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the white table

The days are not long. The nights are short. Guitars are hiding in cases, with scraps of paper tucked inside. The pen is full. There is a fresh notebook, with creamy pages. The little white desk is in the middle of the living room, a cascade of receipts and laundry perched on it.

I clean it off, have lunch as it stares back at me. This focal point, this fulcrum where my thoughts become real, this cheap folding table from Ikea. It is familiar, and patient.

this is the day

This is the day. The epic banging downstairs has subsided, appearing randomly at no earlier that 6 at night when it does. There is no good explanation for why I restrung the old guitar today, and then the new one. I am almost drunk on the smell of their cases, like a museum of good intentions - here are scraps of paper with old lyrics on them, a spare cable, a phone number from a show three years ago. I have been writing these songs for over a year now, and today is the day the good microphone went on a stand.

That is how things happen - when you least expect them.

It is a fairly terrifying moment.

I think we all like to say "we need to get out of our comfort zones" which mostly means something like bungee jumping, or getting a new haircut. The idea of singing the confessions of a bunch of imaginary people feels like walking a tightrope with no net. Seeing it done well does not give me any false confidence. It just makes me respect those brave souls that shoulder a guitar and let the words tumble out. It may be one of the greatest magic tricks.

The living room is a growing forest of stands and cables. I am digging in old boxes looking for adapters, for finger slides. There are so many memories crammed into the backs of these drawers. I have been preparing for this moment for years actually, long before I even started on these songs. They say it takes half of your life to write your first album and then you only get a year or two to write your second one. I find myself laughing, already way ahead of myself, already seeing the footsteps in the sand leading to the ocean, the jangled nerves of the journey, the storm, the smell of salt and sweat, but most of all the open cases.


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