The most horrifying experience today. I was visiting Brown Bear to see his new little baby. yes the party all night and three days onward Brown Bear is now a father. God have mercy on his new daughter. I was on the back porch smoking a most delightful Cuban partagas series #4 the bear had just given me, and was interrupted by a phone call. Midway through the call Brown Bear calls to me, bro dinner is ready. I turn to him, bro not now. and I go back to my call. He tells me later at dinner ‘dude I don’t know what you were speaking about but you had the most dire look of pain on your face I have ever seen.’
So I begin to tell him of one of the most harrowing telephone conversations I have ever had thus far in my short but adventurous life. I will not prose this because I have already spent too much time thinking about it. turns out that the Ferret recently spoke with Cleopatra about our little shared business venture, a fledgling spinoff of another company we had started a few years earlier. In our youth and inexperience we gave Ferret 5% ownership in the company, not understanding what 5% of a company could mean. a year or so later I told both of them that I changed my mind. I had been crunching numbers and it turned out that five percent of a large company could be quite a fortune. I could see from the current business model that we were soon going to become a large business. the problem with large businesses is that through you may be earning large bank on the books, in reality you may not be doing so well. all the money needs to be put back into the company. So you may show a profit of say half a mil. but you may have spent it all on capital reinvestment and loan payoffs. But that five percent owner may still want his five percent and that’s twenty-five grand a year right there if you stay at the same place.
Well my decision to take the shares back didn’t go over well with Ferret and Cleo at the time just didn’t understand what I was saying. she now regrets that decision more than any other for so many reasons. Ferret has been most unpleasant to us over the years never lifting a finger to help in the business or even pay much attention to it except to ask every year, where’s my money? and now that we are about to sell this little spinoff for a very small amount of money just so Cleo and I can get out of business with one another, Ferret is most concerned with his share of that pie. It turns out he is offering both of us to buy him out. but not for what his shares are worth but for double because he sees there is a premium for the shares that will yield the buyer with the majority shares in the company.
Now because Cleo and I cannot see eye to eye on things yet and still unfortunately we are constantly arguing and have even taken as I have written about earlier to taking up our own individual attorneys to battle each other to the despicable demise of all of our life’s earnings. Uncannily we still speak as friends on the phone all the time but over certain business matters we just cannot get it together. so I say to Ferret casually, well you wouldn’t sell your shares to her would you? “at this point I will sell them to whoever gives me the money first,” he tells me. “but if you sell your shares to her she will gain majority control of this company and could vote on all sorts of matters that I will have no say in. in fact you know as well as I that she has every intention of taking almost all of the proceeds of the impending sale and leaving me with very little.” “I know. so why don’t you buy them.” “I’ve already told you, I don’t want to buy them for double what they are worth if we are going to sell in two weeks. it would be foolish.” “well then she might.” “well if she buys those shares you know the scenario is going to be the company is going to sell, she’s going to walk away with just under a million bucks, your going to walk with a hundred thou and I’m going to get next to nothing for a company I started. Bro you know I founded this company. This is my baby. you can’t sell me out. you would sell me out after fifteen years of friendship knowing what would happen?” “Look man, at one time we had a friendship, but this isn’t about friendship. This is about money. and I have to start thinking about myself.”
I stood there on the porch deck speechless. I could not respond. I could not take another puff of my cigar. I just stood there staring out into nothing. I had never heard anything like that in my own life. I had seen on it TV. I had seen it in the movies. But I had never experienced in my life. this is the same Ferret from the great college years. the same Ferret I took the wheel for when I didn’t have a drivers license because he was drunk and would be busted for DUI. [how we got out of that one is another story entirely.] the same Ferret we had spent countless birthdays and brunches and Christmases with for almost twenty years. and he broke it down in one simple sentence. ‘this isn’t about friendship Fishy, I’m sure you understand. This is about business.’
I have been haunted for days by this conversation and by those words. I still feel unable to come to terms with the reality of it. I thought to myself. would I sell a friend out for fifty or a hundred thousand dollars? I knew the answer before I even asked the question. i would never. I think some people have that in them and others don’t. and I’m one of those ones who don’t. call it nature versus nurture, or whatever you want to, but friendship means the world to me. I thought about other friends I have. good buds and casual acquaintances alike and found very few in my understanding of who they are who would sell a friend out for cash. I understand that a hundred thou is a nice chuck of change. But I also understand that the Ferret has always had money. and still never been happy or content. He has money now and still seems desperately not content and generally unhappy. how he could possibly feel that more money is what he needs more than long term and life long friendship. He always seemed to get more out of our friendship than he ever did money. he being a well to do attorney with no real need for money and me being every bit the struggling artist and entrepreneur on the verge of living on the street once again at this point, yet again I’ll add laughing, makes the whole situational all the more shocking and hard to fathom.
O.k. so that’s where we are. I mean, that’s the reality of the situation. I wish I could say that this is just a bit of fiction I have added to the diaries to make them more exciting and operatic, but I dare say its just about the most real thing we have ever dealt with here. we are retiring the name of Ferret. The beloved character formerly known as Ferret will from this point forward be banished from this diaries and from The Adventures of Fishy. if I do ever need to recount any activities of the fellow I will refer to him as Sneed, in order to preserve my fond memories of our good times and grand adventures. Long live Ferret, the big funny galloo who knew every word to every commercial song we ever heard a hundred times on TV growing up. And here’s to the quick and merciless destruction of the wicked Sneed.
As for me, my life indeed seems to be presently balanced on that sharp-edged precipice between mad crazy success and super-stardom and dire poverty and homelessness once again. I smile because for the most part I have everything a man could want. I just don’t know if I’ll have a home soon to crash in. I’m just so goddamned lucky. always have been. And blessed. Mom always says I am the golden child. Always coming out on top when all odds are against me. even my delightfully terrifying Oscar worthy dramatic birth where I came out blue and unconscious much to the horror of the whole family, then placed in an incubator to finally wake up three days later as if nothing was wrong with a smile on my face like the sun was shining right through me mom says. If anyone was born to come out on top Fishy, it would be you boy, she reminds me. So I’m optimistic in this too. I’m in shock, surely. As anyone would be. and I’m scared shitless to give even a little of myself right now with the understanding that things like this can happen to a man. confused, perplexed. Disturbed. Scratching my head. And looking at everyone with a suspicious eye.
But I thank God everyday for the abundant assortment of good friends I do have. I thank God for my family and for my band, for my guitar collection, for my music, for other people’s music which gives me such joy, for flowers, and for pretty girls, and for the Internet and laptops and PDAs and for my ability to write endlessly to ease my tension and insane mind. And most of all I thank God for whispering in my ear that strange and fateful day a few weeks back, “Fishy I know you don’t believe in me, but go into this church on park avenue and sit for a while. See how you feel.” I thank God that a true nonbeliever can still wake up early on a Sunday every week and go to a place of worship and sit there wondering what the hell am I doing here but still feel comforted and safe and dare I say happy and joyful by it anyway.
I refuse to believe that people are only in our lives for brief periods here and there, one year five years ten years only to then be replaced by different groups of people. the older we get the more people mean to us and everything else begins to take on less important meaning in the bigger picture of our lives. For the life of me I cannot seem to integrate the fact that there is always this possibility that we are only going to be friends with people for a certain amount of time. that we all move on and make new friends. Still find it very hard to swallow emotionally. What is life? what is it about? if it is not about connection with others, then what it is about? am I still missing the point? Is it just about us? and our relationship to ourselves and to some higher force? I mean if people are always going to get divorced or die and in the end we’re still going to be alone ultimately…. then what are we doing here? Am I still refusing to understand that it is truly about unconditional giving and the receiving is in the giving? God help me to give less concerned with getting. I know that seems like a big one to ask for, but just implant it in my brain tonight while I’m sleeping.
Still in the studio in Miami cutting guitar tracks. I only came here with a little suitcase and one outfit thinking I was only staying one day. I left on Monday and will be departing tomorrow, Saturday, in the same clothes. I feel sorry for whoever is going to be sitting next to me on that plane tomorrow. talk about a smell. But we got a lot of really good work done.
In the recording studio there are certain catch-phrases that are instant jokes among musicians and engineers and the like. Obviously Britney spears is one of them. American idol is another. Its nothing personal against these people. we don’t know them. its just that for every project, for every artist or craftsmen, there are inspirations, that which you aspire to, and there are the warnings, that which you try desperately to avoid emulating in any way. limp bizcit is another one. you just mention the words limp bizcit and everyone laughs and has that unspoken knowing that that is precisely what we are trying not to create when we are working. But as I sat there listening to everyone make jokes and laugh I thought about Fred and I don’t know the guy but I would bet you that he pours as much soul and passion into his music as any of us do. I may not like what he makes but I think we’re missing something when we judge other artists as being good or bad just because we don’t like what they do. there’s something there that we aren’t seeing. Now in the realm of the Britney spears of the world, fine, make all the jokes you want to. she sucks at music and I don’t think that’s important to her or to the people that work with her. she isn’t famous for music making. She’s famous for being hot and sexy. And as long as that’s known and a given, I don’t think it hurts the rest of us who are out there trying to make music. But in most cases I think people are trying to do their best at what they believe is good music making. Its just that to each person that’s going to sound different. [if someone tells you that they don’t like pop or rap or country or heavy metal or some other style of music, chances are that they just haven’t really dug in and given it a chance.]
Notes: we can feel when someone loves us/is loving us. we can feel when someone has stopped loving us. the feel is more important than the words or the actions. You can actually feel what it feels like when you have that love or when you do not. if someone gets mad and stops loving you, you can actually feel it. I remember the night that Cleo made love to another guy for the first time very soon after we broke up, I felt it. I mean I wasn’t there obviously. But I felt it. she was miles away. but I was overtaken by a feeling that can be described by words like pain agony sadness grief anxiety trauma… actual physical pain. called many times. no answer. I could feel that something was happening. her love was leaving me… seeping from me and towards someone else and I could actually feel it. when we’re younger we aren’t as aware of our ability to feel things like that but as we get older, more sensitive and more in tune with the force, we can become very good at feeling things. and in that moment I was in dire pain. she finally called me at about 7am. I had not slept all night. and of course neither had she, having been up all night making love to what would soon become her new boyfriend. She came over. We talked about it. we continued to tell each other everything at that point still. she was in a daze. As anyone would be. realizing that she was beginning to love someone else but still loving me. seeing me in such agony. Realizing that I was still tuned into her that I could feel everything. it was alarming and traumatic for both of us. as Little Tree commented today, ‘I no longer am surprised by it. I understand that that’s just the way it is. it doesn’t even phase me. I expect it. when you have been doing this as long as we have (Avatar/insert any Jedi training people do to get clear/clean here), you can feel everything. when someone is lying you feel it. when someone is mad at you you feel it. they could be four thousand miles away and you feel it. when someone you love is hurt or sad or upset you feel it. if someone is cheating on you, you feel it… that’s just the way it is once you’ve woken up.’ ‘I want to go back to sleep then,’ I comment. ‘sometimes it is too much for me to be this in tune and in feel to others…’ ‘you can go back to sleep anytime you want to and you know that Fishy. But you don’t mean that. you just need to widen back and appreciate all that is more. we can handle anything. We haven’t been given this gift without the means with which to control it and handle it.’ ‘I know. but still, its not easy sometimes.’ ‘I know honey.’