Thursday, September 13, 2007

In The Small Hours

So I couldn't sleep last night... Which has been a rare occurance lately. Some combination of mild sleep medication, running 30 plus miles a week, the occasional beer, and feeling (relatively) more settled in life has meant that my insomnia has been more or less under control.

 But last night... Maybe it was the fact that I've been sick since Monday and sleeping like crazy and my mind had finally had enough sleep. Maybe I'm anxious about something. I don't know. In spite of enlisting some pharmaceutical help, I found myself wide awake past midnight. So instead of fighting it, I got up and adjorned to the living room to read and write... a practice I embraced quite a bit in previous times of sleeplessness.

The weather has been absolutely amazing the last few days... like we're walking a bridge between summer and fall and are lucky enough to get a week with weather that embraces the best of both seasons... the warmth and sun of summer tempered by the moderation, comfort, and change of fall...

As I sat in my living room, reminding myself I didn't have to work on Thursday and encouraging myself to take advantage of this rare day off to finish healing from my illness and just generally get a few things done which have been slipping through the cracks (whew), the smell of someone smoking on the street drifted through the open windows...

Late night smoke always reminds me of living on Magnolia Ave. with Ben... he was working a 2nd shift job and would come home about 10 o'clock at night from work... we would hang out for a bit and chat, and then I would go to bed and he would go out on the back porch and write... typing on an old manual typewriter and smoking cigarettes.

I would drift off to sleep to the steady beat of typewriter keys and the strangely comforting scent of smoke... Man, those were some great times. And simple times. And already, a long time ago. So I guess I had a little moment of Proustian nostalgia (best... etymology... ever: nostos - "a journey home" + algos - "sickness").

My voice has been pretty cashed from being sick so I've been taking the opportunity to try to write lyrics with no music... with the idea I'll go back when my voice is better and write the music... this is the opposite of how I usually work I guess... but Jay and I had a discussion a little while back about writing this way, and I've been trying it more and more... letting the lyrics and melody guide the music.

Anyway, I had a verse worked up I pieced together on the train on Monday as I was riding home from work, feeling sicker than sick... I took that verse, and tried to capture my post-midnight-insomnia-smoke-induced-pharmaceutical-influenced-weather-seasoned nostalgic feelings...

 UNTIL WE COULDN'T CRY NO MORE I missed your opening And lit the lights And crosses faded Into the night On top of copper Needles raised Into the sky And for the saved I'm reminded how I Sat with you and cried Until I Couldn't cry No more The smoke, it rose Into my room And down below The fires bloomed In tiny breaths The life was passed From lips to lips From first to last I'm reminded how I Sat with you and cried Until I Couldn't cry No more


No comments: