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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Midnight Musical Interlude No. 1

It’s been a dreary day here in Denver. A gray, weepy game with drizzling, cold rain and snow. For a melancholic soul like me, it’s a catalyst for the worst of my own mind. Fears, worries, and a creeping, spidery awareness of my own failings poke at the back of my head, needle sharp and insistent. Much of it comes from memories that play in my head as if the I was living through some of the worst moments of my life again.

I can see, hear, smell, and feel everything that happened in those moments. Sometimes I think I understand junkies and alcoholics. If you can’t turn off the noise in your head by shear force of will, if you can’t find a way to get away from the most vicious bits of yourself, then drugs and booze are a hell of a temptation.

Which is one of the reasons I stopped drinking at one point in my first marriage. Not that it saved us, but I started to understand why I liked drinking so much, and it wasn’t a very happy realization.

Some of you know that I lost a friend when I turned 21. He died an ugly death around the same time I started bartending--a death directly attributable to his alcoholism. I had been drinking since I was about 13, but his death was almost like someone firing a starter pistol and I was racing to the bottom of the bottle. Most people that I knew then were drinking because it was part of the party; I was drinking because I wanted to kill myself. I had a very specific view of myself and I wanted to destroy the person that I saw, I wanted him to sink away and never come up for air.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way and it wasn’t constant--which is why I never quite made it to either addiction or suicide, why I still had friends, and why, when I grew up some, I found out that I could be okay. That I could start shaping my life to be something better, something happier and more full. I think I also learned that loneliness is largely a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But some nights, old habits crawl back in.

Which, if you know me well, probably explains my taste in music. If I have to relive the worst bits of my life, then the soundtrack should fit, right?

With that introduction, here are a few songs that I’ve been playing today. Enjoy.

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