Ev, 12/6/23 (Jam)

Ev R0ck
5 min readDec 6, 2023

I’ll be planted in front of this keyboard all day — I don’t care. What else am I going to do? I’m tired of being cooped up in my room without a computer to type on. Plus, I’m really not a fan of the guy I share the room with, or of sharing a room in general. That’s one of the things about rehab that truly sucks. When you’re not in some super fancy place with private rooms, you end up sharing space. I’ve been in even more crowded living situations, though. There’s money in the addiction recovery industry. The more people in your program, the more money from insurance companies. That’s life.

Today is December sixth, the anniversary of an exceptional Phish show in 1997. Usually, I listen to Grateful Dead tapes when I empty my mind out into this blog, but today, I’m diving into the entirety of Phish 12–6–97. I’ll try to jam with my writing in a way that resonates with the improvisational essence of music. The thing about 12/6/97 is that it’s often overshadowed in Phish lore by 12/7, one of the most traded tapes out there and definitely one of the first I ever had. But if I had to choose between the two, it’s definitely going to be the 6th. Any night with my favorite Hendrix song, “Izabella,” is a good Phish night in my book. There’s this unspoken rule — if the encore is “Sleeping Monkey,” the band knows it was a particularly hot night.

Maybe it’s good for me to stay out of my room. I spent a lot of time isolating there when I did have a computer. There are plenty of people to interact with here, even though I usually prefer not to.

I don’t know what happened to the kid who needed a hundred friends and had to be around at least five of them all the time. As an adolescent, I never did anything alone. I had ten best friends, and we did everything together every single day, even if all we did was get stoned and play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. I don’t often talk to any of them now, but I know they’re out there. Occasionally, I’ll send something random to one of them, whether it’s something I did or something that reminds me of them.

Every week in high school revolved around where everyone would be on Friday night, and of course, who would supply the intoxicants for the gathering. I grew up on those teen movies leading to a house party as the crescendo, where anything could happen. Think “Can’t Hardly Wait,” a really underrated movie. There were plenty of these types of parties, and they were a lot of fun. Using drugs and alcohol hasn’t been fun like that in 20 years, but somehow, my mind tricks me into thinking it could be like that again.

I hope I didn’t peak in high school, man. I worry about that. I had other peaks too. That’s life, full of peaks and valleys. I hope there are some peaks ahead of me; I’ve been in a lot of valleys.

“Remember when is the lowest form of conversation.” — Tony Soprano

I think everyone is nostalgic. I don’t feel bad for having a strong emotional connection to times that seemed simpler. There’s this line in the film “American Beauty” that Kevin Spacey’s character delivers about his time in high school — “all I did was party and get laid.” I can relate to that.

It’s funny that I feel this way because back then, I likely felt stressed out, like life was so hard. Life is hard in high school, though. I understand why 15-year-olds are such assholes; they’ve got a lot going on. Plus, they’re pressured by society about what they’ll do for the next 50 years, handed a six-figure debt to pursue it. I dropped out of college, so my student loan debt is minimal. I’ll tell you right now; I’m never going to pay it. It’s a matter of principle. Wasn’t there some campaign promise about forgiving that? Hmmm, all I see now is billions of dollars funding an ethnic cleansing in Palestine.

This is what sitting in front of the keyboard means — circling around a bunch of random thoughts that might not be thematically cohesive. Lately, it’s been going well for me. I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but I don’t really care what I’m writing about as long as I’m writing. It reminds me of going to see three nights of Phish in 2015 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado. People were always discussing “what are they going to play.” I realized I didn’t care what they played, as long as the energy was there and they played well. I recall an interview where people outside a Grateful Dead concert were asked about their favorite Dead song, and someone said, “the next one.”

I wish I could sit down and write the kind of thing that attracts the most attention to this little corner of the internet. I know what kind of story does that. I can see which posts get 50 reads in a day from the traffic analytics. I know what my audience wants, but I can’t deliver unless it’s where my head is.

This is one thing I appreciate about blogging — I can write and write, and there it is. I can decide later what to do with it. There’s usually a lot of bloat to trim and a point to get to, whatever that point might be. I’ve had times where I overthought it. I’m really happy to be in this phase where I’m not thinking much, just letting it flow as it wants to. And now, it seems like it doesn’t want to anymore.

So, thank you for reading, if you did. Remember, you can always email me about any of this at ev.penk7@gmail.com.

“sing for your supper, love one another”- David Byrne

yes, here is the link where you can support these pointless meanderings around the page, i could really use the help. if you want to support them in a non financial way, you could share my work with others, also, and i would find that just as meaningful and encouraging.