Mortality breeds contempt for life. We know we all have a short time in this existence, and we all deal with it in strange and unusual ways. I, like most of my friends, deal with it in the artistic way: we strive for immortality in stories. And out of those stories, we really just hope for one thing:
To know we are not alone.
Last night was a changed night. Last night a different band took 9:15 pm slot at the LJT Music Festival. As Meagan tied our ties we just looked at each other, jokes and pokes, trying to lighten the mood. But our eyes were all saying the same thing. “Don’t be afraid, you’re not alone.”
As we waited behind monitor world for the announcer to kick it off, everyone commiserated. Bands I hadn’t seen in a long time, friends that I had just seen at Rich’s funeral. We told quick stories, hugged each other a little longer, and made sure our eye contact said the things we couldn’t express in words. Then Jay kicked into “Castanets.”
We opened with one of our closers. The games are over. The gloves are off. We’re at war. A war with monotony. With dullness. With wasted time. And in a glance we committed to each other that this was a war we would win, every time we took a stage from now on.
It wasn’t a blur. I remember every detail, every thought, every face for those 60 minutes. I felt each note. I stomped with all my might. I counted each tear. I remember looking into the eyes of Meagan, Manny, Beans, Neil, Thumbs, M-Knight, Muzzie, Brett, Moderas, and countless others. Cody and I back-to-back. Willy and I shoulder-to-shoulder. Dave and I head-to-head. Blood from bashing Jay’s cymbals with my hands. The wall of sound flooding over me. The flood of emotion cleansing me.
It was for Gus. It was for Rich. It was for us.
Mortality breeds contempt for life. We each have a choice, embrace the disdain or live a life of passion. The choice is never easy, especially with weeks like this past one. But what I hope everyone sees and what I hope we all show each other with a song, a hug, a smile:
None of us are alone.