the past few weeks of my life have got to get shelved in my life history as some of the most poetically insane.
on new years eve, just as the band was hitting stage at midnight, my newfound beau (of several months and many late-night talks and drives)
left the club in fright and pain and has been in the hospital ever since, practically unable to move. he's been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Sydrome.....basically an auto-immune syndrome whereby your immune system flips out and starts attacking your own body (specifically, your nerve endings). He was in a hospital down in falmouth, MA, for a while (where I went to visit every day and, hi there, met his whole family - what pleasant circumstances) and watched him go from sitting up and talking to hardly being able to muster a cough. Then they transferred him to St. Elizabth's here in boston, and he's been on a respirator, unable to do anything but blink his eyes (and move his hands and head slightly) for about ten days.
I go in every day, only allowed to visit for a few minutes at each time, and watch the drama, and feel an incredible sort of love for this person who i have just barely gotten to know.
Meanwhile, the band has just agreed to enter into a massive distribution and promotion deal with a large label and my days are spent endlessly negotiating points of contracts with lawyers and other music business folk. this strange breed of people who i am just starting to understand: the music businessman. music. business. music business. i am still grappling with this one.
so imagine, if you will, that i am driving down cambridge street at top speed, apologizing to my pissed-off drummer that i am going to be late for load-out, because there is traffic on the way to the hospital. i get the call from the label that we are working with that this lawyer is pissed at that lawyer because this lawyer said that that lawyer was lawyering in a not-so lawyerly way, and that a conference call is in order so that the lawyerly men and the parties they are representing can all have one big old lawyer-like party on the phone while the fate of my delicate little band and stupid songs for the next, oh, ten years or so, is decided.
i tell them i need forty-five minutes and pull up to the hospital. i run up the hill. i've watched the hill get covered in snow a few times since he's been in there. it's like a time lapse photograph. his beard is growing, they won't shave him. his hair is growing. he looks beautiful. this time i brought the recording of the zeitgeist show, to play for him on a discman and some huge headphones i rousled up from the downstairs apartment. i had played half of the set specifically for him, knowing i would record it and bring it in. there's a new song that i wrote for him, and a set of cover songs that i know he would love. i crept in, the room was empty and i said hello, and we stared at each other for a while, and fell in love a little bit more, and i played him my songs and he wept and i wept and then the time was over and i went back to the car and the phone rang and within four minutes of having been there at his bedside i am hearing ".....have to get on the same page about the it's very important that we all understand that plenty of concessions and considerations have been made in order to fully perhaps you don;t fully understand the magnitude of what has been negotiated whether or not is not the issue in any event the.....(insert sci-fi special effects music, a la spaceship landing, pan to close-up of amanda's head slowly imploding)....", as i drive at top speed to get back to the house where brian is waiting so we can get the fuck out of town to make it to our show on the other side of the state in time for soundcheck.
the past two weeks have been like this. but it could have been no other way. here i am, realizing that nothing happening with my future or this band is important. my small-minded litle fantasies have not been allowed to breed for longer than a few milliseconds. in the ciritcal care unit, i was walking by twelve people on death's doorstep.
but everything will be fine.
elliott smith's "either/or" has not left my CD player in two weeks.