I will attempt to elaborate on a very exhausting and inspiring week or so.
I am entering this area of mental and physical fatigue; where body and mind don’t function quite correctly.
It’s very familiar and, believe it or not, it’s an often desired area for me when creating, writing, or whatever. Things are “off” just so. Reality blurs enough and eases back a bit – a space enters that puts the lesser attractive, and least gratifying obligations at bay. The various, ugly little animals that eat at the creative faculties are placed outside of view, behind a high fence for a while.
They do the sleeping.
Now, if it goes too far or for too long, then I’m worthless and crippled. However, place me just outside of the norm with sleep deprivation and I find myself on fertile terrain for what I like to do most.
It feels like I am cheating, in a way, as the juices flow naturally then. I find it’s like a toy that breaks a certain way and is more fun then than when it was “fixed.”
In the corner of this living room is a very modest pile of my very few belongings.
We are to leave for a short tour within a few days and, when I return, the lease will have expired on this apartment and I will be homeless. Again. I don’t know how finances will play out on this tour so I can’t commit to anything at the moment. I find myself in a slightly annoying situation on this front.
At the same time, I realize the changes I have endued here. This is the kind of situation that would have likely killed me with stress only a short while ago. Not to say I’m not feeling it a bit – I just know now what I have to do at this moment and cannot spend my time on petty thoughts of where I am going to live. Heh.
I started working at a coffee shop. I am a 34 year-old barista. (I’m sure my father is very proud.) I am happy to be working, even if it isn’t the most glorious of jobs – and I find myself enjoying it. I went right back to my old ways as I will be booking shows at the cafe and showing a movie each week. So I can’t complain about stress too much if I keep inviting more in this fashion, right?
A band mate and I recently scored a short film and it has us both riding a magnificent high on the possibilities there. It happened with such ease and we immediately fell into a chemistry and process that made the whole experience a lot of fun and left us feeling quite proud of the outcome. Even the mistakes were ones that we learned from or led to more interesting ideas and decisions.
I have always, ALWAYS wanted to do music for films. I hope that this is the beginning of that kind of work.
A few days ago the young lady I have been seeing told me that Dan Fante was doing a reading at a Brooklyn bookstore. Of course, I wanted to go but it is the kind of thing that happens all over New York and you will find yourself becoming exceptionally lazy about what you let pass by – and I nearly let this one do just that.
Something pushed me to go though. I took the train into unfamiliar territory and arrived early. Shortly thereafter came my date and we sat in the front row. About ten people attended, I think.
Mr. Fante read from his latest book which is his autobiography. His writings have always tended to be autobiographical, addressing a very hard life of alcohol, his late father (the great John Fante), and many areas of difficulties. So I wasn’t sure what his memoir would be or if it would be anything that I wasn’t somewhat orientated on through his previous novels.
The reading was wonderful. He was a very well-spoken, gracious man and the passages he read were fun and occasionally outrageous, as expected. He read some of his poetry and took questions from the small audience.
I don’t usually like hassling heroes of mine but, hell, I was in the front row and he was right there. And I had been inspired by the reading. I made my way up and we introduced ourselves. I am not much of an autograph guy, but the young lady I was with had actually given me a copy of his book and brought it with her (clever girl) so I handed it to him as he asked about me and what I was doing in New York.
I gave a very vague explanation in reference to playing music here. I mentioned that I was in Oklahoma. He grinned slightly and said “Kinda’ hard to shake that accent, huh?”
We talked about New York and I couldn’t help but gush about my love affair with this city. He reciprocated his affections, having driven a cab here for 12 years early in his life. We talked about what the gifts that this city gives you: the stories, the energy, the inspirations, and- of course- a great many trials and difficulties.
I did find myself a little self-conscious about the beers that were on my breath as I know he is a recovering alcoholic. On top of that, it made me worry that I may not be taken so seriously if he thought that alcohol was involved. If he thought that my personality was compromised in any way he surely didn’t let on.
I thanked him for the reading, his time, and told him it was a great honor to meet and converse with him. He put his arms out and hugged me. It was all pretty amazing.
A few days later I went to see UK punk legends The Raincoats. I worked a little late and had to get a ride to Greenpoint, arriving as they were a few songs into their set.
It would appear that they haven’t improved, technically, at all in all of these years. The set was often like a high-wire act as I wondered if they were going to make it, yet, they always pulled it off. They projected a great deal of warmth and happiness and seemed truly grateful for the large crowd that had come to see them. I smiled most of the time. I loved it – I don’t think I would have liked those songs as much if they were played “well,” if you get my drift. They would have lost something.
It’s always worth it to utilize everything that is being offered to me here. A little bit of inspiration like these two events go a long way with me.
In the next day I have to figure out where I will store things, how they will get to where they will be stored … I will likely get rid of my bed and buy an air mattress upon my return (once I find a new home) … retrieve my gear that will be used on tour … work the closing shift at the coffee shop and leave for Louisville at 6 a.m. the following morning.
It isn’t easy but it is what must be done. I don’t expect anybody else in the world to understand the masochistic tendencies that this music thing will leave you with but I am very thankful that some