commute fiction: entry one:
(a study in style and gender reversal)
In the quick hours of a Sunday morning while Patrick (my husband) was out running errands, I wrote a vindictive mountain dirge. I was being opportunistic. Er, the "opportunity" was not being home alone. I had plenty of time away from Patrick. Songwriting was a purging process that helped me deal with trouble. Recently, I had a little trouble, enough anyway to bring up one song.
I can come across as a bitch which I'm not. This is not a source of pride. It makes me a little uneasy. It's like owning a temperamental dog (I'm 36 so the old dog/new trick aphorism might as well apply too). I'm not so ill at ease that I will lash out, teeth bared, at somebody's character. No, I don't do that anymore. What I can't rid myself of is the stupid desire to be liked by everyone. That's why when my band mate, Henry, called upset with me for upsetting his girlfriend and her friends, I was upset and momentarily surprised. Apparently they thought I was an asshole at Sleazefest. I immediately lashed out at Henry, putting the blame on anything and everybody other than me. Had I not made a conscious effort to be liked by these people? I certainly had not received a genuine invitation. Henry wanted me there, I do believe that, but not Lucille. Still, even if I was the victim of a character attack (and I was), wasn't there always some truth behind the accusation? Besides Henry knew me pretty well. He wouldn't have been upset if he didn't find it believable. That was why I was mostly upset with Henry (for believing it) and of course, myself. In any case, I got off a string of verbose emails to all parties. After that little Yahoo! barrage and a loud phone call to Henry on my way to work, I re-directed the emotional energy to the dirge.
I felt like thanking everybody. I didn't write songs too often by then and I knew that this writer's block was a direct result of complacency which not withstanding my songwriting lull had some attractive justifications: safe (and plentiful) sex, quality food, sound sleep, health insurance... I had other means of creativity. Not long before, I heard of the Five Obstructions which energized my creative will. I re-tooled my old works. I had no problem using past works as building blocks for new. It's not like I had critics pointing out my self-derivation. I didn't even live in the same town where anyone would recognize the old material. The spin-offs didn't sound like the originals anyway. It was not the same as writing a brand new song which was something, by and large, that I could only do at the hurling end of an emotional fit. I had plenty of that in my youth and now I was glad to have that sort of thing in rarified supply.