A few days ago, I stopped in for a few beers at Dee’s after work. One of the reasons I like to do that at Dee’s rather than most other places is the almost Twighlight Zone nature of the place. What I mean is this: if I sit at the bar with an open seat next to me on either side, there is a 95 percent chance that stool will be occupied by someone interesting. Sometimes they are a great new friend, sometimes a total freak who I really want to get away from, but makes for a good story. Either way, it’s cool with me and often leads to an adventure of some kind.
So on this particular occasion, I had vacant seats on each side, and one was taken by a woman who I have seen around and many south siders probably know, so I won’t name names. She sat down and ordered a beer and a shot of something, immediately followed by more of the same. Clearly she was a woman on a mission.
As always seems to happen in these situations, I didn’t need to start the conversation, she seemed to need to vent some things and went on about relationships, roommates and work – all of which were things I could relate too and I am a good listener. She works in a creative position, employed by someone who seemingly no longer cares for the business. Again, I could relate, but I found myself relating less to her and more to her jaded and cynical boss. Troubling, to say the least. I listened to her continue to talk about her work and her frustration with the road blocks she encounters. I told her she seemed like someone who was just minutes away from breaking out on her own and running her own business and she agreed. We talked more about that, and similar experiences we have had. I fell into that zone where she was the only person in my universe for a few moments and nothing else mattered.
But I know lots of beautiful women whom I routinely ignore.
What was I so attracted to? Sure, she is pretty. But I know lots of beautiful women whom I routinely ignore. Sure, she has a charming personality. I know plenty of charming people who really don’t interest me much. I was completely taken by the passion she has for her craft. I remembered when I had the same kind of passion. That passion got me pretty far in graphic design, and any successes I have had in music were usually a result of that passion as well. But I have been coasting for quite a while. Where did my passion go? Frustration with the music business, mutual flakiness among various former bandmates, managers, promoters, etc and general complications of life in the consumerist rat cage of “adult” life…. a marriage to someone who did not share or even accept my dreams had a large part in this – how can you believe you are a Rock & Roll Messiah when your significant other hates what you love and passive-aggressively interferes as much as possible? The conflict there and the resulting separation and bizarre attempt at reconciliation surely do not help fuel the fire of motivation and sucks up a lot of time, though it probably should have provided plenty of song writing material. It is amazingly easy to lose that passion thing and I think, to a some extent, I stopped believing in myself.
So I got to thinking – here is this woman who is truly dedicated to what she wants to do and is doing it by any means necessary. When did I stop doing that? Why? These questions don’t matter nearly as much as “what am I going to do about it?”
I am going to finally get off my ass and record those songs I have been humming, finish the songs I have started recording, collaborate with the people with whom I should be collaborating, and get the machine moving again. Also, I will soon be starting up a band site for myself on myspace, starting with some of the better songs from bands of my past until the new stuff is closer to ready for public consumption. I will also be looking for appropriate partners in crime and gettign back on stage where I am most “at home”.
I know this about myself – once something is set in motion, I will follow through, even if the only reason is that I have people saying “hey, fucker, I thought you said you were going to _______” or “how come you don’t ____ anymore?”
Consider this my declaration of intent to do… something.