Plugged Up Ears


Leaving the show last night the cab driver asked if I was alright.  I knew I wasn’t, but for someone to wonder if we should be heading someplace other than home meant I really wasn’t as okay as I would tell people later.  It wasn’t pain, I felt physically fine.  But I was personalizing the lyrics to the point where there were truly effecting me.

No reason to get into a diatribe defending the word usage of a Progressive Rock band.  They are know for sweeping themes that are sometimes laughable.  Last nights lyrics talked about loss and trying to find a path towards some new world.  A place where things are not forgotten, just different and holding a changed meaning.  Otherwise known as living!

I’d stopped listening to this particular group because I reminded me of my daughter.  Much like Cat in the Cradle makes grown men think about picking up the phone and calling their fathers, a song entitled Along for the Ride makes me think about what life was like with a kid.  Some things could be controlled and other things were just for me to sit back and watch unfold.  But that applies to lots of events in life.

But it hurt knowing that I wouldn’t be around to hear their next album or be able to sit in my seat for 2 hours and listen to them live.  It made me wonder if those notions of a spirit meant that while I was in the room, my daughter was somewhere close by enjoying the music as well.

Part of dealing with the fog that comes and goes in my mind means accepting that dreams still exist for her.  That those hopes never will die and that sometimes they are going to sneak out and make some times more difficult.  I can prepare for some and just ride out others.  To ignore them or even worse pretend they don’t exist means forgetting about her.  That’s not an option, not ever!

My mother told me that she wished I had done something different with my life.  She’s happy about the education and that I have found ways to make my grandfather’s business survive.  But she wanted me to follow different dreams at times.  That the pressure of being something they didn’t expect was always going to be there.  Her dreams for me are still ones she voices and lately they have been more forceful.

It’s the difference between a longer ending that you can interject options into and walking out of the hospital one day without having had a clue that same morning of the outcome.  She wants to be a one woman Make A Wish Foundation, but her son has no desire to be treated special.  I don’t feel it and know I’m one of too many going through the same process.

But while sitting in that concert I had such hope.  For a little while I was again 18 and hearing them for the first time.  Sitting in a venue not far from my Frat House in Boston.  Trying to watch the keyboard player to an almost stalker level of interest.  His fingers moving effortlessly across his synthesizer.  Just a little escape from the world, my life.

Going home meant going back to normal.  That is what scared me.  Waking up this morning with a still ringing in my good ear and the emotions moving in different directions.

It will be some time before I can listen to any music.  I might not be able to again.  There is a value I place on it that means every time I’m going to wonder if the next track will hurt.  The album might not contain anything, might not even be something I’ve ever heard before.  But sitting in a chair trying to read through something, it needs to be silent so that the voices in my head can play their own tune.

I’m glad I went.  But I should have known what would happen later, life.