I’m sick. Have been since I was eighteen.
Some people (successful people) sit down every day at the same time and write music. They’re disciplined. Professional. They’re the boss and their ideas have learned to show up on time or else wait quietly until tomorrow.
I’m not like that.
I have song writing attacks. They’re less frequent the older I get. But more severe.
It always starts unexpectedly. One day I’m in the shower and chunks of lyric and melody come buzzing out of me like angry bees.
What’s the trigger?
I’m addicted to caffeine again. Maybe the carbonation fizzed something loose in my dome?
I’m reading a good book. Maybe that guy’s words reproduced in my gray matter and had little word babies – like hookworms…without the diarrhea…and with the potential for royalty payments.
I’m in the middle of an attack right now. So I’m spending a lot of time singing softly but intensely to myself so I don’t forget, sprinting through the house half naked and wet, frantically searching for my pencil and paper. If I can get the words out of my head and onto the page the bees slow down and play nice.
Who moved my paper???
You know what’s most disturbing? These rhymes are coming out of me right? But I don’t know what they mean most of the time. Sometimes they’re like poetic fortune cookie messages – a couple lines long and vague – but backwards – in Swahili.
Wow. That’s beautiful. But what the heck is a “vagabond bloom?”
But they don’t care if I understand them. They keep coming out anyway: Little fragments of my subconscious, congealed bits of memory. And it’s up to me to make sense of them later – To tame them and help them grow up to be something respectable and hopefully likable. Something that can at least look people in the eyes and have an adult conversation.
You can’t go through life talking nonsense. Let’s work on that together. For starters, you need to drop the Swahili…and add a verb…
That takes a little work. More singing to myself. More paper. With much fear and trembling.
Last night, for instance, out of me came the most random lyric I’ve ever “written.” In the shower. I sang line after complete line, with chords playing along in my head. About a Tuesday in tenth grade. I have no idea why it decided to come out now. Or what it means. But it made me smile: another symptom of this sickness.
Kim, you swore
We were meant to be
Promised with blue ink in every letter
With a heart
You dotted all your I’s
Every note you signed “always forever”
In the band hall, before the bell
I said we’d be friends and wished you well
I tried to shush your tears away
Forever ended on a Tuesday
See what I mean? Ran. Dom.
OK, so a little help please? Where would you like this song to go next? What’s the plot?