There is a castle in our mind where each and every one of us wears a glimmering crown that can never be usurped. It is a shining palace of mystery and honor, the bitchin’ crib of your heart’s very own Gweneviere or Christie Brinkley, and if yours is anything like mine, probably a big-ass moat of fire and flame that MY UNSULLIED ARMY STANDS BEHIND WHEN WE FUCKING BATTLE THE DEAD.
I stroll my castle grounds daily. It’s usually under construction, building and growing on top of old brick and steel. Stair by stair, new spiraling staircases are installed, visited ad nauseum, grow old, becometh mossy, and becometh a core element for the next tower, built just adjacent or over the top of it.
I ride the gardens of my castle often, admiring the sights and sounds of the kingdom’s spoils. My steed rears as I turn back. He neighs in that way you always hope a horse will when you are rearing for battle. Super awesome. Way to go, steed. My heart fills with hope, and I pour one from my horn-tanker to all my homies.
After a long day of administrative tasks and status meetings, I slink to my chambers, goblet of mead in hand. None may enter my chambers, lest maidens fair. I sleep in the basement, as I have since I was a boy. It is the largest room, and smells of a 1980’s floor speaker and Marlboro Reds, and shares a decrepit wall with the dungeon. There are Budweiser cans everywhere which I drink as a slight to the kingdom of the moronic Dilly Dilly The castle’s dress code is black t-shirts, heavy cologne, Aqua-net and Sean Kemp Adidas basketball shoes. Anything else is treason. There’s a 1988 Blue Camaro in the corner, stacked next to a partially torn apart Harley Davidson. I have a few Projection TVs (4:3 Ratio) hooked up to an Super Nintendo. The layout is similar to the kings castle in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Angry pig guards stand at the ready.
I doff most of my clothing, and don my majestic king’s cape, which needs a wash something fierce.
In each corner of the room is a concave circle that juts out where a hard corner should be. The bricks feel more compressed in this deepest room of the structure. They should, as this was the room from which the entire castle has grown since my rule started. It is the first room I remember as a boy, and it is the darkest and most impenetrable room, completely unchanged.
There are small placards affixed in each corner. Each with a portion of the Legend of The Pillars of Matthew’s Musical Kingdom. Also affixed to the pillars are emblazoned gold albums, personifying the album that started it all.
I stroll to the pillar to the south, the smallest It was the last pillar to be built, and little has been made of it compared to the others. It mostly stands in remembrance, but just as structurally important. I blow the dust off of it and read the inscription again.
1: “Here stands the Royal Tower of Pop Music.”
I move on. Quickly. I usually keep an old skateboard or Big Johnson tee shirt covering this plaque, especially when maidens fair visit. It’s unbecoming.
The next pillar is to the west, surrounded by possessions from decades past. Everything around the pillar is clean, and the placard is plated in cheap gold.
2: “Here began the Tower of Hip-Hop and Rap”
I put my ear to the edge of the tower and there is a deep rumbling up above. There is still much building happening around this tower. For years now, this side of the castle has been under relentless refinement, and see no slowing of this on the near future. I run my hands across it, creepily, much like Bill Murray does as King.
Then the pillar to the east. There is still a tower or two added to it every now and then, towers built with passion and opulence. When I start on this side, its is always with careful consideration of my emotional state, and all other matters of the Keep are set aside for a short time.
3: “Here stands the Pillar of 80’s and 90’s blues”
I love this pillar, as it was built . It’s always my favorite, until it isn’t. It comes in waves. Only one small spire has been built off of this, and its named The Gary Clark Jr. Point.
I walk slowly to the final pillar. I haven’t visited it in a very longtime, and that brings me shame.
As is tradition a smile slides across my drunken face as I glimpse it. The northern pillar. The grandest and most robust of all the pillars. It is the largest, the oldest, the darkest, and none of my meek constituents will visit it. It always has a thunderstorm over it, and always has a maiden fair trapped atop. Blood splatters and concert posters cover the spire’s staircase. Sauron and the pig guards sneak up there to light off Black Cats when everyone is sleeping. No new projects are to be built in this area, it is perfect is it stands. The blueprints to build here are lost to the ages.
No other towers can ever reach its loft. It is the Core of the Keep, fitted with a burning hearth that the devil himself keeps alight. If I was but a flaming eyeball for destruction, I would look out from its pinnacle. It is always held to the highest standard. It’s the black unicorn.
4: “The Pillar of Rock and Roll”
There sits a mighty throne sits at its base. I take a moment to rest here, as often as I can. This is where all inspiration of new life starts in the kingdom, and nothing can ever change that.
I take a moment’s ease on my throne before making a climb.