Metallica Fridays (no. 3): The Imperfections Of Life

Tomorrow- February 12- will mark the first year since being hit by a semi truck. It’s surreal to still think about the impact an accident of that sort has on one’s body. i’ve come to terms with much of it (i kind of don’t have a choice), but it’s still strange to think about. i don’t look at myself in full in the mirror much, and i i feel like i accept everything more, looking down at my legs every day. When i happen to see my reflection in random places, and see my full self sitting in a wheelchair it just doesn’t seem real. It’s like those legs (or what’s left of them) belong to someone else. i don’t even hate the body i am in. As a matter of fact, i am very happy to have survived such a traumatic event.

i cannot predict what is going to happen on this first ‘anniversary’ (for lack of a better word); i do know that Metallica has been a massive soundtrack in coping with this journey. Being a young, angry kid i gravitated towards the thrash classics. St. Anger was released when i was approaching 27, but had it come out when i was 16 i would have embraced it… though i would not have understood and appreciated it in the same way i do as a 40-something adult.

i am around the same age as when they recorded Death Magnetic. There is no manual that can prepare you for life in your 40s. i’m not even talking about the typical societal expectations of ‘spouse/house/career’. All the things you may still enjoy from a younger age just hit differently.

The songs i chose to post for today’s ‘Metallica Fridays’ session are just that.

Interestingly, these songs gave me the most trouble to do. Everything kept going wrong- there were issues with the headphones (one pair i was using kept falling out and eventually decided to malfunction as i was playing (making it hard to hear much of anything), the other pair kept falling as i was playing); the hi hat trigger decided to go in and out (which hadn’t happened before or since), the memory in the camera was full (because i forgot to empty it- my fault), i had to suddenly go to the bathroom in the middle of playing… and so on. i feel like the universe gave me the micro of challenges, possibly as a way to acknowledge the macro of the trauma i’ve experienced.

i messed up a whole bunch on these songs, but these songs mean a lot to me. So i’m posting the mistakes and all. All i know is that i survived.

i survived a massive change to my body, and i dealt with what ever issues were thrown my way with doing these songs.

While trying to heal from a trauma, you end up processing a lot of things. ‘The Unforgiven’ is a song that, despite always liking it, i didn’t understand its significance until in that very process. The foundation of how to deal with anything (whether positive or negative) exists in the relationships with those who were your caregivers. . After experiencing such a traumatic event, there are people who say they care about you (and have been close to you) who suddenly become silent and/or unsupportive. When one (or more) of those people were the foundation, you begin to ask a lot of questions of yourself. You ask if it’s something you did. Even though you love them you become angry and resentful.

Me playing this song is a way for me to adjust to a process of forgiving myself, and just allow whatever happens to flow through. Despite all the mistakes, this was entirely healing to do.

i had to think about it. ‘One’ is not only my second favorite Metallica song (‘Blackened’ is the first), but i think it might be my second favorite song of all time (after ‘Home’). i loved the song before (and even listened to it on repeat before the accident). As a person who lay there in the hospital, unable to move and in an immense amount of pain- and eventually having to amputate a leg- this song means so much more to me now. The anguish of the character of Joe Bonham in the book (and film) Johnny Got His Gun was captured succinctly in the lyrics. The plainness and directness encapsulated everything i was feeling and experiencing as well. While it wasn’t a landmine (or artillery shell, like in the book), a truck took my leg from me. i remember nothing about experiencing the actual accident (which is a good thing, if you ask me). i was happy to have survived, so i remained as positive as i could while in the hospital… but so much of the time, i wanted to die.

Nothing about it feels real at all. i wish this on no one.

But… but… how are you playing ‘One’ with only one foot??!! You CANNOT possibly leave out what is arguably the MOST memorable aspect of the song (out of many memorable parts)!!!

Yes, i know. i played the ‘double bass’ on the SPD-30. i kept most of the song simple- no major fills or complex footwork. But i knew i had to put the double bass in. i really wanted to do the song to… commemorate the year since the accident. The song got me through a lot.

i mean, Metallica got me through a lot.

2 thoughts on “Metallica Fridays (no. 3): The Imperfections Of Life

  1. This is unbelievably fun and thoughtful. The music is amazing! Thanks for sharing it! Thanks also for sharing your thoughts.

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