To Be Continued

I had a beer with Cameron Crowe tonight.

I listened to “Same In Any Language” (from the “Elizabethtown” soundtrack) five times between Jamaica and Penn stations. My skin was still warm from the Montauk sun. My eyes still burned from the brightness of it all. I was smiling inside. I was quiet with my thoughts. I was happy.

Back to my apartment, I dropped my bags, and picked up my guitar. I tried to write a song. I had the kernal of an idea. One line really. A phrase. A wish.

Don’t break my heart.

The song didn’t come. The words weren’t there. The music sounded trite. I will find it again.

I haven’t felt this vulnerable in a while. Funny what a little companionship will do. Suddenly, every word I speak is dangerous. Suddenly, every sentence I mumble is supect. Suddenly, the clean slate feels messy. What am I saying? What does it mean? Where am I headed? It feels a little bit scary. But so… alive.

Cameron called around nine. I was sitting in my office, feet up, Sam Adams in hand. The “Elizabethtown” soundtrack was playing on my computer. The snapshot I’d taken of us lay propped on my desk.

“Mmmmm-TV News.”

He laughed.

“Mr. Benjamin Wagner!?!”

“Mr. Cameron Crowe,” I said in my deepest, coolest voice. “How are you, my friend?”

“How are you?”

We talked about movies and music for nineteen minutes and fifty-one seconds, at which point I pressed pause.

“Off the record,” I said. “Your films are personal. One of the themes of ‘Elizabethtown’ is dealing with fiasco. So I’m wondering, what was yours?”

He answered. I understood. And our time was up.

“To be continued, brutha’.”


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