My suitcase. I found it on the sidewalk of Market st. downtown years ago, and I’ve taken it all over the country. #sketchbook
I can stop drawing with my Pilot MR (Metropolitan) with a fine nib.
There’s a book called Wreck This Journal. My friend Scarlet posted a photo of the inside cover on instagram the other day, and that prompted me to look up the book. After reading some great reviews, including one where someone poured a cup of coffee over the book in freezing temperatures, then thawed it out on a radiator after it froze outside, it was speaking to me. So far I have dipped the book in coffee, numbered all the pages, and broke the book’s spine. Break the spine is on page 3, I believe. It was much harder than I expected, and it felt pretty good.
It’s very liberating writing in, and destroying this book. I always get nice notebooks and take a long time to start using them because they’re nice and I’m dumb. This is a great way for me to get anything out of my head, knowing that most of the book will be destroyed by the time I’m done. It’s a lot of fun.
I’m still gonna use nice pens, but I’m not anxious to use them at all.
It started off just like a normal ride. I called Uber to go to rehearsal. I was riding with a guy who lives in my neighborhood. He’s really nice and I have a lot of respect for him. We just instantly bonded. He’s one of those guys, you know? Sometimes I meet someone and we’re instant friends. More about instant friends another time. Let’s get back to the Uber driver.
It’s that time of year, and we quickly got to the “How were your holidays?” and “Happy new year, indeed!” Then for some inexplicable reason I felt this connection to him, and to everything. I felt similar when I was opening up about myself on the Guided B.S. podcast. We started talking about everything, but mostly my things. And it felt so good.
So here I am, telling a stranger that I’ve recently been diagnosed with M.S. Telling him that I’m staying positive, still playing music as much as I can. Enjoying edible treats in a way I never understood was possible. I tell him that this is making me kinder person, and it might make me a better musician.
I’m listening to myself saying that, saying that all this may make me better. I can’t believe I just said that. I can’t believe I thought that, and then vocalized it to a stranger. Do I believe that? Am I going to be better because of this?
I really don’t want to second guess myself on this. Let’s go with it.
“Of course, I wasn’t sober” he says to me while describing the time he saw Stevie Ray Vaughan – a month before he died in a plane crash. When I first got there, to order my salad with salmon steak, he asked to bum a smoke. Yes, salmon steak. It just sounds so much meatier that way. I told him I only had a couple cigarettes- which was true, kind of. I had four and a half.
Then I thought of those long bus rides, stopping at bus stations in the middle of nowhere. No gas stations in sight. Out of cigarettes myself. I thought of the older African American woman who bummed me a smoke when I really needed one.
I looked over to the door, and saw this guy frantically searching the park for anyone who might be smoking, anyone who even looks like they might be a smoker. I took two cigarettes out of my pack, grabbed my coffee with my other hand, and walked out the front door. “Here you go, man. I had more than I thought” I tell him. His eyes lit up and he thanked me profusely.
We talked about music, and shows we’ve seen- actually just shows that he’s seen, I was just enjoying listening to the stories. I let the fact that I am a musician come out, and his eyes widened and lit up all over again.
I went back inside and he followed closely, pumping me for more information about playing music. I gave him my number and told him I would be happy to help him out with some guitar lessons. I haven’t heard from him yet, and I doubt I ever will, but the way he treated the bartender makes me happy about that. She is a friend of mine, and he was doing that thing that a lot of men do to women they don’t know. Just can’t get past the fact that she is beautiful. Just can’t respect her for who she is- another human being.
After I ate, I took my last two cigarettes and left.