I want to be weirder. I want to let the real me out to play and not get so hung up on being “perfect.” Because being “weird” just means being you.
The breeze is gently blowing through the trees. A wind chime sounds, and mourning doves murmur. Here and there I hear voices, people outside enjoying the summer evening, children playing. These are the sounds of my neighborhood. I’m walking through the Boise North End from the local gas station, carrying a 6-pack of beer and a stick of beef jerky. And I’m in love with my new hood.
On a Friday night in Kerrville, Texas, I was at my momma’s house getting ready to go to the honky tonk, just as I have hundreds of other times. Going through my normal “going to the tonk” process, I pulled on my blue jeans and cowboy boots and made my hair bigger than usual, extra hair spray. I was looking forward to hearing some live music by south Texas local musicians. Except there was one major difference this Friday night—this time, I was one of the musicians performing, at my first solo open mic.
Texas honky tonk? On a packed Friday night? Performing in front of country music loving two-steppers, by myself? Holy frackin’ shit.
There’s an old farmhouse on Road 4, Davenport, Nebraska. Like so many other old homesteads in Nebraska, it is worn out and inhabits a quiet air of the forgotten, days gone by. Not quite dilapidated and falling down, you can see it’s getting close. You probably wouldn’t give the place a second glance as you drive by on the gravel road. And yet, it’s the single most important house in my memory.