dear moth's powder,
i knew we were wrong to end things because the week after you called things off and i - lonelier than i'd been in a while - went on a date with the most fascinating of people, he told me things in two hours and connected with me in such a way that i knew he was an angel telling me that what i felt for you and your fear of me was right. he was that break allowing me to hear into and explore what you would have said had you felt safe enough. it was such a song, you see. the bass guitar, that pluck that reverberates and reverberates and vibrates and vibrates. one pluck letting presence the boong sound, letting presence the very thereness and materiality of intention to sound out and move and relate with other tones and sounds. boong again, the bass string plucked. that was the date with that fascinating guy one week to that very day that we decided that we would no longer be whatever that was that we had described so imperceptibly to each other: as love.
what i mean is this. listen to the bass dexterity of Me'shell Ndegéocello: in love song #1: haunting, faint, barely audible, pulsing, backgrounded you've gotta hear it under - way underneath - the guitar and the hi-hat and snare and that warm voice, mellow tone. of course, love song #3 is where you really hear this bass. it begins the song, repetitive: boong, bump-boong. yes. love song #2 is the conduit, the in-between the over and under, it is the interstice, the point of aperture and departure, that space gathered up and thrown down by the confluence of human and technological sound: sounds of a baby opens, then drums with the hi-hat, then the bass, then the singing. what does it mean, i wonder, to have these three songs, these odes to love and rapture paced differently, announced differently? well.
love song #2, i think, was my date the week after you and i ceased speaking to each other, difficult given the fact that we lived together. the guy told me of how i was beautiful and how he was moved to meet me and pleasantly surprised and how in his entire life he had not imagined the possibility of sitting at a diner with some such dude he just met and - he wasn't out or anything - holding hands with this stranger dude across the table so much so that the waitress brought two spoons when i ordered hot chocolate and ice cream and she asked us how long we'd been together and we'd receive stares and glares from other folks in the diner but were so lost in the conversation and each others' eyes that we did not see what they saw.
you make people do things they don't want to do. i don't mean that in a bad way, just things i never thought about doing, i'm doing with you. right now.
i could not help but feel and know that he was the angel i needed to let me know that i'd done everything i could do in order to make things up to you; i needed to be convinced that i was, indeed, lovable and that i was, indeed, striving and striving and striving to make a life for us both. this fascinating guy had no idea that him saying to me you are beautiful was more than anything because you would say that to me but ceased because life became too complicated and though i tried to hold you and had held you many times and whispered in your ear right before you'd drift that i loved you and meant it? well. you were fatigued with this idea because you constantly had to guard your heart and head because you could no longer believe me so i would not hear that i was beautiful from you. and i needed to hear it because i doubt it too much. i really do. i suppose your distrust of what i'd say about you and how you saved my life with your smile and gave me heaven with your laughter finally lept on me and i was beleaguered likewise.
the baby's inarticulate goo-goo ba goo goo voicings: like me. i was pushed out of the relating with you in such violent fashion as if it were a birth, me born again to some hell, me crying daily because i missed you. and still do. but still. my father called me today and asked me how i was and also have you heard from him? i could not answer because that simple question showed he cared about me. and when he asked me if i heard from you? well. he did not ask where you were. he did not ask what you were doing. he asked if i heard from you and he knows that i'm a musician and that a lot of the shit i've been creating lately has been created in some such relation to your silence so to ask if i'd heard from you was to force me yet again to realize that i'd always want to hear from you, even in the house when id hold you: your voice, your feet on the Pergo wood floors, your singing in the shower, your snoring, your hesitations, your sadness, your joy. of course, my ear has been inclined to hear from you since the day i met you and i have not stopped turning my ear toward the ground to hear, to hear, to hear something, anything, everything from you. have you heard from him? every night. when i dream. when i smell sandlewood and white musk? i hear you. when the fascinating dude said i was beautiful? i heard you...so my father asked me the one question that could make me cry and i cried like the time we sang
i love you, i love you, i love you lord today
because you care for me in such a special way
and yes i praise you, i lift you up, i magnify your name
that's why my heart is filled with praise
as i stood in the front of the church where it seemed that i could simply cry, for the living and the dead, cry. of course, it was the year of my mother's death. it was a mere cry, i suppose. but a simple sort of overwhelming overtook me and i was overcome with grief and joy. it wasn't a hard cry. it was the kind when you just sorta stand or sit baffled, numb to the world, numb to that stream of tears that flows, your breathing slowed and slow. if my heart was filled with praise it was because my eyes filled with tears.
a simple cry. a simple overwhelming.
and it was then that we announced to the church, through our gestures, that we were together. you came up to me, walking down from the pulpit, and though some suspected where you were going, no one knew, including, most of all, you. you walked to me. stood in front of me. grabbed my hands. stretched our arms as if we were on some cross (and, honestly, we were crucified by at least some of them soon after). took your arms. wrapped them around me. bent my elbows. against your chest. took my hands. covered my face. cried. cried long streams of tears, almost silently, barely audible. but you heard. and the rest of the singers. sung. but you heard my tears. and whispered in my ears. shh, baby. shh. yes. in front of them all. and i cried more. and a bit louder. still. shh, baby. shh. and you. held me. me. in front of them. all. some gasped. some gagged. some glorified. finally, they knew. they knew! shh, baby. shh.
you held me like that for at least ten minutes. some left the church that very moment when they realized our pastor wasn't throwing us out but was smiling. at least that's what you said. all i remember of the actual experience was the feeling in my stomach of you being there. and the feel of your breath on my ear, whispering your spirit and life into me. have i heard from you? hell no. i wish i could hear from you. like that. well.
that's why i cried today when my father asked me that simple question. i want to hear from you. i want to be between songs. is that not what love song #2 is in the sequence? that middling position? it's like she pressed pause between 1 and 3, and in that infinitesimal space, crack, fissure, she gave us all this sound of life and love and baby and bass. between 1 and 3 is a world of birth and technology and breath and trouble. so yes. the fascinating guy was an angel that you sent. you must have sent him to me. gave him the dialogue you wanted to say. because though i know he meant what he said as his thoughts, it was also from some other such place that he did not know existed, that he did not know was possible. his telling me of my beauty was him feeling something deep in him that was quickened. but what he felt in him was the connection i had to you, given in my eyes and our held hands, deposited in him. what i mean is that it is impossible for anyone to meet me and not know you. i carried you. across thresholds, in dreams, in my heart. always. still do.
my breath and song and conversation? it is the giving of you with each enunciation. you have not left me. your breath is still in me, animating me. those tears today were my recognition that though i wanna be done with you, i cannot be. and possibly never will be. and this is not pathological. it is the brutal honesty of the human necessity to be in relation. the bass lets us get into it. lets us descend the gap between notes by the constant vibrational qualities. and i do not feel bad for crying. i remember that sermon you preached - when can i cry? - and was more moved by that than anything. i will be Tamar and will disallow your silence to be my Absalom. i can only but say i miss you. and cry for you. when can i? now, i suppose. come. hold me as you did that day. or something