book, part II

Feel­ing the first surge of ener­gy run through me after a meal, I sit down to write.  This is a gift not to be squan­dered, this deaf­en­ing smash­ing beat that flows through me, the writ­ing com­ing off my fin­gers, sparks in my mind, swing­ing on vines through lush forests, kick­ing over clang­ing trash cans, rolling up in fast cars, jump­ing off a high­way over­pass from a full speed car, know­ing you’ve got­ta die, cer­tain you’ll live.  Where does this come from?

Sug­ar, the rush of corn tor­tillas danc­ing in my veins, the pulse of blood in my arms, the feel of music in my head, the weird and wild and muse feel­ing of being pos­sessed by the gods of writ­ing, flash­ing black and white lights, scream­ing Yeah, here comes the sto­ry, know­ing that all along.

The idea of telling the truth no mat­ter what, always being reward­ed for doing the right thing, whether peo­ple are look­ing or not.  What do you want?  Tell me the truth.  Always tell the truth, why is that so impor­tant?  White mar­ble  The swelling curve of a knife blade, the dark and grey swirls in met­al, a thou­sand folds, craft­ed through ten thou­sand years of work­ing met­al in fire, com­bin­ing basic ele­ments into a util­i­tar­i­an tool of beau­ty not only in the use, but sim­ply the look­ing.  True form and function.

I can bare­ly take it, that heavy rip­ping rough sounds.  The sto­ry she tells, the way each of us can feel that same sto­ry in our own his­to­ry.  You know the name of the bar, you remem­ber the look of the juke­box, the smell of the place, the way the door in the bath­room creaked, the cheap plas­tic flags, the glass­es you used to steal, even the beer you used to order.  It’s all there, in your mind and Joan Jet­t’s.  I love Joan for the writ­ing, for the pas­sion and feel­ing and fight in her voice.  That’s a mouth that spits the truth, she does rock and roll, as much as I do along with Willie Nel­son and a few others.

Pure and clean, just your voice, that’s all I want to hear.  Add some drums, give it a beat, then slide those deep bass notes up and down the neck of the gui­tar, chok­ing it and at the the same time grind­ing out the beau­ty of vibra­tions on met­al strings.

Then there’s the sim­ple sound of a Span­ish gui­tar.  Del Castil­lo cov­er­ing Willie, the ting of a met­al tri­an­gle, the left ear starts to feel the beat, to get it, to sync up with the song just in time for the voice to come through, that nasal­ly voice that is always in my dreams when I think of cow­boys and fish­ing trips and my Dad in an old car, McDon­ald’s on a Sat­ur­day morn­ing, the smell of a lum­ber­yard, the saw­dust, projects in the work­shop, dis­sect­ing a frog, the smell of the formaldehyde.

The rush of water over grav­el, I use a spin rod, Dad fly fish­es.  I  remem­ber every Willie song I’ve ever heard, even this one I haven’t heard before.  Every time I hear that voice, I feel all that his­to­ry come back up again.  I can feel the cold dark morn­ing of West Hart­ford, I can feel the chilly win­dows as the sun comes up over the hori­zon.  That’s where my love of get­ting up ear­ly comes from, from the way­ward dance of gui­tar notes, from the love of my Dad, from those moments we shared out there on the Con­necti­cut riv­er, when it was just us, and the world was sim­ple and clean and pure.  I don’t remem­ber the rest of the day  I don’t remem­ber the nights, I don’t care, just the the morn­ings where we drove and lis­tened to music togeth­er, when life was so clean and pure, and the aching and pulling of heart strings was­n’t yet part of my con­scious expe­ri­ence, where I only felt the emo­tion in this music and asked those sim­ple ques­tion that encom­passed so much more than the words.  I just enjoy the glim­mer­ing trill of the music, the voice of Willie, and a sim­ple gui­tar riff.

You know, hard hittin’.

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