rock n roll babylon

there are rock stars everywhere…in the roots of the people you brush by in the street, in the man who serves you coffee, in the woman with the shy eyes, in the businessman letting loose at the club, in the gentleman walking his dog early in the morning.

do you remember those times when you leaned against the wall of the club, cigarette dangling between your fingers and the warmth of your cheeks from a couple of cocktails and a night of dancing?  loving those nights where you swung your hips and let it all out, in your black tank top and blue jeans and those boots that went up to there, sweating and blissing out to the music, hair a lovely tangled mess and a twinkle in your eye.

or those crazy days years ago where the crowd was so violently intense that you shot down at them from the stage rather than risk your lens, or those days sitting in the back of a van crossing the state or nights walking down the hill to the stinky little hole in the wall venue and capturing that look that ended up on the CD.

it was a lifetime ago.  seeing her sing about washing in your own bathwater on the stage in her pink hair, watching the alternate flow and chaos of him as he moaned about two turntables and a microphone. or hearing your own gleeful laugh in your dream come true seeing annie and dave come out for the last time, draped in glitter and you thought to yourself, there MUST be an angel playing with my heart…

we all had dreams that were intercepted in one way or another.  i looked at the faces and the light falling on skin and the music in my life…and i remember what i left behind when the road turned sharply.  i remember those feelings wistfully, like a ratty old teddy bear from across the room.  they give me comfort, but they make me wonder about the road i left behind.  there are no regrets, however. i know that the images are inside me, inescapable, tattooed in my bloodstream, keeping me knowing that no matter how many slips and trips, i have a world in my back pocket to go with the life i now lead.

these memories are inside you’d never imagine by looking at us from the outside.  peer inside the eyes and you might see the edge of an old tattoo peeking out.  you know, the one she got on her lunch break to celebrate her youth or the one he had inscribed on his skin like armor, to protect him from the naysayers.  notice the old scars from piercings that once were…lining up the ears, decorating the navel, marking the brow.  her look goes deep inside you, because she knows that everyone has been somewhere before.  in the club, on the stage, the artist or the musician or the fan.

you look at the teacher and the accountant and the florist…and you read your resume and see there’s nothing about that one night in the emerald city, long before we were grown-ups, when the night meant whatever you wanted to make of it.  the rooms vibrated and you stumbled and laughed and woke up spinning.  you know that was then, as you smile knowing that chapter is part of your story.  no need to revisit, it’s all in images, it’s all revived in a few notes of a song.

there were some who never let go.  years later they curse the skies about their errors, they feebly wander around their lives rather than take control, they fear courage and run from adulthood.  and you keep your distance.  there is toxicity in dwelling, in refusing to evolve out of that phase.  it’s a beautiful thing when you realize that certain things are best left in the past.  you can still dance, but you don’t have to be wasted.  you can still sing, but you don’t have to snort anything up your nose.  you can still hang with the rock stars, but you can do it over dinner, as friends, with conversation.

you learned there is no babylon. not the kind you need anymore.

there is no reality beyond the touch of her hand, the scent of her skin, the curve of her body, the sound of her voice, the feeling you get when she is near.  there is nowhere you’d rather be than with her asleep, curled in the crook of your arm, head against your chest, leg flung over yours after a night where you could not get enough of her stories, the way you made each other laugh, the way she let you grab her hand when you walked dow the street that winter’s night.

remember your dreams?

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