Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
T.C. Boyle was asked, in an interview recently, about whether or not he imagines how he's going to die. He said that he's been doing so "since the moment of consciousness hit" and he's pictured it as a slow death, the one that leads to a nursing home and dementia. The interviewer pressed him about the dying slowly part, as opposed to the imagination being set on checking out through some grand means and Boyle replies, "My dear fellow, we all put our heads down, don't we? In previous generations, there was purpose; you had to die, but there was God, and literature and culture would go on. Now, of course, there is no God, and our species is imminently doomed, so there is no purpose. We get up, raise families, have bank accounts, fix our teeth and everything else. But really, there is utterly no purpose except to be alive." The last line is the kicker. It's profound and it's elementary. The profound part of it is that this exception to early onset doomsday - this being alive part - can be arrived at in so many different ways and not all of them are happy. Most of them are rather grim and contribute greatly to the gloom that could be leveled.
It would be curious to know what Crocodiles lead singer Brandon Welchez would say to Boyle, about his comment - whether he'd agree or offer a rebuttal. It seems like he might be on the great American novelist's side, but before he could ever get to the doomed outcome, there would be ocean views and efforts made to uplift spirits. There would be picnics and beach days, even under grayed conditions, even when the mood didn't suit. The attempts would still be made to get to that nursing home, to melt in a sunshine and to make others - along with yourself - feel alright. He offers on the song, "No Black Clouds For Dee Dee," from the group's Frenchkiss Records debut, "Endless Flowers,"
"Oh my girl, yes I wanna, smile laughing, coughing sunshine over you
And if, if you were a daisy, thirsting for a fix I'd gladly be the dew
No more lost girls walking from you
No more sickness sleeping in you
No more fools spit judgments on you
No more death beds raining on you
No more black clouds hanging around"
It is the slow pointless burn that takes us through our days, but it's all that we have sometimes.
Crocodiles Official Site