There were times when Jaymay, early on, would say that she was going to be a famous singer. I had my doubts. I always do. But she has followed through on her word, by taking her calling seriously, by doing the art she is good at and not doing it half-assed. It was really inspiring to see my old roommate headlining at Bowery Ballroom last night, commanding the stage, not at all scared-seeming of the large venue, natural seeming. Her comfort on the stage was exceedingly clear when one of the mics she tried singing through didn't sound right and she made jokes about it and played a ditty on the keyboard while one of the sound techies switched the mics. She sounded fantastic, better than perhaps I have ever heard, becoming more and more in control of her craft and voice. It was really lovely to hear all these people in the audience around me singing "Gray or Blue," and to join them, to hear all these fans, to be one of them, of this close friend of mine, to have watched her rise to the occasion offered by life.
And watching this concert by a peer of mine, there of course were thoughts about my own life, my own art, and the difference - that I don't take it seriously, that I say I am going to do this and that and don't, and she does her art, has done it nonstop for the past few years. Coupled with this, giving fuel to these thoughts, is that in what is now a short six hours away, I will be turning 27, getting on up there in years, life moving along and not waiting for me to get my shit together. I was listening to Belle and Sebastian yesterday for some reason, my iPod on shuffle I think, and I had so much perspective about life and aging in that moment, recalled how I felt when I first listened to this group, mainly in Madison, Wisconsin, and all the anxiety I had about life in those days, about what I would make of mine and what the future would hold, what, if anything, I would do with it. So much anxiety, and in those six or seven years since then, something has changed. I have lost the anxiety, which is probably bad for any art creation I am realizing, that art (most of the stuff I love at least, most good art) is borne from anxiety, but I am also so much happier, so much more sure of the things that are important. And I am alive and there is coffee (the one true love still steady after all these years) and there are songs that I will dance to, and the songs shift. I will grow tired eventually of that dance track I thought the most amazing song just a short time ago.
There is sunshine and I feel at home underneath it. I feel at home more and more, am so comfortable in this skin of mine.
I will turn 27 and my heart won't stop. I will still go to this fancy gym tomorrow where I have a free week at, will certainly have sex with someone in the steam room, as I have done these past two days of this free week trial, and I will read more of Anais Nin, maybe celebrate with some Whitman, and I don't know, I don't know, and I do, and I am going to Mexico in a few short weeks and I can't wait. The other night, I was in bed by myself and thought about death. I got so incredibly lonely and had to hug my pillow tightly to comfort myself, to be sure of this physical self and its reality for now at least.
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