Imagine a place where 3 girls, each born a decade apart, stand the exact same way. A place where the girls titter, like school girls. Where the boys must be men. The men are giants and the women are hearty. A place where outsiders are shunned and shell shocked often within the same sentence. This is my home and native land. A proud and pseudo-intelligent world of pop culture and social criticism. So many personalities, so very little air time. But somehow, we make it work. After many days dwelling in the house of company, surrounded by fool, foe and friend, I am finally safe at home in the embrace of my teeny weeny condo and the Stinker Bean. Surrounded by a city-ful of people I don’t know, who don’t know a thing about me. Phew! That’s what they mean safety in numbers.
After spending 2 days of greeting, hugging and handshaking everyone who ever knew me, I am exhausted. Being from a small town, everybody knows…and they know everything. I feel them watching me grow up. I can hear their hopes. There’s a misconception that the arts can be tangibly valued. Visibly successful. Truthfully, artists are mostly worker bees, who occasionally fly off course in search of beautiful wild flowers, but most of their time is dedicated to building buzzz. Which by the way I am great at. Otherwise our lives are very straightforward. There is a great mis-expectation of fame and million dollar pay checks, these expectations dashed by each status update. That is not the artist’s lot. I can feel their hopes for me pinned to their enthusiasm. But even just surviving in this business is a lot of work. Of course, I want to exceed and succeed. But it stresses me out. And mostly I worry, I’m not that good.
I love going home. I love sitting at the dinner table, in those wooden chairs used for company. I love visiting in the Taj MaGarage in weather below zero. I love the stories and the memories. The parents in pj’s telling us to go to bed. Even after all that talking, what nobody mentioned was being proud of the off the beaten path achievements I have attained for myself. My bizzy buzzing ongoing antics that were all the work of this little honey bee. There was a sort of artistic validation that I expected. Which at the end of the last beer finally came from the unlikeliest of sources. This blog received the glowing compliment of being great bathroom reading. #1 for your #2! This is something the Commish has told me once or twice. And Papa B says at least they’re reading. It was then I remembered my wins are just that. My own. It doesn’t matter how many people expected, whatever they were expecting, it mattered I was beating my own personal best. Which is cool cuz that might mean I am going all the way to some superdome to playoff against myself, a game I think I can win…by at least a deuce.