He said, “It’s all about the questions.”

I knew he was right, but I had my doubts about whether I wanted to answer the questions or not. Sometimes honesty has a hard time for those with a lack of confidence in personal matters.

“It’s the rabbit holes, that’s where the oil is, black gold, Beverly Hillbillies kind of stuff. You’ve got to go there to know.”

I was lost. The days of getting by with a simple throwaway line where gone. Twenty-four hours after being verbally assaulted by a kid I knew from long ago as to whether people can truly, “just survive,” or are they destined to greatness by the role they play in society and I could feel those insecure feelings coming on again.

I went for some distraction, “Come on, let’s go to Pet Value and see if we can relive life circa ’08. Little did I know, that answers happen with a randomness that cannot be explained.

The walk from one outrageously priced department store proved an event. We stopped with our feet surrounding a large, green beetle. It didn’t move, but my son and I knelt next to it. He said, “That’s a big beetle.”

“You’re damn right, I AM a damn-big, green beetle,” said the damn-big, green beetle.

It rubbed its hind legs together and a soft sound rose into the air. The hymn wasn’t really coming from the rubbing of his legs, but rather from the whirr of mosquito wings buzzing. The little bloodsuckers accepted the beetle’s orders, flew in formation, and took aim at my ankle. As they each set to the task of biting where I could barely reach, my ankle began to swell. I was hobbling along with a tomato above my foot. Finally, we were out of range of the mosquitos.

The store was uneventful. The cats made for inappropriate humor that might play well in Nevada, but nowhere else. In fact, I prayed that no one heard our joke lest we are brought up on charges by the social media hit squads that troll the world looking for ways to make everything more miserable than it already is.

We left Pet Value and walked straight across the parking lot without any care for the conventions normally associated with safe parking lot locomotion. Instead of using the sidewalk, we crossed horizontally, ignoring the aisles. More importantly, we protected ourselves from the damn-big, green beetle and his air force of marauding mosquitos. The truck offered us refuge and transportation.

The day ended with some Grateful Dead, Marcus King, and Marshall Tucker talk. What is it about music that keeps things going? The songs, the notes, and the creative energy must tap into a basic life dimension that we somehow miss out on when we are left to the sounds of our own voices. We use music to venture into other places, silencing self-talk and quieting all of our silly personal inquiry. Maybe, today was my first attempt at answering my questions. Music is a part of what I am.



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