The benefit of being wholly alone has it’s upsides. The ridiculous things you do are shared privately and there is no Greek Chorus warming up in the pit.
Someone who was aware of what I was doing out here, what I wanted and what I was prepared to pay, was perhaps a loss. I live so much in my own head that I doubt if someone offered advice, I would even be able to make sense of the sentence. My inner dialog has gone native
The positive is that when you do something embarrassing, you can get up the next day no worse for wear. That last night, recalled here, was embarrassing. A bad dream mixed with random nature had me running like a kid though a graveyard. The first sign of something scary had me sleeping in the swampy green light of a Target. Bad form.
I had long thoughts about what I would do next that morning, after the morning sun shook the night off. I had no place else to go. Death or Glory, right?
What if Death was not Death at all, but a quick blip before you wake up elsewhere? I did not believe in Heaven even a bit. I did not believe our good deeds were calculated and fed through a formula that decide the resting place of your soul. I absolutely believed in Hell.
It is a contradiction. I l know that. I have never been able to apply a working logic to it. I believe life is fundamentally bad. And as workers of these dirt driven fields, we turn bad right along with it. There is joy in moments and these times need keep us steely against another bad spin of fortune.
Life is not fair, but it was never advertised as such.
I drank coffee until I started to feel whole again. I knew I would go back to the crossroads that night. And every night following. Because I had nothing else.
When I returned in the bright 3 o’clock sunlight, I felt foolish all over again. This was practically the fucking suburbs. This was not Mississippi and the only thing haunting these fields was me. I settled in, slid my seat back and waited.
As noted, waiting is my sport. I was made for this, though I kept on having thoughts creeping into my head about whether waiting was enough.
Sacrifice was the word that kept coming in unannounced. Tap, tap, tapping.
What if there was missing text in the accumulated legends?What if every single person who successfully made this pact brought something to show how serious they were? What if a bird was simply an offering? I pondered this as the sun slid away and night came to the crossroads.
As I got older, my writing changed. It was almost a return to my 9 year old form. It was confessional where before it was clever. This wasn’t a decision. I came to recognize that the writing was therapy. It was my nurse and it was my weapon. And I needed both in those days.
I cannot chart the exact age that my ego eclipsed my sweeter nature. I think it was a byproduct of living so deeply in my own head, I made a kingdom in there. And to the king go the spoils.
It came with a small measure of success, getting recognized,getting heard, my songs at last touch the radio airwaves. I took it too far, as was my nature.
I started to become cooler, not only in attitude but in empathy. And since my esteem couldn’t balance the small size of the aforementioned success, I started crafting a new persona. Less geeky chat(which is me) and more cool long looks. It was cheap but it was effective. I attracted attention. And the attention I craved wasn’t press or prestige. It was women.
And I became callous. To the king go the spoils. Even the most spoiled ones.
The songs became my rationalization for every deed and misdeed done. If I wanted a heartbreak song, I went out and got my heart broke.If I needed a redemption song, I found someone silly enough to redeem me and out it to paper. I did not write love songs . Too revealing.
I stepped out using the patter of a stranger, a sick ego and clever tongue. It goes a long way in the world.
I felt a darkness. Within. And I liked it. My songs became the E Ticket reason for everything I did to myself. And to others. Every unhealthy habit was a grand tradition in the life of an artist. I drank deeply.
No friends ever mentioned the change in me. No one longed for the better version of me. I was more successful with this character I decided to become than all the love lorn years leading up to it. And so I pressed on.
I hurt people. For the songs. I pushed the edges of decent behavior. For the songs. I dine out on fabricated stories of my life as a rogue. And songs came from that too.
I felt myself draining away from the world leaving my imposter to take my place. And he flourished.
It was not like the 80’s style comeback story movies I grew up on. The record was played, and played again all over the country. I received sweet words and sales were not great. The time spent working to the lower middle took its toll on everyone involved. And it was gone.
No one was asking what I would do next. No one missed what I brought to the banquet.
People went the way of the World and spun away. I did not take it personally. I was barely a person at that point.
That was not long ago now. It lead me right to this dirty cross of blacktop.