Illustrate My Character
It's 2:14 AM. And as I exhale the breathe from my lungs crystalizes instantly as it kisses Northern Idaho's winter winds. There's snow piled so high on the side of the road that I can't see my neighbor's house. I'm not sure how I ended up with this disgusting habit but the lung cancer between my fingers was down to it's last drag. I decided to take up smoking somewhere in Oregon on our second journey down the West Coast after a 40oz of Steel Reserve. Definitely not one of my trophy moments and somehow the habit stuck like cupid's arrow right through my throat. Bullseye! As I lifted the heavy filter to my lips for one last drag, memories from the past two years overwhelmed me. Chaos. That's the only word that can describe what my emotions felt for that brief moment. I remembered the first time I slept on top of our van in Oregon. I remembered the sweet aroma of sweat and music that tinged the air with amazing colors in Fresno, California during one of our last live shows at The Exit with Flight 409 in their home town. I remembered some of the deep conversation I had with our drummer, Jeremy, while Scottie scared the hell out of both of us with some of his driving humors that he called skill. I motioned for Jeremy to pass me whiskey to ease my raging nerves. I remembered how none of us could sleep the night before we headed out on our first tour. We had no idea what to expect. I remembered all the faces and a few of the names of some of the most incredible souls on the planet that we met in cities all over the West Coast. A resolute gust of snowy wind blew the hood of my zip up hoodie onto my head and my memoir got even more crowed. I conjured up all the feelings that spit the lyrics of my latest album onto the fore-front of my mind. Feelings of a broken family and a frightened child with parents that were getting older and more fragile by the second. Feelings of a relationship that controlled my high school years and ruined my ability to trust for far too long after it's ugly demise. But on the other hand, feelings of incredible love that may or may not have been characters of my own imagination in my own little silent picture shows. I felt the several personalities of God and the jaundiced ideals that people call religion. Suddenly I remembered recording an album with two of my best friends that was so translucent and true to our souls that we ended up being cruelly criticized for our honesty. It was an album not meant to trick our listeners into finding some imposter behind the layers and layers of digitally enhanced sounds that most current music had been polluted with. We recorded most of the album live and communicated to anyone listening our true band. An album that was littered with tiny inconsistencies and mistakes that made it real. I remember the countless arguments in my head to not give in to the temptations of faking it. It was real. It is real. I inhaled and closed my eyes. The final shot of nicotine flushed through my throat, past my vocal chords, down my chest, and the cloud overtook my lungs with an unmistakable dominance. I held it in for a few moments as I deprived the cherry on the end of my filter of it's existence. As I exhaled the deep breathe of smoke, I hoped that as it burned my lips upon exit, all my thoughts and memories would rise with the poison and dissipate into the sharp air that surrounded me. However, when I opened my left eye slowly before the right, I was still alive and all the remembrance of The Let Up was still very real. It might all be over and I might have to live with the fact that I 'almost' made it forever. I turned to the West and started towards my front door almost falling several times along the way. I grasped the cold brass knob to rotate it clockwise and entered the warm home where I had come to rest and lick my wounds. 'Was this really as far as I would go with my music career?' I thought to myself. The door closed quietly and everything outside was calm, just as it was before I interrupted.