Monday, March 8, 2010
My name is Michael Balazo and I am a man. I know how to make breakfast, take the bus and enjoy fireworks down by the river. My life will likely continue in this way for many years without variation until, finally, I am murdered, either by thugs or God. I can’t complain.
And yet, sometimes I can’t help but wonder how my life would have been different if instead of "Michael Balazo," I’d been named something more exotic and spicy – something like Michael Balzary. For if my name had been Michael Balzary, I wouldn’t have become the breakfast-making, bus-riding, fireworks-enjoying monstrosity you see before you, but Flea, the gloriously unpredictable bass-player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP).
Flea’s real name is Michael Balzary, and if I could only steal his noble title I’d be able to do all sorts of unusual things I can’t do as Michael Balazo. I’d be able to wear a sock on my penis while crossing the street to visit an old friend or a sick relative. I’d be able to sign autographs “Flea” instead of not being asked for my autograph at all. Why, I’d even be able to attend dinner parties at Anthony Kiedis’ mansion instead of having to imagine the kinds of dinner parties Anthony Kiedis hosts (I imagine that Anthony Kiedis hosts fantastic dinner parties – the kind of parties where the conversation is as nourishing as the meal).
Oh, Michael Balzary! Our names are virtually identical! Why can’t I be you? Don’t tell me that the years I spent learning to play the bass line for Suck My Kiss were a foolish waste! Won’t you let me be one of the Chilis? Won’t you let me be an outrageous punk-funkster and occasional actor? Who will wipe these hot, bitter tears from my face if not you, Michael Balzary?
But enough! I suppose I’ll just have to continue as “Michael Balazo” and live vicariously through Michael Balzary, warming myself on the smoldering remains of his great and funky fire. Who knows? Maybe Michael Balzary secretly longs for a simpler, less-outlandish life than the one he currently leads? A bracing thought.
All I ask is that they bury me with a sock on (or near) my penis. And in that final act of rebellion I will live!