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the long way around

The living room is a forest of mic stands and cables. A cup of coffee, a large glass of water and a shallow shot of whiskey sit on the tiny white table. I alternate between them, making sure the guitar is in tune, trying to understand if the chair will creak when I lean my head back on the second chorus.  There is a hush in the room. I can hear my own heartbeat. The lyrics are printed out on a fresh piece of paper, large and thick so I can read them easily even though I sing with my eyes closed and will surely forget a handful of words no matter what I do.

The guitar sounds dry, perfect - even honest. I can play a simple D chord with a long strum, or the side of my thumb and it sounds so different. I record a few takes, barefoot in the bright room. I am going too fast in some parts, and my fingers are already sore from the chord changes.

And then all at once, I am thinking of a show I played in an old factory in Brooklyn, way back when I had just started writing songs almost twenty y…

ALBINO (PART 2/SECTION TWO - the last excerpt)

One more excerpt of me reading from Albino this week, and then it will all go quiet again. No more visits to the past, to those naive, desperate East Village nights when the world seemed as big as a few square blocks. Everything else was noise, ancient history and completely insignificant. All that mattered was the sound of a saxophone on stage, those pretty girls with wide eyes, the cold sting of a good cocktail, the grit of the street under my fingernails, a long walk home with the taxis sighing past, the horn case thumping against my leg.

It is as if I have not really been in Moscow the past weeks, or just part of me has. Sure, I buy good tomatoes at the market. I work, sweat, take some pictures on a Saturday afternoon but that is just a fraction of the man. The rest is lost in odd nostalgia, knowing the fog will clear, the streets will be cleaned, the sun will climb high into the sky before we wake up as if none of this ever happened.

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