copyright 2022, joseph e bird
His hair was greasy under his hoodie and his clothes hung loosely from his skinny bones and had he not already shot me in the arm, I would have smacked him in the face and rolled him down the street. But I’m a realist. I didn’t want to get shot again.
“Sorry,” he said. “Tried to miss you.”
At first I didn’t feel much, just a sting, then I smelled the gunshot, kind of a chemically smell. Cordite, I would learn later, the modern replacement for gunpowder and the reason I didn’t see smoke drifting from the barrel of his gun. A 9mm, I guessed, but for all I knew it could have been a 45. I have no idea what those numbers mean. I’ve never owned a gun.
I looked at my arm and saw a hole in my jacket, my favorite jacket, and a growing circle of bright red blood, being pulled by gravity into an ever-lengthening oval.
“Get in the car.”
I heard him say it, a demand, really, and though I knew he might put another bullet in me, I didn’t comply with his wishes. Instead, I sat down on the guardrail and put my head between my knees and tried to fight off the world turning darker than it already was. If I passed out, the second bullet might be in the back of my head.
copyright joseph e bird, 2022
I’ve been writing less these days and playing more music. I’ve been a regular at the open mic night at Coal River Coffee, and though I have no misconceptions about my musical abilities, it’s been a blast performing songs that mean something to me. I never would have done this if not for the encouragement of James Townsend. James is an accomplished singer/songwriter, as you can see if you watch the Press Room Recordings below. He’s also an excellent writer. He’s writing a serial story about Billy the Kid and is currently writing a musical on the same subject.
Of the songs in the Press Room Recordings, my current favorite (my favorites change frequently) is Wars and Rumors.
One of the nonsensical (at least for me) Beatles songs that I added to my set list after watching “Let It Be.”
I subscribed to Disney+ just to watch it. I loved almost every minute of it.
Much has been written about it. Here’s an excerpt from an article written by Jill Lawrence for USA Today, speaking specifically about the concert on the roof.
“That mini concert, and this maxi documentary, underscore for all time the truth and universality of advice I’ve had posted on my bulletin board for years, from the late New York Times media critic David Carr: “Keep typing until it turns into writing.” For the Beatles, that translates into keep playing and singing until it turns into music. For politicians, keep negotiating until it turns into a deal. For scientists, keep experimenting until you get a vaccine. For my husband last week, it was keep trying until that box of boards, screws and what-not turns into an ottoman.”
You can read the entire article here.
I’m a sucker for story-telling in song. I’ve never really listened to much John Prine but this morning this song popped up my YouTube playlist. I was mesmerized. Enjoy.
All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.
— Ernest Hemmingway
what do you do when you’ve won an Oscar for the song Falling Slowly from the movie Once?
If you’re Glen Hansard, you keep busking on the street.
We interrupt the James and Katherine story to bring you this story by NF.