Secret Pop

Dec 15, 2002

Holiday Spirit Handily Avoided

I thought playing hours and hours of Christmas songs would turn my frown upside down. But that was not the case. Maybe the fare was too Rudolph-heavy. I don't know. I used to look forward to this. Like so many other things. Today, I am anxious for my obligation to be behind me, and I am hoping Santa will understand my wish list when it says, "I would like to disappear."

Between shows today, I went out to my car with a click-track CD and wrote a bluegrassy fiddle part for a song that apparently needed that. And then I played it in the second show. I suppose I can say I'm proud of myself. That I was able to do that. That I pulled it off. I have grown so much more confident that ideas will come when I'm sitting there with manuscript paper and a mechanical pencil. And they do. I haven't written much in the way of songs of my own. A few ditties sung in the bathtub by a girl between the ages of six and ten. I still remember them. As songs go, they stink. But accompaniment is apparently my strong suit. Give me a great song someone else has written, and I'll gussy it up a bit.

When I played the song, I was ever so nervous. Perhaps because I hadn't had a chance to properly rehearse it. Perhaps because I care what some people think of my playing. Perhaps because I wasn't able to eat all day and was feeling shaky and tired. But I felt myself trembling as I played the zippity quick notes, and I felt dizzy and lightheaded when it was all over.

I am not accustomed to the rush of adrenalin anymore. It seems foreign to me. And that makes me feel poorly. I notice an almost perpetual furrow in my brow. And a consistent frown. Or at least an absence of smile. I look, right now, as if I am in great pain. And I think it's true. Those fir trees may as well be jabbing their needles into my weepy eyes. That's what the season means to me. And no amount of bows or wrapping or scented tissue paper will change that before it's suddenly next year.

Poof. It will be 2003. And you will catch me saying that I can't believe it. And I will be speaking the truth. I can't believe how much time has gone by. How much has happened. How little has happened. How much is yet to come. How little I know of it. I am aching with the disappointment.

And yet I would prefer the world to believe I'm so happy it hurts. And my only costume for that is a new shade of lipstick.

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