I felt a prickling on my skin like electrical charges right as it happened. It was a flicker but a flicker that seemed to last far past flickering. And looked upon the biggest black bird I had ever seen perch 15 feet away.
I felt uneasy. It was not the proximity. It was the focus. The bird perched and turned to me and froze. Black eyes focused. Not on the car, but on me. I could not forget that static charge that hit me in the moment. It felt…significant.
Was this it? Did ‘it’ even exist? Am I slowly losing my shit, as has been mentioned?
It sat still. Still as ancient things. It reminded me of a woodcut found in one of those dusty library books I favored about omens and monsters of yore. And it stared. Not that the car, not into the field looking for dinner. Stock still staring directly at me. Into me.
It made me uncomfortable. I had to consider if I was letting my nerves get the best of me. Then was struck with the single thought ‘What did you expect?’.
Was this an overture? Was there a step I needed to learn in this dance? The bird sat mute and frozen; no guidance would come from that direction. Should I approach? Was this the invitation?
My car and pulled away slowly. It’s eyes followed me as far as I can see.
I took comfort that night in a dear friends flesh and a lot of liquor. It was gone the next morning when I returned.
I am used to waiting. I have a long habit of always arriving early, so waiting became a skill. I note the same ruts on the road, the same jeep tracks, heading off road that I have gazed at for days, which kicks my mind into questioning ‘where were they going? Did they get there? The same road trash that comes and go with the wind. The same shade from the same trees, now less shady with the leaves coming down. I sit and I collect my thoughts and I print them here, for reasons still unknown.
I wait and I wonder. What happens if I am successful? Would I suddenly have the secret song in my pocket that will allow my ascension? Will the chords come together naturally, or perhaps unnatural? Would I receive a letter that says ‘Congrats Kid. Your gonna be a Starrrrr.?
Or would I simply disappear, not being legal or bright enough to know the full extent of the contract?
And so my life as a performer began. Not in klieg lights and limousines, but in late night gigs at dingy bars playing the white trash American Songbook. It would not last long. As a writer, I wanted to make hits, not play the hits. So I started to learn the guitar and picked up a 4 Track Cassette Recorder.
If I can chart the specifics of when I became a day trader in this life, when I began a lifelong preoccupation with profane ways to call ordinary actions, or the necessary extra syllable that would make that chorus bulletproof, this was that day.
I knew the accepted way to become a figure in that early 90’s music business economy: start local, work local, build a following,make a record, get radio, perhaps a video, get press, get fans….repeat until you’re driving sold gold Cadillac’s. There is a simplicity to that metric,makes creative thought and the sharing of it into a Wikipedia page of how to farm.
I could not go that route, always thinking of myself as the creative engineer of better mousetraps.
How correct I was can likely be summarized in where I write this from. A beat up car on a beat up road, seeking higher guidance from lower associations. Desperation was a concept until I got desperate.
I started to let go of the world. I started to forget what was required of me to be a well thought, likable adult. I started to obsess on the ways I would flaunt my wealth and success among those many who did not believe in me. Belief is a drug and that and no one was selling it. I daydreamed conversations with the magazine clippings I kept as friends. The advice they would offer, and what I would offer back.
The ‘Myself’that brought me to the party seemed to leave with someone else, and what I had left was the Myth. I was pleased.
While others planned a future, I plotted a course for International stardom on my own terms.I remember the sloganeering that became my reasoning: This is all I can do. I cannot fix cars, cannot do math, can barely spell, much less punctuate. It is Death or Glory.
That was years ago now. Death keeps coming into the foreground. Day by day. Glory is still ethereal.
I worked at jobs, always considered ‘Joe Jobs’ to me, cause my work was what I did after hours. Honestly, I have no clue how I was hired at all. I did not have the resume, but I think my inner workings of global domination gave the outer appearance of confident. My ‘Devil May Care’ attitude and decent diction hid the lack of care I truly owned. Every job I had was a static place held together by what my next move was artistically.
I hid it well. At some jobs.
I allowed myself any number of behaviors I would never have suggested to anyone else. My particular version of ‘Death or Glory’ did not invite passengers. I was a wide ranging experiment on the power of self involvement and ego. I was the subject and I did the research. I excused this self lechery and leering by reminding myself that what I was doing was aiming higher than most.
I was willing to bet it all. I did bet it all. I never even got the see the wheel spin.
Are these thoughts insane? I ask you as I have no one left to ask. Whoever you may be and however you will come across this confession / transcript. Does everyone consider themselves a God of their own world? Is that a bad thing? I was told something in passing that I keep as armor: There is no such thing as a false sense of well being. If you feel well,you are well.
My logic was flawed. And I would do it all again the same way.