The first part of this story is here…
I did end up contacting Charlie, by text: first informing her of one open mic i wasn’t – thinking that i would be leaving RI before – planning to attend; and then – finding myself still in the area – asking her if she was interested in riding up to another in Boston. These contacts didn’t lead to another meeting, though we exchanged a series of messages.
After talking with her that night in Scituate, I consulted the I Ching as to what proper behavior on my part would look like. It answered with a line saying that in such a situation a superior person uses nothing, whereas an inferior person tries to act through strength and thereby entraps himself. A ram butting against a hedge gets its horns entangled.
My intention not to contact her was rooted in this caution, which rang true to me. Not so true, though, that I resisted contacting her. I rationalized this in the usual way, by splitting hairs; so that these contacts weren’t actually efforts to make contact, but more like disinterested transfers of information… which, in part, they were.
The oracle proved true enough, though, as my sense of disinterested interest gave way to an increasing desire to be recognized as interesting. While Charlie was polite with me always, she always came across to me as careful not to reflect any interest back. She did use a lot of exclamation points, but these struck me as more of a stylistic norm than expressions of real excitement. The sense of simple and engaging simpatico that I’d felt was gone. Worse, I’d gotten hooked into an exchange in which I was subtly trying to prove myself to be interesting, while pretty much feeling less so with each message. The overall effect was to take something real yet fleeting and turn it into something unreal but entangled.
The proper end had apparently been back at the Village Tavern when we were comparing notes. She told me a little bit about trying the usual route into the music business by getting a publishing deal and producer in Nashville. I responded with my usual song and dance about my special purpose involving a musical autobiography, as seen through the critical missing episode of Shakespeare’s HAMLET.
“How long would it take you to write this?”, she asked.
“About a month,” I replied.
“Well, you should just do it, then,” she said. “Make a practice of writing every day… with your coffee.”
Hearing this, I spun around on my bar stool a couple times before saying, “I can’t argue the point.”
She was exactly right, but I don’t want that to be the truth. Rather than going through the isolation of actually working out my inspiration into a communicable form, I’d prefer to talk it all out with a muse… ideally, in a hot-tub, or a float tank.