Waiting For My Man/Metal Machine Music: Lou Reed is the King of Noise.

This is what the inside of my head sounds like on a good day. If Lou had stuck a microphone into my mind and pressed record, he could not have got it any closer. Noise.

The metal machine music diatribe against beauty without context, pleasure without pain, reality versus the angels of self-destruction. The torture of needing, of wanting, damnit, I’ll admit it.

The rising clarity, wakefulness, panic, anxiety, claustrophobic desperation closing in reducing the world to a pin prick that cannot be resolved by anything other than that bundle of glassine envelopes: the ferrari of dope: the New York fuel, that sweet east coast heroin. Not the shitty west coast vein collapsing black tar, though no junkie in the depths of the noise will refuse to roll their sleeve up even for the shoe scrapings that passed for west coast dope. Noone who lives in this realm of noise will turn it down.

Lou winds up the intensity of vibration and frequency, smiling as he hits the right notes, the almost subliminal more more more barely heard through the fuzz and feedback of some primo noise. Welcome to my world.

Rattlesnake dancing through water. The melody line lost on a wave of distortion. The shake and rattle. The rock and roll. Breath that comes in ragged. THe disaster of feeling everything after feeling nothing.

The torture of kicking, of owning a body, being trapped within its fleshy confines, that is screaming for more more more. The urgency of the need. The gorge rising in your throat, your bowels turning to water, bones cracking, contorted twisting in a medieval horror show of dope sickness: The mental agony of waiting for the man that never comes. Until there he is, waiting on the corner, under a streetlamp, in his car, up ‘three fights of stairs’ in a brownstone.

“I waited. I waited. I waited” Lou intones on the back of a wave of relentless noise. The sax screams UP! Up! The skronk and the scream. The longing and the dream world that lays just out of reach. Anything to stop the noise.

Gimmie my bag. I waited

Gimmie my shot. I waited.

Gimmie my bottle. I waited.

Gimme relief. I waited.

Gimmie credit for I waited. I waited. …..

I waited…for my man… twenty six dollars in my hand

This is the sound of need. Of desire. Of desperate longing. Of addiction. As the sax rises with a desperate metallic music line engendering possibility; fluttering and soaring, the groan of the feedback, the abuse of the amps and the speakers and the creation of the noise, the insistent clatter of the cymbals, the culmination of that need, the fulfillment of that desire rising closer and closer, nearer and nearer, closer to the powder is in the spoon, closer as the walls close in on you and the insistent scream of reality, the wolf knocking at the door, hungry, slavering, drooling, dripping the water dissolving it into a brown liquid. The joyous realization that you might just have got your sweet taste of relief. The thudding of your heart.

Is it him?

Is the man that makes you wait for the call that never comes until you are sick and shaking like a dog. Is it headlights through the foggy windowpain? Are they his? Is it time? The phone rings. “hey man, you got any hard work. I need those shelves put up.” Are they close? When, man, when? When will you get tht sweet taste? Will it be in time. Never. Never in time, never…’the first thing that you learn is that you always gotta wait” when you live a life waiting for the man.

As the music slows, and the train pulls into the station, and your feet carry you up Lexington, to 125, to the brownstone on the left, up three flights of stairs, battling the shakes and the suspicious eyes. They don’t care, they just want to know what you are doing in this part of town. Mostly they want to know if you are a cop, or there to cop. When your legs are about to give way, and you make it to the door, where you stand and wait. Wait. Wait for the Man to come home. To give you that taste of relief, to feed the beast. to end your torture.

Are the bags full, or is he gonna short ya. Is it stepped on to hell, or is it good and strong. If yer man is worth his door shoes and big straw hat he will give you a sweet taste of what you are buying, a tester, a little hors d’ovure…Then you gotta split, because you got no time to waste. In the most desperate times you need to do a small shot to get ya home in one piece. In the golden days that you can wait, slipping the bag into your bicycle repair kit box, down to the bottom of your bag, your rig in your glasses case, you shoot off back to somewhere private to get well. To straighten out. Until tomorrow…but as uncle Lou says, that’s just some other time.

The soaring resolution, the harmonious resolution, the thump and the rise, even the climatic overload of the rush and nod vibe:

It’s all just noise.

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