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Lonely in a Crowd


I hate the idea of sounding "precious." In the back of my mind is always the notion that I am spoiled, too lucky, should never have any feelings that are not reflective of how blessed I am, and how grateful I should be.

Not homeless. Not indigent.

But what does it feel like to wonder who you are?

Do you ever experience the sense that you might be a fraud?

That you might be wasting resources?

That you have failed? That you walk the earth as an undeserving specimen of what you have never realized?

You try. You keep on trying.

You don't think mean thoughts. You are not sarcastic.

But you are not a nurse or a firefighter. You are not a CEO, or a university professor. Or an inventor. Or a scientist. Just what do you contribute, anyway?

You write songs, and you sing them. Now you record them. At one time, you did think this was a worthy occupation. But in the midst of all of the despair? The burning of green life everywhere in California. The divisions between those who wear the mask and those who refuse to. The isolation and fear of everyone who does not want to get sick, for fear of losing money, and perhaps even a place to live.

Life itself feels like such a privilege.

Walking into a supermarket full of masked and protected human beings. My feeling of loneliness is coating me like a giant prophylactic.

I have these weird fantasies of throwing my arms around anyone, any stranger who would have me.

Touch seems to be the least safest of all senses.

I am lonely because I don't know what I have to give.

And I don't know if what I give is really a gift.

You'd like to think that a song could be a useful product, like a potter's vase, or an artist's painting.

A song can be a lonely thing, if no one hears it, no one hums it.

It occurs to me that all of my music comes from a lonely place.

Who am I? At best, a humble person who makes, or hopes to make ear candy. That's my way through the mess of my own self.

The crowded field of my list of inadequacies can keep me from taking a step outside. That's my own mental pandemic.

I guess the only solution I can come up with is to imagine that someone else might feel these lonelinesses.

If that were true, ironically, I could verify myself. We're each alone, yet really not.

This is a weird sort of comfort.

But I'll take it.

I'll keep trying. And maybe you will read this, or hear one of my songs, and will feel

my yearning to be in your company. Who could ask for anything more.


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