Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's either a haunting or it's an enchantment that makes a man feel so intensely. It's never really for anyone to say and it's barely right for anyone to even point it out - those disheveled spirits who are shivering their ways through dim, maddeningly narrow hallways, fumbling for their keys, craning toward a light. They are bruised, but they don't remember all that led to their purpled and blued production. They are rarely happy when it doesn't also have a dull tinge of pain to it. It seems like that might be the "holy synchronicity" that Peter Pisano is referring to, when he writes about feeling like a king and feeling like a fool in the biographical notes for his side project, Jake Westin.
What's not to understand in that epic push and pull? There's always that giving and that taking. There is always that trade off. There is always a shedding that has to happen for the sweetest scenes to come to pass. Nothing can forestall the shedding - nothing at all. Sometimes nothing can even slow or stop the shedding and that's when it becomes troublesome. It's then when a man gets the shakes and starts swimming in a shaky broth of insomnia and paranoia. It makes you queasy and it makes you feel as if everything's numbered. It makes you believe you're a bad guy, or at the least, you're only a fraction of the human being that you used to believe you were. You've lost some of those very basic traits of compassion that you used to have. You've just not used them for so long that you became unpracticed and they withered somewhat. Now, when you need or could use them again, they're less than you'd hoped for and it's frightening, that degradation.
Pisano sings, "I find it hard to cherish things the older I get," and it might just be the pragmatist that he's learned it's smarter to be, speaking out. The gazer and the dreamer that have been partially fazed out are but lighter voices or white noise in the background and it's terrifying to acknowledge. Of course, there's no going back. There's never been a way, but there's always been a will to do so - to relive previous moments of beauty and past pulsations. I could be wrong, but the desire to do so isn't usually to actually relive them, just to feel what they would feel like now, at a different age. Are our memories so deceptive that we wouldn't want their takes on our histories, on our past living? We prefer the enchantment of memory. We would much rather remember that, "When we were young, we would hold our breaths underwater for as long as it took to hear our hearts pound/It was comforting not to be rescued, so don't rescue me," but Pisano is sensing that we could hold our breaths forever and we wouldn't hear our hearts pound any more. We would be saved or we would save ourselves before it was able to get thrilling. So, we wonder what we're doing wrong.