Sunday, June 22, 2008

gradual finish

So, the record is finished. Finishing a record is a gradual sort of thing, though. I mean, I'll be leaving tomorrow with an album, but I'll be returning to LA in a couple weeks to do recalls on the mixes. I've been listening to them all weekend and there are already little changes I want to do here and there. It is hard to stop working on it. Like anything creative, you can keep tweaking this or that forever, so there has to be a point where it is just plain done, and that will be a couple weeks from now.

I'm sitting out on my balcony writing this, looking out at the cars drifting lazily along the 101 in the heat. I am exhausted. I don't know what to do with myself. I don't really want to talk to anyone. I don't really want to do anything but sit, or sleep, maybe strum my guitar mindlessly. My body is wrecked, but my mind keeps on churning.

I don't know how I'm going to spend the rest of the day. I don't have the energy to do much of anything. I am so tired, I just want to go home, back to Oakland, and lay down with my head against a cool hardwood floor and stare at the dust floating in beams of sun coming through the window, have comfortable silence with friends on a bench outside a coffee shop in the warm night, and sleep without a dream for twelve or thirteen hours straight, without a stir, without a worry, on a forgiving bed in a complete darkness.

I went down to San Diego yesterday. I hadn't seen the ocean at all in Los Angeles. I haven't made it out of Hollywood or the East Side or The Valley. I was down on the beach, feeling the waves wash up and soak the rolled up cuffs of my jeans, and holding my shoes and socks as I walked along, I remembered the last time the Pacific had tugged at my feet. I was in Peru, on a day as hot as today, with my brother sitting beside me on a rocky beach, explaining the potential history of each polished stone that I picked up and tossed into the wash. He had been a geology major, and I kept asking him questions and letting the conversation twist around the time and distance that each stone had endured.

You never really want to leave the beach. Even when you are tired and dehydrated, it is hard to peel your eyes away from the infinite water, to pull your toes out of the infinite sand. You know that there is going to be cleanup once you leave, sand to be knocked out of shoes, hot concrete to cross on bare feet, a drive to be endured in wet clothes, a sun burn to be tended to, and all that other stuff that life carries with it as well...

I need to leave this recording. Time is up. It is done, and I am so happy with it, but it is hard to leave. I keep wanting to take one more look, throw one more stone, feel one more breaking wave, because I know that it will be on to the next thing, and the next thing is going to take a lot of work, and is going to come at the cost of a lot of worry. I want to keep getting up in the morning and getting coffee and going into that studio, focusing on the intricacies of songs, escaping that big picture forever.

...But I am tired, and wanting home, and Los Angeles hasn't any more need for me. My sublet is up. I have to go tomorrow, or maybe I can hold on until Tuesday, but today I am going to sit here on the balcony, until the night begins to haze over Hollywood, watching those cars on the 101. Maybe I'll walk down to the Boulevard once more, look at the haircuts and delusions, everyone living the dream.