Cleveland, OH- My first time ever to Cleveland; I feel the bus stop moving, I hear people shuffling about in the hallway of our sleeping quarters; there’s a firm tap on the curtain of my bunk, rousing me from my dream-state; it’s Blake Bunzel. “Fabb & I are going to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” he states. Immediately, I roll out of my bottom bunk to the floor & rise to my feet; I throw on some jeans and my Chucks, brush my teeth, shower with baby wipes and we’re out the door in less than ten minutes. We head down Euclid, make a right turn a block later, our destination lies a mile ahead. I realize that I’m walking to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with two bonafide rockstars. So what does that make me?
The most poignant observation of the museum, to me personally, is the enormous structure that lies just west of it: right across a small inlet from Lake Erie, adjacent to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, literally a block away, is the Cleveland Browns Stadium. A modern-day coliseum where modern-day gladiators engage in organized hand-to-hand combat. Often, I do not know which side of my personality is being fed by all these experiences; the savage warrior who only wants to destroy, or the sensitive poet who only wants to create. Basically, this parcel of Ohio land completely embodies the great divide that bisects my psyche.
During the most formative years of my young adult-hood, I spent countless hours each day sweating and bleeding on a football field with my closest friends, in the endless pursuit of glory. But what kind of glory? Back then, competition and violence defined who we were: champions. It was high-times filled with high-emotions; the game really was our passion, physicality at it’s finest. Today, I spend countless hours a day bleeding my heart out with my brother, in the same endless pursuit. High-emotions still abound, but now I thrive on intangible human connections. My passion has evolved.
I see myself in the reflective surfaces that surround me, a hooded spectre exploring every city-scape, searching for something around every corner… for what, I no longer know. So I see my dark reflection and can’t help feeling like Derek Zoolander… who am I?