All Because Of You

Some doctor on CNN just said that if I would just stop with the coffee, start with the green tea, and eat more colorful vegetables, I would lose ten pounds in ten days, minimize the bags under my eyes, and gain luminescence in my skin. So I finished my coffee, ate my bagel, swallowed a multivitamin, and changed the channel.

Last night was the second night this week that I woke up in the back of a Lincoln Town Car. The Smith Family played Yabby’s fifth anniversary, which was also owner Ed’s birthday, which was also (word is) our last show there. Yabby’s closing in a few weeks. Why? The landlord wants to build a high rise. Progress marches on in Brooklyn.

The place was packed, but the audience (I turned to The Reverend at one point and said, “This is something of a sausage party, huh?”) didn’t warm to us right away. Heck, I didn’t warm to us right away either. I was late (I thought Kevin said 10:00!), and we pretty much started as soon as I plugged in. So it took a minute.

By our sing-along version of “May The Circle Be Unbroken” (“The audience at Great Lakes rocked this on Tuesday. But that’s Park Slope, not Williamsburg. I’m just sayin’.”), I was standing on a bar stool clapping over my head. By the band introductions, I’d devolved into WWE announcer Vince McMahon (“He’s got fire and brimstone shooting from his fingertips, ladies and gentlemen!!!! On the pedal steel, The Reverend Nicholi Vuuuul-koooov!!!”). And by “It’s Allright Mama” I was — yup, you guessed it — on my knees on the floor.

It was great.

I wrote a quickie song the other night called ‘Stars.’ You can download it on The Morning Mix. I sent it to Heather who listened then said to me something like, “It sounds like the real you.” She went on to say that there’s “Stage Ben” and “Real Ben,” which I guess I understand, but not really. I mean, he’s all me, and I’m all him. Like, this Daily Journal post is, theoretically me, like, Real Me, but it’s also Stage Me. And my songs are me, but not. I guess anything that’s consciously constructed is Stage Me, and anything that’s not is Real Me. Of course, it’s like splitting mind and body: it’s all really the same.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these past few weeks about Real Me, Stage Me, Boyfriend Me, etc., primarily because a) it’s autumn and that’s what I do and b) because (as you may have read) I’ve become abundantly aware of the ramifications of Asshole Me. And to bring it full circle, well I guess I’m still not sure who’s who, or what’s what. But progress marches on, one cup of green tea and multivitamin at a time.

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