Open Mic at the Riverside Perk, April 12, 2012

Somehow, this reminds me of Boston, mid 90’s, the Poetry Scene, THE Scene. It’s a coffee shop with art on the walls, flyers for various events that you won’t see advertised in the newspaper, decidedly younger crowd dressed, well, younger than me. I wasn’t me back then; I was a younger version of me. I’m still basically the same; the hair is just grayer and the joints are more arthritic.

Travis is the guy from the liquor store, the kind of guy that has JUST a job but a spirited notion of the world. I commend him. I’m a little jaded to be on his plane but I admire his effort.

And in walks Resesper, co-worker, enlightened spirit, a calm in a sea of bitchy customer service demons. How he does it I’ll never know. I’ve always been too emotional, even back then.

The gathered crowd doesn’t know if they should play, sing, recite, or just simply jam. But there is a rare energy, a special vibe, when the creative gather. A political convention should be so lucky.

So we go from a guitar and violin combo playing what sounds like soft rock from the 70’s to a guy about my age on banjo, bringing a little bluegrass to Riverside. But his voice is that of a chicken sqwaking. And the melody of the second song sounds like the first. But, hey, what the hell do I know? I don’t play banjo.

But it’s not about any of that. It’s about the kind of freedom of expression we don’t have in our jobs or relationships or anything else that general society deems proper.

It’s the kind of place where you can recharge your batteries, which, I’m finding, need that jolt more frequently. Perhaps it is the expenditure of energy writing + editing + networking, that portion going out, which requires feeding by reading a challenging novel, listening deeply to music that I’ve heard countless times before, or getting a fresh perspective from those that I seemingly have nothing in common with save for the love of creation + art.

So far this is not a poetic or spoken word affair, the kind of urban angst and rant against social injustices that I’ve heard for twenty years. This has been a musical excursion through personal expression.

I’ve mellowed into a world of lounge music and martinis. So, drinking a latte at 8PM is totally foreign yet somehow familiar. The thought pops into my head that I hope i won’t have trouble sleeping and be miserable for work tomorrow. The “old guy” has crept out of his shell and into my head.

Oh, for a clove cigarette. That’s right; I don’t smoke.

This seems to be the time when everybody gets to do their thing. And in the end, what’s wrong with that?

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