By Brian Michael Barbeito
PROMPT—I am grateful for ...
A band I never saw, not w/my eyes anyhow. I was sitting at the top of a large ship, a ship that was around seven stories or more high, and housed over three thousand people. There was a man smoking and talking and I was sitting beside him. I could see the sea and the firmament blue. Some birds followed the ship. I thought of Joseph Conrad and wondered what he would think of such a ship. The future is here, and arrived a long time ago, meaning the vessels that traverse the world’s waters, well many of them, are more science fiction looking and sleek than times long gone. I was born in the wrong time. And the Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground song, Heroin, that mentions wanting to be sailing on a ship in the sea or something, if I remember correctly, definitely didn’t have an elite modern cruise ship in mind, but certainly a tall-ship instead, with masts and crew, with more immediate danger and romance if you will. Anyhow, I am grateful because not really fitting in anywhere, I felt calm for a few long moments. Some woman was singing in a band just somewhere around the corner. I should have gotten up to see, but didn’t want to interrupt the man talking, didn’t want to seem rude by excusing myself. The music I can’t remember, but only recall the feeling of it. In the breezes up there, with the day gone for the most part and dusk entering in, the sun going somewhere to slumber in the horizon like a neon beet needing to gain some rest. Isn't the dusk a promissory note for night? And isn't the night spacious and free, less anxious and even poetic if not outright mystical? The night is ironically for daydreamers. I think I should write something with that title. Her voice, you know? Music is universal but also highly personal. It felt genuine. Kind of like the band CCR. But slower. Where was that Southern Floridian flea market, said somewhere to be the largest in the world, where my father told me to go, once in the 1980’s, when the world was simpler, and find music tapes by CCR for him? Was it called the Swap Shop? I wonder if it still exists. The band kept playing and the singer sang. I wasn’t really a drinker, not like the others anyhow, so I sipped from a diet soda. Her voice. Her voice was so true. She really sang the lyrics w/some spirit. It set me to feeling nice, sanguine, and the day had begun to turn because of that music into what would be a fine night. Nobody really commented on this, but I was and am grateful.
Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian poet, writer, and photographer. His recent work appears at The Notre Dame Review.