Music of nostalgia and romance

I am a married man. I married a guy named Roman a really long time ago. Roman has never been a fan of my music. That has not been a problem, but I thought I would enjoy trying to write something for Roman, something that is both personal and public.

I generally do not believe in public displays of affection once one is over the age of 16. But here it is. The gesture of an old man appreciating his life.

I must acknowledge a famous French poem,
Roman de la Rose, as my inspiration.

The Dream

I first saw him in a cafe near the beach in Cassis. I inquired in French if I could join him. He smiled in English. The next day we hired a small boat to a calanque and drank white wine. In time we married and grew old together.

Sea Sharp and Bee Flat (overture)
Here we are. Roman and I do not vibrate on the same frequency. Know that our C# and Bb resolves somewhere around F#, that is what makes it work.

Nature, love, and the song of chickens

Admitting the Past
I admit to admitting the past into my mind for I am a sentimental fool. Everything I see, I also see what it was and what it will be, at least the fantasy of each moment as a point in the continuum of constant change and evolution. Never content to only see, I also have to fiddle, change things, be a force in that evolution. Roman says I should not try to control things. That art is inferior to nature. Roman takes me to the river and points out a stick floating by, and then another stick that is caught on the bank. He asks which one is me. I am the one on the shore that has been captured. That is the kind of conversation romantics have. I like this kind of talk. In my mind I see the stick was part of a tree, I see that high water will wash everything into the Pacific Ocean where it will be be consumed by barnacles.

1. Floating Stick
2. Captured Stick

Life Sat in a Chair
Roman has a chair. He had it as a child and it has been to college, relocated to various cities and now lives with us. I do mean it only
lives with us as it long ago rejected the notion of anyone sitting. I have even thought of getting the chair a chair. Roman clings to that chair as the one piece of continuity that carries him from one event in his life to another. When all other solid reality has disappeared, the chair is still there. At this point it has become like a tiny silent grandmother. She is often in the way but I know that if she was gone I would feel the void. So the chair-shaped object lives with us, a roommate more than furniture. Yesterday’s clothes hang indifferently from her back. I worry what will become of her when we are dead.

Eyes to Sea
Roman and I went to the river and challenged each other to find the smallest rock. Roman won though I accused him of showing a large grain of sand. We brought our tiny finding home and added it to a collection in an old ring box on the kitchen window sill. The ring box belonged to his mother who died while he was still a child.

1. Tiny rock song
2. The river greets the sea
3. Mother’s Ring Box
4. Kitchen window sill mementos

Pretending that no flags were being flown on our staffs would be silly. The innate pleasurable force that drives two people to assume intertwined positions is, at best, strange even to the people participating. Nature has determined its course and we can only be tossed about by its demands with gaping awe.

No Fear and No Chance
While this is a music project that is based around a very personal situation, I don’t wish to go too far. It is not interesting to have insight into someone's private life. I feel similarly when forced to attend a wedding. They are embarrassing exhibitions. That is the reason these notes are hidden over here and not printed on the package. Roman and I agreed to share experiences without fear of the unavoidable losses that are part of such a pairing. There is no reason a listener need know more about our connection.

Drum Role
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of living with a same-gendered person is that it comes with no instructions. Your own parents and all the families you see in the movies and TV tend to be either different-gendered or kind of fucked up people, or both. So plain ordinary same-gendered life is a complete mystery even to the people living that way. In a traditional relationship the wife often gets stuck with the work. We don’t have one of those. It is pretty useless to have two people taking out the garbage and doing the barbecuing. One of my self-assigned roles is to play the drum. I’m not certain who gets the role of drummer in the different-gender household.

Cymbals Ring
Roman never asked me to marry him. He made a symbolic gesture of removing a ring from his finger and sliding it onto my finger. We had only known each other a month. I would have given him a ring too, but I didn’t have one. However, ten years later I gave him one at a street fair. The ring had nine metal layers. It made a poor symbol for a ten year anniversary, but I kissed him in public for the first time. It took ten years because we are same gendered and sensitive to our surroundings, unlike different gendered couples. A kiss like that is a kiss that different gendered people never get to know, it is an act of rebellion driven by passions from a decade of oppression.

Laying of the Golden Bands
Roman and I, at one time, were children playing next to widely separated rivers but still collecting sticks and rocks. In time we will be carried by different rivers to the ocean and devoured by barnacles. But for now, somewhere and somehow in-between we quietly watch chickens repeat our lives in miniature. I find chickens odd looking creatures but Roman is a giver and has to take care of things, though chickens would never agree to take care of us us like we do them. The chicken crop is growing and now we band them with yellow leg rings to know how old they are. Roman and I also banded each other with matching golden rings. The golden bands mirror the love, reflecting the Rose for all to see.

The dream ended. I woke to the realization I was not asleep.