The last forty-eight hours of my life.
At six o’clock on Monday I am playing guitar. I have been playing for hours, drilling songs against a metronome. The bridge of “Unengaged” for twenty minutes straight. I’ve worn through a callous for the first time in ages.
Later I rehearse piano and vocals equally as hard. I fall asleep reading Outliers in bed, which just two chapters in already has caused one blowup with E because I said if I had me as a child I’d call me a failure.
I don’t want to be a failure.
Tuesday I have a fun, frantic day at work – the kind where you realize at the end of the day that you never stopped to hang your coat. I start writing the second my ass is on the bus, and emerge almost three hours later with that last post.
I rehearse. Hard. Again. Trying not to fail. Despite my voice sounding brittle and inflexible due to the lack of a warm-up, I venture out to an open mic while E stays at home and works on freelance.
At the restaurant my first song is awesome; the room is quietly transfixed. (I’m not a failure?) Afterward I promptly break a string and become shy and faltering when I’m handed another guitar. I fuck up “Like a Virgin,” of all things, and promptly lose everyone’s attention.
Today I feel slightly beaten up (thank god I don’t drink at those things), on top of beating myself up. Still manage another frantic work day that barely includes a coat-hanging. On the way home I listen to my own voice on my iPod, which a lot of days is the only thing I can manage to do.
I’m listening to “Like a Virgin” from 2006 and thinking, This is awful. Why am i singing like that? (Of course, I wouldn’t make it ten seconds into “Like a Virgin” from 2001.)
Then I listen to a Trio from 2008 and realize, God, I really did get better.
I am not a failure.
I get home and am kissed goodbye as E heads out to front her band at the Khyber. Another hour of writing.