I thought about calling this post “I’ll Be Brief” in order to remind myself to do so. Yesterday I set out to write a “brief” post, and yet somehow it consumed five hours of the early morning, and wound up becoming eleven paragraphs in length.
In all that verbosity, it seems I inadvertently obfuscated the information that I have moved. Yes – I have finally left my 14-month tenure at the apartments euphemistically known as “Friendship Square.” The good news is that I am no longer surrounded by felons, cons, tweakers, thieves, and hustlers. The bad news is that it’s going to cost me an extra $175/mo. But the good news is that it’s worth it.
In the confusion, I have been composing compulsively. When I compose music, I am somehow completely focused. I enjoy the process very much, even if the product is lacking. When I write text, however, I am almost completely unfocused. Yet, yet, yet — everybody seems to like my verbal writings, and almost nobody appreciates my musical writings. It’s a sore spot for me. I didn’t go to a Conservatory of Music in order to spend all my time writing about Homelessness.
Then again, what is it that made me homeless to begin with? I mean — outside of socio-economic factors, what was it about me that caused me not only to become homeless, but actually to embrace Homelessness? (That is, before I literally got the sense knocked into me.)
Quite simply, life was not rendering me enough space to focus on writing my music. Ah – I remember it well – the last straw. In April 2011, I was living in a small house with the landlord, his four year old boy, and another roommate. I had been homeless before, off and on for seven years. So I knew that I could generally handle it. But could I handle the four year old boy bursting into my bedroom, right at the moment when I was making the final edits to The Crying of the Muse, shouting “Hiya!” and waving a large plastic spear over his head?
It seems the young fellow wanted to joust with me. And don’t get me wrong – I would gladly have taken up my spear, and jousted with him at another time. But he just happened to throw me off of my delicate musical balance at that moment — and enough was enough. I needed space.
So, in order to find the space I needed, I quite naturally headed to Berkeley, California, where I figured I would “blend” with approximately 1,000 other homeless blokes, and write my music invisibly, without such annoying intrusions.
It worked for a while, till the thrill was gone. And Friendship Square worked for a while, too. Here’s to a new and more productive chapter of my highly-driven, restless life. I’ve gotten as far with my current compulsive composing as meets the eyes and ears below. The eyes see a telling view of Friendship Square at night, illuminated as if with fireworks. The ears will hear a fraction of the piece tentatively entitled the New Royal Rhapsody. Please enjoy — if at all possible.
Art is Hard Work.
They keep firing me because I’m absent-minded and too easily stressed.
Art will never fire me, nor will I quit Art.
Please pay me for it here.