it was raining this morning. i woke up, and it was raining buckets, pouring sadness out of the skies. i woke up, heard the rain, and called in sick. i called in sick, and crawled back into bed, willing my brain to shut up. i crawled back in to bed, too numb to deal with the rain on top of everything else.
and that feels dumb. it feels lame and weak. there's still a world out there, and there's still work to be done. *shakes head* why is it that rain (albeit a drenching downpour) is overwhelming today? shouldn't i be grateful that i can wake up and hear the raindrops pounding on my roof? isn't that enough?
how do we go about finding a way to fit this into our frame of reference? how do we find a way forward? *frowns* i'm not sure. i don't know that any of us are sure. i think, maybe, we start by telling stories. we weave tales out of what has happened, is happening, will happen, to make sense of our fears and hurts and try to find a place for the goodness as well.
so we tell stories. and we try to figure out how we get back to normal. or, maybe, how do we figure out what normal has become. it feels weird to keep writing about horrible things are, how we've all been affected somehow, and generally being dour and morbid. it feels weirder to want to laugh and be happy. nothing feels right.
i'm seeing even the most normal of things thru a different lens. (like everyone isn't?) and it catchs me off guard, because this hasn't hit so close to home for me as it has for so many others.
for example: i was nervous getting on the subway today. i did finally motivate to get out of the house, and go to job #2, because i needed music. the subway stop i go to is way underground. nearly a quarter mile, if i remember correctly. it takes a full two minutes to get down the main escalator, if you step on the top and wait out the whole ride. and when i stepped on, i had this flash of being buried in the station. there was no reason to think that there would be an air strike in my neighborhood. please. there aren't even any tall buildings there. but it was nervous making to head down those steps.
and when i got downtown? i nearly started crying when i got up to the sidewalk, because there it was. the skyline. my town. still dirty and torn apart, but there. same old buildings, ruby red in the sunset, right where they've been all along. who knew you could feel so relieved to see that nothing has changed?
the concert was all odd and out of sorts. for starters, the opening band was still unloading (!) when i got there. at least, i think that was the case. they were messing around with something and sound checking, at any rate. then when they did start, more or less on time, the lights just went down, and it was quiet. there were so few people in the house that the noise just rattled around. and the first few songs sounded like an extended sound check. but they finally settled into a groove, and people trickled in.
when the headliner got up there, they spread an American flag over their equipment, and got all kinds of cheers. and then they asked for a moment of silence. seeing 1500 people stand quietly in the Orpheum is... unusual. then they opened with Captain America. and the outpouring of happiness and energy was wonderful. people just kicked back and got out of their heads for a while.
i couldn't quite go there, since i was working. but i ducked out of there a little early and headed back up to catch Jim's Big Ego. they had very nearly cancelled the show; it's been a rough week for them, i think. but they did perform. i got there just as the opening act was finishing up their set. snagged a soda, found a place up by the stage, and settled in.
i kept looking out over the audience. i was hoping that a friend of mine would show up; he's been jumpy and panicky lately, and i've offered what support i can by phone, but wanted to see him in person and wrap him up in a big hug. and i kept looking because it was reassuring to see a room full of people talking and catching up and just... being there.
i find that my reactions to people have been pretty extreme the last few days. either i want to rip their head off, or somehow find a well of tolerance. the guy at the bar got the tolerance. when i went back to grab another soda, he started talking to me about my tattoos. no, they aren't real. i put on a couple of temporary ones - the Chinese characters for love and faith - at the nape of my neck. for reasons i can't really articulate, i needed them. he started asking me about them, and wanted to know if it hurt. nope; they're temps. then he wanted to know who did them. put 'em on myself. he didn't think i could possibly have done it. and i looked at him, and thought 'there isn't enough deodorant for this conversation.' there was no way i was going to be able to explain it. so i just smiled at him, nodded along with what he was saying, got my soda, and wished him a good night.
from my little vantage point in the corner, i couldn't see the whole band, only Jim. and that was fine. he, too, opened the set with a moment of silence. it was odd to see the whole club quiet enough to hear a pin drop. (yes, right, see, hear, mixing up, whatever.) and the opening set was quiet. he ended it with After the Tornado, and i heard the lyrics all over again.
after a short break, they came back for a second set. somewhere in the middle of it, the energy started to pick up. if you don't know the band, this may not mean much. but the end of the set was: Dick Day, Can't Fall Down, Porno Plot, She Said, Boston Band, and Feelin' Groovy, with Love Everybody thrown in for a good measure encore. screaming along with Dick Day, singing along with the rest of set, bouncing around and smiling, seeing a favorite band yet again... it felt *good*. really good.
i bought Jim's new book during the break, and went up to him after the show. i asked him if it would be okay to give him a hug as a thank you. it was. and it was nice. i thanked him for the first honest smile i've had on my face all week. and he signed my book 'thanks for the hug'.
i walked home grinning and humming. and it felt okay.