Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2009.05.27 : Out Here All Night
This Song Makes Me Cry
(Screwing On The Right Head)
"I've been out here all night,
  I've been out here all day
  With my eyes open wide
  Hoping that you will say
  Everything is all right
  We can be happy too
  If you look out for me
  The way I looked out for you"

So it seems an awful lot like this song makes me cry. It certainly did on my run today. I was crossing into Hyde Park from Kensington Gardens, and then angling in toward the shores of the Serpentine as I often do – and this song came up, and boom: great gulping sobs.

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So this song makes me cry either because of its inherent loveliness and sadness and pathos; or else because, a couple of weeks ago, when I was down in some depths of despair that were pretty alarmingly close to, let's agree to call it the bottom of the depths of despair, I was also running along and this song happened to come on. (*) (*)

Well, that other time, I was sure crying then, I can tell you that; and not least because of the resonances of the song lyrics with, let's call her a certain girlfriend who had been putting up with an awful lot of pain and uncertainty and sadness from a catostrophically depressed me, and it seemed today – getting back to today again – it seemed today like maybe those resonances, and some others as well, had all basically stuck to this song, and maybe were now stuck to it permanently.

And it's a lovely song and you can buy it for a buck on Amazon.com, or 69p on Amazon.co.uk, and perhaps maybe you should. (*) (As you can hear, it's really very good. And I'm here to tell you it's great to run to – it even gets you fired up to run hard while crying! (*) )

I dragged myself out running today – into a cold, wet, grey, drizzly, chilly, unappealing afternoon – because I hadn't run the day before, and that was about all the running I was in a position to not do. That's the thing about having near-daily ass-kicking workouts as a necessary (though by no means sufficient) condition for your tenuous cling to mental health.

And, come to consider it, it probably behoves guys like that perhaps to live somewhere where the weather can really be counted on for outdoor things like running. Northern California certainly springs to the top of the mental short list.

But a funny thing happened on the run through the cold, wet, grey, drizzly, chilly, unappealing afternoon. More on that in a second, below.

Shortly after that song, "Dogs on the Hunt" by Judge D came on – you can listen by pressing play here → Get the Flash Player to see this player. if, you know, the Damone song is over by now, or you could come back, otherwise. Anyway, this is a very different sort of song. It doesn't make you cry. It more sort of makes you wince, out of either maybe emotional discomfort, or perhaps even actual fear. But it's even better to run to. It's pretty ass-kicking, actually.

I think I found out that Judge D is somehow connected to Bionic Jive – and that band currently accounts for probably 8 of my top 15 favourite workout songs, in the entire line-up. (*) So maybe you'll want to check them out, if you're into your ass-kicking workout music. You can browse and buy them on Amazon.com (but, sadly, not Amazon.co.uk). (Here again is that footnote explaining why I ♥ Amazon MP3, if you didn't click on the little asterisk two paragraphs back.)

Finally . . . "The Enemy Within" by Rush came on. Really, really, really long-term readers will recall that this is the song that sent me out on this crazy muti-continental odyssey in the first place. Back then it wasn't really so easy to embed a full song on a web page. So I'm thrilled to be able to do it now. Go on – click on play. (This song can make you cry, too – but in a joyful, knocked out by the myriad and wonderful possibilities of existence kind of way. (*) )

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I'm writing this last paragraph first [I actually wrote everything above two days later - ed] – You can just kind of see, over my left shoulder, the yet more bookshelves Anna and I put up yesterday. We're sort of trapped in this tiny flat, until the recession ends or I'm saved by the ever-popular/always-chimerical bestsellerdom – and the books keep piling up and hemming us in.all sweat-soaked and naked and post-runly blissful – because I've got about a dozen ideas and projects pinging around my head right now. (For instance, I composed all of this dispatch, and most of the next one, in my head and on the hoof.) It turns out that life – at least life in the rich, comfy West; and probably in other places, too – is really all how you look at it. It's just that some of us need tricyclics or SSRIs, plus long hard daily runs, to look at anything in remotely the right way. For instance, right now I feel like it's not actually important to figure things out, or puzzle out just what I'm supposed to be doing; it turns out there are all kinds of interesting things one can do, and the important thing is probably just to do some interesting things.

Here's a good quote on that from Timothy Ferris in The 4-Hour Work Week:

    "If you're confused about life, you're not alone. There are almost seven billion of us. This isn't a problem, of course, once you realize that life is neither a problem to be solved nor a game to be won.
    If you are too intent on making the pieces of a nonexisent puzzle fit, you miss out on all the real fun."

For another example: what started out looking like (with one head and set of eyes) a crappy, cold, rainy, necessary run . . . finished (with another) as a lovely, misty, quiet, lonely, green, peaceful one. It was great. It really was. (Just had to get the right head screwed on.)

  depression     exercise     happiness     music  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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