When I lived in Portland, I had a friend named Donna who would do something miraculous. Every year that she was cancer-free, she tattooed the number somewhere on her body. Her bout with breast cancer was so severe that decorating her body with time seemed like the only natural response.

I don’t have one, two, three, and four tattooed on my body, but they are certainly scratched into my psyche. I also couldn’t have done this alone. My friends picked me up when I couldn’t pick up myself. They heard my pain, and more of it than I ever should have shared with an untrained bystander. They cried with me, they bled with me, they helped me release a thunderstorm to wake up in mist and rainbows.

I am listening to classical music on Spotify…. monster pieces like The Four Seasons and the Planets and Mahler V. My emotions are spilled out on the table like salt, because that’s what that bastard Holst does to me. It’s all the beauty, all the pain, all the ugly, all the intense rage-dissipating moments where I feel clearly that we are not alone, that there is a creator, and most likely his (or her) name will have a Bach in it somewhere. Although God, to me, is much closer to P.D.Q. than J.S.

Speaking of which, the first time I heard Ipheginia in Brooklyn, I was rolling on the floor laughing. Peter Schickele (the famous researcher of P.D.Q.’s large body of work that sounds, according to the scholar, like one of his legs is shorter than the other). He also said that P.D.Q. managed to write parts for oboe and bassoon without the use of double reeds. You can hear it when the trumpets come in on their mouthpieces buzzing “Jesus Loves Me.”

It is one of the things that has made me laugh since I was a teenager. Good to have things that don’t change, especially as I look back over the sea change from destruction into construction. I had to deconstruct the idea of what basic elements of life looked like since I’d skipped them the first time around.

I am aware that the entire world must think I’m actually a fifteen year old boy by now, and that’s not *entirely* wrong. I just try to be one of those people that looks approachable so that if something is wrong, I look trustworthy. I don’t have a collar, but I try to be a minister regardless. It’s the side of myself that I choose to foster given the dark side that nags at the corner of my eyes like a Grimm. Like a Grimm, I see things that other people don’t. I see the pain in your shoulders when you walk, but I can’t cure you. I can only heal you, and I will give you everything I can in the three minutes I will interact with you and feel comfortable about it. I have short attention span theater, but I promise those three minutes will be very, very important to you. I will ensure it. I will lift you up with my words and my smile and the fact that I think you are perfect in your flaws and I can take them….. for three minutes. That’s about as long as it takes for me to realize that I have opened up a huge chord of energy with someone and as they feel it, they relax into the same space they go to when they pray, and they ask for attention in the most loving of ways because that’s what we all do. We all ask for each other’s attention, nicely or not. I cannot stop being true to who I am, so that’s why I am a hermit. I want to care about you. I want to love you until I can’t anymore, I am so full of your life and energy that when you’re hurt, you have the ability to hurt me. This is not a problem with anyone immediately close to me. This is cumbersome at the grocery store, when I want to fix every crying child and every screaming adult and all the disgruntled employees and I don’t want anyone to hurt in front of me, ever, because I can’t fucking take it. I will emotionally bleed out, and have done it. I just want to fix the whole world, and thanks to my blog, the whole world is fixing me.

The Aforementioned Cantata

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