Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
I’ll keep discovering the hairs, turned completely white, and I’ll ignore them or I’ll pluck them out. It’s not that I’m in denial of my body’s natural aging process, but the hairs don’t necessarily make me feel old. Hair pigmentation quits. It’s like a fossil fuel, it runs dry after years of being pulled from its reservoir.
I’m in the Neo-Futurarium office at 12:20 AM, Wednesday morning, finishing a proofreading pass on the 2008 Best of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind zine, due out at the end of November, after a lengthy but fruitful Christmas Carol rehearsal and a photo shoot for the cover of TimeOut Chicago. The cast and crew of Carol has gone home, as have the performers who were here until 11:30 prepping this weekend’s TML. And now I’m done with the proofreading but I’m still here, updating the journal, not seriously entertaining the notion of staying here overnight just because I’m so tired, the night so cold and wet, the effort of biking home seeming torturous and potentially lethal as I biked here wearing nothing but black clothing.
My iPod is hooked up to the speakers of the Artistic Director’s computer, and because I’m alone I sing along to songs that shuffle past.
My singing voice has always been serviceable, at best, not impressive but at least clear and steady. My throat and tongue are calibrated to a fine array of vocal mimicry, so I’ve even been able to fake a jazz croon or a balladeer’s vocal stylings when needed. I enjoy singing even if I avoid doing it very often. As I have no other musical talent to speak of it’s the thing I hold onto.
But tonight, singing alone in the office, I hear my voice croak through notes I used to handle easily, hear the sharps go flat, hear my range contract. It has been doing this for some time now and I thought that perhaps I was just the victim of subconscious shyness, worrying about the possibility of being heard by others. But no…I’m just losing it. It’s just going away. And that knowledge ages me in ways no shock-white hair has been able to do.
I will go home now, carefully, steadily. I don’t know if and when I’ll try to sing again.