Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Life on the Threshold

I drove across the bay last night to see someone I wanted to hang out with one more time before leaving. After taking a walk around a neighborhood, some shit talking, and some tea drinking, I started to drive back through San Francisco towards the highway.

Suddenly, I found myself scrolling through the address book in my phone, dialing James. He answered, sort of caught of guard by my hour of calling. I asked if he was out, got his location and found him with Ryan and the Poor Bailey guys in the Mission. I had to get home to finish packing, to get to sleep so I’d be able to get up in time to get to the airport, to not miss my flight. I had a beer and a half, declined shot after shot after shot. It was one of those meat market bars, where Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays before holidays find those at the front of the fashion stampede, all painted and glowing in the dim light. Walking in on those nights, as you stand suspended while the doorman checks your id, you burn just a bit in that space between your heart and lungs. Beyond the door they’re all dressed and distressed to convey something beyond your well of experience. On those nights, I’d take a deep breath and push back my shoulders, lift my head, and forget that every time I discover nothing but a masquerade of the ordinary, of the lost, the addicted, and the generally dumb and numb and mundane. The same lot as us, flashy dregs clogging the drainpipe.

But last night was Tuesday and the meat market shelves were pretty bare. We conglomerated around the front corner of the bar, discussed shows and amps, the incredible reality that a bunch of us are playing at Live 105’s BFD festival together. I explained the purpose of my trip, the mission I am on. I have no need to explain it to you, you’ll know if its successful, if not, it wont matter, it don’t matter. Then I started talking more shit, talked for hours but could have just said, “I’m taking this for granted.”

I knew I wasn’t even quite there, just in for the moment on the breeze. I chime in to say, “maybe you should go talk to her,” when the sole cute girl in the room was made a point of (magnified no doubt, by her solitude), let her burn in someone else’s chest. I denied more shots. I talked about songwriting and keeping your head up.

Leaving was a flurry of arms, slurred speech, and a river of love uncorked by the liquor.

In a few hours I’ll be in bed, in the morning I’ll be in the office of a powerful ad agency with only my acoustic guitar between me and a room full of executives.

I’m always leaving. I think flight is my defense, not overstaying welcomes, amplifying longing with distance. Maybe it isn’t where I’m going as much as what I’m leaving behind. No, that’s not quite it. It’s the transit, the movement, the threshold is where I find comfort. I’m living the liminal life, in fear of going stir crazy, in fear of being anchored for the rest of my days, in hopes of discovering something that has yet to be discovered, scouring the mines for one mineral of feeling that hasn’t yet been felt… by me, by anyone.

‘Lost’ might be a good word for it.