I had a hat and a waistcoat.
I put them on, picked up my instrument, and went to work.
It was raw craft, at first. I had a little skill with words and so I used them to hide the flubs.
Raw craft … and then
I missed my mother. I was unhappy that she never saw me perform one effect, never saw what my hands were destined to do. I said so while shuffling cards. I made up a trick that i thought would make her laugh, could she but see.
… and they laughed. And they gasped. And they wriggled a bit in delight.
The laugh exploded and crystallized into art. Laughter through tears.
A marine. (hard and sober)
A goth chick.
A homeless man.
A homeless woman.
A college student.
A superstar athlete.
And several anonymous souls
… have told me that I saved their lives with my words and my art.
Tonight I made a woman weep with my stories.
I reminded her of her son
Who died …
Laughter through tears.
“He would have loved this … thank you for being who you are.”
tonight I drove home.
And I put my instrument down (for now, not for keeps)
I took off my hat and i hung up my waistcoat
and I wrote this to you.
This … is who I am.
What’s the price of glory?
My grandparents had a huge eighteen inch screen television. If I was lucky I would get to go to their house some days after school. There were always push-ups or moon-pies … If I was REALLY lucky, something amazing would be on television. Elvis, or maybe the Rolling Stones. I would have to watch with the volume low, as my Gran didn’t understand the shenanigans of Mr. Jagger. I loved the Monkees, and I remember seeing the Beatles a couple of times … they all did such fantastic things. Not just in their music, but in their lives … I would sit there, transfixed, just thinking: “Can you imagine living like that? That’s just the best thing ever. They make this music and all of those people are just in LOVE with them and they follow them everywhere … can you just imagine having that?”
The entertainment business sucks people in and molests their minds. It builds them up into something awful. I don’t care how strong you are, no one can withstand what that deal can do to you. When it spits you out again, it’s much harder to deal with where you end up. Metaphorically: There’s a place they take you, a cave. In this cave there’s a box. In the box are the treasures of the earth … you are allowed to look at it, and then the box is closed and taken away, and you are much worse off than if you had never seen it at all.
I’ve been to the cave and I’ve been allowed to look in the box. It changed me. It almost destroyed the true treasures I hold. I spent a long time trying to find the cave again, but lately I’m thinking it’s better to just walk my road and enjoy the beauty of what I can see right here, right now.
I still lust for the box, though …