I'm sitting in the back of the Coffee Cottage right now as another band sets up. It's a cozy venue which lives up to the designation "cottage." The place feels like it was a house years ago, before its enterprising owner tore down the walls between rooms, put up Christmas lights in the arches, and began selling coffee.
I'm sitting here listening to this band do sound check, and I have to say they sound good. It makes my artist come out, the person I often hide, the person I forget I also am sometimes. When this happens I start doing silly things, like writing poetry. Or blogs. :-)
I came here to write on that novel I'd mentioned earlier. That was before I knew there was a band playing.
Today was a hard day of work. It was hard because I enjoyed it. It was hard because my boss told me if I called off the rock tour and just stayed with them for the next three years, until they sold, I would never have to work again. It was hard because I believed him. And what would I do then, if I never had to work again?
Well, I'd write music. I'd write poems. I'd write books and essays. I'd try to do something to contribute to this mass of people we call humanity. I have a hope that we can become something greater than we are.
And if he was wrong? If the company failed to sell? If it sold and I got nothing?
Then there's three years gone. And I would either go live as an artist or sell the rest of my life to the status I'd become accustomed to.
Faced with the prospect of multiple millions of dollars just three years down the road, how can I throw it away on a rock tour?
Because if I don't do this, I might become something I don't want to be.
Because if I don't do this, I'll just be back here again three years down the road, perhaps better off financially, perhaps not.
Because I've already said I was going to do this, and if my morality is for sale then how can I lay peaceably on my deathbed with such a betrayal on my mind? For it would be a betrayal: a betrayal of myself and of Lauren, and even if Lauren is alright in the end with it, I couldn't be.
Besides, if I can make a living doing what I would be doing if I didn't have to work, then why not simply do that?
Of course, the question has always been whether I can make a living doing this.
That's been my question since I was in high school.
That's the question that led me to major in computer science, as nice of a second-best as it's been.
So now I'm in the Coffee Cottage listening to Tango Alpha Tango, ready to add my voice to the discussion, to add my bit of spitting, sputtering fire to the hearth. Because the forward motion of humanity (whatever it is) is the thing that matters.
O come, o come... but it'll be here soon enough, I think.