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QRD #32 - the car crash issue - March 2007
about this issue
Crash - Brian John Mitchell
Crash - Alan Sparhawk
Crash - James Newman
Crash - Nathan Amundson
The Wreck - Will Dodson
Bound and Loose - Patricia Russo
See and Say - Patricia Russo
She Was a Doll - Tara Vanflower
David Galas interview
Jamie Barnes interview
Rivulets interview
The Goslings interview
Gifts for Touring Musicians
I Heart FX - Martin Newman
I Heart FX - Nathan Amundson
I Heart FX - Shane DeLeon Sauers
QRD - Thanks for your interest & support
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by Brian John Mitchell

It’s been just over a month since my car wreck (my girlfriend says that there’s no such thing as a car accident because the term accident implies it’s unpreventable) & my head is still screwed up.  The song “Blank Generation” was playing on the college radio station & I was trying to figure out if it was the Germs & if maybe they were having some kind of resurgence because they’re making that Darby Crash movie.  It was one of those fall mornings where there are thunderstorms & tornadoes & the car in front of me slammed on his brakes to a dead stop while going down a big hill where everyone in this city has gotten a ticket in a speed trap.  I guess part of why it is really messing with my head is because for about six months I’ve had a little prayer that goes, “Lord, please let me die in some horrible accident that teaches other people to be careful.  Amen.”  So maybe this was just to shake me out of my being tired of living, but it hasn’t worked.  Instead, I feel even more calm & ready to pass away than ever.  Instead I keep fantasizing about being in more accidents.  I keep hoping/thinking maybe my death has already happened a la An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge or Jacob’s Ladder or Donnie Darko.  Maybe it just happened last month or maybe twenty years ago.  No matter what, it is certain in that my death is an unavoidable conclusion to my birth.  So I’m trying to remember the last thing that I feel certain was real & I can’t keep my mind straight on anything else.  I have trouble concentrating enough to make food to eat to keep my body running.  When I eat I feel nauseous & I feel hungry & tired all the time.  I want to just curl up in my blanket that isn’t warm enough to protect me from the cold & die in it.  I want people to think I’m shaking because of the cold instead of because I’m scared.  What I should want to do is make the world a better place for me having existed, but I just don’t have the strength (my ex-girlfriend says I’m numb from a deep depression).  It’s pathetic to feel old & worn out at thirty-one, but here I am.  Maybe part of it is that I am artificial.  The persona called “Brian John Mitchell” (though it is my given name) was invented one night when I was eighteen.  It has for all intents & purposes destroyed “Brian” who existed before then.  A caricature of a child’s dream of being an artist & being a man.  “Brian John Mitchell” is unquestionably stronger than “Brian” in everyway perceivable, but there seems to be something wrong & thirteen years after his birth & faced with both his own mortality & that of his grandmother he helps take care of, he’s breaking.  So “Brian” is coming out & he’s still a child.  He thinks he’s still in middle school & is trying to remember his locker combination.  He thinks everyone he knows will be famous & important when they grow up.  He thinks the friends he has will last forever.  He thinks he knows everything because he read a book by Che Guevara & another book by Mao Tse Tung & watches a lot of television & these vicarious lives have taught him all he needs to know about life.  Maybe he’s right.  Maybe they have taught him all he needs to know.  Taught him so much that his existence is just a variance of a repetition.  But he is an automaton.  He has no purpose, but he is perpetual.  I need to figure out which one is going to kill the other in the end & join his side so that whatever “me” is can survive.  This is my nervous breakdown.