I actually made an effort to be social and went down the street to see a band comprised of a former classmate, her husband, and a former church bandmate from my Kent days. While it's not the kind of thing I normally listen to they were really good and to see them in this element, watching the chattering at the bar cease when they started to harmonize and the sound began to build...
How does one catch up on five years with acquaintances? They're mostly married and ask if I'm seeing anyone and why that hasn't worked out. I say no it never did work out (and don't add that I doubt it will) and talk about everything else, refugees and getting arrested, making ceramics and college radio. Everything just changed so completely since those days.
My sister is with me and knows none of these people. She asks if I can take her home and I understand, because she's got her own kind of pain she's struggling through, not wanting anything to do with God and having no good friends to fall back on, standing there as the rest of us talk about geeky musicianship, mosh pits, youth crews, and punk bands whose heyday was before her time. It's been at least five years since my last mosh pit, where I flew backwards into a puddle of PBR and rode home on the Rapid smelling like a distillery.
I'd never heard of David Dondero, the headliner, but everyone else seemed to. (I never did get around to delving into folk-punk, ironic given my musical DNA containing both), but his songs hit me in a strange way, this acoustic guitar and sparse evoking lyrics painting pictures of places I've never been, minor chords, the voice speaking of years I haven't experienced, as I laugh at kiss-off songs about employers and the ache taps into what I've been feeling, makes me want to write what I feel, so now I'm sitting at the 24 hour coffeeshop, deserted due to curfew and everyone my age drinking alcohol instead of tea, starting another novel beginning wondering if I'll ever get to an ending. I always end at three pages, sputtering out into fragments and nothingness.
I just need my brain to slow down sometimes because it never seems to stop. I can't bring myself to drink it away, my prayers are a jumble that I'm glad that God can decipher, and everything will happen the way it does, longing in the meantime for wisdom to go with the knowledge, and love that isn't just being nice to the people who are nice to me or the ones I enjoy, but love for the ones I can't stand.
I try not to be anxious, I try to de-tense, because it's nights like these that become dark nights of the soul by default, walking alone back to my car in the darkness glancing behind me, nearly running red lights because it's red light district hour and I get jumpy when I see so many people in the street on that corner, wishing that I could make everything ok when I see so much hurt around me deeper than my own, trying not to think about back-stabbing wannabe overlords, continual dreams deferred, or my lack of inspiration, knowing that sleep is needed and elusive. I always get like this when I don't sleep.