Signs from the gods and RIP David Bowie

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There things.  Three.  I’m the supersticious type. I look for patterns. I see signs. Then I rubbish them as bullshit.

But I see signs.

A few months ago I received a message from my old guitarist.  On facebook.  We got reaquainted.

We had a challenging but immensely satisfying creative relationship.  Read:  He pissed me off as much as I pissed him off, but we made some great music out of that angst.

He was all hard edges and heavy metal and odd time signatures.  He was technical and precise and perfect and an absolute genius on guitar.  I was all dark emotive lyrics, (too) catchy hooky choruses infused with unbearable sadness and my guitar playing was simple and raw and basic.  (Um…I wasn’t very good).

Ultimately he was torn when the band had to take it to the next level.  Travel more. He left the band. That ended the band.  I was angry about that for a very long time. It was my band. He took it away from me.  I wasn’t angry at him…but I was angry.

Talking to him again, catching up, rediscovering each other and what’s changed and what’s still the same has been awesome.   I hope we’ll always be in touch now.   He inspired me to pick up my guitar the other day.  It was fun. But I couldn’t play for long.

That’s one.

Two. I found a few old recordings of the band.  I sent them to him and to my ex-husband who drummed in the band.  We all had a great time listening to the old tracks.  My ex came up and we got drunk and laughed a lot.  Great memories. And were kinda shocked at how good some of it actually is. Looking back we were just hitting our stride. Just starting to get interesting.  I guess that’s a common story.

My old guitarist re-recorded one of the songs and sent it to me.  I’m supposed to dub the vocals on there.  Finish the song. Maybe do more. The ones we never recorded. Why?  Cos we can.  Unfinished business.  Twenty years later.

I haven’t done it yet. But I will now.

Yesterday David Bowie died.

I was never a rabid fan. But for every momentous occasion, there’s a Bowie song. I have a whole bunch of songs that I love. That our drenched in memories.  That take me back to places, some of which I wish to never see again, but others I revel in.  With an artist like David Bowie, half the planet would say the same thing.

Ultimately it all comes down to his voice. The anguish. Shrieking pain over simple melodic hooks.  Perfection. No one does anguish like that.  Unbearable sadness remember.  Achingly sad.

I’ve been playing my Bowie records all day, as you do. And picked up my guitar and played along.  Really played. Enjoyed playing.  Found the moment.  Sang. Sang loud.  Got lost.

That’s three.

My hands won’t really make the shapes. There’s a lot of fret buzz.  And clanging strings.

Doesn’t matter.

I can’t really remember the scales. The patterns.  They will come back.

My voice is not the same.  Arthritis has changed that too.  I don’t have the range I once had.  I can’t hit the high notes. I’m hoarse after five minutes.

Still doesn’t matter.

It’s all about living in the other place again for a while.  I can’t say happy place because music has always been where I take my darkness.  But it’s good.  And it’s time to do more of it.  Make room for the 8-track.  Start writing again. Recording again.  No one has to hear. It’s not for anyone else. It’s for me.

My ex-husband called last night to talk about Bowie.  It was good to talk.  About lots of things.  For a little while he was that guy again.  It was nice.

I’m glad I left before I hated him beyond return.  He hurt me.  He refused to stop hurting me. So I left.  Rather than start hurting him back. And start the quid pro quo and living in purgatory that so many of my friends live in.  Limbo land. No love anymore.  Because…the kids and the mortgage and the fear. Oh my god the fear.

Being alone. Better to be with someone who doesn’t love you than to be alone.

Not for me.  Being alone is hard.  When you’re sick, it’s really damn hard.  But being with someone who doesn’t love you is harder.

All those clichés?  If you love someone set them free?  Love is about caring more about the other person’s happiness  than your own?  Love is about them being happy, even if it doesn’t include you?

I actually live that crap.

Because my love for you…would break my heart in two

Plenty of people talk it.

Love’s such an old fashioned word.

As they facebook their ‘work wife’ or have coffee with the guy at gym.

Though nothing…nothing will keep us together…

I actually do that shit.  Things end.  And I won’t be responsible for making someone I love unhappy.

It’s absolutely true.

And now I have to play guitar. Like Ziggy.

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