I had a birthday recently. Had a birthday? Is that what you say? I completed another trip around the ol’ sun, successfully balanced on the blue marble for another 365.
I’m old enough now where stuff just kinda happens. This isn't a bad thing- in fact, it warms my heart being devoid of epiphanies. I’ve had a damn full life up until this point and maintain a tentative yet persistent grip on the steering wheel. Given that we’re all destined to become worm chow, I’ve resolved myself simply to putting my head down and going for it. New experiences, new challenges, not thinking too far ahead.
These last five years have been pretty solid as far as birthday locations go- onstage in an arena in Germany, exploring Singaporean hawker centers, Pittsburgh (the clear favorite, obviously), and my new home- Nashville TN. This year, I celebrated my march towards the inevitable on “stage” at the Goodfoot (Lounge? Pub? What is the Goodfoot, exactly?) in Portland OR. I felt grateful, surrounded by friends and, god help me, Jam Band Fans. It’s a testament to my aging gracefully that I’m leaving these guys alone, at least for now. Writhe on, my patchouli drenched comrades. May daddy’s cheques always clear.
I’m grateful that I’m still here doing this. At this stage in my career, which has been a slow build, many of my friends who joined bands and piled into vans at the same time I did have quit. What I do now is as much an abstraction to them as showing up at Amazon everyday is for me. Most have young families, mortgages. I’m still Peter Panning around and, during introspective and overly caffeinated moments, wonder if I’m missing out. I am, surely, in a way.
But I’m too restless, the wanderlust too strong. Like now, I’ve been home for what, three days? I’m already squirming. It’s as if whatever sacrifices I’ve made in order to stay in the music game, whatever joys or securities I’ve forgone in order to hop on that tour bus at a moment’s notice, well, now’s the time to make good.
I’m grateful that my path hasn’t been easy, or well defined, or particularly fruitful in ways that compel people to settle. It’s made me tough and curious. I’m just a dirtbag who’s read too much science fiction, after all. I’m grateful for that, too.
I’m sipping a little red wine, now. Fido, one of the only coffee shops in Nashville open past 9pm, is closing up. I’ll cue up Ember City by Mastodon, I think, plan my next trip in between bouts of air drumming. You’re doing it, Peter!