Every so often, I run into someone from one of my old lives. The old lives have many strata, like the walls of an ancient canyon. You can point to the years of good winters, the years of flood, and when the meteors came. That's where all the bones are. I am sometimes startled by someone that saw me play in the neolithic era. Some people remember me as a drummer. My favorite is when someone sees me as a singer. Questions are sometimes asked.
"Do you miss playing, will you ever play again?"
The answer is yes, so badly the ache is unbearable. I am haunted by melodies. I have rhythmic equations, with no answers.
The second part is a tad more complicated. Are there real musicians (my age) that aren't afraid to learn odd songs? Can they play sober? Is there a club where no one ever yells "Freebird" or "Brown Eyed Girl". Is there a place where no one ever drinks too much, and people sit at tables with candles and watch because they love music? Can we open with a "Snow Patrol" song (not the single) and then do Rickie Lee Jones' arrangement of "Just Walk Away Renee"? Will they let me sing "The Hallelujah"? Can we close every night with a bosa nova version of "Message In A Bottle"?
In my dreams there is a place. The men wear pressed shirts and vintage jackets. They are comfortable being smart. The women have clinging dresses, dangerous shoes, and beaded hand bags from thrift shops. There are twenty tables and you have to make reservations to get in. The staff is sophisticated and they know your drink. They never act aloof and they put your glass on small fabric napkins, with the clubs single letter logo. If you steal them no one minds, it's an unwritten rule. Every night someone is asked to sit in with the band. They are always great, and they never do more than two songs. You never know who might be in the house.
At some point in the evening, I will ask the crowd if this is heaven, and someone will answer:
"No... this is Tallahassee."
After three sets, everyone will wonder what was bothering them, earlier in the week. They will promise to come back. They will go to breakfast at the all night place on the corner, and they will sleep in late tomorrow.
Call me when it's open, I have just the jacket.