Which Way to Water

So, here I am in Nashville. Granted, it’s been awhile since we last spoke, so I’m sifting through my head like a filing cabinet, flicking my fingers through manila folders and putting aside interesting anecdotes – and trashing the not-so-engaging.  I could talk about the fact that I was the recipient of ten (Count ‘em – ten!) stiches because I sliced my hand open without a single night of Tennessee under my belt. I could tell the story of how, only a few days after the move, my friends and I were nearly assaulted by a pack of rambunctious rednecks who thought we had taken their five-dollar flag on the Fourth (On a side note, I think what dissuaded them from attacking was the fact that my hand, to prevent infection of course, was conveniently wrapped in a plastic bag, which I’m sure from the outside seemed to be far more for their benefit than my own).  I could even tell you of all the songs I’ve been writing – as I’m sure I will at some point – but instead, today I’m concerned with Nashville, the Music City.

When my roommate and I had first entered this kingdom, we were inevitably blinded by the lights of a big city, the massive migration of new faces, and the constant, rhythmic thumping of new and old country hits. It was a brave new world, one that we had never experienced, and we were eager to taste it (Maybe “taste” isn’t the right word – what about “inhale?”). Because, well, this is what I came for: a place to be recognized, a place where music is around every corner, and a place where saying, “I’m a musician,” means, “This is for real – I’m the real thing.” But, doesn’t everyone say that? Doesn’t every kid with a dream say, “I’m going to Nashville. Next time you see me, it’ll be on TV.” Well, I’ll be the first to tell you: yeah, they do, and I’m sure as hell one of them.

Well, at least to people who can help me – at least to people who have seen thousands of kids like me come and go because they just couldn’t break in. Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in America (I read somewhere that about 86 people a day – a day! – are moving here), and it’s easy to find yourself just a minnow, swimming with a school of other fish, hoping to get swept up in someone’s net, so they can put you in their sand castle for an hour – until the tide rolls in and washes it all away, leaving you flopping around like some pathetic thing, wondering which way to water. Well, maybe that’s a bit harsh. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But, if water is money and a net is the next big break, it’s accurate enough. Nashville’s fantastic – don’t get me wrong. It’s opportunity incarnate: it’s the Music City, but people get lonely in big crowds, and it’s easy to doubt yourself when you’re flailing about saying, “Look! Here’s what I’ve got – I think it’s great,” and the person with the net doesn’t have time to listen. 

In retrospect, I’ve painted a bit of a morbid picture of my time thus far, but I promise you, it’s been everything I’ve imagined – even the difficult parts (though I did seem to hover on those).  Nashville’s a big city, so just bear with me while I get used to being small – I’ll grow.