion him. If I offended you and your tastes please forgive me and know maybe I’m venting at my past experiences and I have misspoke.

    I kept my opinions to myself on the subject before, but I cannot continue to see you, a terribly bright and expressive person, conjure an appreciation for people, actions, substances which have but one end, and that end is NOT death, and rather, endless pain, which is ironic for all the singing about ending pain in essense.

    We are what we think, feel. We are terribly prone to suggestion. The reason our hearts can absolutely soar from love and attention is the same reason we can sink down from the lack of it.

    But at one point in your life, you see it’s You, how you Guide yourself thru this life, that you can grow to become emotionally self-reliant, but seek love and companionship from friends and lovers who themselves are self-reliant and not codependent. If things don’t work out in those type of healthy relationships, it’s not the end of the world, you don’t sink to a bottomless pit.

    The pits teach us to never return. If you missed that, well, choose. Make a choice. Fall down, pick yourself up, fake it till you make it and sure enough, life becomes the grand game that it is. You make the rules on how you feel. Sure there’s beyond heavy influence, but in the end, it’s You.

    Elliot Smith for me requires you to engage in a codependent suicidal relationship – in order to appreciate his work – you must sink to that level and miss that he purposely made more and more of the SAME type of music and song, because that’s what paid his drug habit bills and got him long overdue attention.

    But many, many, many people have had abuse issues as a child, had a tough time finding their way, and wrote sad songs, became famous for a time. They all did NOT however, champion pain, profit from it, and piss it all away. If you choose to shoot up and smoke crack and 20 people stop you a dozen times but you go right back; you’re gonna get what you deserve. I cannot fathom besides a cry for supreme help, that That man’s music represents. You heard your OWN cry for help, because the very strong and smart man inside you wants the fuck out of the mire, the pit, he KNOWS there’s more to life than this.

    Please be Good to yourself. I wish you all the peace you can muster, and I hope you know you have by writing this blog helped me SO MUCH, and I know I can’t really return the favor, but right now, I’m so proud and happy your aware of your depths now, and willing to do whatever it takes to focus on those depths that bring you joy, not sorrow.

    Take care. Sorry I sound like I’m spitting venom at Smith but, I was, because you’ve been injecting it lately and that shit’s got to stop; you’re too good to leave, and too good to not be happy from all you have done and more so, will do.

  4. michael December 9th, 2008 7:40 am

    But how do you do you REALLY feel about him?

    Seriously though, I have some actual problems that have nothing to do with Elliot Smith. Music, or fiction can’t make me do anything, I’m not here because of anything in the realm of art. Elliot didn’t put me here, neither did any musician. One of the happiest evenings of my life was spent listening to Elliot Smith.

    He’s not a bad person who makes people commit suicide. He just got really lost and couldn’t find his way back, it happens to so many people.

    For me personally, knowing that other people share dark and darker places helps me to realize I’m not alone, that anyone can have problems, that these experiences are universal.

  5. MagnoliaFly December 9th, 2008 8:26 am

    Take care – I’m glad you sought help.

  6. Alisa December 9th, 2008 9:06 am

    Good luck Mike.

  7. redandjonny December 9th, 2008 11:28 am

    Can I have that pink bracelet?

  8. Will December 9th, 2008 11:52 am

    See? Now THAT response is why I keep coming back to learn from you man, rock on, you are very evolved and mature, more so than me (as I showed this morning).

    I was scared to lose you man, so, forgive my profanity and associations that don’t apply to you.

    You are something else , man.

    Rock On.

  9. Mama December 9th, 2008 11:55 am

    Faking it until you feel it always works for me!

  10. Ormolu December 9th, 2008 1:05 pm

    Personally, I can see Will’s point. I think he has some valid concerns. But you both handled your disagreement admirably and there’s really nothing for me to add to it.

    I’m glad that you’re seeking help, Mike. I wish that the stigma of mental health was completely eliminated because I know a lot of people personally who could benefit from therapy, but they refuse to go. Some people (like my mother) get turned off by one bad experience, which isn’t really being fair to yourself. I’ve had bad therapists. I’ve had bad doctors. I’ve had bad baristas. ;P Doesn’t stop me from going back. Fortunately, my current therapist is fantastic and I continue to benefit greatly from my “monthly tuneups.”

    I don’t see anything wrong with seeing a specialist just as one might see a trainer at the gym for their expertise. (Not me though, I don’t go to the gym.)

    I wish you well, Mike. If things don’t click with the first person you talk to, don’t be afraid to try with someone else. It says a lot about your character that you’re brave enough to ask for help when you need it.

    Take care.

  11. Rachel December 9th, 2008 2:59 pm

    It says elopement cause they think you’ll run away.
    But obviously you’re not running away from your pain, by being there. I hope it helped. I hope you feel better. You’re a strong guy Mike, I know it. <3

  12. Sarah December 9th, 2008 3:28 pm

    It is always difficult to ask for the help we really need.

    I hope you are able to find the answers you’re looking for. I’ve only talked to you a few times but I’ve enjoyed every one of them, and I can’t wait to talk to you again. I think you have a lot of interesting things to say.

  13. Sarah December 9th, 2008 5:34 pm

    What right does a person have to look down on someone at the bottom and pass judgement on them? How dare they label them as evil simply because they lack the imagination to know what pain and sadness can do.

  14. Jenn Malatesta December 9th, 2008 9:19 pm

    I don’t know what to say except that I probably should be sitting right next to you with my own pink bracelet.

  15. Karen (the first one) December 9th, 2008 10:37 pm

    Just to join in the chorus here, I very much hope you find the help you’re looking for.

    And I have to point out there’s great comic potential to be seen in that bracelet (and I don’t mean the obvious double meaning of elopement, I mean the fact that you of all people got that label at all). It almost writes itself, but I’m going to sit back and hope that you’re back soon to write it for us.

    Stay strong, and keep us posted.

  16. Will December 10th, 2008 1:26 am

    “What right does a person have to look down on someone at the bottom and pass judgement on them? How dare they label them as evil simply because they lack the imagination to know what pain and sadness can do.”

    There’s no assigned right, or authority to judge. We have instead, opinions, I strongly feel, that can change, depending upon our willingness, and experience.

    I liked your question, sincerely, it made me take stock of what I said and reconsider how I approached my post at 7am.

    In a defensive, ego based reply way, You just chose to say (to most likely me, and in general) I or others have a lack of imagination to someone else’s pain… well, there’s a “judgment” right there about another’s imagination, which I feel is more aptly described as an opinion, from the heart, based on your feelings and your experience.

    I heard a rightful plead for anyone reading your words to not jump to conclusions and understand the mire and war that goes on inside many of us, isn’t simple. I agree. But Mr.Smith has a unique aspect for me, that allows a certain judgmental sounding attitude.

    He was not at the bottom often, more often than not he was high, very wealthy, and at the time of his death he was sober and taking steps, but the past drugs and guilt for his admitted bad actions to those who loved him ruined his brain’s ability to stop him from a dramatic stunt after a mild fight with his girlfriend. Even after stopping his destructive behavior , his thoughts still hovered uncontrollably around Dark, and that’s what scares me about anyone admiring him without possibly taking full stock of the context of the man’s life and choices. I know Michael knows his deal, but I just didn’t see how listening to that man’s songs/thoughts in a psyche ward was going to be helpful, or when he starts fresh back at home. (You know the songs, you appreciate them, but, they’re also mentioned hand in hand with blood filled bathtubs).

    Smith made willing choices. With the foreknowledge of their affect. Like his music; alot of his worst choices mainly required little to no cooperation from others, a solo act. His music I feel begs you to sympathize and empathize with his pain, his melancholy, while disregarding the pain he caused others in his life with his choices, or that he was either snorting or shooting heroin. And then going to extremes by smoking crack. Some people are born with bipolar disorder; he asked for it.

    What I said was my opinion, based in the context of this morning and to whom, and why I spoke up. I need no imaginative prowess to comprehend bottoms of pits; my friend committed suicide. He was a fan of ESmith before he robbed himself and others of a chance to know more joy with and from him. I’ve wanted to kill myself more than once. But I came to see I brought myself to that place, slowly but surely, through thought and influence, but no one dropped me off there, I didn’t hitch a ride, ..I was driving the whole time. And my recovery was swift. By choice. With love and support because I didn’t crap on everyone around me.

    For that highly personalized reason, I felt strong enough this morning to speak with venom against influences that in my opinion bring about destruction, not creation. I made a bit of an ass of myself, swearing and not reflecting upon what Michael has said here before, his strengths and deeper positive understandings that make up his appreciation of unique people and situations. I was scared. I was feeling powerless. I was thinking if only it was as easy as, just stay away from the music like that for awhile, and “here’s why”.

    I think not of anyone in a dark place this way, but rather only Mr.Smith. Still from what you said Sarah, I’m reconsidering, I’m taking stock of my attitude.

    Some final notes on Smith that brought me to the conclusions I did: To me it’s important that his two fave harshest drugs on the planet, have built-in law of diminishing return factors, as well as built in “hangovers”, where the universe comes in and goes, Really? Really Dude? You’re going to do that , Again? – and you chose to hear that voice, or ignore it. If you ignore that voice for around a decade, even if you quit, you’re still going to have to be very patient getting healed. Mr. Smith wasn’t that patient.

    There’s a huge metaphor in there and it’s about anything we use like a drug.

    Smith died with over a million dollars still left in his account. How much did he donate to charity, less fortunate people? Did he set up any estates? Nope. Did he give his long time girlfriend a dime? Nope. We know how much he donated to drug dealers. We know how much he gave to collaborating artists who worked with him, and it wasn’t much. Did he even plan his suicide? No, he just wabam, did it. And that’s what scared me this morning.

    In my opinion, Smith? You want to end your life? I won’t “judge”. Not for me to decide, but I can have my opinion.

    You want to push away all who try to help you, champion pain and suffering and stay with it regardless of pleads by loved ones over many years, you want to watch your bank account grow from people all over the world appreciating your talents, and then make promises but only crap on them? Hey, Go for it, but take the responsibility of awareness that many of the fans will be young people in dark places. Extremely prone to influence and suggestion. Emulation. It’s what got his songs noticed, and made him rich.

    I feel ES was caviler (via drugs and then his suicide) with the responsibility of being born, his talents, his success, and his future potential to be a positive influence or continue to be one for those fans who could appreciate his unique voice.

    I don’t see him haunted by demons, I see a series of choices that ended in his downfall and many people’s pain, because that became the net result. Do people appreciate his music? Sure, but I’m still explaining my venom from this morning, not making a judgment on fans of Elliot Smith. The context is everything. Suicidal thoughts: I couldn’t think of a Worse songwriter to drive a susceptible person to the brink. I see us all as susceptible as Elliot, but I also will not stand by and say, Oh Yeah, Elliott’s sorrow is so complex we just can’t understand it, it requires such empathy and imagination. I’m sorry but I don’t buy the tortured artist routine when you’re slamming heroin and smoking crack in a high roller see-saw at the expense of those who love and appreciate you while your stage persona is this quiet withdrawn guy. He was a mean spirited asshole alot of the time. He was a slob and a heroin junkie by not only choice of drugs but attitude and approach. I don’t find that as byproduct of the drugs or his pain, but rather his choices.

    If Micheal wrote the ESmith’s songs, based on his feelings from the past and the things he’s been thru, I’d get it, and really appreciate them. My instead my introduction to ESmith was from a person who became an insta-fan right at my friend’s darkest hour, and I was told how important this Smith guy was. So I tried to understand. And I do I feel, in my opinion, I understand a majority of his outlook.
    I just don’t appreciate the man’s choices or how those choices influenced others. I just cannot see how listening to music could not be supremely influential as it’s so complex to the mind and soul; when I want joy, I seek out tunes first, artist’s second. There’s a wealth of creative people out there with songs that uplift and otherwise assist people. If Smith does it for somebody and they aren’t talking about suicide? Fine. If they are? I’m going to speak up.

    This is not my blog and I’ve spoken FAR too long.

    I am looking forward to me shutting up about this and in general and hearing all about Michael’s thoughts and those who’ve known him far longer than the short time I have. I apologize to Michael and anyone else I may have hit with feelings that were distasteful, and my unasked for lengthy opinions.

    Via La Eloption!

    Power to the Peeps


  17. Gabriele December 10th, 2008 8:14 pm

    Elopment — to enter into or remove oneself from a situation. It is intersting that it is on your pink little bracelet. Here is the official psychiatric definition: “to leave without permission or notification; escape.” When we elope, we are removing ourselves from a situation that we find intolerable and take ourselves to another. The word is amusing. When I had to deal with that word and its psychiatric relity, I found it a funny way to apply the term by way of improving one’s situation, because I was eloping with myself to get to a better situation than the one in which I found myself. People elope to marry one another or to take themselves to a new place. We also can elope with ourselves — boody/mind/spirit to take ourselves to a more wholistic state of life. In either case, the elopment means someone is not going to like the choice that we have made. But elopment means that we make the most sensible and safe move for ourselves. Eloping means climbing out of the window that fortuitously has been left open and take ourselves to a sancutary where the marriage of soul can be actualized and celebrated. May that bracelet be your ride to the YOU that is REAL and eternal, Michael. From Gabriele whose been on that ride herself.

  18. Gabriele December 10th, 2008 10:38 pm

    More about elopment: As a part of the research that I did on elopment more than a decade ago this particular sentence struck me: “the right to individual dignity must be ensured for all patients, including those wholeave against medical advice.”

    This definition, in my mind, is applicable to anyone who must consider a course of action to assure that individual dignity is ensured for his ongoing engagement with life.