I meet up with a writer for breakfast. She lives like I do. Another post-Millennial gypsy. Drifting from one friendly town to the next with the weather. Bisbee is one of those “friendly towns”. Her dog is sick and needs an operation. Her fridge is broke. Life is expensive. She just found out her book was nominated for an award. That could be a bit of a game changer for her. That’s how it is for us gypsy-artists. It seems our lives are hopelessly adrift but there is always that faint hope of a friendly wind to carry us towards home. Maybe that friendly wind is going to fill her sails now. I hope so. It has been a long road for her. She is in her sixties now. Decades ago, she walked away from a default career because she didn’t want to be part of the war machine. That is a bold and courageous move. I can believe she is a strong writer. There is no turning back from these self imposed exiles.

I know this is true for myself as well.

I pick her brain for awhile. People tell me I am a good writer. You are reading something I wrote right now.  I believe you all but I know from my experiences as a musician that being “good” doesn’t mean much. There is no telling how many masterpieces of literature are sitting in closets buried under dust and rejection letters from publishers. I have already collected enough rejection in my life but, for better or worse, we have less need of the gatekeepers today. We can put out our own music and literature.

Getting people to listen or read it… well… that’s a trick I hope to figure out soon. I know it really has more to do with you than me.

The hotel is full tonight but I have backup. A spare room above Va Voom. The hotel owners offer to put me up Sunday and Monday though. This place is like Burning Man. Put your mind to what you need it will manifest itself. I belong here. Anyone can see that. It will have to wait though. I am just starting this journey.

At the saloon I open up the old piano. It’s pretty broken down. You almost need a hammer to play it. I love it. We will make some music tonight.

There is lots to do here but I don’t want to do any of it. I wander into The Copper Queen and sit with a beer listening to Terry Wolf. This works. I can sit and listen to Terry’s songs about unruly Western characters all afternoon. “All I know about men I learned from my dog” she sings while her fiddle player companion, John, cries out “Oh no!” This is good. All I need now is another beer. Someone who saw me perform last night buys me one.

Solved.

People have told me that I should take some medication for depression. I don’t agree. I do get depressed… sometimes it’s intense… but I think it is quite natural. My life can be very fucking rough. I am impressed that I actually get up out of bed sometimes. Still, I find something wrong with the idea that I should try to make myself artificially happy in a shit storm. But if, while sitting on the balcony at the Copper Queen sipping a good free beer listening to good musicians play their hearts out on a beautiful day in Bisbee Arizona… if I was depressed at this moment… THEN there would be a problem… but I am not depressed. I am quite happy here. This is perfect. Any happier I would cry. I feel happiness just as deeply as sadness. If anything, I feel too much and I am sure the pharmaceutical companies would be more than happy to give me something to take the edges out… take away the blissful light and the terrifying darkness… but no thanks… and fuck you. I only get one shot at this shit… just like all of you.

I am going to live it.

 

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