"You wear your heart on both sleeves, which is never good."
A very close friend said this to me recently.
Someone else, a person who I still haven't made a decision about after 20 years, once said, "Okay! Relax," when I got a little emotional after he asked me what I thought about a new Elvis Costello tune. I loved the tune and I said so. Apparently, I used too many words for this person, and I tried his patience when I went beyond, "Good tune. Me like."
"You talk too much." "You're too intense." "Calm down."
These are phrases I've heard daily since I uttered my very first words. (Which I believe were, "The Beatles!") I can't say I ever enjoy hearing words that are intended to stop me from expressing myself. I certainly don't think I embarrass anyone. I don't get loud in restaurants. I'm respectful. Maybe I do pull a John Boehner occasionally and turn on the water works, but I'm not about to apologize for letting beauty move me, even if it makes a few people uncomfortable.
"Nothing satisfies you."
I heard that one this weekend.
Have you ever been deeply excited by something, only to get a lukewarm response from the people you wanted to share with the most? Sucks like a Hoover. As my friend once said, "There is nothing worse than indifference." It's not easy to create a balance between honesty and sensitivity, but I think it's definitely worth the effort for the people you want to stick around.
A month and more ago, I had "Joy Week" on these pages. What a miserable fucking week that was.
"Hey, you know that song that makes you happy? It stinks."
I realize when you put yourself out there in any field, it's open season. But the practice of finding the time to share lousy comments about someone else's opinions, as opposed to saying nothing at all, never ceases to amaze me.
"Green is my favorite color." "NO! I don't think it is." That was "Joy Week."
As for putting my "heart on both sleeves," I can only say, it feels better than saying nothing at all. Remember, everyone missed R.P. McMurphy once he got the lobotomy.
I've always been about the ballads. The sadder, the better. Minor chords, sweeping strings, layers of harmony. And especially, "heart on both sleeves" lyrics. It's the perfect yin to the yang of"Kick Out The Jams, motherfuckers!"
There is a video at the top of the page. It is a live version of "Drive All Night" by Bruce Springsteen. If you don't like Bruce Springsteen, don't bother watching it and more importantly, find something else to do right now.
"Drive All Night" tears me up. Every time. It is a song that puts Bruce's heart on both sleeves. Live, he gives until there is nothing left to give, and somehow, still gives more. He cares about one thing and doesn't care who knows it. He is telling you, "It will all be okay," but with a twist. He makes sure you believe it. "Heart and soul. Heart and soul. Heart and soul. Heart and soul." Enough? No. Never enough. "Heart and soul. Heart and soul. Heart and soul." They are words, but not just words. This is the very definition of intense. "Drive All Night" is full of love, hope and above all, truth. Those things work for me. Those things will satisfy me every damn time.