Keep Art Alive :: “La Methode, Paris” :: Photo by Christer Strömholm
“When you lay down to sleep,
that’s when it’ll hurt the most.
When you wake up alone,
and you still smell my smoke.”
We sat and smoked for hours, cup after cup of coffee until the waitress left the pot on our table. She knew us, knew we would leave a generous tip, more than our two cup of coffee bill, and that we would be back. We always came back.
You had a notebook with you at all times. Looking back, I think you taught me the tools for living the life of a writer. Always write, always give yourself the tools to write, never stop writing, never stop; and I wonder now, do you still carry a notebook, do you still write all the time? Did you ever stop?
Coffee was sustenance, fluidity filled endlessness, conversation fuel that we never let run low. We dreamed and schemed together, plotting a future where we provided the aura, the atmosphere, the platform for creativity, oh, and all those endless pots of “Joe”.
Sometimes our cups evolved to glasses, overflowed with something stronger.
You drew floor plans on napkins, and I thought up names and circled classes to take to learn how to run things. Back then I believed I could take those kinds of risks, back when it was just you and I. Do you still take them? In so many ways you escaped unscathed, or is that just the imagined reality I believe because it’s easier somehow.
I know the way a plot is meant to unfold, the characters needed, the hero and the villain. Is it simple storytelling that has me cast you as the wrong in something so tangled and gray that there was never a chance at to be right. We were the lost youth of yesterday, fat with the possibility that we could have anything, be anything, do anything, lost in all that smoke and coffee and conversations.
Sometimes I miss it. Some days I miss the times when I did not have such dark clouds in the coffee memories of you and I. Some nights I miss when we were bright twinkling lights in each other’s lives. It is not about love, no, not anymore, it is more about who we were once, and the friendship that boy and girl held in between them, across the table, between words and lit smokes, and talks of forevers.
“But, nothing’s gonna change the way you feel about me now.”
Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way I Feel About Me Now (live) :: Justin Townes Earle