Things She Left in the Fire

First off, I personally want to take a moment to thank all of you for reaching out to me after hearing about the devastating fire that hit the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland.   Over the years we’ve talked at length about living in a music rehearsal studio/artist space, so your concern reminded at least me, that people really cared about what we’ve done musically over the last few years.  That being said, there was one person I looked for to call, text, email, Facebook message etc…and that didn’t happen.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little hurt by it.  Some friends of mine here, keep trying to tell me that maybe she knew that it wasn’t this warehouse, but when the news reports first hit they were a bit vague and I’m sure between social media and national news she heard about an artist warehouse fire in Oakland, and maybe she did do the research to find out where it was?  Maybe she just didn’t care…

A better, happier time

A better, happier time

 

I haven’t said too much about Cyndy taking off, mostly because I wasn’t sure why she left in the first place. Only she will know the ACTUAL REASON, but I can only tell you how this emotional grenade she’s thrown has effected me. As anyone can imagine,  I was blindsided by her decision to leave, and the way she did it, sneaking out while I was gone has been emotionally devastating. It’s been a few months now since I’ve actually seen Cyndy.  The chasm between us is finally starting to become apparent. I feel enough time has passed for me to speak a little more on the situation.  SHE’S GONE.  Forever? I’d be lying if I didn’t say I hold out a sliver of hope for her to return, but I do understand this recent tragedy in Oakland was a reminder for her of the dangers of our fringe musician lifestyle.  A life that included living in a warehouse that in all honesty, isn’t zoned for residential living. While this life isn’t conventional, it did/does afford us the ability to live in a thriving area full of music and successful musicians and artists, we can be a part of an amazing artistic creative community. We’ve learned a lot here, how to make cables, how to do sound and assemble PA systems, the relationships we’ve been able to forge with other artists, some that we even grew up admiring, there are some positives to living in this type of environment.  It also of course has it’s down side. That includes living in a neighborhood now overrun by a growing homeless crisis and dealing with the effects of that.  Rampant drug use and drug violence, sex/human trafficking, garbage that fills the streets, big ass rats everywhere, and last but not least, noise. It’s hard to escape the constant collage of sound that exists in a place like this. And that’s just what we deal with when we get home from tour, then we have all of the obstacles of touring life that make most bands call it quits after one cross country run.  Lack of funds, long boring drives, being stuck in van with one other person,  wondering if people are even going to show up to the gig, gear breaking or malfunctioning…Sometimes the initial thought of going on the road can be panic attack inducing.  Also there are the mental struggles of touring.  The depression that sets in when you’re home working a monotonous  job watching your life waste away.  The way family and close friends are constantly questioning your life choices making your feel like you’re a failure.  Comparing where you in later 30’s to your peers that went a more conventional path.  We’re not so far removed from traditional society where those thoughts don’t creep into our head and ad to the questioning. The constant lifestyle questioning…

 

The day we moved into Soundwave

The day we moved into Soundwave

Also, as we got long in the tooth in not only our life but in our relationship, the issue of expanding the family would from time to time rear it’s ugly head.  It’s something we both struggled with for some time.  I have 3 children from my previous marriage, and I’m not going to sugar coat this, I was scared to have kids again. I never wanted to have a situation where the other 3 felt unloved, or even “loved less”.  Bigger than that, I was scared that any child I had with Cyndy would fair better since we would both be there to raise it the way WE wanted too. I always understood Cyndy is the mom I always wanted a kid to have.  Intelligent, loving, caring.  After several years of seeing this, admiring this, I was ready to start the next phase of our life and expand the family. When we met she was pretty anti kid, but after seeing me with my kids, experiencing what family life could be she herself, warmed up to the idea of having kids.  We had conversations, and each time we put our career in front of increasing our family. After a while I think she felt that I didn’t want kids with her.  That hadn’t been the case for some time.  I just stayed so quiet about it. Too focused on the immediate task at hand, finishing this record and the subsequent tour.  I was  though finally feeling like we’ve accomplished quite a bit musically, and I was ready, after our South East Asia tour, to start to settle down.  Like come back from that tour with an impregnated wife.  Sadly, we never got to have that conversation in person.  My silence in this matter didn’t help our situation.  I regret not speaking up about the future I wanted for us.2014-12-06 10.52.05

This life, coupled with the societal pressures of being a 37 year old woman, got to her and she did what she felt was best.  She felt that I was “too busy” too focused on LFADM for her, and was too scared to tell me how she felt about being frustrated at touring life, and our life at Soundwave, and just life in general.  She wanted a home.  She fought valiantly to make this place a home and I was always reluctant.  I wanted to provide more for her, and my pride wouldn’t allow me to get too comfortable here.  I wanted to provide her with a real home. She wanted to start a family, and ultimately she wanted to feel normal for a little bit.  Who could blame her? As we speak, the music that is coming through my walls is like nails on a chalkboard, the sound of the rats in the walls/ceiling woke me up last night. The constant fight to find some sort of inner peace in this place is a war that can’t be won at times.  Walking to the store is like walking through a post apocalyptic nightmare sometimes.  This is the trade off you make when you chose to life this bohemian lifestyle.  That trade off to Cyndy was seeming like a raw deal.  It doesn’t help when your partner is off working.  I regret not doing more to make myself more available.  I couldn’t take hearing her talk about the problems while I was gone, I had to protect her, that was my promise to her a long time ago, and now, even though my goal was to rescue her from all this, I was too late.  Again, my silence was interpreted as some sort of dismissive annoyance with her worry some behavior.  She said to me, “I thought I didn’t matter to you, so you didn’t matter to me…” It is like a jungle sometimes.  She went under.  She felt if she wanted to step away from music, I wouldn’t want to be with her and we’d break up.

 

That logic was the total opposite of how I felt.  Coming back home working a music festival about 10 hours away for a few weeks, and knowing she was dealing with rats and everything else made me want to leave where we were living and start the process on being a bit more “normal”.  I was ready to start looking for a new place the moment I touched down.  I was ready to tell her that we should make the move on the next chapter in our life, and if she didn’t want to do another hit or miss headlining US run, I was okay with that.  I never got that chance.  I came back to a home in shambles.  She just up and left, took what she could and go the hell out in a whirlwind.  I’m still in shock.  I’m cut off.  She won’t pick up the phone, answer a text, I’m Facebook blocked, I’m eliminated from her life.  In all honesty, I guess that’s the way it’s got to be.  You can’t look back when you make a move like she did.  She’s doing everything she said she hated.

"What, did you think I was gonna put a flower in my hair and sing karaoke and the black guy was going to rap?" A question Cyndy yelled to the crowd after a few raucous LFADM songs in...

“What, did you think I was gonna put a flower in my hair and sing karaoke and the black guy was going to rap?” A question Cyndy yelled to the crowd after a few raucous LFADM songs in…

Playing cover music with a flower in hair looking like the gorgeous Asian stereotype she fought so hard not to be.  But that also affords her to be a working musician.  At the end of the day, bills have to paid, and why not pay them playing an instrument you love? I’m still here though.  I continue to live in our place surrounded by memories of the two of us.  Tour posters, newspaper articles still adorn the walls of our place.  I still have the clothes she left.  I washed them like I always do. I don’t know why.  I just felt like it was the right thing to do.  It was hard to fold those Cyndy clothes. Instead of putting them in a separate hamper so she could put them back, I just put them in a plastic bag.  Sealed tight so no dust or bugs can get inside.   I’m sure at this point I should just donate them to the homeless across the street.  I find myself staring at my phone, constantly checking the email hoping she’ll try to get a hold of me so we can start talking again. But it doesn’t ring.  Every email refresh begins with hope of seeing a new message with her email, and  ends with another  junk message.  Cyndy is my best friend.  I don’t know if you can duplicate our relationship.  It was/is intense.  We lived a fringe life, and it’s not for everybody. I got to create music that people had never heard before, forging our sound with the woman I love.  Bigger than La Fin Absolute Du Monde, was my relationship with Cyndy. A loving bond that honestly made everyday better.   I can be without the band, I always wanted the woman.  The woman that made me laugh till I cried, made me a better musician, and ultimately, being with her made me strive to be a better man.  I wanted to remind her everyday, that I loved HER and I was lucky that just 7 years ago she agreed to go on a journey with me that has taken around the US countless times, a crazy wedding in a small English town in the countryside, we did too many insane things to mention.  In the end, we did them together.

Killin' it in Santa Fe, NM

Killin’ it in Santa Fe, NM

 

I seriously considered doing LFADM without Cyndy, but after some serious thought, I decided that I can’t recapture our fire live.  You guys that saw that show, saw true raw emotion.  We loved those songs, and we loved each other so much, that passion you witnessed was real never contrived.  I felt no matter who was performing with me, I’d be missing that very important part of the LFADM equation.  There is still a record coming soon, “Killing the Host”.  Should be out early spring.  I went over some final mixing edits the other day and I was a hard listen.  We are SO PROUD of this record.  Heavy, passionate, meaningful, emotional music.  I’ll update y’all on it when the times comes.

 

Thank you guys for being a part of our lives.  I don’t know what the future holds.  I fantasize about hearing a tiny knock on the door, and opening it and seeing Cyndy. I guess that stuff is reserved for shitty romantic comedies and not real life. She’s the love of my life. I’m constantly missing waking up next to her and having our morning chat over coffee.  I try to find some sort of solace knowing she’s safe, and happy. As much as this pains me to say, I love her enough that even without me, I just want her to be happy…

A still from a commercial we did a few years ago in San Francisco, CA

A still from a commercial we did a few years ago in San Francisco, CA

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