Lake Vernon Drowning
This is a collection of fragments. They form an introduction to The Lake Vernon Drowning. Consider: One. Andrew Barker's band is called The Lake Vernon Drowning because when Andrew was eleven he almost drowned in lake Vernon. Two. The Lake Vernon Drowning could be an article heading, or better, a kind of signal phrase to a bit of legend. If I say, for example, 'tell them about The Lake Vernon Drowning,' then 'they' (the people around the camp fire, let's say) will probably (and rightfully) expect to hear about a drowning rather than an almost drowned; that is, about Andrew Barker's death rather than his near death. Three. Andrew Barker is alive. Consider then: Near death Death Life Imagine the following dialogue: M: Andrew, what is this all about? Your band and this album... A: I'm exploring different concepts of mortality, Misha, how are you? M: I'm fine, Andrew, but if that's your answer, okay, I have to go ahead and be a bastard and ask you right here and now to define 'mortality' otherwise neither one of us will know what the hell we're both talking about, henceforth. At this point, I expect him to define mortality in terms of '...subject to death, causing death, the inevitability and inescapability of death, mortal sins, large scale disaster, pain, fear, affront, fought to the death, death, death...' but instead he says to me: A: I think mortality means choosing to live everyday. Resistance, relaxation and choosing to live everyday. Consider minutes that were longer underwater: ...and I could see people's feet, and I could see the light coming through the water, and I was just...freaking out, trying to get free...and this guy, Topher. He came down towards me, I guess he just dived down and swam right down, to me, and found me and we were looking at each other - he was holding his breath and looking at me. And he was grabbing my head and - trying to get it out of the wires - and shaking things and trying to get me free and then he ran out of air and went back up, and I was like...still under there. And freaked out and...I guess I ... like at some point I guess I just decided that I was gonna die, like at some point I just...relaxed... ... and I just relaxed, I don't know I just...just like when you relax, you know, I just relaxed and I was kind of just sitting there limply and I was thinking about how I wanted to do stuff with my life, you know?... ...I felt like I wanted to make a deal...like I wanted ...like with God, or whatever...that I wanted to stay alive. There were things that I wanted to do with my life and I just realized that I had a choice. I felt like something told me that I had a choice. And then I just assessed my situation and...figured out that the wires were attached to the boat at separate points. So they were only close together at the end of the mast, that's where they met. So I realized that if I could get myself to where it was wider that I could get free. Resistance and relaxation Looked like this: The mast falls on you and the converging metal lines bend over your head and so now you've got wires around your neck and your head is just between them, note on a staff, kind of thing. The boat turtles and you're trapped ten feet under the water. And nothing in the water is reflected above it so you're really down there, at first resisting but eventually relaxing into drowning. And they relax too: their treading legs make fewer waves as they prepare to mourn the goner. (but if you can choose this, to relax and die; is it possible that you might choose to live? Is it possible that today you will choose to live and almost drown?) Choosing to live looked like this: There are things that you want to do with your life. All this time you've been breathing habitually, without really knowing it, but today you must learn how to breath and live and in so learning to teach yourself how to die, but some other day because today you're not ready because there are things you want to do with your life. These are the terms. Get to where the wires are wider, slip your slim neck out and float up. This beginning is your end of a bargain. Above the water is a point called 'almost drowning' or near death'. The retrospective realm of 'remember when you/the time I almost died?' One. But you can't stop there, can you? Because you know that if it all comes down to almost dying then it all comes down to what didn't happen. The day you almost died becomes the day that nothing happened. But something happened under the water, didn't it? don't tell us what didn't happen. Two. What did happen? What else does nearly dying mean to you? It means that you know you are a man, alive, but that there's a part of you... Something happens to a part of you after an experience like that. Nearly dead means that a part of you is not entirely alive, but also not dead (of course not dead, you're above the water, people are elated, your blood is warm and you're the most popular kid at camp, with show-and-tell cuts and the novelty of a ghost). Three. And isn't that just the feeling of it? then and since, that a part of you is a ghost? Because relaxing and choosing is taking yourself out of the world and then putting yourself back in it. And when you floated up, there was a pack of mourners not waiting for you, and they were elated when you can up like that, back from the dead, it seemed. Sleeping sound The damn broke down Everybody drowned No survivors were found In the town I felt the waves throw me around And I felt the lake pull me down I've been haunting this town too long everybody's gone I've been haunting this town too long everybody drowned note: go to thelakevernondrowning.com to read the rest. i apoligize if the site isn't up yet, it will be soon. (bio transcribed, compiled, conceptualized, and written by Misha Bower)
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