Some of my favorite memories of music were never recorded or publicly staged. Some were practices. Other times after we played a show for whoever we could get to come out we'd finish the night with an impromptu 20 minute set with a guitar and a mandolin. When that wasn't enough we'd find a bottle and go back to my house and trade songs 'til we passed out. We may have been terrible, but that was ok. We sent the paying audience home so we could go and be terrible at the thing we loved in private. So we could own it again.
Because there's nothing like the connection of a first time. The first time you hear "A Case of You" and cry. After awhile you learn the song and polish it and put it in front of people and try to sound good. Still, after all the shine of people being nice to you and saying that you're talented and you believing it, after three hours of forgetting what an ashole you can be, after load in, load out, long drives and too many free shots you need to take it over. Howl and sob and choke like you can only do on shaky legs with a belly full of whiskey at your own kitchen table. Drink yourself and sing yourself 'til the architecture crumbles and you're so stupid that you can make that first time all over.
That's one of the things I miss about ten years of drunkeness. The womb that offers. The child-like state of caprice and comfort and oblivion. No other drug I tried released that fog and primacy. You can drink yourself stupid and say the same thing over and over again, I like that. The lack of charm associated with it. There was no slick apologetics or clever wordplay. There was tantrums and tears and the most earnest I love yous ever coughed or cried.
It's been some time since I said I love you to anyone but Cheryl. No, I told Jay last night. I meant it every inch as much as I've told him sober or on my ass. With all the pathos and passion of either. And I love you Greg, and Krista, and Jeff and Jen. As much as I did when I was better able to say it, although I was only better by a few degrees.
I tried to write about yesterday's canoe trip on the public blog, but anything I know to be public and scrutinized comes out wooden and a little hollow these days. Either I pick it over to antiseptic or It's saccharine or it's stiff and military. But I still love all of you in the same tacit, messy way as always. I know I didn't say it much before, but I thought I did. I find out now that I never said muh of anything and folks thought I was angry with them when I was just hurting. I've always felt that my pain was to be held close and careful. I'll let you look at it, but don't touch.
I'm not any better at that , now. So I'll pay ten dollars and all the change in the coffee can in my truck if any one can get me back to that place where I cry to get my way. I wish that the sound in my belly could make it past my throat. It's all kinds of blue and bitter and loud and feral. I'm not throwing any tantrums, and I know that makes me easier to be around, but, I never really wanted to be easy to be around.
Someday I'm gonna learn to bleed a little louder. Twain wrote that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. I don't see any reason to be so still and so calm. I go to the groups and the therapists and it looks like everyone has an incredible well of things that hurt. I'm gonna dig a little deeper. So I'm excavating-anybody wanna come along?