9.10.11

guitar, police, and why my leg was shaking


Let me start from the beginning.
Two nights back i spent hours in the small upstairs woodshop where, if i could, i'd have a bed. It was late and i had been working frantically. I was walking back across the footbridge with my collar raised to the wind and with something in my pocket. A girl i passed told me i looked like a literary character. She was very drunk, but i did not tell her so. It is not the sort of thing one tells people they pass on footbridges. Most people don't need to be told, so i walked on. I went back to my room and took pictures of my first and second string pants.


This is not the beginning, but it is where i have chosen to start.
Now i will continue at the beginning. The morning before, I felt the way movies feel. Some friends and i were listening to sleepy head and driving into the whitewashed city of asheville. The sun was early and we were trying not be be nervous.

But one cannot decide how to feel, and it is counter intuitive to try to decide who to be:
emotion trumps intellect, and people begin to stub their toes.

We arrived and were there. Within the police academy building there was an apartment. It felt real, but the windows opened to hallways, and the fridge and phones were not plugged in. My friend steph had the markings of a black eye and make-up bruises on her neck. My fake bruises were on my knuckles. We were roll-playing to help the cadets train for domestic violence calls. Over and over all morning i shouted the things i never want to say: in ways i never want to say things. We were in our characters and that is someone i never want to be. There was fear in her eyes and each time i was arm-twisted and handcuffed i felt like i deserved it.



Emotion trumps intellect and i had a window into what we are all capable of.
i have a small understanding of what actors talk about.
I have a smaller understanding of people like heath ledger.
I have lavazza espresso and good friends like steph,
and yet i needed to spend 9 hours in the wood-shop working on projects and when i ran out of projects i made the ugliest pencil holder i have ever seen. I have never seen a beautiful one, but i needed to keep working, so i spent hours doing this:



the next day was good. It was spent with great old friends and with great new ones but i still needed to process. I have often identified Guitar as a way i communicate with myself. A meditation, if you will. Therapy, Silence, a Green Door. I have always called it as much, but i didnt expect to be so overwhelmed. I touched the guitar for the open mic. it was small and mostly friends and the list had run out and people wanted more so i played. I haven't in a long time, and there was a well made classical guitar. I am telling you this because it is important. I started to play and all of the sudden i was not there. In my head i was not eating chili-cheese-fry emotions. i was not wearing new shoes, i was not in a place i knew. I'd given what i had thought to be a clever introduction "this is one of those songs that people write" and i had mumbled some more: what it was about, the title. I'm Sorry if Your Shoes Got Wet. then i played and i was not there. i was up and down in tempos, in temperament, i felt alone, and my leg was shaking, I don't think very much of this was transparent. there was a disjointed song and i just simply stopped playing. It was abrupt, but i was done. there were no words.
and i was overwhelmed. It is a vulnerable thing to talk to yourself so honestly in front of everyone, even if all they hear is music.

So i went, of course, to the wood-shop, and stayed till 1:30 making these.



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