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no gold (things will have to wait)

There is an old Russian expression for the inevitable moment when your neighbors begin renovating. "Searching for gold in the walls." They say, to describe the epic sounds of drills in ancient concrete. You might appreciate this odd humor, this dark joke, this survival tactic. I am not so graceful a man to wrap my thoughts around it. Those drills and grinders, they shake the very walls of our apartment. Early on Sunday mornings and often long into the evenings they go.

This has been going on for the last four months, maybe more. I stopped counting.

I cannot imagine there are any walls left, that there is an entire open floor below us, the wind whipping through the naked beams and nothing else. That is the only explanation. Or that they break down walls, build new ones, find a flaw, some grand mistake and then break all of the walls down again. Not swiftly with sledgehammers, but with one crappy old drill with a dull bit, mashing away, so that children hundreds of miles away…

a new song

I don't have a good explanation for how it happens, just that it does. The guitar may be out of tune. It may be 2 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. I dig into random piles of notes, fragments, phrases, turns of language. No matter what, it evolves into a confession. Even when you lie, you are telling the truth about something. The admission, the coming clean, it surfaces even when you try to keep it hidden.

Walking in another man's shoes offers a strange freedom. Most of my clothes came from the Salvation Army when I was growing up. I wore other people's suits. Maybe I never stopped.





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