Static

My brain feels like the static on the radio. These days, my thoughts are never fully formed, and I feel as though I’m being led by my fear, my worry, my past.

I’m trying to listen to my own voice, but so often it gets lost amidst the noise.

All I can do is hold on, through the waves of chaos, and pray they’re taking me to a place of rest, of calm, of clarity.

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Noise

Screaming about your feelings doesn’t make them any more valid — the world is full of noise.

There is power in a whisper or a gentle breeze. There is comfort in a knowing silence.

I’ve never needed to be the first thing people see or the only thing they hear.

I see strength in the quiet places — the ones you’ve spent all your days running from.

You need a stage, but what an unsteady foundation.

Asleep

I can only imagine you spend your days in that cold city teaching young ones right from wrong. At that age, children need endless boundaries.

“Be nice.”

“Say please.”

“Use your words.”

Yet at each intersection of our worlds — tied together by one, and only one, character, you fail to uphold those same standards yourself.

I don’t see any kindness in holding onto the decade-old, worn and ever-fading string you have to my town and my heart.

You didn’t ask before cooly inserting yourself into a day full of excitement and progress; you didn’t ask before framing your lingering and unresolved emotional turmoil in watercolor paint.

You don’t have enough respect for me or the collective we built hundreds of miles away to say something directly or take action.

No, you passively wait in that apartment with no heat, asleep through the melodies you inspired, afraid to confront the very thing slipping out of your grasp.

“It’s Fine”

Last time I was in this coffee shop — among one way streets and monkey logos — you told me over and over again how incredible I was. You told me that I should never doubt myself because everyone I met felt the same.

But your words were empty, your sentiments hollow.

Maybe that’s why I could never get a solid read on you — because I could sense an underlying dissonance between your words and your actions.

If I confronted you today, in this same coffee shop, with the wraparound porch and creaking floors, you’d still pretend to care. I still wouldn’t get the authenticity you so easily pour into your music.

So when everything is said and done, hopefully you’ll get a melody and I’ll be left with a couple iced coffees, extra bitter.

“Hi Kiddo”

A pleasant dream with the imagery of flowers. A surge in confidence. That’s all it took for me to hesitantly wander back into the world I used to inhabit.

A parking spot a block away from that historic venue on a Saturday night. A sign, perhaps.

I took a cold breath in the February air and walked into the dark room, shaky. I glanced around, trying to stifle the overwhelming feeling of being surrounded by 300 people. It’s wild that you’re playing to 300 people now. A nervous wave, followed by a flood of unexpected emotion. I wondered what the people around us were thinking; it felt as though our history was spelled out in bold, for anyone to see.

Standing beside you at that table, pausing every time someone wanted to comment on your performance, your music, your creativity felt natural. I followed you backstage to help move your gear and eat half a cookie, like a no time, no pain, no whiskey had passed.

“It was good to see you.” And it was.

The problem with that night — with the dim lighting and noise we could barely speak over — was that it unfolded seamlessly. It overflowed with our potential, saturated with the feeling of comfort that has always been our strength. The problem with that night is even though my mind had formulated great intentions of resolution, part of my heart still held onto the hope that it could be an open door — just like the one from my dream the night before.