Please, can I have some more

Surprisingly, I don’t feel all that hungry.

However, I won’t let that get in the way of feeling sorry for myself.

Here I am, one day into The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010, when the news comes in. The project manager has bought us all lunch! How very nice. I keep my head down at my desk, looking all the more conspicuous for my attempt to be otherwise. Conspicuous in my lack of enjoyment of the unbelievable largess bestowed on us by the wonderfully benign and loving project manager. Live life large! Look, I have provided pizza!

The seventh person to ask me, was the benefactor himself. Why I was not shoveling the thin, soggy cardboard-masquerading-as-carbohydrate swimming in high-trans-fatty acid grease with an occasional sliver of pepperoni poking out of the sea of industrial cheese and bomb-shelter tomato sauce like flotsam on the surface of a culinary nuclear holocaust, into my pie hole? Clearly his facial features, normally modulated and defined by caffeine and relentless customer abuse, were articulated by the conspicuous lack of enthusiasm on my part for the benevolent bounty he had worked, no, SACRIFICED so hard to bring me. That the team had worked so hard to deserve.

The next day, the New one day into The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010, I am blessed with a surprise visit from my absolutely divine Mother-in-law. I would be shocked to find a more sublime and pure soul on the planet. With a flourish, she presents still-warm, newly baked toll house cookies which she knows are my favorite, and which she had to drive back to the store TWICE to make, being fresh out of butter, then inexplicably also out of vanilla. I recoiled from the fragrant plate, perhaps a little too obviously, and the fleeting cloud over her face said it all. The terrorists have won, they have surely won.

The next day, another day one of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010, I am home late to find my house apparently empty, the relentless and raucous cacophony that is it’s salient feature displaced by near total silence. Near total, but for the sound of smooth jazz coming from the master bedroom and the smell of scented candles. There is literally nothing more incongruous in my house than smooth jazz. “What is wrong with this picture…” I ask myself. I notice my peckishness as I find myself taking the stairs in time to the Kenny G noise pollution, and I am utterly unprepared for the scene that will unfold. There she is, nude, seductively splayed across the bed, holding a piece of her famous cheesecake. Rather, the cheesecake is enticingly displayed ON her, she is the plate.

“You have to eat your dessert, before you can have your dessert.” She says, playfully and seductively.

Part of the task of becoming (and remaining) a man, is to figure out which battles you should fight, which you should decline, and which you will fight even though you’ve already lost before you step onto the field.

The next day, day fucking one of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010. I am surprisingly not feeling terribly hungry. I am feeling rather sorry for myself as I hear the sound of celebratory honking of car horns in my driveway. How odd. I open the drapes to see my west-coast brother and his lovely wife, climbing out of an east-coast rental car. He is pulling a large box of live lobsters out of the hatchback, as the rest of the family rushes outside to greet them. I hide in the basement, behind the furnace.

But they find me.

The next day, day fucking goddamn one of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010. I wake to an empty bed. I find this odd. My wife is a late riser, semi-circadian, the sort of person for whom the word “sunrise” is a decidedly abstract concept. It must exist, after all, but her knowledge of it is entirely anecdotal and second-hand. I find her in the kitchen, plating up a heap of scrambled eggs doing their solemn heartfelt best to impersonate a four-egg omelet. My knees go rubbery. Would I have the huevos to stand firm and hold fast to my fast, here in the fulsome glory of it’s fifth first day?

“Do you know what, I just watched the sun rise!” she said, musically.

Driving to work, I could muster nothing but contempt for myself and for my satisfyingly full tummy. I am a carbo-twink. I am a lipid-slut, a protein whore. Master of myself? Hah. As if. In bondage, rather. I am as much in control of my life as a bit of cork floating on the ocean, convinced that it, and it alone, DECIDES to bob up and down.

I am hit with an epiphany. I am too available. Not only that, I am too bio-available. This will change. Oh, yes, this will change.

I start the next day, Fucking goddamn day fucking ONE of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010 with a new-found commitment to gastric purity and resolve. Today starts my new life! I tell my wife that I will be at an off-site training session all day. I tell my work that I will not be coming in. I drive to the mountain, a present-day Mohammad in search of his personal divine, with the simple and cherished goal of being un-available. I will find a suitable bit of sharp gravel or thorny bramble to sit on, an ascetic, a monk, a supplicant.

I climb the gentle and forgiving slope. I reach the tree line, that point on the slope where the wind takes the upper hand and the deciduous and coniferous giants give way to the gnarly shrubs. I find myself in an idyllic meadow of tea roses and fruit berries. Fruit berries, late raspberries, full ripe blueberries. Carpets of blueberries, impossibly full and ripe. Obscene in their abundance. The capricious wind has kept the birds at bay, and it is a virgin bounty. I’ve never had a virgin.

Dawn, on Day Fucking day ONE of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010. I awake not sated of sleep, not fully-recharged in body and mind ready for the day, but from a fully excruciating need, nay, compulsion, to bio-evacuate. Fruit will do that to you. The natural laxative of corpulent fistfuls of ripe fructose hits me, and it hits me hard.

I become Gollum-like. I become a furtive shadow, cowering in corners, behind shrubbery, doing my best to become invisible. Over the next 24 hours I do my level best to develop a full-scale food psychosis. Maybe a disorder would be adequate, but a psychosis would be surer. I wouldn’t come out of the garage. I hide in my car, fetal, knees drawn against my chest. But by the end of the 24 hours, a tiny miracle happens. Day TWO of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010 was upon me! I spend day two working on homeowner septic tank maintenance, the heady effervescence envelopes me and quells ALL urges to imbibe or pass a crumb or morsel past my quivering lips.

Day Three of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010 comes in with a huge boost to my morale and resolve…I am seven-tenths of a pound smaller than on the original day one. With this decisive victory under my belt, I face the foodless day with a lightness of being that I hadn’t felt since spanking that home run in little league.

Day Four of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010 and I am still foodless. However, my bathroom scale says I am one whole pound heavier than the day previous. There are only three possible explanations: A)It WASN’T a dream, and a succubus came in the night and stuffed my mouth with Havarti cheese and spoonfuls of cookie dough; or B) my scale was a fucking lying liar; or C) the modulation of my body mass was bending gravity in my immediate vicinity. In my lightheaded state, the Einsteinian explanation seems more plausible than the succubus.

Go figure.

I took a test, standing in front of the open refrigerator door. Virtue, absent the temptation of sin, is hardly an accomplishment, no? For ten whole minutes I catalog and mock the contents of that refrigerator. I noticed that the milk had some ice in it, so I adjust the temperature dial.

Days Five, Six, and Seven of The Great Weight Slash Seven Day Fast Fest of 2010 are a little bit blurry. But in such a good way. My bathroom scale had regained it’s lost sanity and relevance, and was reporting a dramatic success. I am melting…melting…and I feel like King of the World, and champion of my own life!

I go to bed at the end of Day Seven, feeling like my world is once again my oyster. 10 pounds smaller, ten heavy pounds farther away from middle-age cardiovascular disaster. The last thought as I drift to sleep: Just how wonderful food was going to taste in the morning, what a delicious break-fast it would be! I dreamed epic dreams, full of food sex, full of sex sex, and full of sex food. Mountains of food, valleys of food, rivers of milk and beer. Sugar plumb fairies raping me, then feeding themselves to me.

I awoke. The sun was well up in the east window…I’d overslept. Kitchen, here I come! A confusing amount of silence was emanating from that glorious place for such an hour of a Saturday morning. I found it deserted, but worse, I found it a desert. I opened the fridge…white, smelling of bleach, empty. A growing panic building like a hot coal in my gut, I went to the pantry. Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard was a king’s larder in comparison. The silence was roaring in my ears. My own heartbeat roared in my ears. I felt vertigo, and anger, and confusion. The phone rang.

“Hi hon, we’re at the dump. Yes, I emptied the fridge. It somehow got turned off sometime over the last couple days, and everything was spoiled.”

“The pickles were spoiled?” I asked incredulously. “The mustard and strawberry jam were SPOILED? What about the pantry?” The ambrosia of diet success was curdling into sour yogurt.

“Mice.”

“Mice?”

“Mice.”

“oh.”

Mice. Mice ate my breakfast. Consciousness fading, I opened the refrigerator again, and again, as if somehow this time, there would be food there. I opened the cabinet again, an expression of my blossoming insanity. There was nothing there still, but a mouse trap.

“mice.”

A mouse trap, baited with a stale cracker smeared with peanut butter, untouched and ignored for weeks by the mice feasting on my breakfast.

I have never, before or since, tasted anything quite so divine.

Posted in humor, short essay | Leave a comment

Physician, Heal Thyself

© 2010 dwoz

One of the most, if not actually the most vivid of the moments still lodged in my ever-diminishing past is the moment you joined us here on earth. I can replay it in my mind’s eye like a snippet of movie reel through the old Bell & Howell projector. It gets a little bit grainy and blurry at spots, there’s some sprocket holes that are a bit jittery, but it is intact, it is cinema verite, even these many years later.

I remember your apgar, I remember your weight. I remember how many inches from head to toe. I held you as the disconcerting birth-canal deformity of your tiny head morphed back into the perfect. I remember the exhausted relief of your mother, 13 hours large in the process that was you. I attended that birth, as I have every one since. If I were to pursue a career in obstetrics, I have already completed half the residency requirement. But you were the first.

Did you know that I invented something, as I watched you walk across the stage and receive your diploma, that blistering hot June day in Middlebury Vermont? As I sat waiting for your turn to collect your scrip, something amazing just popped into my head. It is at the patent office even now, a shuffle of paper waiting patiently in an impossibly deep pile, waiting for Sisyphus.

I can hardly express what went through my mind as I watched the Justice of the Peace give your hand to that boy. It would be a frivolous conceit to say that I gave you away that blistering hot June day in the matrimonial garden, that I lost you that day. No, I gave you up some years before. That moment for me was merely a shuffle of paper, a formality. But that doesn’t detract from the moment’s beauty, nor from my likely undeserved pride in you, in who you were at that moment.

You know, don’t you, that your mother has long forgiven me? More than that, she understands. She knows that it was right and we agree. That blistering hot June day in the superior court that it was done, was merely a shuffle of paper, a formality. We looked at each other like the day we met. With an irony so perfect as to burn sweet like raw sugar, she said “By the way…Happy Anniversary.” We hugged with an intimacy and love that we’d not known for years, and she got in her car, and I got in my car, and the horizon was there waiting patiently at the edge of the parking lot, our respective compasses pointing to disparate north stars.

But the world is a tidy world, and good has evil, and right has wrong, and wrong has fault, and fault has blame.

In the tidy world of a child, nay the pure world of a child, those colors don’t mix.

If science proves anything for us, It proves, with ever-increasing precision that contrary to God’s love, the world…the physical world…hates us and wants us to fuck up. Life is about stumbling from one fuck-up to the next; managing somehow moment-to-moment to avoid becoming a lumpy, reddish smear of mucous on some coarse pavement somewhere. In that world, “tidy” is vaguely quaint, like “assuming a perfect vacuum,” that allows us to dispense with untidy variables as if they mean nothing. As if they’re just rounding error and don’t mean a god-damn thing.

I want to give you, tell you something. This is not a something that I pulled out of thin air, some more of the inchoate unsubstantial ramblings that impatient, this is a something that I took, from the universe, uninvited. This is stolen knowledge. I want to tell you about your future.

You, who are a mere 2 years, 9 months, 21 days, 14 hours and 31 minutes from being addressed, appropriately, as “Doctor.” You who decided that fault was fault, and blame was blame, and civil disengagement was the requisite engagement. Civility can have such a septic aroma, like something forgotten and moist in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, hiding behind the big pickle jar. Polite, in it’s ineffable way.

I would like to introduce you to one of your future colleagues. His name is Michael, or Azrael, or whatever nom de plume suits the whim of an Archangel of Death one moment or the next. He’s an acquaintance of mine, and I’ve asked him to keep a weather eye out for you.

He is a good enough guy, for an Archangel. Unassuming, deferential. Not an impetuous type. All Doctors come to know him eventually. Some know him well. The good ones certainly do. The bad doctors seem to have never made his acquaintance, though they’ve crossed paths with him many times.

There will be times when you will stand in the surgical theatre, instruments in hand, elbows-deep into the moment. Your colleague Death will politely whisper in your ear, a melodious sing-song, “good show, good work, looks about right, I’ll take it from here.”

And there will be nothing you can do but step aside and defer to his far greater experience.

There will be times, also, that he enter the theatre unannounced, rubbing sleep from his eyes of infinite depth, asking “Who summoned me here? This was not in my lists today.”

That is a day you will dread, a moment you should loathe. What are you? A goal-keeper against the gates of Hell, or the ticket vendor? On that day, you will go home, you will look with infinite, empty eyes at that boy I gave you to, and you will not have anything to give to him. I don’t know him well enough to know whether he can refill your hollowed-out soul. I hope so. But I do know that I can. At that moment when you need wrong to have fault and fault to have blame, I can. My shoulders are broad and well-rehearsed.

I know of which I speak. After all, for all the births that I have attended like yours, there were those in which Asrael was midwife. My shoulders are broad and well-rehearsed.

It’s a black-and-white problem isn’t it? They’re sick, you’re the Healer. But in this world, my love, those colors mix. When you’ve ushered those who put their trust in you to the wrong platform, sent them on the wrong train, there will be fault, and there will be blame. And all the colors run together in a messy gray puddle. That puddle is where the real world lives.

There is a fix. It’s unwieldy, unpredictable. An untidy color. It is a grindstone attacking the sword at oblique angle, blunting instead of sharpening. The only tool you can possess that Azrael cannot. I can give you that, too, when you’re ready to ask for it. I’ll be right here waiting, next to Sisyphus.

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Marley and Me

© 2010 dwoz

Bob Marley is not a big man.  It is difficult to imagine how someone who is so much larger than life, who is almost a giant, can fit into such a diminutive frame.

Moments like this don’t usually happen to normal people.

Somehow, I find myself standing on the stage of the Hynes in Boston, a large barn of a convention hall on Beacon Street, where later on tonight Bob Marley will be playing, and I will be the Freelance Assistant Stage Manager.

I am someone who has neither use for nor interest in celebrity and I especially feel that celebrity deserves nothing from me.  But where there’s a rule there are exceptions.  There are precious few artists who can name an album “Legend” and escape scathing critique:  Bob Marley is one of those.

The hall is empty, but it will soon be bustling with Teamsters and road crew, assembling and flying the stuff and machinery of a first-line concert stage, state of the art on this mid-September day in 1980.  I have no idea how I managed to get here, certainly not due to my impeccable skills. In truth, a Freelance Assistant Stage Manager is hardly more than a runner…a tea boy.  But I am presented to hall management, promoters, and tour personnel as a “go to” person for information and decisions.  I have somehow stumbled into a Burmese tiger trap of enhanced cache, if only until I manage to ruin or break something.  My boss believes in delegation, (and in watching the playoffs in the front office.)  This really should be little more than babysitting the convergence of three highly experienced and competent crews.

The date is significant.  It has been announced in the press that Marley has cancer, and that he is circling the drain.  He made a decision to honor already-booked dates, and so it was known that if not his very last concert ever, this would certainly be the last time he would ever grace a stage in the northeast. In no uncertain terms, this was understood to be a farewell tour.

True to form, there is actually very little in the way of “being needed” that I have to do.  For hours my only job is walking around with a clipboard.  The clipboard is superfluous…it’s merely a prop.  It saves me from having to pull out my all-areas access pass when I go back and forth to the loo, past the rent-a-cops who are tasked with stopping the growing field of non-authorized wanderers.  It feels good to be authorized, even though there’s very little actual authority involved.

The stage takes shape, the instruments are being unpacked, and actual musicians are starting to wander in and see to their kit.  Being a musician, I wander among them, perhaps unilaterally feeling camaraderie.  Different worlds…these dreadlocked island men, and me, a skinny white kid from New Hampshire, probably one of the whitest states in the union.  But of any cohort you can name, musicians have probably gone as far as any in conquering the racial issues that still underlie our society these days.  Stages are equalizing places and the standards assessed for your right to stand on one are much more stringent than mere skin color.  I am standing next to Robbie Shakespeare, who’s bass probably more than any other was responsible for defining an entire musical genre

I sense a smile pointing in my general direction.  It is coming from one of the I-threes.  Actually, not one of the I-threes, but from one of the I-threes-in-waiting, a young, jet-black girl of heart-stopping beauty and carriage who will be singing along with the I-threes on stage tonight.  I suppose then that she was an I-four. Traditionally, I am painfully unaware when females telegraph their interest in me.  My younger sister will tell me many years from now that I had a legion of high school girls who clamored for friendship with her, in order to get closer to me, which I was completely oblivious to at the time.  This affliction will stay with me most of my life.

The beautiful backup singer is obliged to actually walk over to me and make first contact.  She is my age, freshly minted into her very early twenties, and is in another strange town in another strange region of a very big and wonderful world, of which she’s already seen more than I’ll likely see in my lifetime.  And all she needs is a bit of sweet talk, a bit of a smile, a compassionate human to connect with.  I am mesmerized, her easy laugh and radiant smile, her deep chocolate face.    We somehow share a warmth, of cast-about travelers who find themselves washed onto the same shore.

She is called away.

I am trying to make myself useful.  A Freelance Assistant Stage Manager is really not a stage hand with portfolio;  I’m more of a floater, an “at large” asset.  I step into the spot where Bob Marley will stand later tonight, where he will project his presence and gift and message out into the packed hall.  I speak into his microphone, watching the house mix position as I do, so that the sound man can ensure that he has the correct mic, the correct line, the correct patch.  I must bend down to the microphone, which points to my neck.

And then, he is there.  I turn around, to find myself separated from Marley by a mere couple feet. Close enough to simply touch him.  He is closely attended by his wife Rita and another man, an assistant who helps controls access.  Not security, but something akin to it.  The woman and man form a sort of frame around Marley.

Bob himself is gliding, floating.  He has no function here, he does not need to fuss cables, he does not need to discuss set lists, nor review the break after the chorus before the second verse.  His role is to merely be here.  He will only perform the most perfunctory of sound check activity.  His guitar is tuned and ready, his monitors are prepared by others who know what he requires, and his band is his family.

We stand there together, we two, in this little clear space down-stage center, a sort of dais.  Immediately, two different entourages of concert promoter functionaries descend on our little dais, and so starts the ever-repeated dance, wherein the star is beholden to give of himself to the applicants, to put his signature to a bauble, to accept a business card with a gracious gesture, to allow a touch.  A laying on of hands.

Gently, the gracious Rita and the assistant signal that the audience is complete and make closure movements.  Marley’s family is very protective of him these days, he does not have a surplus of physical strength.  We are still separated in space by no more than an exhale, and he turns to me, looks me directly in the eye, saying nothing.

“You were standing here, you I will acknowledge.  Take your pound of flesh, like the others” his eyes say, silently.

He is smaller than me. A tiny man.  His mane of dreds is the mane of a lion, proud and full of power.  His eyes are yellowed, sickly, but lucid.  He has light brown skin, of clear tone, with light pocks and sun blemishes here and there. He has very small hands.

I don’t want to go here, but there was something almost Christ-like about him.  To say such a thing is an insult to both Christ and Marley, but I’m stuttering trying to find the right way to describe that moment.  His cancer is well into the process that would soon culminate in his departure.  Every moment was precious. His physical strength was waning, but he still offered himself.  “Help yourself to a little piece of it,  my young friend.”

I would like to be able to say that I touched Bob Marley, that I have his autograph, or that he learned my name, if only for that fleeting moment.  But his eyes were plaintive.  There was a cost, and it was not a small cost.

I know it is difficult for people who are not accustomed to celebrity, to understand this point.  It’s the relentlessness.  Sure, you’re only taking a little bit, just a handful of sand from the tropical, coral beach.  But that sand is not infinite.  It will run out, and it does run out.

Though Marley has offered me a piece of himself, I am a musician too.  I have come up into my own, been taken to school by his recorded legacy, his ‘Legend.’ He has already given me as much as I need from him, I don’t want to take more.  Our gaze is still connected, intact.  In a split second, he sees in my eyes that I have released him from his duty, and I see in his that he is grateful for that.

Our moment is over.  I turn to the Assistant and tell him that I am at his disposal if he should require anything.  The dais becomes un-assembled, and our worlds separate again.

Sound check is complete for the musicians, and they start filing out to the bus to spend the next several hours at the hotel.  My Nubian beauty finds me again, and invites me to come along, back to her hotel room to keep her company.  At that moment I make the first of two profound life choice errors that I would make that night:  I decline, with regret.  My job is to be here, and if I was to follow her out the door I would let my boss down, abandon my very important Freelance Assistant Stage Manager job and fee of $200.  All for what?  To spend a couple hours in the company of Bob Marley’s backup singer?  Perhaps intimately?  To dine and hang with the Wailers?  If there is nothing else we young adults can lay claim to, it’s that we have our priorities in line.

If there is a God, and I’m quite sure there is, that God would surely be angry with me for letting an opportunity so obviously heaven-sent slip through my fingers.  No– merely missing out on my I-four was not enough punishment.  I clearly required an additional helping of hurt.  Therefore, my idyllic “not needed” afternoon turned into my pre-show purgatory:  Bob Marley was late, the audience was becoming unruly, and I would become stage security.  Fill in those gaps.

Bob Marley was not well.  He was already walking the fine line of palliative care for his cancer, a slight mis-step an excursion into pain, or to the side of stupor.  After one hour and the better part of the second had passed, the guys in the audience front rows start climbing the walls…literally.  I have to pull these guys down from the PA speaker stacks.  Me, a 135 pound skinny white kid. And there simply aren’t enough Irish cops to go around.  To everyone’s credit, there is never a moment of malice or malevolence…it is just an expression of pent-up energy.

Bob arrives.  The boiling point is not reached, and the show commences.  I don’t know what Marley’s show was like in his heyday, before he was sick, but there is no outward indication that he is off his game.

At last the teamsters have moved the last of the cases to the loading dock, the hall is dark, and it is time for the final sweep.  Not with a broom, that’s a Teamster job, but as Freelance Assistant Stage Manager, I have to walk through all access areas of the stage and associated areas to make sure everything’s out, and to make sure there are no smoldering piles of oily rags with a broken shorted out hair dryer on top.  The stage is clear.  I make my way through the large green room, and through the private dressing rooms.  Think what you may about rastas, rock stars and their stereotypes…but the place was left immaculate, with even the tablecloths folded neatly on the caterer’s tables and all ashtrays emptied.  It was a bittersweet disappointment to find that there was not even a hint of a splif, baggie, blundt, or anything resembling a scavengeable, salvageable bit of “hospitality” remaining.  Tidy, as if they were in their mom’s house. I opened the last door.  Marley’s private dressing room, a very large closet, really.  The lights are out, and I start to close the door when I notice a midnight-blue pilot light glowing behind the door.

At this juncture, I have reached the SECOND profound life choice error that I would commit that night.

It occurs to me, that I am looking at Bob Marley’s practice guitar amp.  It has been inadvertently left behind.  It’s not a bargain piece of kit,  rather a top of the line Mesa Boogie Amp.  Which Bob Marley has played through.

It also occurs to me, that I have merely to shut this door, walk back up to the stage, and wait another ½ hour, and I will be free-and-clear to take this little piece of Bob home with me.  I certainly recognize the moral and ethical problem with this, but I close the door.

I take a few steps toward the stairway, and stop.  A few moments later, I’m out on the loading dock, amplifier in hand, waving down the semi as it is about to pull away on its way to tomorrow.

Lightning may not strike twice in one spot, but stupidity can and does.  All these years later, I can’t help but think that Bob would have forgiven me, after all, for taking that pound of flesh, either in the hotel with his I-four or by keeping his dressing room amplifier.

I’m sure I would have been forgiven.

Posted in memoir, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

When you couldn’t believe

(c) 2007 dwoz

you were you and I was me
then forces acted inexorably
to consummate our alchemy
and forge an alloy strong as steel
and rich as any gold can be

But steel will bend and gold will scratch
and though we work to stay intact
the forces conspire in ruthless fashion
to toss us, carelessly, into the chasm
relentless insinuation and schism

Why was I unable to see
The light that burned you
why was I unable to stand
and cast a shadow across your face

When you didn’t believe
in the story

When we’re here inside ourselves
we know our truths, our joie du vie
We simply brush aside the veil
and see what no one else can see
and feel what no one else can touch

Its such a curiosity
that such transparent sophistry
and ill-intentioned riddles
semantic paradiddles
can test the strongest love

Why was I unable to be
the one you turned to
why was I unable to breathe
or seize that instant of time

When you tried to believe
in the story

Indifferent history doesn’t recall
our myriad (mundane) ports of call
or how we rose above it all
it always marks the missteps and foibles
but quiet triumphs remain unsung

Now those choices that we made
are pegged to posterity
like cicadas on a cork-board
the feeding frenzy, the voyeur’s amusement
vicarious libel and false denouement

Where was I, unable to choose
the life I wanted
I was there when you said you’d try
I was there when you said goodbye

When you couldn’t believe
in our story

(coda)
its a sort of curiosity
that such transparent sophistry
inexorably gets the best of us
such a trite and venal tune can kill
the strongest love and strength of will

When You Couldn’t Believe in the Story by Hinterland

Posted in songs, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Join

(c)2007

If you stayed another night
would it really make a difference
we both know its a lie
but would that get in the way?

You know I have to try
to break through the indifference
to strike dry tinder spark
to make truth out of inference

So, here we are
at the flashpoint
We stand apart
in the crucible of dreams
Awaiting the chance to dance
and claim the space between

where you and I would join
and never be the same again

So the game is over, so you say
but you’re still playing, anyway
I will follow to a certain point
before the trail becomes too cold

The story’s old, and it unfolds
like so many stories yet untold
and still I know that this one’s different
Please just tell me this one’s different

So, here we are
at the flashpoint
we stand apart
in the crucible of dreams
Awaiting the chance to dance
and claim the space between

Where you and I would join
and never be the same again

Did you think I was the type
to wait alone, to stand apart
to make some offhand vow
to take a hollow promise?

It’s not that I
want to see you compromised
or cut back down to size
but you must realize

That here we are
At the flashpoint
we stand apart
in the crucible of dreams
awaiting the chance to dance
and claim the space between

Where you and I would join
and never be the same again

Join by team Dnafe

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Gone

Stepped across the threshold
through the door
its closed behind me
for the last time

The latch click is quiet
still louder than my thoughts
its not the sound of coming home
and it echoes even now

Turn around to look back
but even though I’ve just stepped through
the door’s gone
its not there

Gone, its gone
like a half forgotten memory
of a vague but vivid dream

Gone, you’ve gone
and even though I cannot see your face in this light
I can still touch you
and even though the rain has washed away the footsteps
I can still hear you whisper

the sidewalks and the signs
open spaces, crowded places
now empty of the faces
no more plans and no designs

The bricks and the stones,
proven to be transient
illusions of permanence
I walked here only yesterday

Gone, all gone
like a half forgotten memory
of a half remembered dream

Gone, just gone
and even that would be alright if I could just hold on
to fleeting reflections
and even now it seems that I can touch, and you are there
its water on sand

I turn from the doorway
the path indistinct
it seems to go somewhere
pretending to know where
I follow where it seems to go
’cause I can’t stay here
it’ll disappear

Gone, I’m gone
like the half forgotten figment
an imaginary life

Gone, So gone
and even as our vision fades,obscured by this retreating light
dim, fading light
I can still feel the touch of your soul, and the crystal-clear sound
of your whisper

‘Gone’ by team Artisan

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The Gospel according to Soundman

The Lord said, “let there be an inverse-square law, so that the denizens of the earth will not drown in the relentless cacophony” And it was so. And the Lord saw that it was good.

The lord said, “let there be band/chorus directors across the earth, that conduct choruses of youthful, deliciously liturgical voices.” The Lord looked upon his creation, and saw that it was good.

Then, the Lord said, “let there be places of assembly for the choruses to perform within; and let the performers span the width of one side, such that their joyous noise shall wash over the masses, who shall span the width of the other side, across a distance of many cubits.” and he saw that it was good.

Then, the Lord said, “let all the denizens of the earth enjoy the joyous sound!” And he looked down and saw that it was really not so good. Some of the denizens were too far away from the joyous noise, and some were stone deaf regardless. Some denizens couldn’t sit still or turn off their cellphones, or keep their child-denizens quiet. The other denizens had to strain to hear the Joyous Noise.

Then the Lord said, “Let there be Bogen, and Shure, and Altec Public Address Systems, to spread the Joyous Noise across the length and breadth of the assembly.” And it was so. The Lord listened, as the first-ever blast of ear-splitting feedback reverberated throughout the firmament. The Lord was sore vexed.

Then the Lord said, “Let there be The Soundman, to figure out how the Bogen, Shure,and Altec works, and to realize the Holy Spectacle of the Joyful Noise!” And it was so. The Lord looked down upon his creation, and the Soundman looked up at the Lord, and the Soundman said

“What the fuck are YOU looking at?”

The Lord was tentatively pleased.

The Lord spake thusly: “Soundman, thy great and Holy and Noble task is to take command of the sound reinforcement devices of the earth, and cause them to reinforce the Joyous Noise emanating from the choir, such that all the denizens of the earth may rejoice!”

The Soundman did cast his gaze upon the situation, and in a timely fashion, did answer the Lord:

“Lord, What effin’ drugs you taking? I do sound, and miracles aren’t in MY job description.”

And the Lord said: “Drugs…not a bad idea. It’s on the to-do list.  Just do the best you can”.

“Fuck you.” the Soundman uttered to himself, as he bent his back to the herculean task. “Um, Lord, dude…can we get the law of inverse-square repealed in the Place of Assembly? It’d certainly be a help.”

And the Lord, singularly proud of that particular mathematical accomplishment and feeling indefinably petulant, replied “No can do.”
“Fuck you, too.” grumbled the Soundman. “thanks for nothin’.”

And the Soundman asked the Lord a second question, “Lord, can we get these singers to come around here in a semi-circle, that they may all be equi-distant from the Holy Shure Microphone, thus making my job a hell of a lot easier, and really, Lord, this is all about making my job easier, right?”

And the Lord Spoke, “The Concert Director has informed me that this is entirely out of the question.”

And the Soundman replied, “Go tell that unsufferable ass to go fuck himself”.

The Lord looked upon the Soundman, “Verily, I will do what I can to help, but I haven’t created autoeroticism yet.  It’s on the to-do.” The Lord, starting to mull the possibility of repealing the Law of Unintended Consequences, mumbled to himself as he walked away.

“What was that?” the Soundman called to the Lord.

“oh…Nothing.” replied the Lord.

Forthwith, the Lord returned, bearing tidings of the Concert Director’s reply. “The Concert Director has asked me to tell you that you’ll only have 3 minutes for soundcheck, after the House of Assembly is open, and that you cannot place the Mighty Voice Of The Theatre cabinet where you have placed it, nay, nowhere within line-of-sight.” said the Lord to the Soundman.

“Fuckin’ horse’s ass in a penguin suit!” spit the Soundman, feeling truly vexed.

“What was that?” asked the Lord.

“oh…Nothing.” spake the soundman.

“Please, oh Lord, can I have two more channels of Bogen, Shure, and Altec, such that I may cause the Joyous Noise to spill forth across the firmament in its full, multi-mic’ed glory?”.

And the Lord spake thusly: “Would that I could, my dear FOH soundman, would that I could.  But that isn’t in the budget.”

“What the fuck do you mean, not in the budget????” the incredulous Soundman said to the Lord. “…not in the BUDGET?”

And the Lord replied “What do I look like, some kind of miracle worker?”

“Um, Lord?” spake the Soundman.

“Yes, my son?” replied the Lord.

“Since you’re all jazzed up on your math chops and all, could you create the logarithmic scale, please? You’ve painted me into a corner here, and I need to do some quick math before curtain time”.

“What’s curtain time?” asked the Lord, not sure if he’d created that yet.

“I’m kinda short on time here, Lord…”

“Ok, ok. Done.” And the Lord looked down on the logarithmic scale, and saw that it was good. It resembled a mighty sword, sharp on both sides, capable of smiting an enemy, or killing a friend. And the Lord trembled with fear.

The Soundman did take up the logarithmic scale with great confidence and swift, terrible ability, and scribbled a bunch of ciphers on a great tablet of stone, mumbling to himself as he worked. Finally, he dropped the tablet to the sand, and rushed over to the stage. The Lord was curious, and asked the Soundman “So, what was that all about?”.

“Listen, Lord. I know you’re the Promoter and all…but I’m getting paid to do sound here. If you want me to teach you how to do sound, then its gonna cost a lot extra.”

And the Soundman jumped up over the proscenium to the stage, ignoring the stairs, and placed a multitude of Holy Shure Microphones, each one cubit from the choir, with a span of three cubits between each mic.

“Will that cause the Joyous Noise to reverberate through the Place of Assembly?” asked the Lord.

“Fuck no, it’ll sound like ASS!” spake the Soundman. “But its the best I can do to salvage this clusterfuck. The Microphones are placed at a distance ratio of pi cubits from the Voices of Joy, which means that the far mic is about 9db down from the primary, so the comb filtering will be about 1 db or so.”

“Um, is that greek?” spake the Lord. “I don’t think I’ve created greek yet…”

“Lord, I INVENTED IT, and DON’T you go taking credit for it either!” growled the Soundman.

The Lord was considering the Soundman’s words, when He exclaimed “Goodness! look at the time! its 8:00…”

And the Soundman did don the Holy Clearcom, and spake thusly…”ok, house lights to half on a 10 count, GO house lights. Stand by curtain…GO curtain. Supertroupers one through 5, stand by to pick up GOD downstage left, on my cue. Supertrouper6, you hold for a minute. And, GO one-through-five. Supertrouper 6, load your green gel frame…iris down tight, full power, I want you to hit the Concert Director’s bald spot and stay there all night, fade in on a 25 count. His head is going to glow like a traffic light. GO SUPERTROUPER6. Cue announcer’s mic. Dear Sweet Beelzebub, how many times am I going to have to show GOD how to talk into a friggin’ announcer’s mic? Is it really that hard?”

And the Joyous Noise was heard throughout the firmament.

After the concert, the Lord took up the tablets of stone that the Soundman had inscribed, and declared that the tablets should be preserved for the rest of eternity, so that the begats of the begats of the begats of the Soundman could continue to ensure that the Joyous Noise was heard through all of the firmament, forevermore.

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