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Mission of Burma Album Artist: Mission of Burma
Album: The Obliterati
Site: http://www.missionofburma.com/
Sound: http://www.obliterati.net/

2wice “Take a look inside/What did you think you’d find?”

Pressing play, I splashed onto the pavement from inside the fishbowl foyer. I recently added some Mission of Burma to my player. I just finished a day in my new position at work. I’m so lost. I want to burst out of my skin … something separate from these crazy surroundings and swallowed into a different experience. “You hide/I’ll find you out/You dare/Find your way” It’s the kind of song that makes you want to stomp when you walk

That’s when I noticed the cell phone sitting in the grass. Pause. That’s when I learned—if you see a cell phone sitting in the grass, don’t pick it up.

I picked it up. I looked around. There was one other person in the park that day; a gardener with a loud leaf blower. I waved for his attention, only to find out he was not the owner of the phone. I stood looking at it for a couple of minutes. I’m thinking that as soon as I put this thing down, it’s going to ring. I wanted this thing to ring in my hand, because if I put it down and it rings and I’ll pick it back up, then I’m really stuck with it. My albatross sat lonely on the corner of the bench where I had placed it for all of two seconds before ringing.

Ring. Ring.

—Hello? *Hey is this Lee?—I don’t know Lee. I just found this phone in a park, and now I don’t know what to do with it. *Well, I’m supposed to meet Lee to play basketball. Is he around? —No. I just found this phone. *Where’s Lee then? How did you get his phone? —I just told you. I found it here in this park. *What park? —Selkirk area. I don’t know whose phone this is. I’m not sure what to do with it. *Well can you wait there? —No. I’m on my way home. I was just going to hop in my car, I can probably run it down to you. Where are you? *I’m going to be at the schoolyard by the McDonald’s on Pandora, playing basketball. Can you bring it there? —Yeah. No problem.

Spider’s Web “I’m amazed inside your gaze alone”

Play. Shit. Hope it doesn’t ring again. I’m walking to my car with one headphone in, just in case. Why do I care? Stupid phone. Why did I pick it up? “I wanna find a place where we’re OK”. Ring. Pause.

—Hello. *Hey is this Lee? —No. This is just the guy who found his phone. I’m taking it to another guy who just called. *Well, where’s Lee? —I don’t know man. I just found this phone in a park—Selkirk area. Some guy just called and said he was supposed to play basketball with Lee, so I’m dropping it off with him. *Where? Is Lee going to be there? —No. I don’t know. I’m just dropping the phone off with his friend. *OK. Where are you taking it? —Some basketball court near McDonald’s on Pandora. I should be there in like ten minutes if I can just get to my car.

Whose phone is this? For all I know, it’s a meth dealer’s phone and here I am with my fingers all over it, pressed to my ear, breathing near the mouthpiece. This is disgusting. Why can’t I just put it down? Well, people know someone has it now. I briefly considered just putting it down on the trestle…then I wondered, how many people would go out of their way like this to help someone they don’t even know? I had to do it. I couldn’t back out. “The cycle spins like an insane machine/But I can ride it now because I know what it means/The world flips when an animal gets its soul”

I can see my car from here. There’s no way I’m answering that phone again.

Let Yourself Go “All enveloping water/All encompassing love/It’s a vice-like grip/Inside your glove”

Finally. In my car. Just got to cross the bridge, and go the long way around home. This is a great riff. Man I love this shit. Take the passenger seat, phone! And don’t friggin’ ring while I’m driving.

Why don’t I listen to this band more? It’s like that song I used to like (whew across the bridge, just a few more lights “is that a goddamn red light? What’s that guy waiting for … just go!” and then I guess I’ll just make that illegal down Vancouver … yeah the turnoff is just past Quadra … no schools on the way … 30 is 50 … 30 right? ... 50 is 80, 60 is 100 … Not not not not not not not not) what was that song again? "I Have The Gun?" No, or is that Crime and the City Solution? What the hell song am I thinking of?

… Hindsight (and the internet) spring eternal – the song was "Academy Fight Song"—incidentally, I think Mission of Burma would kick ass covering "I Have The Gun"…

As I’m pulling up to park, the song comes to a certain end … “Let yourself go!/Let yourself go!/Let yourself go!” … I shut the player off with one second to spare, and look up. Now what? What do I do?

Things don’t occur to me a lot.

There are a bunch of kids in the schoolyard. As I start to walk towards the schoolyard, I realize how this must look. “Yes officer…he was average height, wearing a hat, dressed all in black. He was staring at all the kids in the schoolyard. Wouldn’t take his eyes off of them. Pretty strange if you ask me.”

My nose starts running when I get nervous. It’s a type of internal reaction to being in uncomfortable circumstances…my brain and my body communicating run run run and responding in a Mad’s Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions kind of way. Some people probably don’t get it, but it’s similar to feeling the room is getting smaller, or getting itchy. My tell just happens to be an embarrassing six-year old way of getting the message across.

Where is this dude? There is no one over 10 years old here, and the guy on the other line sounded like a teenager. Even that – gay man meets teenager after school in the basketball court – wtf? What the hell have I done? I have to get rid of this phone. Maybe I should just leave it here. Just go leave it on the bench. I look around again and people are starting to stare. Well, they’re not staring so much as allowing me to project that they are staring, but that’s enough. I have to drop this phone off. Yeah, drop off a small piece of electronics near the school. That’s not suspicious. Now I look like a fucking terrorist. Fucking phone. Ring. This thing has become my Dungeon Master.

*Hey is this Lee? —No. This is just the guy that found Lee’s phone, and I’m trying to get it to a friend of his, but his friend isn’t where he said he’d be so now I don’t know what to do with it. *Well, where are you? —yaargh! I’m at this schoolyard on Pandora waiting for this guy to show up because Lee was supposed to play basketball with him. *Oh. Well, I’m right around the corner from there, and I was just leaving the house. Do you want to come and meet me halfway? —Sure. This guy isn’t here, so I guess sure yeah … umm, how will I know you? *I’m wearing a grey hoodie.—I’mmm going to need more than that. *Ummm. I’m carrying apple juice. So which way do I go? I’m crossing Pandora right now. *Go on the other side of the street from McDonald’s and just walk toward Blanshard. I’ll meet you halfway. —Cool. See you then.

Man In Decline “And it probably works to the better/that you’re there and I’m over here”

Now I’m looking for a girl in a grey hoodie with an apple juice...a can of apple juice? A juice box? She said can, didn’t she? Ok. A girl in a grey hoodie … “Cause farce is waiting there for us/With open arms and guarantees/Of such rediculosity”

Oh. There she is. Looking right at me. She didn’t say anything about wearing a jacket over the hoodie, though. This can’t be right. She’s looking right at me. She’s got a can in her hand…grey hoodie. I hold the phone up with one hand and point at her. “Is that apple juice?” I inquired. The woman held up her drink, “No. I think it’s baby formula?” Oh god. Yep. There’s a few homeless here. I think I just freaked out one of them. Oops. “Uh, sorry. That’s ok.” Nothing is coming out right. It all sounds either apologetic for the wrong reasons, or condescending at this point. “Umm. Thanks?”

Hoiy. Sheesh. So apparently, that wasn’t her. “Will it ever or never get better?/Will it ever or never get better?/Can I tickle your ass with a feather?”

Ring.

—Uh, yeah, hey, this is the guy that found this phone and so far my day is pretty fucked up…how’s yours? *Who is this? —I’m the guy that just found this phone, and I’m trying to take it to someone who seems to know the owner. *It’s him…hey, who is this? —It’s just a guy that found a phone. I’m trying to get it to this girl who called it and so I’m walking down Pandora to meet her. *Well it’s my phone. I’m at Mayfair right now, can you bring it there? -No. I’m going to try to meet this girl, and then if that doesn’t work I’m going back to the basketball court, and then if there isn’t anyone there, I can bring it to you. *Just bring it here, then. —No. I’m looking for the girl in the grey hoodie carrying apple juice!

I said it as loud as I could at the girl approaching down the block and she waved. Finally. Holy crap! What the hell was I thinking. Oh, right…go out of my way to do something good for someone for once. Help someone out. Get no glory for doing nothing. Have people say things like “Wow, what a crazy adventure!” It’s over now. I can go home … “Pursuits of happiness/Mortal embarrassments/History repeats itself/A man in decline”

I was almost back at my car when I realized the car window is open. Crap. My bag is sitting right on the front seat. What the hell…well, we’ll see if karma truly exists I guess … I mean, unless I did something horrible … in which case, we’ll see if karma truly exists … everything is where it was.

Birthday “Out of the troubled waters/Out of the swirling gloom”

I did it. It’s done. I’ve used three different bridges on my way home, and I have a stupid story to tell at work … It’s weird how apt this music is, even weirder that I just accept it. You see, it’s the small things like this. One band I’m always going to remember and one story that will always come to mind whenever I hear them … better than that time I permanently broke my leg and Spandau Ballet was playing in the ambulance. That sucked.

Ok, baby. “I’m coming home/I’m coming home”

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