Remembering Edinburgh and Mr. A-Z
by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh
When the Def Poetry tour was in Edinburgh for a month, my sister handed me a mix CD of Jason Mraz songs. I had his first CD and I loved it. I loved him but the CD had songs that weren’t on his album. They were a collection of live songs and unreleased songs.
I didn’t know it at the time but as I was sitting on the flight to Heathrow, I knew that there was something starting to settle in my bones. We were in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival. We performed every night but Monday and twice on Sunday. The other time, we’d see other shows or I would walk the streets of Edinburgh allowing my natural propensity towards getting lost to lead me into neighborhoods and over hills. If it got too late or i got too lost, I’d hop into a taxi and give them the address to our flat. It was a few months after a pretty strange break up. I ended things but I couldn’t understand what the sadness was gnawing at the lining of my belly or why I had to force myself up and awake most days. I was in Scotland. I was living my dream. I was happy. It was beautiful. I was happy.
I remember sitting at the window in my bedroom night after night, my CD player on constant Jason Mraz loop. I remember staring out over the cobbled street below me, then up at the way the stars laid themselves flat against the sky for me. Every once in awhile, they would flicker and one would appear to shoot across from one end of my night to the other. I’m not sure if it was real or part of the tricks my mind plays in order to keep me alive. All I knew is that it was beautiful. I would sit there for hours, long after sleep should have come and gone and watched as the stars flung themselves over the hill. Then I’d sit and watch the night give way to morning. I marveled at the way the sun would rise. It felt like the earth was yawning. It felt like sunlight was allowing itself a proper stretch before it began its own day.
I sat there, Jason my only soundtrack, thinking about how lucky I was to be there. How happy I was to see this. How much happier I should have been. How seeing all this beauty spread itself out for me. Living this life that so many dreamed of. Being this person that others thought had it all together. I felt ungrateful. I should have been happier. I should have been more adjusted. I should have provided a better good night for the stars and offered the morning a proper greeting. Instead, I was frozen, staring at the vastness of this world and my speck of responsibility in it. And Jason would sing, “Why don’t you tell me about the sunsets in Sweden/And the laws of Eden/And how you were the rock of Gibraltar.” in that way he does. That echoing, harmony and ache and drop that his voice does. And I felt like he was listening. Like he was talking to me. Like he was saying, “Just hold onto now. Figure out what it means to feel like this later.”
There were other songs. Other lyrics. Other things these words did to propel me up the cobble stoned hill and towards the theatre.
“You left your thumb print inside me for months it seems. But mine barely brushes your soft surface. ”
I spend a lot of time on twitter. Making jokes about this person or that. Fetish and footnote. But if you knew the truth of why my spirit attaches myself to these moments, you’d understand. If I was a stronger person, I’d tell you. But I”m still working on that.
Strength. Right now, I’m still a weak bit of learning how to speak clearly.