When I found out that a friend of mine was on her deathbed, it was necessary for me to leave work asap. The thought of being around other people horrified me because crying at work is not the best thing to do.
The thought of seeing her unresponsive body laying in a hospital bed without any explanation was more than what I thought I could deal with since my father was in the state of affairs in June. Instead, the drive to my mother’s house was made where I remained in shock.
Upon waking early Saturday morning, more news reached my ears about her untimely demise. It caused a whirlwind of babbling aloud. I want my life to mean something. What have I done with my life? Death happens to everyone and the exact date is not revealed. The clock continues to click us closer to our final debut. When my day arrives, what will be left behind to show that my feet once walked this earth? What will I say to my ancestors about the sacrifices that were made on my behalf?
My answers are few and far between. There are some young musicians that credit me with their passion. There may be a few women that feel more empowered because of my efforts. There are many that will say my music uplifted them. However, in my entire life, the overall scope of my breathing on a daily basis….what have I done? This is tied into my life purpose. Is it being fulfilled? Perhaps these questions will continue to be pondered….
Introverted. Terribly reclusive. Perhaps, it is Piscean to hide from the harsh cruel world. As I faced this hard truth last week, many layers of my being lay bare before my very eyes. What was I going to do to make myself more social? This is how people interact and become involved in relationships. When and how did this trend start with me? Furthermore, how was I going to overcome this obstacle?
This revelation came about as October came to an end. As November began, it occurred to me that putting my foot down now may land me with plans for New Year’s Eve. November would be the month that I became more social. Weekends will no longer find me at home or using work as an excuse to hide in my home. Research was done immediately to get me out of the house. Events were found for the first weekend in November. As of right now, plans to there are social engagements for me clear through Saturday. Slowly but surely, perhaps I can learn how to mingle and apply flirtation in appropriate settings.
When I started performing professionally, the cruise ships came calling. I did several wedding ceremonies on Carnival Cruises before realizing that it was not worth my time and effort to haul my monstrous instrument over bulk heads. It quickly lost its appeal, and land kept me quite grounded. When a company asked me to do a wedding a cruise ship, I thought that it would be nice to visit my old stomping grounds. Imagine the pictures against the ocean. This positive outlook quickly faded as the chaos unfolded. I have decided to present this in a loose list form as it was the same one that I texted to almost everyone that I know….
NIGHTMARE ON THE OEAN
1.) no signs for the proper terminal
2.) went to wrong garage
3.) groom didn’t know what terminal it was. He told me to “Follow the signs…”.
4.) get to elevator. No license. Had to go back to the 4th floor.
5.) get to security. Can’t board for two hours because of coast guard.
6.) boarded before the two hours but wasn’t allowed to leave security (second clearance) because of the K-9 unit. They had to smell my harp for drugs.
7.) the first dog came twice. Was not acceptable for some strange reason.
8.) I was there so long that I decided to play for tips. One of my songs was the Titanic…
9.) when the K-9 unit arrived, he didn’t even tell me it was okay to go. Security had to chase him and told me that he was a lazy ass.
10.) got on the ship. Coordinator assistant meets me. Two men have to carry my harp to the location because an elevator doesn’t go to the top deck.
11.) ceremony was on a top deck in the hot sun. I had to hide next to the officiant.
12.) keep in mind that the client wanted me to play over recorded music and during the speaking. I may have actually played for ten minutes.
12,) everyone leaves. There is no help to get me off the ship. I descended the same flight of stairs without any help. I get to the gang plank when officials stop me with an interrogation:
1.) are you crew? No.
2.) is this the ships property? All $32,000.00 of this instrument belong to me.
3.) you won’t fit in the elevators: I came in through those elevators.
They had to shut down the entire gangplank to escort me off the ship. One of the officials informed me that all of my problems were rooted in the fact that weddings were not allowed on the first turn back from Europe. However, this man was allowed because he was someone important.
13.) Returned to the place where I spent hours waiting for a damn dog. Security apologized to me again. Someone gave me a bottle of water. It was the first that I had all day.
14.) I finally returned to the first level of security. The ladies asked me how the wedding went because they watched my experiences on the camera and were horrified. We exchanged tales of woe as I made my departure back to the fourth floor garage across the street. Once everything was loaded, I heard my name. One of the security guards had chased me all the way to the fourth floor to give me my license. It had fallen from me without my knowledge and she figured that she could catch me because it would take me time to load. I could have given her my first born child as this was only the second time in the same day that my license tried to escape me. **For those of you that remember, I had to renew it last year prior to it being stolen. At this point, maybe I just don’t need one…..moving on.
I told the company that I was representing that the overtime fee needed to be raised due to the trauma that I had to endure and she agreed. I now have to pay for therapy, massages, and alcohol; not necessarily in that order. Chances are very high that I will not step foot on a ship to perform again. If I do, it will be because they have agreed to cover my mortgage….the remaining balance.