Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day eight hundred and forty six ... Be careful what you wish for.

I get so mad sometimes.

I get so mad that I want to take everything off of the table in front of me--TV, lamp, phone, magazines--and just brush it all off to the side and throw my hands in the air and scream. I get so outrageously incensed that I wonder if it's even a good idea to leave my hotel room for fear that I will say or do something that I'll regret for the rest of my life.

But I'm a rational person who has a reputation to uphold (really, I do) and so I refrain from said outrageous activity and just try to breathe. It really helps me, breathing does. I can't believe I forget sometimes almost as if it were intentional and I'm just pouting and holding my breath in hopes that Mommy will come running and soothe her poor upset child--let him know that she cares about his feelings and will do whatever it takes to make things right again for him in his world so he can grow up and, hopefully, grow out of these selfish tantrums.

But Mommy is gone now.

And her baby is well past the stage where he can just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, which is usually a curse aimed at whatever is standing in the way of his immediate gratification.

I'm writing this from the sixth floor of a four star hotel in Brooklyn, New York, where I'm stationed for two weeks to play music with my group. I have a view of the Brooklyn Bridge out my window (all I have to do is lift my head slightly off the bed and I can see it clear as day) and I have enough free time to really accomplish just about anything that might tickle my fancy. I just learned enough about the subway to get me from one end of the five boroughs to the other, and I have enough gadgets to fully document my trip with pictures, sound, video, and more.

So why am I so angry?

I don't really know.


Time makes me angry.

I used to curse my previous restaurant jobs for taking up all of my time during the week and weekends. I never had enough time to go anywhere by myself. My band would go on tours, sure, but that was different. That was hard work, mostly. The two hours on stage was nothing compared to the other 22 in the day spent getting somewhere else and trying not to pass out on the way to the stage.

Now, I have all day to wander around New York City, and it pisses me off that I didn't do much but wander around all day.

I got mad tonight because I misread the hours of operation at the pool here where I'm staying; I didn't realize that it closed at 9:45 rather than 10. I wanted to spend a few minutes in the water and I didn't get it. Meanwhile, the guy who sits in a chair for 8 hours a day, while guys like me flounce about in Comme des Garçons swimwear, was happy to inform me that I was out of luck. I got the look from him that I used to give customers who came to the place I worked and knocked on the glass window right above the clearly displayed "closed" sign asking me if we were "really" closed.

Yes ... now go away.

My present life is currently comprised of waking up at 9:30 (my choice), opening the curtains to reveal the view of an amazing American architectural landmark, eating a bowl of yogurt with five kinds of fresh fruit along with freshly squeezed juice and strong New York coffee, taking a long, hot shower and killing time for a few hours in one of the greatest cities in the world. Then I play my guitar for 75 minutes to a roaring capacity crowd. Meanwhile, a maid named Nora cleans up my bathroom, makes my bed, dusts, vacuums, empties the trash, lint rolls the bed, and spritzes some lovely air freshener so that when my day is done and I return from my grueling job it will be a pleasant experience.

And now as I type here from the bed which I just slipped into I'm trying to justify why I'm upset.

My girlfriend came to see me over the weekend and we got to spend two magical days together (though it's hard to even imply that they were better than the rest of the time we spend together ... for real). She got to see two of the shows. She got to hang out with the chorus who she adores and vice versa. We went out for some amazing food. And we got to enjoy the better part of a beautiful Saturday together here before the clouds and rain descended upon us. And even at that having both the sun and the rain was like having two kinds of cookies--one flaky, light and frivolous and one darker and more dense with an added edge of unpredictability.

But she had to go back to Massachusetts because she has a full-time job. This time for her was a brief break in her work week--for me it was bringing her along on mine.

And little, inconsequential things happen now and my insecurities get the better of me. People don't feel like they need to make sure I know about a particular gathering because there's going to be a ton of booze there and they probably feel like it's not somewhere I either want to be or even should be. It was probably a last minute thing but that wouldn't have made a difference twenty-nine months ago. If I was drinking I would have known about it, I can guarantee that. Because if I was drinking I would be looking for things like that to pop up. I wouldn't be rushing back to the hotel to breathe in the last hour and a half with Jodi. I would be, antennae raised, sniffing out a god dammed party on the evening before our first day off of a week's run of the show.

But these days I cherish my privacy. I hoard my thoughts. I like to smile at the wall while I talk on the phone rather than at a person, regardless of how well I know them, who might ultimately be like me ... just waiting for an out so they can fill up their glass again, and maybe even sneak a bottle into their bag and go upstairs and order room service.

But that's who I used to be. And I don't really know if I was ever really invited to those things or I just heard someone mentioning it in the background while I was half paying attention to someone else about something completely different. But that sounds about right, too.

For better or for worse, now, I'm kind of the guy who just likes to be left alone. I don't like parties. I don't like small talk. I have very little need anymore to just converse for the sake of filling up the awkward silences with vapid frivolities and endless back patting. I like to read. I like to write. I love posting pictures from my many adventures. I'm enjoying planning my future with Jodi, fantasizing of a vacation home somewhere the ground never freezes.

I'm killing a lot of time.

And all the years that I wished that I could have more of it to spend as I wanted are behind me.

It's here now.

I win.

I got what I asked for.

And I never really pegged me as the kind of guy who could find fault with even the best situation. Hell, I was alway the one minimizing the negative. I always gave myself the most slack and hardly ever stacked up expectations or goals.

I was just keeping it even and wondering what kind of life was ahead of me when I finally cleaned up my act--if I ever cleaned up my act. And now I have everything I always wanted. It's right under my fingertips waiting for me to pick it up. I'm afraid, though, that when I pick it up I'll find something that turns me off. I don't want to examine it too closely or I may find a scratch I didn't notice when I was coveting it from the other side of the glass case.

Now that it's mine I just want to roll it around for a while ... to remind me that it's there.

But each time I do it slips away from my fingers and I haphazardly jump to attention, scared it might roll off the table.

Because I know how this is supposed to work.

I know the way it has to end.

I know.

That said, I really do feel like I can hold on to it for a good, long time.

Maybe the reason it keeps slipping out from under my fingers is because I'm putting too much pressure on it.

Maybe I need to just let it be for a while.

Maybe I need to let it breathe.


Hmm ... that's funny ... I'm not so mad anymore.

Imagine that.

Maybe it was just time to write all along.

Thanks for reading,


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