Dec 9, 2016

Morning. Unwanted (Wake Me When It's Over) pt 4

Warning: some mildly graphic body sickness descriptions. So skip if you don't like that.

It's an ugly feeling being sick. Body failing. Feeling frail. 

Somewhere outside of Portland, my mind raced with odd ideas during the sickest night of my recent memory.

- I can't believe you drank that much - Rachel texted.

Did I? I did... It didn't feel like it... Maybe... But this bad? The chills. The strange empty pain I felt in my stomach. The ache all over.

- Ugh - I texted back.

- Do you need to throw up again? -

Even her words just about triggered me again. 

Suddenly I remembered vague hints of a few hours earlier when I was hit by the first round. I imagined the smell, the taste when so much dinner, and acidic, putrid water burned through my throat and out mouth and nasal passages.

- Ugh - I texted again trying to shut out the thought and closed my eyes.

Every time I closed my eyes I felt like I was falling towards the back of my head, and just when I thought my eyes couldn't go any further. I learned there was always further. Again and again. Rolling back into the void.

I swallowed hard.


Weak, but my eyes held tight, as if that could keep anything down, while my body feebly clutched to the hotel blankets unable to stay warm. 

First came the colors. 

Swirls of red pulsed open in the blackness of my mind as I feel into the center.  Like gravity folding me into my chest. From that dense red fear emerged a face.  

Or the skin of a face. Behind it heat swirled until the edges of that unknown skin caught fire and burned away. To reveal another face. One I knew. His mouth disproportionately large opened with a cartoonish set of teeth that held his same face again. 

His mouth opened revealing the face again, burning with fire. This all repeated over and over as I fell into the inexhaustible hellscape.

The flames spreading around me and all the while my body shivering. Growing colder and colder

Until my phone rang.

I checked it with one eye only - maybe you should try eating something? - she texted.

My mind took a second to think of the words, and suddenly my body found a surge of energy as it raced itself to the bathroom.
I didn't think there was anything left inside me. But again I was wrong.

For a few moments my body only dry heaved. I felt the pressure building in my throat with each push. Against my jaw. Against the back of eyes the desperately eked out a few drops of tears. Then finally, came a yellow liquid. Nearly transparent and tasteless. 

I only had a moment to think of what that was before it was followed by a small black mass. You could call it a lump? A cohesion of something? In my head I wanted to call it an egg. But it couldn't be. I hadn't eaten anything like it. My body had produced something egg like that now floated in front of me.

I slammed the lid of the toilet and fell back on the bathroom floor. Closing my eyes this time. I heard the hum of the vent above me. A low calm sound. This time there wasn't any rolling backwards. There wasn't any flames. I lay on the floor. On top of a black fuzzy mat. Feeling calm...

to be cont.


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mood: Wake Me When It's Over - Willie Nelson

Nov 15, 2016

Los Angeles... none of us get anywhere alone.

Just back from LA and I need rest... and music. So thankful to meet with so many great people and re-instill my sense that there are a lot good people everywhere. I love seeing people support each other.

There was a night. Clouded and humid. So much like Houston. I was waiting in line for a show with my friends. 

They were on me about a song I hated. 

A song that always irked me from an artist that irked me even more. They wouldn't let go of it. Singing it. Talking about it. And the more I fought them the more they went at me.

And maybe it was school or maybe it was the week I was having or a recent girl, or the pollen count but,

I snapped, and over-reacted to something that meant nothing to me.

Something that means nothing.

For me that night began an unraveling. 

A slow process of an impossible task. Trying to remove bias from my listening.

I forced myself to listen to things I didn't like. Trying to understand them. And though I could never enjoy them as authentically as others, I did begin to see why they existed. And the music I hated had less to do about the songs themselves and more to do with me confronting my opposites. These were twisted reflections of the things I loved.

I had learned to hate music in order to help me enjoy it more. I had a reason to be so vicious and vigilant. So protective of my identity. That perspective gave me purpose in rigidity. And the more I had invested into my own opinions the more I fell into this trap. 

This isn't unique to me, or my love of music. We are raised to see everything in opposites. But this journey has shown me that looking for subjective truths through a lens of dichotomy can give no understanding at all. It only sharpens the bias. 

Music (like most things in life) isn't a collection of defined lines. It's grey areas, and shades, and blending, and evolving concepts. We can't always have an answer that is good for everyone in every situation.

And being aware of this human deficiency doesn't mean I am still not susceptible of falling into the same traps again and again. 

I still see my opposites as opposing, but when I go back to the ideas and try to place them as a mirror of my own biases, I don't see them with hate but instead with absurdity and laughter. 

I've spent too many days alone. Spent too much time hating. I have no room for that anymore. There are good people. Even some with bad ideas. And none of get anywhere alone.


Mind Break Mood: Nico - These Days

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Oct 24, 2016

Morning. Unwanted. Pt 3

All sound comes from vibration and that only comes from tension. 

Even then, sitting in the dark of the stage while the rest of the band milled about the amps and cables, our tour manager talking to the club about merch, I set to put on a new set of strings.

There was tension.

Every time I change a string, I feel the tension. The resistance.
I don't know why I get anxious about it...

There was very little light on the stage. And darkness everywhere else. I was thinking of words. Words I had last night when I was alone that left me now. So I turned the strings.

I  like to start on the heaviest string. The E. Sliding through the body, pulling it over the bridge, the slide of steel as it passes, reaches up to tuner, catching on in a turn. Then I move to the lightest one, on a bass that's a G. Then fill in the A. And last the D.

It's the way I learned it from violin. I was probably 5 when I tried to string up my instructors violin. He had me practice on his. That made me even more nervous especially since he didn't talk as I carefully went through the directions he told me the week before.
Start at the lowest. Align the string. Careful not to move the bridge, which is a disaster on the violin, tighten slowly.

"Very slowly," my instructor cautioned, with the first word spoken in 5 mins, "you wouldn't want the string to break and cut back at you." He whipped his finger up to his eye.

Now slower than before, I tightened.

It doesn't take long for a strong to get enough tension to make a sound. The lower the tension the bigger the vibration and the sound stays low.  The more you tighten,  the higher the sound gets.  It's all very simple.




But even simpler to understand: too much tension and everything breaks.

"Are we ready for sound check?" I asked only to be met with a shoulder shrug.

The last part of changing strings, cutting off the ends to make it look nice. Four silver tines. Pointed up to the stage lights. Newly stretched and wound and bent. They came out of the headstock. With a set of wire cutters I snipped off each one. Listening to them rattle and bounce as they hit the floor of the stage.

It's a terrible feeling waiting for the snap.

Always makes me anxious.

to be cont.


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mood: Hiroshi Suzuki - Cat

Oct 6, 2016

Morning. Unwanted.

The sun was already 3 hours in the sky, and still only a few noises were stirring. 

-Soon we'll be in the bus rushing out of here. I hope the drive is under 4.

I was already thinking about tomorrow. I'm foolish that way. To let these moments go unappreciated. Somehow that day, kindly, I was brought back. Reminded of the importance of taking things in.

Still in a half-sleep, like my mind was still swimming in melatonin. 

My moves were clumsy. My thoughts slow. And the world seemed with me.

We yearned for stillness. To return to quietness. But morning has a way of announcing itself. Unwanted.

I couldn't tell you specifically what woke me up. Maybe it was a smell lingering on my shirt lifted by the morning breeze? Maybe it was a laugh from the tent next to me as another festival goer began waking up? Maybe it was the squeak of a bird, or the revving of an engine.

Setting my boots to the side of my tent I stretched out my body over dirt, cool and tender. Letting my feet press into the few patches of grass left standing. And looking at the hundreds of tents around me I was hit with a memory. A flash of the night before. Like a dream, I was

Under a string of red and blue lights. Swinging back and forth. Lights.  One strand over the whole tent.

Keeping its own movement over a thousand voice chant over the pulse of bass.



As the bodies moved in together. Closer to the stage. Closer. The breath. The heat.

I felt the sun on my bare feet, over my arms radiating into my chest and remembered feeling the heat.

But I had only noticed it when...

A cold touch of skin. Hands and arms. Flashes of hair twirling as the lights turned from colors to White. A body and leather fringe spun away. Black.  The crowd moved together feeling through the dark. White again. And I'm near a tall blonde in leather. Then black again. Moving away.

From a tent two rows down I saw our tour manager Eva emerge. Stumbling with closing the zipper. She turned around and gave me look like. Let's move it along.

I hadn't used much since I was our here, so it was easy to pack up my bag again.

Clothes. Book. Deodorant. Shoes. Jacket. 

This bass.

My anchor.

Tethered me to the stage. Playing the notes from finger memory. My mind had left. There was just music. My body holding the bass, holding me to the song. Each note pulsed as I plucked. A wide vibration rung out into the sea of people.

My mind is in the sea. I, the maker of waves, thrown in the tide. Till security pulled me back. Grabbed by the collar. Pulled away from people. And back to the stage.

Eva comes by in sunglasses now. And coffee. Awake. Alert now.

-you ready Rene?

-as always

to be cont.


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mood: Too Much Sorrow

Sep 21, 2016

New York Showcase, Some Other Future's Past

Despite what it looks like with these stories, I try to think very little about my past.

What is done, I like to leave done.

Maybe this is me keeping a few memories for later? For a day when I will want to look back.

But now, after I close this story I won't look back. 

- keep telling yourself Rene...

I'll be starting new. Different. This will be a when, in some other future's past.

- well... lately my past and future blurring together. All because of

New York.

When I started playing music, or thinking about music seriously, it was up to New York. And all the time back again.

And again.

So many things in my life have happened to me in NYC.
Letterman, Carnegie, and late night jams. And celebrities. And parties. And sleeping on floors.  And walking through the streets at night in the rain reading poetry in the geometry of buildings.

Each a life created of one mind. Intricately working away at the life of itself. 

The city.

Seen like a Texan. 

A strange place with its own gravity. A dark tangle of ideas and dreams. A massive question on eight million foreign tongues, I don't understand, and back I go into the think of it on the 14th.

- Do you want to know what it is like to be a cell in a body? Or maybe just part of a cell? The cilium perhaps? Or the atoms inside the cilium? NYC makes me feel that small.

- and that's a great thing... To know I am small in this world.

Small movements. And small works. That everything in life is made from small works.

I can marvel at the big pictures. I can know or learn or be aware of big trends. Cultures. Of stars and currents. And gravity. And ages and ages. But I can only work in small moments.

That's how I feel now. Getting ready for what I know is a big show. (Big show for us). Big show for my family. Big for my future. And it is on a small scale. With small moments. And small movements.

A Song. A Verse. A Word. A Look. 

The small details that make a show worth seeing added up.

And all of it, is of small consequence to the world.

Everything to me is no thing at all.

What a feeling.

New York.

till then


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mood: Once In A Lifetime

Aug 25, 2016


I woke in a slide of leaves. Stumbling to lift as if the world was holding on with hands decorated in passes of early morning. Each leaf color; the wide-palm orange or the slender fingers of red, each hue clung on to my shirt and jeans.

Then leaving as every sense came to.

For a moment forgetting how I came here, and why; I remember the wind shake with the peace of being awake before I began to clean away the dirt under my nails.

- Water - 

My first thought every morning.

"Never enough water."

If there were commandments for bands, that would be high up on it. Top 5 at least. 

I lifted myself with an unfamiliar bark, white and stripping, that sliced in my palm as I leaned. A sting barely registered on my mind. Blind to one focus. Never enough water - 

I moved towards the tents.  Where people waited again.

"And water."

Every one in the band was still asleep in the early morning. 

I found a pair of boots outside of one tent. A backpack. A set of woman's sneakers outside of another.

And finally sneaking behind the drummer's tent to an ice chest.
Pooled with melted ice, and leaves and a desperate beetle floating inside. 

Somehow had trapped itself in the shelter of empty ice bag. Scooping out the beetle that flinched in my hand, twisting wildly on the ground as I set to washing my hands and face in the cold. 

And finding underneath a heaven in plastic. A rush so cold it stung my throat as the bottle of water emptied away.

I do this thing I learned from my father. Every time.  Literally crushing water bottles, so they take up less space in the trash. It's habit now. 

So in under a minute when the water is gone and I crush the bottle as tight as I can. The bottle pushed back against my hand,  against the cut from the tree.

And I bled with the condensation in drops, fell pink to the dirt. To the leaves fading.

My palm just under the left thumb. I carried this scar with me for a while. During the next few shows after, I felt it sting when I played and twisted my hand a certain way. 

It stayed.

That night stayed.

And even in these words the night stays.

No you don't have to be big or devastating to leave an impact. To make an impression on someone they can remember.  

From you. 

On some different day.  

When they remember a night in the woods.


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mood: Fluff

Aug 11, 2016

A Window To A Dream

I'm getting closer to the stage. Everyday. This vision of what this new show will look like comes back to me. Imagining what it will feel like to me. Or you....

Surrounding ourselves in this new idea of Idyll Green. Performing a new identity.

What it will say...

In every band I've had a different identity. Changing with the needs of the show. Like a new job, or moving to a new city. Playing new music can shape me, and my approach to playing. It's a little bit schizophrenic but I can't do it any other way. I can't embody the changes in songs with out allowing myself to be affected by it.  I can't just do the same thing every time. It's not truthful for me. And I think  the only good performances are truthful to the performer.

So this show is no different. And with out giving too much, it is very, very different than anything my brothers and I have done before. 

More than a concert, I want the show to be an expression of itself, informed by the music, but speaking in it's own language. Of  visuals and emotions. 

Each movement, we've thought, tells of places we've been. And things we've done, and how we felt. Again and for the first time. 

A window to a dream.

In all strangeness. The fragments bring us closer to the living world. Closer to ourselves. Or that is the hope I hold.

We saw an opportunity with these songs to give not just a regular performance. But exploring the possibility of what we can do. 

Showing us fears we hide. Expectations we avoid. Or perhaps even more terrifying, the joys we never pursue.

Until then it is more planning. More dreaming. 

A quick question or thought... if you could hit reset and set up your life, or job in a new way, how would you change. If today was day 1? If you knew everything you knew but could redesign your life? How would you? Let me know.

till then


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mood: a day in the life

Aug 5, 2016

Another Week Of Ups

This week is big for me.


4 wonderful years with my wife. Who I still love, stronger than ever in fact. I couldn't ask for a better partner and friend. I'd be a wreck with out her.


I'm turning a milestone year I guess. I'm just happy that I feel as well as I do. The accident still affects me all the time. But that hasn't fully dampened my spirit. 

There is so much more happening with the band. I just want to put out to the universe my gratitude for a life as strange and fun as the one I have.

I will try not to take that for granted.

much love

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Jul 21, 2016

Black Ribbons Part 4

There are distances we make for others. 


Between looks. 

They are hard to cross. 

Hidden miles between drinks and conversations. I was lost out there as tea table lights faded into darker hours. 

My eyes - glassed. Not from exhaustion, or beer - this is still the first can half-drunk and warm from my inattention. Not from the haze of smoke. Or the music. 


- Do you know how far we are?

"You are being quiet," she nudged my shoulder. 

"A Silent Texan right, Rene?" the table is looking at me, "Pistols at dawn? Cowboys?"

The girl from the alley laughed. Brushed the black ribbons on her wrist, watching for my answer. She'd brought me here to meet friends.

One of which was a wispy-blonde, art student in a red tank top asking me questions about Texas. And conservatives. And cowboys.

"Y'all love your guns."

- How far we are. 

He was wanting to argue.

"No man we don't all have guns." And that's true. Mostly. We don't all carry. I wasn't going to tell him that I didn't know a lot of people who did. That they made me uncomfortable. Just that we all don't. 

"Ride your pony to school?" he laughed.

"No man."

"I just can't understand it cowboy..." He leaned over his drink. Coming just into the light of the candle so the fine blonde hair on his chin glimmered faintly.

He was ready to for a show. He was mad. And needed a way to express it. So he doesn't the night looking for an argument. To make a stand for a hero agains his anger. But he needed a straw dog.  An emblem for everything he thought was wrong in the world. For him, it was a gun owner. A Texan. And though I don't own one I was a Texan and that is close enough sometimes. 

His speech ran. I waited. Feeling my Lone Star getting warmer. And wondering if this would have gone a different way had I not ordered it. If I had ordered a Guinness instead. Or a craft micro-brew... would I be having a direct night then? 

He wanted me to argue back, but I only nodded and gave several sighs that ranged from "I know," to "I know right?

Cause for the most part I agreed with him. 

Distances. It's always hard to see how far we are...

"See cowboy," he showed me his wrist.

I wanted to tell him, I'm just not that person. Not that cowboy. I think he's right. But I listened.

Black Ribbons

Him and her. All their friends too. Made them into bracelets or armbands or on a necklace. 

Black Ribbons.

Each one a student lost in the last year. Each one a gun shot fired in some school.

They broke my heart. And I loved them for making a statement for trying to say something. And I loved them for having so much love in their hearts that they would give me a lecture on guns. 

Cause they were angry. Cause they believed change is possible. And something should be done. But the young can only do so much. And they didn't want to forget, and they don't want to sit by,  so they wore black ribbons and talk. And argue. And participate.

- Maybe the distance grew a little smaller.

The waitress came around and everyone ordered again, I did too.

Even though I knew I wasn't going to drink the next. Like I didn't drink the first.

Cause some people need to talk. People need to tell their story. Not about politics. Or policies. But people. Hurt people. Angry people. Scared people. Tired people. They all have stories. Even when we agree. We need to listen. 

I don't pretend to have answers. 

This took place well before the Orlando Shooting or Dallas. They were talking about campus shootings. But this happened right as I was revisiting this memory. And it hurts worse now. That distance. One I didn't want to cross... shrank again. 

And I still feel the same, but I think I need to clarify something about my thoughts. 

We need to do something. Action should be taken. But our dialogue devolves so quickly that it becomes near impossible to discuss how to change. There is anger and name calling, and politicizing and all the worst things that stop us until we quit and move on, waiting for another attack to stir everything up again.

Listen. Sympathize. Love. It is not easy to close distance. No matter how small. It is not easy to open ourselves to our own faults. Cause that's what it will take. Not proving what we feel is right but admitting what learn is wrong. 


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Miles Davis - So What

Jul 7, 2016

Got A Date!

NYC I am so pumped. Idyll Green has a showcase date officially. We are moving things ahead. The showcase, the stage build out, the music.

Things are happening.

This is a beautiful feeling.


We are still a ways off and many hurdles to go but it feels good right now. 

I want to enjoy this.


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Jun 24, 2016

Some Days - A Break


I think that is what is in my head right now.

When I fight and try to get things going. And the world get's in my face and slowsssss me down to a crawl. 

I think that was going through my head on I-10 in the beautiful Texas 97 degree heat. Where it get's so bright it's hard to keep my eyes open. That bugs me more than the actual heat feeling. When I had to stop work for the fifth time today to drive in traffic and my phone is buzzing with emails I can't answer and deadlines I'm missing and a growing list of things I wanted to do but can't.


Between me and the computer

Or me and home

Or me and the idea

Or the idea and the tangible accomplishment

I was thinking I want the full story. Every detail. To jump to the end and say there it was. Sometimes I build on the chapter, sometimes the page, sometimes the paragraph, mostly it is sentence by sentence... but some days it's a struggle to think of a word.

I dream this vivid, complex, full story. A big picture. But how to find the right word to start it? That can be hard, cause at every moment there are all these small intrusions of life. Butting in and making turns and making changes.


And they are bad things, or anybody's fault... they just happen. It doesn't make it less frustrating, just nobodies fault.

Just a rant. For all the self-actualizing dreamers out there. I know you feel it too.



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Jun 9, 2016

Black Ribbons Pt 3


It was the alley after the show.
Moon rising to midnight over clouds, and the heavy, wet air swimming into my lungs. I feel like it might rain.

-Where are you going?

To the left was main street. The lights of the club front. People wandering from bar to bar and an occasional swoosh of tires against the road. 

And to right. A parking garage standing in concrete darkness. And the sounds of words disappearing.

-Nowhere to go. 
Knowing the places I don't want to be.
Knowing the places I'd rather be.
And to be here
with no where to go

Thinking to myself as a streak of sweat fell down from my forehead off my left eyebrow down into my tear duct. I can still remember the sting of the salt.

"What are you doing out here?" her voice softly groaned, letting her chords relax, frying in her loose shake.

- I hadn't seen her there...
 a door across the alley...
Or had I? 

She was leaning. Though I couldn't see, her bare back to the wall messing with her nails. Hair cut short and jet black. Like her leggings. Like her boots. Like her over-sized jacket wrapped around her waist.

"Well?" she insisted slowly.

"Just getting air." 

One step at a time I left the back door of the club. Feeling a slight breeze run over me. Night. 

"What are you doing out here?"


And I could feel the sweat on my forehead again. And the cold chill of my shirt wet around from my neck down my chest. 

Shows are a sweaty. Tonight more so. The club had decided to bake me under the front lights. 

Red and Blue. Heat.

She jumped out into the street, "I thought you were pretty good... considering."

I laughed, "considering." 

"I usually don't..." shifting left and right, "it's not my kinda music. Plus they had your vocals way too low." She smiled and started to fidget with a bracelet on her left hand.

"Happens I guess. Maybe next time."

and I saw her bracelet. Black Ribbons. Fringed.

She started walking to the parking lot. "There's a party later tonight."

Of all these places,
where you'd rather be
where you wouldn't
there really is only the place you are
and the places you are going


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May 26, 2016

A Quick One

Hey everybody

What a week... 

Mixing up a little bit of everything, storms, sickness, work, and a whole lot of planning.

of course writing and rewriting. (a little more than half way through my 2nd full novel idea and that comes in goes in terms of my creativity for it. this week I did get a wave of inspiration about it so yeah!)

Everything is about planning. 

The guys and I in the middle of creating a brand new show. And though I don't have a lot of specifics to share, I can say it'll be something like I have never done before. And that's really exciting. I feel motivated. I feel creative. And ready to share everything we have been working on with the world.

endless possibilities

till next time. when I will  pick up this tour story. that's intertwining some of these disparate characters with a larger story. ended up taking more time than I thought. and a new The Weekend Playlist... wooo. also hopefully start this podcast I've been dreaming about.


much love


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May 21, 2016

Black Ribbons pt 2

The next twenty minuets found me standing outside the motel. Making a few calls on the phone down my list: Dad, Girlfriend, friends back home, and finally any thing I was missing for work.

I was in the middle of texting my girlfriend, about what she did last night when the driver pulled up. 

"Ruh-ne?" he yelled out his passenger window phonetically stretching my name out to it's recognizable limits. 

When I grabbed my case, he popped the trunk and pointed his thumb, before tapping the Bluetooth connected to his ear.

He was mid-way through a sentence when he turned around quickly and asked, "The Metro?" 


And he was back on the phone, as we took off.

"I'm just tired of it man. She thinks..." he paused for a minute, listening to the other person as we wove through the city, "Yeah, yeah. The sh** she thinks she can just take from me. Take. Take. Take. All she's ever f*in done."

We hit a red light. And I tried looking out the window, block after block of tinted windows, banks, law firms, basically 'Nothing to look at,' I sighed. 

I didn't want to listen, but there wasn't much else going on.

"Ok, Ok, but listen to this remember last Christmas? We did a whole cross promotion thing, and I'm set up for the interview and she's gone man. I mean vanished from the building...

"Yeah... and it's not a big deal, I'm thinking, they need this done... exactly, let's get this over with.

He turns the corner slowly and we hit another batch of traffic. I'm waiting for a text from Rachel 

- you won't believe this car ride I'm on babe.

"So I do the interview they give me gift bags to give to the team. And they give me this extra camera like one big bonus for doing the interview. Yeah, so later I give everybody their bags and don't think anything of it until like 8 months later...

The car comes to a sudden halt. And the guy turns around still talking to his friend and points up ahead at the line of cars and mouths "2 more blocks"  as his friend is talking "almost."

"Then guess what? She's on about the camera after a meeting... She says, she deserved the camera. And I'm just thinking, what the hell are you talking about? You are serious about a stupid digital camera... Yeah don't you have a phone that can do all this? Just real dumb stuff like that all the time.

"And, and, and," he stumbles, "the real thing is, I don't care about the camera. It's not like I stole it from her. Just, yeah it never even registered that this would be a thing. You know... This?"

We creep up for two more agonizing blocks. As he goes on and on about this fight he is having with a co-worker. Though I eventually learn somewhere just past the start of the 2nd block, that they were more than co-workers.

It's a mercy when he finally sets the car in park.

I pay him. And he doesn't look at me. 

I start walking away from the car towards the venue when I remember the bass is in the truck. And for a second I start to run back, but I see him there. Still yelling about his fight to his friend. 

I tap on his window, "I forgot," I didn't even finish the line while I'm pointing to the trunk. 

And the driver gets startled. I don't know if he didn't recognize me or maybe it was too unexpected. 

Little things. 


So many problems come from little things.

to be cont.


ps. as always like, share, subscribe and if you want to talk you can reach me on this blog, youtubefacebook and twitter

Dave Brubeck Quartet - St Louis Blues- Belgium 1964

May 13, 2016

Black Ribbons

White. A single wooden side table held a heavily used coffee maker, and a few pamphlets. The only things on the wall to break up this ocean of white: a red plastic clock and a pastel work of wild flowers framed in a dull gold

At the front desk, unaware or uncaring about my presence, a slumped young redhead played on the computer laughing to herself.

I was at least hoping for a place to sit. 

I set my bass down at my feet. Checked my phone for a text. 

the driver: 20 mins

Maybe I should go back to my room... Is that enough time for a nap? For a good moment, I was in another zone. Waiting. Looking at the clock on my phone trying to decide what I should do.

When her voice cut through the quiet-empty, "you in a band?" The desk girl was pointing down at my case.


"I was in a band for a bit," she shrugged, "guitar... We fought a lot... Didn't like it."

"I...ugh, well" I hadn't really expected her to say that and it left me stuttering awkwardly, "it can be tough sometimes I guess."

"Tell me," she said. And leaned deep over the counter pulling out a pair of scissors from behind the monitor. She kept her eyes on me. Reaching under her desk, and pulling out a spool of black ribbon.

I laughed, "tell you what?"

She held the spool between her legs, and opened out a piece about the size of a forearm and snipped, "how tough is it for you?"

"It can be like any job I guess," I started.

She raised her eyebrows. Pulled out another piece. 


"There are bad days."

Pull. Snip.

"But I wouldn't..."


"What are you doing?"


She smiled, "Just a project I'm working on. Go on."

"I can't really imagine doing anything else," I finished. 

Watching her continue to cut the ribbons. And lay the strips of black across her desk. One after another. 

One a little shorter. The next longer.

She told me about her band. About how she was always butting heads with the drummer. And how she thought it was all connected to some incident involving Tiffany from Middle School that neither was supposed to talk to, and a back seat of the mini-van. And though it never got heated and they never fought, the practices became fewer and fewer. Their chemistry was colder. 

And one day,

"...she just didn't call anymore. And that was it. Like I still see her," she put down the scissors on to her pile of black ribbons, and stared me straight in the eyes, "we even saw a movie together not too long ago but... we don't even talk about it. The band I mean. Just... it was done."

the driver: hit traffic. another 20 mins.

"Tough," and wondering if there was still time for a nap.

to be cont.


ps. as always like, share, subscribe and if you want to talk you can reach me on this blog, youtubefacebook and twitter