Lost in the Future
Stan Keaton has been having a very productive day. It is Tuesday, the day he
had set aside to tackle this project. He had spent much of the previous day
creating brand new custom copies of Funhouse on his CD burner, doing it the
way it should have been done all along - seven songs, thirty-seven minutes
long, give or take a few seconds. All songs were in their original order,
with no studio dialogue or fake starts.
Okay, they weren't all exactly in their original order, but the
first five of the original seven songs - the true essence of the album -
were in their proper places.
The Complete Funhouse Sessions contained only five takes of the title
track, and astonishingly, only two takes of 'L.A. Blues'. For CDs three
through five, Stan had substituted an unreleased song called 'Lost in the
Future' in the place of 'L.A. Blues'. He had thought of using at least one
version of 'Sliding the Blues’, but just couldn't bring himself to do it.
The material was simply not worthy of the Stooges. Neither was 'Lost in the
Future' for that matter, but at least it was a decent attempt, rightly cut.
So when Stan had burned CDs six through ten, he used only versions of the
first five original songs: 'Down on the Street', 'Loose', 'TV Eye', 'Dirt',
Really man, when you think about it, the only way to improve this
nearly perfect album was to remove songs, not add them. Stan's newly
abridged versions of the CD came in at a nearly perfect twenty-four minutes.
Now he could load up his changer, set it on full random, and get an endless
kaleidoscope of the Stooges at their most primal, no beginnings, no endings,
just raw power.
Actually following up on his intentions to use this day as a pile
driver, Stan has been at work on his Funhouse review since six in the
morning, (eight hours and counting according to the Madonna ‘Express
Yourself’ promotional clock on the wall), and the Stooges have never once
Susan had been amazed to see Stan up so early in the morning. Stan had
even made the coffee. Lots of coffee. Stan has hauled out the corporate
sized brewer, good for at least twenty-four cups of steaming hot Joe. Three
packs of smokes and a box of Krispy Kremes rounded out the makeshift
Occasionally, Stan takes a break to get up and stretch, and when he
does, he dances along with the music. He is that elated with the quality and
quantity of his words. He is wired and then some, consuming tons of hot
coffee and cutting the edge with primo reefer.
Really, he has long since finished up his review, a mere ten thousand
words. But, but, that's only the tip of this particular iceberg; the
Flatliner review is a mere shadow of the opus he finds himself working on.
He has been writing at lightning speed and has managed to outline an entire
book, Stan Keaton’s Masterpiece, tentatively titled 'Dirt, A Tale of Rock
and Roll Terrorism'. He has already composed thirty-three pages explicating
the grandeur of ‘Funhouse’ and defining it's proper place in American
He feels as if he is just getting warmed up. Stan is bursting with
words, he feels that he might have another two hundred pages inside of him.
The verbiage is spewing out of him and it won't be stopped, it can’t be
stopped. He can nail this motherfucker, revisions and all, in two weeks
tops. Will it need any outside editing? Hell No, this book is in the
spirit of excess and anarchy with which Fun House itself was originally
conceived. Stan is going to out-Bang Lester, who thirty years earlier had
only managed to write a paltry fifty pages or so in celebration of the
greatest musical masterpiece of the twentieth century.
Stan's hands are on fire. His
fingertips have become bony little spikes sprouting from the ends of his
hands, nerves directly exposed and flattened out like pennies under a train
track. They have been pulverized by their incessant pounding on the
Yowww! Stan spills his umpteenth cup of coffee right into his lap and
leaps up from his chair, kicking the cord of his computer right out of the
socket whilst on the way to his feet. Like a collapsing star, the screen
image shrinks to a dot and blinks out to black.
Stan’s face freezes in horror. Oh shit oh shit how much data have I
lost? Oh shit oh shit. Shaking, he pushes the CPU plug back into the socket
and stands in front of the computer screen, momentarily ignoring his soaking
crotch. Slowly his computer comes crawling back to life, only to halt and
display the dreaded Microsoft message, 'Machine Improperly Shut Down -
preparing to run Scandisk’.
Well that's some howdy-do. Stan hardly feels like committing to
Stan goes to the refrigerator, trying hard not to panic, and pulls out
two Coors Lights, one of which he downs immediately in a few long glugs. He
takes the other one with him into the bedroom, where he quickly changes out
of his wet clothes. Gratefully, he observes that his wiener appears to be
undamaged by the coffee. He cleans himself off with a cold washcloth and
changes into the first black things that he spots in the closet.
By the time Stan comes back to his desk, the computer has finished up
with it's incomprehensible report on allocated blocks, bad clusters,
whatever, and after clicking okay he is returned to the familiar Windows
screen. while his desktop reappears, Stan finishes up the second Coors,
grits his teeth, grumbles a little prayer, and punches up Microsoft Word. He
can scarcely breathe as it loads. He expects the very worst. He opens
dirt.doc, the file that hopefully will contain an uncorrupted copy of his
newborn book, and watches the message at the bottom of the Word window as
the document loads up; ten pages, twenty pages, thirty pages, Forty
Pages, SIXTY-FOUR PAGES! Good Lord, did I really write that much?! Thank you
Jesus, it's all here! Hooray for AutoSave!
I wrote sixty-four pages today, marvels Stan. I am fucking amazing! No
way I could've written that much. Not even Stephen King can write that much
in a day. I know that I kinda got in there deep for a while, but damn,
sixty-four pages, Good Lord, I am the man!
thinks about trying to call up Susan to tell her of his miraculous
accomplishment. She might still be at work. On the other hand, she may have
already left to get a start on preparing for her little trip tomorrow. No,
she’s already packed. Stan pontificates. Then he smokes another cigarette
and pontificates some more. He finally decides that he will try calling her
when he gets to the DownUnder. She might want to celebrate today’s victory.
Sixty-four pages. Hoo-Hah!
It is now six
twenty-five in the PM. A proud and grinning Stan shuts off his CD changer
right in the middle of a particularly torrid version of 'Down on the Street'
8 4:16]. The sudden
silence allows him to hear Melinda’s voice speaking to the answering
machine, trying to get in touch with Susan. He thinks he made have heard his
own name, too, as he was shutting off the tunes. Melinda sounds as if she
could be reading into the phone for a moment, and then she goes silent,
waiting for a response. Stan considers picking up the phone, but he doesn’t
want to get in to a long conversation, and Melinda has already hung up
before he gives it a second thought.
Stan's fingers need to take a well-deserved rest. They badly need to
be clutching something cold and refreshing. Smiling triumphantly, Stan grabs
a fresh pack of smokes from the kitchen, heads to his car, and drives on
down towards the pub.