Tom Waits is in my head.
I’d heard of him long before I discovered him. My husband has a habit of making sure there’s new stuff to listen to all the time in our house, and I’m grateful because there are so many times I’m in a specific headspace, in need of musical immersion, and nothing I find in my personal queue seems to be right. And then I dive into the media folder and float away on a lyric or two.
So of course I read the news. It hurts sometimes, especially when it’s something that reminds me why I’m going back to school. I’m afraid for everyone. I’m afraid of the collective trauma response that’s going to rise up and overtake us when this is all over.
Today I’m listening to the utter transcendence that is “Frank’s Wild Years” and basking in the power of his audacity. I want to be that free. I want to be fearless. There’s a small scared thing inside me that cowers in the face of judgment and shame.
In a few hours I will drive to my family’s arts conservatory to help them out with the summer recital. I do not want to listen to the news on the way there, but I will. Hiding from the reality is what gives it power. Nothing makes sense today.
But on the way home, I will listen to Tom Waits.