3am on YouTube:
As it is with most people, I thought this song was about a romantic relationship.
But when this acoustic version of ‘3am’ came across my suggested YouTube feed today, I actually assumed it was going to be ‘3am (Breathe)’ by Ana Nalick.
Instead, I was surprised to see Rob Thomas at the piano, informing his audience that it was actually meant to be a song about his mother. And he continued on about how when he was 12 years old, his mother was dying of cancer.
Upon hearing that, I suddenly burst into tears.
Not that my mother is dying of cancer, mind you, but I am estranged from her (for reasons which many of my longtime readers may be aware –but I don’t feel like repeating the long and sordid story of our toxic relationship right now….)
Though suffice to say, I sometimes find myself uselessly mourning for the relationship we did not have.
Related to this, I have been dreaming of my father – who did die of cancer – 10 years ago as of last month.
I have been dreaming of him a lot lately…and in every dream, he has come to me asking for me to make amends with my mother.
And of course, sometimes I cry about that too. As much as I would like to oblige my father, I am a stubborn bastard just as much as my mother is. As well, while I know that what is wrong between us could likely have been fixed long ago if one of us could relent, I am tired of being the only one who relents …over and over.
You see, my mother is one of those people who can never admit to the wrongness of her behavior, and so it is unfortunate that she has continued to insist that she has ‘never done anything wrong.’
Thus I haven’t any contact with her since 2009.
And so here I am.
Here is a post from two years ago today:
2 November 2015
I had planned – upon coming back from New Orleans – to write a lot about Bourbon Street.
Bourbon Street is a decadent place that is both cheerful and incredibly sad.
Anything that one can imagine that would be sinful in excess is there: strip clubs, massage parlors, 24-hour sidewalk bars, hookah/smoke shops, all you can eat buffets, and shop after shop of souvenirs that celebrate various forms of said over-indulgence and excess.
As well, the trappings of religion are everywhere: Christian preachers preaching hellfire and damnation, of judgment and shame in the midst of the red light district, while two blocks away, Voodoo priestesses hold court in the middle of the cobblestone alley-way, the low, husky chanting of their congregants echoing off of the walls, attracting the interest of tourists whom have strayed from various hawkers who’ve bombarded them with offers of free walking-tours, cheap drinks or discount meals.
(At least for the itinerant Christian preachers, if they can’t sell you on a drink, they will try to sell you on their God….)
But, on the upside, there’s art and there’s music – and musicians – on nearly every street corner, with artists hawking their wares from the sidewalks, alongside tarot card readers, psychics, and buskers willing to juggle or sing or dance or play with you for only a few bucks, won’t you show some appreciation for all that Bourbon Street has to entertain and amaze you?
And yet, Bourbon Street is a place of extremes: if it isn’t promising you a 24 hour access to an all you can stand to experience in the celebration of excess, then it is hidden, barricaded or locked up.
There’s gorgeous iron grill-work everywhere, serving as a deterrent to the casual on-looker from seeing, from accessing the inner worlds of Bourbon Street’s inhabitants.
Even the garbage cans have padlocks on them.
And then there are homeless people begging for change, hustling tourists for money by passing out cheap plastic beads in exchange for $5, or a cigarette or two.
V stopped lighting up as we walked because he became tired of being hassled every few feet for cigarettes and spare change.
We stopped taking pictures of the sights because it marked us as easy prey for the relentless street hustlers.
But V loved Bourbon Street, I suppose.
He constantly talked of going there, likely drawn in by the strange and rather tawdry aura of excitement that seems to surround Bourbon Street.
I found this aura to be oddly fragile upon further examination.
Bourbon Street had all the hallmarks of a carnival midway, and its promises struck me as similarly ephemeral.
As an empath, I found myself feeling intrigued, aroused…but also unbearably sad.
I couldn’t help but sense something yearning there; as if something had curled up and wept there, behind the iron scrollwork.
It became difficult for me to remain positive as I felt bombarded by the undercurrents of powerful emotions and sensations.
Yes, Bourbon Street is haunted… by a despair thinly disguised, hidden beneath the glittering layers of carefree fun and frolic.
Bourbon Street is reminiscent of forced laughter, a wan smile deftly masking pain and fear; you might sense its dark and sorrowful beauty as it lay upon everything there.
Bourbon Street is a lovely yet terrifyingly complex dream – the shadow of desires and shattered yearnings – stitched together.