looking down

the first show in nashville was … good.
but awkward.

the lights and sound at the club were terrible and the hardcore band from downstairs decided to come up and talk at the bar throughout my show.
i finally just had myself carried (by some really kind dude from the first row) over to the bar, i played them a ukulele song, it shut them up.
apart from them, there was shitloads of love in the room. i love signing at the end of the night. somebody showed me a tattoo that wrapped around their whole lower leg
that said “you’ll sing somday”, and they had the music notation for “hurt” by NIN wrapped around the other leg. it was very beautiful….

the danger ensemble has created a new piece for “have to drive” and it makes us all cry. i still can’t believe what we’re doing.
are we really doing this?
we are.

my 7-month relationship is tumbling headfirst down the stairs and i’m standing at the top, looking down, seeing myself thwopping headfirst onto the landing.
it feels so different than it used to. i’ve been single for so many years. i forgot about this part.
i didn’t used to be able to stand up here and just watch.
i used to be more tangled up in that tumbling freefall, head hitting every step of the way, unable to grasp the situation as i got the wind and the shit knocked out of me, bam clonk bam fuck bam bam ow.
now i’m looking down.
i can’t laugh, but i can’t cry, either. i’m standing still. feeling hurt and feeling raw and feeling it all.
feeling my heart peeling open down there, turning itself into a net, prepping to catch that bruised blur that looks like me before it hits the floor.

last night we had a family dinner … joe (the main engineer of WKAP) took us to a restaurant called Mirror in nashville (if you go, you must try the white chocolate soup & the polenta fries).
and i just sat there. and ate. and looked around at what i had. right then. this. now. here.

my old friend doni showed up with his scooter…he’s one of the ex-drummers from trail of dead, he and his girlfriend beth used to be in a band called forget cassettes, and doni played drums with me at that birthday gig
i did in nashville last year. he’s a when-i’m-here friend, a good one, we find each other when i’m in nashville.

my father used to drive me around on the back of his motorcycle, it’s one of my favorite things.

i had a helmet with no visor -
i felt wind smacking against my face and the water tearing up in my eyes and just moved through space, fast. this. now. here. but faster. but not.
i was happy.
i always want to buy a motorcycle. but i know i’d kill myself within a few weeks.

doni talked (well, shouted over the roar of the wind and the engine) about how you can get used to the cold, about how you can relax your body’s reaction when it hits you.
it sounds weird, he said, you actually just let the cold pass through you.

like a sieve, i said.

he said: exactly.

funny. this is what we’ve been talking about lately, me and my friend.
how to be a human sieve, how to let things pass through you: the cold, the future, other people’s anger, the pain of the world, your own bullshit…it’s possible.
it’s easy, but it doesn’t seem easy. it’s a paradox.

he drove me up to one of the highest points in nashville, a grass circle with big electrical boxes on it.
and it was foggy over the city but clear above our heads, the clouds were moving very very fast over a full moon.
the moon tore through the clouds at each moment, erasing them for a split second.
we looked down at the city. and there we were there.

i’m walking without crutches but with the aircast, and as i dragged my foot over the wet grass, doni told me i looked like a zombie.

i said:


and he took me back to our hotel. say hi to beth, i said, and your roommate emily with the painted-on mouth from last night. and see you next time i’m back.
and i laid on the bed, phone to head, eyes shut tight, trying to stay at the top of the stairs.

asheville tonight.

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