Secret Pop

Feb 17, 2004

"Can the child within my heart rise above?"

Last night, I had this great gob of desire to post something about how things felt, but I'm away from home and connectivity has been more challenging than usual, so I made notes and made do, assuming I would return to the fervor when a network came available. Instead, I have the fragments of what I wrote and no real understanding of how they break from the glomerular state into distinct pieces. It's gone from me. Further proof that you can't put off inspiration. You can only deny it and lose it. But you can't delay it. I carry a little Moleskine notebook in my handbag just in case. But a lot of what should be written down comes to me while I'm driving or in the dark or not wanting to look like an undercover reporter. And as a consequence, far too few of the notebook's pages are filled.

I wouldn't have been able to write it all down in the car anyway, last night. I know that. And it's not that I'm so convinced that I would have written anything earth-shattering. On the contrary. I think I would have aspired at best to the heights of the banal, but at least I would have known what I was talking about. At least I would have been feeling it as I typed. Doing it this way is sort of like writing an adaptation. It's like documenting a previous event with notes from bystanders. These feelings aren't real to me anymore. They are secondhand.

"Time makes you bolder. Even children get older."

I can't feel it right now, but I know that I had wanted to pull the car over as I was arriving in San Diego, and I had wanted to cry out, and it was with great joy. The kind of joy that lacks smugness. And permanence. I only remember that I had this tremendous good feeling. I breathed in so deeply I felt a pain in my chest. Till I was ready to burst with the anticipation of exhaling. And I heard music that meant something to me. Songs that made me feel things, and I wasn't afraid of them. I welcomed them. I didn't go, "Yes, that's very true," and feel glum that the whole of what I know of love can be summed up by any 80s band who had it in them to write a song about getting it served to you in the wrong fashion (in this case, it was Naked Eyes). It no longer felt like an indictment. It really didn't feel like much of anything. Except a catchy song with synthesized marimbas. It felt like music again. Instead of retribution.

I was grateful to be feeling something of great intensity that was entirely positive and almost cloyingly okay. I wanted to yell, "I feel something! I feel something! And I'm so happy!" And I would have meant it. Tired as I was, I was feeling something at last. I was swelling with desire and anticipation and the urgency to barrel forward. And it wasn't an aftershock of anything else. It was just that feeling of a Sunday night with gas in the gas tank, a song in the speakers, and somewhere to be with people I like. I want to say it was just like old times, but I don't think that would be true.

"I'm lost but I'm hopeful, baby."

I don't know where I am, but I don't hate being here. There are still foul words to contend with and fears and categories and the acknowledgement of all that is over. But I'm not afraid of the landslide anymore. At least for now.

And, for the record, this sort of thing comes and goes. Shooting shabby pool into the wee hours did little to prolong my illusion of grandeur. Even now, I'm only recounting what I remember of having felt like a force to be reckoned with. But writing the words has a way of helping you commit it to memory. Maybe that will slow the ebb to at least a comparable velocity to the flow. And maybe we all won't dry up so soon.

No comments: