Remember the Doubts? My friends, the insidious little inner monologue mofos that try to convince me that every decision I'm making is wrong? Well, lately they've been creeping back, doing reconnaissance work, lobbing the occasional test missile to find my new weak spots.
Some doubts are useful - like when I see some old person struggling to get around on the subway, and I wonder exactly what I'm going to do when I get old. Work til I die, still schlepping up four flights of stairs at the end of the day, after I've bounced my old bones around the city on public transit? Maybe better think about how I can make enough money to put away for when I can't work so hard - or at all (God forbid, I'd go crazy).
Then there are the useless Doubts. They were being "helpful" today when I was trying to figure out my Weekly Wish for this busy week.
"Don't do a wish this week. You don't have time. You should focus on actual work, that might make you actual dollars," intoned the Voice of Reason (the VR is related to the Doubts by marriage).
"Hey, I've got a wish for ya," hollered a Doubt with a thick Brooklyn accent. "How about, I wish I hadn't grown up in the middle of buttf***ing nowhere, so I could have gotten more experience as a kid, or at least seen professional performances?"
And all hell broke loose: I wish I'd known more about my career options when I was in college. I wish I had been ready to know my career options in college. I wish I hadn't spent so many years getting in my own way. I wish I hadn't played for so many years with bad technique before I found a teacher who could help me fix it. I wish it hadn't taken career disappointment and near-injury to take that step. I wish it weren't too late (thirty thirty thirty thirty...)...
"SHUT UP!!!!!" Katgut came roaring back. Ok, regroup. Just make a damn wish, ok? Just pick something and learn it. Fats Waller? ...nah, not this week. Review Billy Joel or Elton John favorites? Go back to Lullabye? No, I need something new, a present for my bedraggled self. ...Hey, what's this book I bought and never used? Dr. John Teaches New Orleans Piano?
I do wish I could play a little New Orleans piano. So I'm gonna take a little time every day, a half hour or so, and work through as much of this book as I can. The CD that comes with it is cool, because it's Dr. John himself playing - not soulless midi tracks of the examples in the book - and he breaks down the examples with an intereviewer, so it feels kinda like a really chill master class.
I did my half hour just before I wrote this - annoyed the neighbors by playing the basic Texas boogie in all 12 keys. Status: much better now, Doubts have retreated for the time being, and I can play a really simple Texas boogie.