grapefruit dawn looks in
dusty gnomes, lost keys and old bread
gone. sans note, dry trees
Toaster Scofl is a thirty-something musician, writer and world traveler who wants to do, and be, everything.
At the age of 18 Toaster came out the other side of a quiet and typical public education, without the faintest idea what to do next. A Bachelor’s Degree in history was to follow and undergraduate education did not fail to deliver some profound experiences for Toaster. Pillowy philosophers, infectious intellectuals, and precious individuals each made unique and lasting impressions. Plus… Toaster had a band and people paid them money.
Months of world travel literally fell into Toaster’s lap. Aboard ship in a foreign sea a siren’s call cut through the night. Light shone from a direction that Toaster had not quite known existed and punched itself through the hull. Soon the vessel had sunk and Toaster was left alone. This is how Toaster met Orly and Toaster was in love.
Time passed and eventually Toaster emerged from University and even made the front page of the local paper. Not because Toaster was special, but because Toaster looked neat and the paper wanted to look neat too. With no aspirations for teaching or postgraduate research you may imagine Toaster’s relief when the government offered employment… although all Toaster really wanted to do was play music with friends and travel with Orly. But this meant financial security and toaster could be a bit neurotic about such things. Now saddled with first world responsibilities, boring ones, Toaster had arrived.
“Look, I understand that inside me there is a greedy, gluttonous, lazy, hippie — you know? I understand that free time is probably my enemy. That if I’m given too much free time to contemplate the mysteries of the universe, I’m afraid of that inner hippie emerging. There’s a guy inside me who wants to lay in bed, and smoke weed all day, and watch cartoons, and old movies. I could easily do that. My whole life is a series of stratagems to avoid, and outwit, that guy” – Anthony Bourdain
Hello reader, I am Toaster.
Many life altering and profoundly beautiful people have come into my life since my university days. Even so, at some point my emotions stopped registering with any consistency. It’s just that nothing seemed to get in deep anymore. Work deadlines were done almost good enough, but everything else sat in stacks. They are still there, the stacks.
Trail running set me free again, so long as I kept running. Writing music with other musicians breathed life into dormant roots, as long as I kept writing. Gardening, creating art, celebrating my sexuality; these were the only reasons I got out of bed. General social interactions however were marbled with dread. I felt my words large and hollow, my actions small.
Eventually truths dribbled from the lips of many good friends pooling large enough to hold a reflection. There I saw a blinking light. “Stand bye’ it announced, potential has been detected, awaiting verification.” My friends didn’t know it yet… but my shit was fucked up.
So seeds of good will were sewn, permanent leave was given and the harrowing decision was made to spend Orly’s and my savings on a Gap Year. We have since drifted with our thoughts, living increasingly cheaply, wondering not too loudly, “what’s next?” I reckon it’s time to start thinking out loud.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Welcome to Shovel Harder. These writings are my research project, my thoughts gone public, my own little contribution to The Big Electron.
“Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.
So it would seem foolish, would it not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal we see from a different angle every day? How could we ever hope to accomplish anything other than galloping neurosis?” – Hunter S. Thompson