Orange paper, stuck to the desk.
It read, “it is good for a poet to wait in the rain.”
A few short hours ago, I was yelling at myself for being both tired and unable to sleep. And alone.
I went out into the world last night. I hope I did not make myself to be a fool. But it is entirely possible.
I wonder now how I might say all of these things without saying any of them. Don’t know, but here goes.
What if I am but a trap of strong first impressions? On paper and in dressed up and a now rehearsed presentation, all seems grand. Charming, charismatic, well adjusted, vaguely handsome, etc. But beneath the crust of curated personality, lies something else. Somethings worse.
Some sort of asshole, or the like.
Or if not so extreme, does the sheen of my identity fade fast in the eyes and ears of others?
I was asked last night whether I would call myself a listener or a talker. The question was posed to bring me into an already occurring conversation. One I had felt peculiar about, for whatever reason.
I said both. Depending on who I might be speaking to, or who may be speaking to me.
There are moments clear as day that I have witnessed myself talking too much. Or saying the wrong thing. Almost able to see the shape of words as they crash against the faces of those unenthused or unwilling listeners.
And yet, I have known attentive eyes. Intensely attentive on a few occasions. I have witnessed other humans of all shapes and sizes cling to words as they are spoken, or shouted, or whispered. From a stage, or in a late-night crowded kitchen, or a quiet room with but two occupants.
If I close my eyes, I see eyes. A good few pairs. From ages ago to less than a single spin around the planetary axis. Smiles. Tears. Neither. Both. All those eyes, forever looking through my mind. Accompanied by the wonder of whether my eyes might live anywhere else. And what they must look like in such an elsewhere.
I’ve developed what might be a bad habit. When It comes to going to shows. Not local shows. Bigger shows. What they call national or international acts. Local shows feel like home. But for so many of those larger acts, I seem to find myself ceasing my own enjoyment at varied points. Perhaps I’ll get too technical and ruin the music for myself. Or I’ll be turned off by some aspect of the crowd or the ‘scene’ or what have you. But my personal favorite, by far, and the one that I have the hardest time defeating, is the one based on jealousy.
It should be me doing that. I shouldn’t be down here. I should be up there. A place I can pour my soul into a balloon and launch it out a cannon. Better than feeling comfortable naked. I should be up there making music. I am not a consumer. I am a creator.
See why I suspect myself of being an asshole?
It is beyond foolish to think that there is only one side. Even to see it as only two sides. There is no creation without consumption. And each time you experience an expression some other beast has made, it is your creativity that interprets it. Nearly everything deserves a shot. An honest one.
And yet, I am the way I am. Temperamental is a kind word for my thought process. And I rarely miss a chance to brood. It isn’t that hard to fall in love with me. But it isn’t that easy to stay in love with me. Historically. I’ve already made most of the necessary apologies.
And like madness, I seem to be forgiven. Lending towards the argument against total asshole.
I wrote last week about being isolated. Looking upon the thought now as I chase the ripples of my life, I can see my isolation is mostly my own creation. Recent and far reaching. More people try to pull me in rather than push back. Though there are those that hold repellant ready. But for the vast majority of it, I have been the one to put up the walls. I shut myself out. I close doors. Sometimes to be productive. Other times to just make sure no outside positivity can mess with the current psychosis.
I have opened doors to find my chest being kicked in. I have dropped guard only to be crushed. I have waited, in vain, in rain and cold and all sorts of climate, hoping for the best whilst the impending worst is about to leap upon me. Tear me, limb from limb. And leave me for dead. I’ve seen too much to keep the skepticism away. And I’m not fool enough to ignore all the gut feelings that occur before something bad happens.
So, to answer the question- Neither and both.
I am not a talker. I am not a listener.
I am a writer.
And the world can be as massive or as tiny as I see fit.