Yes, you. Right now, under a sky. Looking up at Mars, which holds the horizon like an old friend. I used to dream about walking, flying on Mars. I had wings. It was my favourite dream, I think.
You. There you are, all of You. I wonder what it is You look up for? I’m standing on the front step of my house. The waxing moon is to my left, Mars straight in front. A cat hides under a car, watching me – I worry. There are foxes here, late at night, a whole family of them, beautiful, probably lethal to everything.
There are so many of You, and I wish I could be here with many of You. There are some I know well, and some I am just starting to know, and some I don’t know at all, You, the ones that I’ve never even met. The night is huge and looming and full of a cold sound, but I think my job tonight is to be a musician, and to improvise a tune, a little counterpoint to the night song – I can’t see the other musicians, but that’s OK. Sometimes, the song gets really minor key, and I don’t mind a song in a minor key – but not forever. Not always. Songs end, and I don’t want this to be the blues, no need for torch songs tonight, no matter how much I want to play the tragic femme fatale. No. Or rather, yes, because that’s how it changes. Just when you think You know what the song’s going to be like, a new instrument joins in- you shout YES at the stars –
1973: with apologies to the Reptile House
Here I am, at the top of my life, with the threat of a downhill race in front of me. I’m not sure I want to look over the edge, yet here I am. If I’ve made the choice not to have children, perhaps not even to live with anyone, tentative future plans aside, what then? Where do I go? Is working worth it, just for a retirement? Is staying healthy worth it? Is any of it now serving any point at all, when what I really want is a life of mild debauchery and beautiful music and art? Art, the Art, the one Art, the only one worth pursuing, the Art that is Us. The Art that is You.
And feeling, feeling an emotion so strongly and so well and with so much honesty, that it changes the world. Like how I feel right now. Like the words that you’re reading, because all of You, I want you to hear that sound. To go outside and listen to the stars and the nightsong and know that no matter how fucked it seems, how lonely you feel, how empty the night looks, it’s not. I know because I’ve felt that and god knows, it hurts like splinters, shards of glass under the skin, but when you look the night in the face and feel what you want to, and sing the song back at it, you can be more than you ever dreamed. When You remember.
You. I love You. It’s as simple as that, the best truth of all, worth living for. I love You. Would You like to dance?