Could you hold me

and don’t let me go?

Cold is the night.

Keep me secure

when wind blows my way,

withstand what comes.

You’re just like the sun,

so warm and bright.

Give me life and hope,

don’t fade away.

There might be clouds,

alone in darkness,

your light will shine.

You will guide me,

show me where to go,

eyes upon you.

You’re just like the sun,

so warm and bright.

Give me life and hope,

don’t fade away.

Cold is the night.

the weather changes

when you appear.

What you give me,

I return to you,

sun in the night.

You’re just like the sun,

so warm and bright.

Give me life and hope,

don’t fade away.

Baby, hold me

and do not let go.

Cold is the night.

Keep me secure

when things don’t go right,

you’re like the sun.

Always bright,

give me life and hope,

don’t fade away.

There might be clouds,

alone in darkness,

your star will shine.

You will guide me,

watching where I go,

eyes upon you.

Cold is the night,

you’re just like the sun,

don’t fade away.

What you give me,

I return to you ,

sun in the night.

Memories are contradictions,

people and places are gone,

the past remains inside of us.

The facts can turn into fiction,

depending on our point of view,

no one can explain otherwise.

We live in our make believe worlds,

power of imagination,

truth is based on our perspective.

Feelings are subject to change,

whatever comes and goes our way.

always hope and keep a brave face.

The way to have some happiness

when not being with those one loves-

knowing one can survive without.

Forgive me if I don’t tell you everything,

there are memories and words I keep to myself.

Not everyone must know what I’m pondering,

it’s a private affair, what is happening now ,

will give invitation when I’m ready to talk.

Then, I will open up and reveal my story.

Depending on my mood, could be sunny or dark.

Prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised

when I speak up and start friendly conversation.

I’m going to listen and remember your words,

not everything has to revolve around me.

Could you do same for me so I will know later

that you are someone more than a passing stranger?

You have seen him or maybe you have been him, standing around before or after a show, hoping to catch a glimpse of the performer or have a conversation or photo taken. Most cases, the conversation is one sided, with him talking about how much he enjoys the performer or performers, telling them that he has their albums or books. He knows the material better than the performer. He is the fan or supporter of the performer, the reason why some performers never talk to the audience or fans.

There was this band that I wanted to see, I decided to travel a long way to see the band perform. I brought my Mom to where they were playing , she needed a change of scenery. Also, she introduced me to Stan Getz and Dave Brubeck. This band could be a more funkier and rockier version of those artists sans the former’s vocals. We arrived in the city and walked down to the club where the band was playing. It was there and then that we met the fan. He looked at my Mom who was older but probably just a little older than him and said, “You don’t look like the kind of person who would enjoy this band or this style of music.” My Mom replied,” I’m here with my son, he enjoys this band and this was his idea.” The fan interrupted, ” I just had a conversation with the guitarist. Instead of playing two sets, they will play one full set.” . I thought to myself, ” I better plan my bathroom breaks carefully.” Then, the security guy said it was time to come inside. I was happy, I could finally watch the band perform, in peace without interruption from the fan.

Whenever a performer has a show, there is merchandise to be sold. People need something or souvenirs to let people know that they attended the show or that they enjoy what the performer does for a living. The items sold could be hats, posters, or shirts. Usually, the person selling the merchandise to make more money tries insincerely or sincerely to be friendly so the person or persons attending the show will buy more product because the person or persons feel welcome and enjoy being around the person selling the merchandise. In simpler terms, this is called good customer service. At this particular show, there was a man selling merchandise. He did not seem friendly or happy to be there. In fact, he did not seem to make the effort. When I unpacked my bag and put my compact discs on the counter, I hoped he would inform the band that a fan wanted to meet the band and have his albums signed. Two of the albums I brought were not being sold at the show. Instead of saying, ” You must be a fan of the band. Welcome to the show. How may I help you?” He said without a smile, ” Are you returning these compact discs?” I did not say anything, just felt intimidated and walked away. The bassist from the headlining band was standing next to the man selling the merchandise. I could have asked him to take a photo with me or told him how much I enjoyed his music. Then, I noticed that the fan who was talking to me and my Mom earlier had talked to the man selling merchandise and was still standing there. I understood why the man selling the merchandise may have been upset. He probably told him that he was a close , personal friend of the band and wanted all of his imported albums that are now out of print signed by the band. This is why I walked away, did not talk to the band before the show, I did not want to be him.

After an opening act that was heavy on the bass guitar and drums , the headlining band began to play. They played Jazz Fusion which means that they played instrumentals, tunes with memorable melodies and occasional improvisations. The music would begin quietly and then in a few seconds or minutes become something different . What began as a classical piano piece would be changed by the addition of an an electric guitar or bass guitar. There would be a drum solo that would alter the rhythm of the piece but it would still be enjoyable. My Mom made the observation that she did not know when one instrumental ends and another begins. In some ways, Jazz Fusion is like life, it changes in an instant. We had a long day, we arrived the night before after a distant journey. The day of the show, we had some other activities planned. When the show began, we were tired but tried to stay awake. Luckily, we were seated at a table, with no one with us or around us. The music had a calming affect on my Mom, she fell asleep a few times. Luckily, we were not on the front row, the band would have noticed and my Mom would have been awakened and embarrassed by the fan who thought she was not giving proper respect to the band. I enjoyed the show and so did my Mom, the headliners played the music that I wanted to hear. They finished their set or instrumentals that they planned to perform. Then, because the audience wanted to hear more, they played two instrumentals. The show was over and the lights were turned on, people started to go home except for the fans including me. Sometimes after a show, the band depending on their mood will come out and talk to the audience or sign album covers so people will have a personal connection or memory. It is an awkward experience for bands and fans, you stand in line and have only a few seconds to tell them how much you enjoyed the music and what items to sign. I only had three purchases that I wanted signed, one was the favorite album of the original band members. The other two were newer releases so the new members did not feel left out. It is sometimes awkward for the bands because after playing for almost two hours, one becomes tired. Plus, there are days and nights where one does not feel like interacting with the fans, one has to pretend to be friends with people that one will not remember in a few hours or tomorrow. Like the movie ” Planes, Trains And Automobiles”, the previously mentioned fan who talked to my Mom earlier resembled the John Candy character who followed or showed up wherever the Steve Martin character seemed to go. Unfortunately, I was the Steve Martin character. He was annoying. Unlike the movie, this story does not have a happy ending. He was standing in front of me in the line to have items signed, he pulled out about five albums covers , some from the front plastic part of the compact discs. He gives the band a vinyl album for the band to sign. Maybe, he wanted to display the album on his wall so he could relive the moment. The guitarist who the fan had a conversation with before the show, signed the album and handed it back as if the previous conversation never happened. The fan walked off triumphant, he now had his claim to fame.

I have been that fan. To be positive, my or another person’s actions can be seen as persistence or dedication. To others, it can be a nuisance or a distraction or cause for concern. We show our worship in different ways. For some, it is wearing a band shirt from years ago that is now faded or assuming that you have a personal relationship with the band because someone who works for the band replied to your comment posted on the Internet. For others, it is requesting instrumentals or songs that the band does not play because the member who wrote those particular pieces is no longer with the band and does not want the other remaining members to perform the material or recording and videoing the band’s performance without the band’s permission. Another example would be someone writing an essay and hoping the band would be so impressed that they would invite the person who wrote the essay backstage as a guest of honor. Please forgive the fans for they know not what they do , say or think sometimes.

Mom knew Bob Dylan, Christina Rossetti, Theolonious Monk , Etta James , The Supremes Roberta Flack, Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs and the Swingin’ Medallions. She did not know the musicians and writers personally but she had copies of their work that introduced me to music and writing.

She always said that she received these albums by joining a record club where you receive a new title every month. Through every move, she kept the albums so she must have enjoyed the recordings. When I was younger, I would play the albums and enjoy the songs. Bob Dylan was hard to like at first, his voice was ragged and not exactly pleasing to the ear. Gradually, I enjoyed his voice and his songs on “Another Side Of Bob Dylan”, especially ” My Back Pages” , ” All I Really Want To Do” and ” It Ain’t Me Babe”. Etta James introduced me to great rhythm&blues when she would sing ” Something’s Got A Hold Of Me” and ” Seven Day Fool”. Mom told me that she and my Dad would watch Roberta Flack perform at a nightclub in Washington , D.C.. It must have been great to hear her sing” Killing Me Softly With His Song” or ” The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” or any song that she might have performed. Before The Kingsmen’s version, I heard the Swingin’ Medallions version of ” Louie, Louie” and their own classic song ” Double Shot Of My Baby’s Love”. The Swingin’ Medallions were from Greenwood, South Carolina. Another group from South Carolina made an impression, Maurice Williams& The Zodiacs were from Lancaster , South Carolina and had a hit song with ” Stay” that was later covered by Jackson Browne. Mom had an album by The Supremes which introduced me to the songwriting of Holland-Dozier-Holland and the bass playing of the late James Jamerson. On this album by the Supremes, my favorite songs were ” My World is Empty Without You” and ” I Hear A Symphony “. Lastly, my Mom introduced me to jazz, she had an album by Theolonious Monk called ” Monk’s Music”. Like Bob Dylan, It took me awhile to appreciate or like the music. The piano playing seemed different to my ears. After repeated listenings, I began to enjoy the music especially ” Epistrophy”. The combination of Monk’s piano playing and the drum solo makes this a memorable track. The great thing about the music is that my Mom did not play me the music and want me to like what I heard. I discovered the music on my own, I had great taste in music due to my Mom having great albums.

Before my Mom met and married my Dad, she graduated from Newcomb College which was the women’s college of Tulane University. After graduating , she taught at high schools in Louisiana and South Carolina. She majored in English Literature so there were still Literature textbooks around the house when I was growing up. The textbook that caught my attention was about British Literature in the mid to late 1800’s. Some of the writing while good and now classic was very long and complex. One writer stood out , she wrote short poems that dealt with death but were memorable and not depressing or boring, her name was Christina Rossetti. The poems of her that I enjoyed most were ” Up-Hill” and “Remember”. Reading her work, inspired me to be a writer and may have influenced my writing. Like with the music, my Mom did not read me the poems and want me to like what I read. Instead, I discovered Christina Rossetti’s work on my own and I enjoyed what I read.

Without knowing it or maybe she knew what she was doing, my Mom instilled in me at an early age, an interest in music and writing. There was another side to my Mom , besides being the one who would clean up after me, this made me appreciate her and love her more.

When you go backwards in time,

start examining the past,

digging up the secrets that

some may have wanted hidden.

Be careful, my friend, know this,

what you find might do more harm

than good when you show it off.

Someone’s private memory

is now in public domain.

The pain of losing someone

is someone’s private pleasure.

There is a thin line between

curious and a voyeur.

Be careful with what you find.

Something written out of rage

or taken out of context,

meaning changes on the page

due to time and relation.

We are not close as we seem,

cannot make truth known to you.

Be careful with what you find.

Nothing wrong with wanting to

know about your history,

the people who lived before

you arrived into this world.

What if you were discovered?

Would you want secrets revealed?

Be careful with what you find.