What's in your past is still in your future
A problem. It's way past bedtime and you are having what has become a regular nighttime occurrence; a panic attack. Your head is racing in that middle of the night frenzy of thought, possibilities opening up and closing in billions of tantalizing and terrifying ways. These scenarios are fantastical and unlikely, but they whip up the neurosis into fine, featherweight meringue nonetheless.
Through it all, through the heart racing terror, is your lover dozing on the other side of the bed. Breathing lightly, oblivious to it all. What would they think of this? What would they think if they knew? There are no answers. When sleep comes, and finally it does, it's not peaceful surrender. It hits suddenly, like a slap to the face.
Sleeping/Man in Gray (mp3)
About six years ago, my beloved friend Jared made me go see him play with his new band, Man in Gray. I went to humor him and stuck around because despite my cynicism, their giddy enthusiasm won me over. I became a fan. I went to most of their shows. I observed each member's particular strengths and idiosyncrasies and made up nicknames for them all. I liked them. I wanted to see where this ramshackle group of disparate personalities would go, I wanted to hear their music grow and I wanted to be there when they became whatever it is that they were supposed to be. I'm not talking about "making it" - that stuff bores me to tears. I mean something else, a feeling to be experienced where everyone looks around and recognizes it too.
A year or so later, the fangirl unexpectedly turned consort when I took up with MiG's quiet, sly guitarist Jeremy. I wasn't too wild about the role-switch at first. I liked being able to just be a fan, once you become "a girlfriend", the dynamics change. Now you're expected to carry someone's gear in a blizzard and no one will say thank you for your 3AM Sherpa work. No matter. It can't be helped. It's all part of being an insider, right? So wind-whipped and wet, you trudge on home, trying not to slip on the sidewalk and hoping against hope that the next gig will be a dry one.
Multiply that scenario, I have a dozen variations. And for every club that unexpectedly had no sound but somehow turned into a disco, booker that drunkenly fell down a flight of stairs before they could pay you, performance space that wouldn't let in a band member because they were underage, or radio station with mortifying technical difficulties, there were ecstatic moments. I knew those songs, saw them born, cheered them on and sang along to whatever words I could make out. I didn't have to be there but I was. Tired eyes or no.
Man in Gray is playing their last gig TODAY, Thursday, June 19th at The Delancey and it feels like the finale of a long-running, adored, and sometimes infuriating TV series. Whatever will I watch in its place? Thank you Bryan, Jared, Jeremiah, Jeremy and Tina for being my Tuesday night for the past six years. Man in Gray is dead, long live Man in Gray.
Purchase I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing by Man in Gray.
Love, D (Your #1 Fan)
* Inside joke. BECAUSE I CAN.